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Old 03-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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How much oil should be on my dipstick?

On the way home after filling up, I noticed the oil reader was abnormally low. I changed the oil only a few months ago.

Checked the dipstick and there was not an insignificant amount on there, but I realized I had no idea what a healthy level should be. I also had been driving for several minutes right before this happened.

Is this nothing or should I be concerned?

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Old 03-04-2014, 05:53 PM   #2
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It is always good to be aware of the amount of oil in the engine. Taking a reading when oil is cold versus when the motor has been run can give a different reading.
You don't say whether you have an oil guage or not. I find that the engine oil guage on the dash is quite accurate.

Be aware of any oil on the garage floor. You need to know if you have a leak or not. I find that the oil reading is most accurate when car has sat overnight before starting.
Do not overfill past full on the dipstick or on the guage. Allow for some expansion.
Check the owner's manual too.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:00 PM   #3
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There should be min-max markings on the plastic end on your dipstick. As long as it is somewhere between those marks you're good to go. The car has to be on level ground and the engine should be cold when you check it.

Overfilling is very very bad, so top it up slowly and give the oil time to run down before you check it again.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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Can you elaborate as to why overfilling is bad?
I believe the capacity it 9.5 quarts, would putting in 10 quarts be bad?
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
Can you elaborate as to why overfilling is bad?
I believe the capacity it 9.5 quarts, would putting in 10 quarts be bad?
Overfilling with oil can lead to premature failure of the Air/Oil separator.
This is what I've heard.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:25 AM   #6
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I accidentally overfilled before a track day by about 1/3 - 2/3 a quart too much and during my last run I blew a huge smoke bomb, and the CEL flashed (misfires in 3 cylinders). I had overwhelmed the AOS and some oil got sucked back around and into the combustion chamber. I have heard if too much gets in it can mess up the engine due to oil's hydraulic properties not being compatible with the compression of the cylinders. I was freaked out!

When I got back I dropped the oil filter and emptied the filter housing, and installed a new filter (I took apart the old one, it was good, no debris), and installed a new filter and o-ring. That brought my oil down to half way between the top and bottom bars (before it was a couple bars over the top)

Next track day all was good and I drove even faster and harder than before.

Between 1/2 to 2/3 of the way between the low and high bars is where I like to run my oil now.

Steve

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Old 03-05-2014, 06:40 AM   #7
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There should be no oil on her lips or lipstick...
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:56 AM   #8
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Like any car, you should expect oil levels (gauge or dip stick) to indicate low if you check immediately after running the engine. The oil is circulated out of the sump. If you try and top off at that point, you will most likely Overfill. As stated before, check cold and level and rely on the Dip Stick if you have one.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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I don't think I've ever gotten an accurate reading from the dash. It seems that if the car is pitched nose up I'll get these crazy readings with only 3 bars. As a habit I check the oil while filling up the gas tank. I'm really glad I have a Boxster that still has a dip stick. I keep a roll of blue shop towels to clean up the dip stick before reinserting and checking the oil level. Last time I checked I was right at the second line and changed the oil (MOTUL X 8100 5w40) about 3k miles ago. No topping off since. I also check the tire pressure and do a quick wipe down of the windshield with rain-x. It's a good practice vs. just sitting there.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:12 PM   #10
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I have noticed that my car does not need 9.5 quarts of fresh oil, even with a filter change... and yes, I warm the motor first and let it drain for a long time... sometimes overnight!

The way I do it now is to put 8 quarts in, idle the motor for a minute, wait 30 minutes, check it, add a cup of oil or so, and repeat the process.

The last three or four oil changes have not been more than 9 quarts... usually a little less.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eli cash View Post
On the way home after filling up, I noticed the oil reader was abnormally low. I changed the oil only a few months ago. I also had been driving for several minutes right before this happened.
The engine oil level gauge will always read less than max full under these conditions. A fuel fillup does not provide enough time for all the oil to drain back into the sump. Also, you may not be on a completely level surface when the reading is displayed.

As long as the level indicated is between the min and max arrows on the gauge, you are fine. To get an accurate reading, check the oil level when the car has sat for a few hours on a level surface.

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I have noticed that my car does not need 9.5 quarts of fresh oil, even with a filter change.
My owner's manual calls for 8.7 quarts which is my benchmark. After driving and setting for a few hours, I may have to add an ounce or so.

Definitely do not overfill. If you do, pump or drain out the excess.

Just sayin'.......

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Old 03-05-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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Really easy. The manual says check the oil with the motor up to operating temp, 100 c which is probably 45 minutes of operation. Then, with the car level, wait "several" minutes (i wait about 5) and check the oil level. When I do this, with 9.5 quarts of oil,the dipstick is right at the top. The next day, when I start the car from cold, the dash gauge shows one bar overfilled.

And by the way, I am wary of the horror stories of overfilling with oil. Check the oil level with the motor running and the oil will not even register on the dipstick. No way the crakshaft is going to aerate the oil. Obviously, if you overfill by 2 quarts you may have a problem, but when I go to the track, my major concern is oil starvation from from hard corners. I'll risk a puff of smoke from an overwhelmed aos over a spun bearing any day.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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My in car sensor always reads one bar above.... i would worry alot more about these cars being low on oil than overfilling.. of course dont sent 3 quarts extra down its gullet but same as the previous post when i check my dipstick it is right at the top line.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by san rensho View Post
Really easy. The manual says check the oil with the motor up to operating temp, 100 c which is probably 45 minutes of operation. Then, with the car level, wait "several" minutes (i wait about 5) and check the oil level. When I do this, with 9.5 quarts of oil,the dipstick is right at the top. The next day, when I start the car from cold, the dash gauge shows one bar overfilled.

And by the way, I am wary of the horror stories of overfilling with oil. Check the oil level with the motor running and the oil will not even register on the dipstick. No way the crakshaft is going to aerate the oil. Obviously, if you overfill by 2 quarts you may have a problem, but when I go to the track, my major concern is oil starvation from from hard corners. I'll risk a puff of smoke from an overwhelmed aos over a spun bearing any day.
wouldn't a deeper sump mod mitigate oil starvation while removing the possibility of losing the engine due to a downed AOS from overfill?
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:10 AM   #15
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wouldn't a deeper sump mod mitigate oil starvation while removing the possibility of losing the engine due to a downed AOS from overfill?
When I first blew my smoke bomb due to overfilling I was looking into the larger "motorsports" AOS, deep sump kits, accusumps, etc... After a lot of reading and talking with knowledgeable folks on here, I came to understand that it was because my oil was overfilled.

In the future if I keep on doing track days I may do those items (deep sump probably first with improved X51 style baffle; I really like the look of the FVD Oil Pan but it is $$$: FVD Motorsport Oil Pan:Porsche Parts & Porsche Accessories - Wholesale Porsche Parts & Tequipment ) but since I am running street tires and not driving anywhere near the limits of the car I feel like I am safe from the sustained cornering at high g force oil starvation issues. Once I can drive at the limits on street tires and am ready to upgrade to the next level of suspension and tires I will revisit.

Steve
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
When I first blew my smoke bomb due to overfilling I was looking into the larger "motorsports" AOS, deep sump kits, accusumps, etc... After a lot of reading and talking with knowledgeable folks on here, I came to understand that it was because my oil was overfilled.

In the future if I keep on doing track days I may do those items (deep sump probably first with improved X51 style baffle; I really like the look of the FVD Oil Pan but it is $$$: FVD Motorsport Oil Pan:Porsche Parts & Porsche Accessories - Wholesale Porsche Parts & Tequipment ) but since I am running street tires and not driving anywhere near the limits of the car I feel like I am safe from the sustained cornering at high g force oil starvation issues. Once I can drive at the limits on street tires and am ready to upgrade to the next level of suspension and tires I will revisit.

Steve
How much did you overfill the sump?

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