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Old 10-07-2021   #1
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Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Hi all.
I've bought a 2013 1.2l 500 and i thought I'll change the oil. The car was recently serviced, but it's new to me so didn't want to take a risk.

Anyways, when checking oil, the dipstick is oily about 10-15cm above the actual reading part. I would wipe it several times and try again, same story. I tried when the 500 is cold, tried few minutes after it was on.
I thought the mechanic overfilled it, so i couldn't get a proper reading.

Then I did service myself and filled it with exactly 2.8ltrs of oil (measured). Same story.

Any advice?
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Old 10-07-2021   #2
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Hi

Is this a 1242cc petrol?

(Or a 1248cc diesel..)

Where did the 2.8 figure come from..?

Is that the 'oil capacity' from the FIAT manual??

That will be oil needed from assembly..

Draining a built engine will leave pockets of oil in places.

Did you pre.fill the filter?

..





EDIT: you have just said the oil level is
THE LENGTH OF YOUR HAND too high !!

With the dipstick:

Wipe it clean

Insert it so it is 100mm-10cm short of full insertion.. check the min-max portion

Wipe it clean

Insert to 50mm/5cm short

Where is the level now?

It IS possible somebody has fitted an incorrect dipstick.. but 10 INCHES too high sounds ridiculous
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 10-07-2021 at 08:34.
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Old 10-07-2021   #3
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

It's a 1.2 litre petrol. Manual states 2.5ltr for sump and 2.8ltr with oil filter.

I'm guessing the oil sticks to the oil dipstick tube, so the reading is so high.
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Old 10-07-2021   #4
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Quote Originally Posted by PZ500 View Post
It's a 1.2 litre petrol. Manual states 2.5ltr for sump and 2.8ltr with oil filter.

I'm guessing the oil sticks to the oil dipstick tube, so the reading is so high.

What manual??

Wipe clean the dipstick.. and insert it in steps

60 short..40 short.. 20 short.. then full depth

See at what point the level appears on the min/ max section and let us know
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Old 10-07-2021   #5
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

My Panda 1.2 says 2.8l for oil and filter. This has worked for me over 11 years, so that works. Can't pre-fill the filter, as it sits horizontally, but once started it fills quickly, and stays there.

500 will have the 70hp engine, whereas mine is 60hp. When my laptop has finished its lengthy Microsoft updates, I'll check ePER to see if they use the same dipstick.

Edit:
1. It appears that Panda and 500 use the same stick.
Aircon 55191676
Non-aircon 46515985
2. Aircon stick has a different part number than non-aircon, although the tube it sits in is the same. Can't think of a reason for that, if aircon needed repositioning, I'd expect a different tube. Mine is aircon.
3. Stick appears to be 46.5cm from tip to seat. (Seat is where it sits on the top of the tube)
4. Max appears to be about 3cm from the tip, so 43.5cm from the seat.
5. Yes, those are raindrops on the background.
6. My level was on the max before I wiped it, which is good, as it has done a couple of motorway trips since the service. (Does use a little.)
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Last edited by portland_bill; 10-07-2021 at 10:04.
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Old 10-07-2021   #6
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Manual says 2.8ltr, so I know I didn't overfilled it.
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Old 10-07-2021   #7
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Possible reasons for high reading:
1. Too much oil. (Looks like that one is covered)
2. Wrong dipstick (see above)
3. Big dent in bottom of sump. Unusual for this to happen without damaging the oil pickup, but is possible.
4. Reduced sump capacity. If the engine has been neglected, and old oil has congealed in the sump, it will raise the level, as this will not drain out. This is not uncommon on neglected engines, but will usually restrict oil supply, although possible that the pickup is sitting in a well. This can be checked by poking around through the drain hole, (sadly needs another drain out first of course) or a long wire down the dipstick hole, although this is less conclusive.

If sump is full of goo, it will need removing to clean, and would then be a good idea to give the engine a flush to remove deposits from oilways. Cam cover removed may give clues. Hopefully this is not the issue.
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Old 10-07-2021   #8
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Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Possible reasons for high reading:
1. Too much oil. (Looks like that one is covered)
2. Wrong dipstick (see above)
3. Big dent in bottom of sump. Unusual for this to happen without damaging the oil pickup, but is possible.
4. Reduced sump capacity. If the engine has been neglected, and old oil has congealed in the sump, it will raise the level, as this will not drain out. This is not uncommon on neglected engines, but will usually restrict oil supply, although possible that the pickup is sitting in a well. This can be checked by poking around through the drain hole, (sadly needs another drain out first of course) or a long wire down the dipstick hole, although this is less conclusive.

If sump is full of goo, it will need removing to clean, and would then be a good idea to give the engine a flush to remove deposits from oilways. Cam cover removed may give clues. Hopefully this is not the issue.
Car has done only 60 000kms and has been serviced every year,so I hope it's not a sump issue.

I'll check the dipstick tomorrow and see if it's same.

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2021   #9
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Actual oil capacity depends on the filter - there have been some changes during the model run and AFAIK they are all interchangeable. Later filters are slightly smaller; this explains the discrepancy between 2.7/2.8 litres you'll find on many websites and parts guides.

Difference between min and max on the dipstick is a little over half a litre.

You always leave a little oil behind; just how much depends how well you drain it.

If you drain when the level is close to dipstick minimum, and pour in the contents of the filter, you'll likely see about 2l in the container.

If you are obsessive, refill with 2.5l, run the engine for a couple of minutes to fill the filter, and check the level; it should be somewhere near the halfway mark on the dipstick. Drive the car, let it rest overnight and top up to the max mark next morning when everything is cold and settled.

If you fill to the max point on the dipstick with a hot engine that's recently been run, you'll slightly overfill it, though not enough to cause a problem.

A friend with a then-new 500 took their own oil to their local franchised dealer at first service time; they poured the entire 4l container into the engine . Only discovered a few days later when I checked it; but despite the massive overfill, it seemingly ran without issues.

I've seen other seriously overfilled engines throw the excess up past the pistons into the combustion chambers; the amount of smoke produced was substantial and on an engine with modern emissions control systems, this could prove very expensive.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 10-07-2021 at 11:25.
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Old 10-07-2021   #10
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Actual oil capacity depends on the filter - there have been some changes during the model run and AFAIK they are all interchangeable. Later filters are slightly smaller; this explains the discrepancy between 2.7/2.8 litres you'll find on many websites and parts guides.

Difference between min and max on the dipstick is a little over half a litre.
When I first got my Panda, it took a little while to determine the correct filter. Euro now show sizes, and crucially seal diameter, to help decide. As well as the filter size changing, the seal diameter also changes, so using the wrong one may cause massive leaks, or oil by-passing the filter.

Panda handbook says 1l between min and max, which matches my car.

A friend recently massively overfilled his sump. He managed to draw some back out the dipstick hole, but of course plastic tube is always curled, so it resists dipping into the oil. He has done about 250 miles, much on the motorway, with no apparent problems. Seems Suzuki use good seals. Suzuki Carry Van, 1.3 petrol.
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Old 10-07-2021   #11
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

The problem is that appears that oil sticks to the dipstick above the measuring bit, so I can't tell if I'm half between min and max or near max. Its all oily from the bottom of the dipstick and about 15cm up.
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Old 10-07-2021   #12
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Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Actual oil capacity depends on the filter - there have been some changes

If you are obsessive, refill with 2.5l, run the engine for a couple of minutes to fill the filter, and check the level; it should be somewhere near the halfway mark on the dipstick. Drive the car, let it rest overnight and top up to the max mark next morning when everything is cold and settled.

If you fill to the max point on the dipstick with a hot engine that's recently been run, you'll slightly overfill i
Thats why over the years..with new to me vehicles

I use the method above-

Measure the FlatSection of the dipstick

Start by wiping the flatsection dry

Insert dipstick partially.. leaving 3x the FlatSection remaining..
Withdraw..

You will have a smear of oil on the tip..
But need to see a uniform level front and back

No level showing use 2x FlatSection

Then 1 x FlatSection
( a level would normally be visible on the lower portion of the stick at this point)

I half.fill spin.on cannister filters..
A throwback from turbo cars

But it can get messy if you have a problem with actually installing it



It will be interesting to discover what happens tomorrow
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 10-07-2021 at 13:43.
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Old 10-07-2021   #13
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

I've got 53 reg Panda Dynamic 1.2. The Haynes manual says 2.8 litre. 2.8 will overfill it. 2.4 litre works exactly.

I had a new sump 7 years ago. 2.4 was all it needed with both sumps.

I have changed the oil dozens of times. I have taken it to the garage twice for services and both times they overfilled it.

I'm not complaining - the car is still dead reliable and cheap to run. Even at160k.
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Old 10-07-2021   #14
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

Quote Originally Posted by PZ500 View Post
The problem is that appears that oil sticks to the dipstick above the measuring bit, so I can't tell if I'm half between min and max or near max. Its all oily from the bottom of the dipstick and about 15cm up.
It's much harder to read dipsticks with today's ultra low viscosity oils.

Wipe the dipstick fully, then reinsert it. You may need to do this more than once to clear the oil from the dipstick tube.

Always keep the dipstick held vertically. If you tip it onto its side to read it, oil will flow back along it and give you a false reading.
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Old 11-07-2021   #15
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Re: Fiat 500 1.2 dipstick reading

The "springy" dipsticks seem to draw oil up the dipstick tube through something like capillary action.

To get an accurate reading, take the dipstick out, give it a good wipe (try and blot/mop oil out of the springy section) and leave it out for as long as you can - e.g. overnight if you want to check your oil first thing in the morning.

And when doing an oil change, leave the dipstick out except when you actually want to take a reading.

The other charming idiosyncrasy of Fiat group dipsticks is that you sometimes get a different reading on each side, as they go into the sump at an angle... so take the average.

Nick
www.auto500.co.uk
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