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Old 08-04-2005, 04:52 AM   #1
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ranbar2's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 62
Oil level indicator

Usually when I turn the ignition, I get the oil level indicator where the clock is. It usually takes anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds to calculate depending on how hot the engine is. A few days ago I noticed that the indicator wasn't coming on; the dash went straight to clock. I shut off the engine and turned the key to get current and sure enough the indicator came on... and started counting down from 9 minutes. Well, I immediately checked the dip stick and the level was ok. Then, for giggles, I turned on current again (if I start the engine the indicator never shows) and actually waited the 9 or so minutes. The level was fine.

Any ideas on what could cause this? Is it as simple as a failing sensor or could it be indicative of a bigger problem?

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Old 08-04-2005, 06:30 AM   #2
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What's your YM?

Mine does not always come on. It depends on how long the engine was off and if I filled the gas tank. First thing in the morning and after a fill-up I get the 45 seconds. In a store and out, the 5 seconds. Off and back on quickly, like when I'm testing things, no oil level indicator.

One thing to watch, if you haven't had the problem yet, is the ignition switch. There are little things that start happening until one day you can't get the key in. If you notice other things that normally come on when the key is turned suddenly fritzing, get the ignition switch and replace it. It's an easy job, about 30min-1 hour depending on your mechanical abilities. The switch is $32 at AutoZone or on eBay. If you catch it early, you'll save yourself some big headaches like being stranded because the key won't go in or no A/C.
1987 928S4 Silver Metallic (980)/Navy (TP) 5-Speed
2000 Boxster Speed Yellow/Black 5-Speed
1966 Wife White/Brown Top
1986 Daughter White/Brown Top (Sold!)
1992 Daughter White/Blonde Top
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:45 AM   #3
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Location: Houston, Texas
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I have noticed huge variances in the digital level indicator depending on how long the car has sat.

If I am not mistaken, the best time to check the oil level with the digital indicator is when the engine is cold or has been sitting for at least an hour.

All those nine quarts have to dribble through the engine back down into the sump... each bar in the display is a cup or so, according to ToolPants... this means that if 98% of the oil is in the sump, you'll still get a low reading.

When mine says 45 seconds or more, I ignore it and get on with driving because if I wait I will not get accurate results.

Three times now, I have made the foolish mistake of using that digital indicator when the engine has been runnning and topped it off with $7 a quart oil that is just burned off because I overfilled it.

At least the older boxster owners have the good old dipstick. You 987 owners have to put up with the digital display alone.

'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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