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Old 20-01-2014   #1
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How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

I know this is going to sound like a daft question, but here goes:

The dipstick is nothing like the graphic on the filler cap - can I assume that the short narrow section of the plastic dip-stick marks the min to max oil levels? It is not pictured in the manual, but this seems like the obvious way to read it...

Anyone confirm either way?

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Old 20-01-2014   #2
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

I'll check what it looks like but it's not a daft question.

It's the bit right at the end of the dipstick with hardly any distance between Min and Max.

In the early days of having our 500 TA I cocked up the reading, overfilled it and the engine stopped a while later.

It was taken on a low loader to the garage and all was well afterwards.

I have never done anything like it with the multitude of cars I've had before.
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Old 21-01-2014   #3
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

I had the exact problem reading the stick when my 500 was new. I thought that there was hardly any oil in it as the manual is very confusing.
As I had some kind of leak coming from the car I called the rac (the car was 1 day old) and even the rac man was unsure and advised me not to drive it.

Only when I was given guidance on Fiat Forum did I know that the oil was 1/2 way between min/max. Funnily enough, my brand new TA Panda was also delivered with oil just 1/2 way too.

take a look at this thread about my 500. The picture shows a skinny bit in the dipstick. It's the skinny section that indicates min to max
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Old 21-01-2014   #4
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by deeyup View Post
I had the exact problem reading the stick when my 500 was new. I thought that there was hardly any oil in it as the manual is very confusing.
As I had some kind of leak coming from the car I called the rac (the car was 1 day old) and even the rac man was unsure and advised me not to drive it.

Only when I was given guidance on Fiat Forum did I know that the oil was 1/2 way between min/max. Funnily enough, my brand new TA Panda was also delivered with oil just 1/2 way too.

take a look at this thread about my 500. The picture shows a skinny bit in the dipstick. It's the skinny section that indicates min to max
I took a while to get the oil level reading on my 4x4 TA the first time - felt like a real ..... dipstick.
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Old 21-01-2014   #5
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Thanks guys

I'm glad I'm not the only one that has been a bit confused! Your pictures and thread from the 500 section were very helpful deeyup

At least it's easy to do; just badly described in the manual. I have another car which is precisely the opposite way round!

Anyhow, my T/A is exactly on the top shoulder, which makes me think it has not really used anything in the first 3,300 miles.

Next question: What are folks general opinions on when the first oil change should be done?

I'm thinking that soon might be a good idea, to flush out all the bi-products of the initial running in phase. Again it may all be in the manual, but as Douglas Adams was won't to say: don't trust anything that weighs less than its instruction manual and with the Panda its getting pretty close... Honestly, a 300 page manual? Just silly. It should all be made obvious by labelling the bits you are supposed to touch or check!

All the best

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Old 21-01-2014   #6
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

As to when the oil should be changed, I was surprised when I was told that it (the 500 TA) didn't need a change until its first service at 18,000 miles.

I was thinking of having an oil change at about 9,000 miles but it was about that time that I cocked up as I described above.

As a result of my cock up the engine was drained and a new filter and oil put in.

So some good did come of the situation!

Would I change it at 9,000 miles anyway?

I do think that a hard working 875cc engine with a turbo needs a bit of TLC.
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Old 22-01-2014   #7
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by TwinAir Newbie View Post
As to when the oil should be changed, I was surprised when I was told that it (the 500 TA) didn't need a change until its first service at 18,000 miles.

I was thinking of having an oil change at about 9,000 miles but it was about that time that I cocked up as I described above.

As a result of my cock up the engine was drained and a new filter and oil put in.

So some good did come of the situation!

Would I change it at 9,000 miles anyway?

I do think that a hard working 875cc engine with a turbo needs a bit of TLC.
I'm going to have an oil/filter change at about 6k miles. Done just over 3 so far since July
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Old 22-01-2014   #8
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by triumph7 View Post
I'm going to have an oil/filter change at about 6k miles. Done just over 3 so far since July
Yes - I had the oil changed in my 4x4 TA at around that mileage; the idea of going 18000 miles on the first fill of oil just seems like a false economy, especially if you intend to keep the car for quite a while. It is quite a palaver - the sump guard has to be dropped so it's best done on a garage ramp - and the oil is pricey. Everyone does a double take when they're checking what the oil spec is so make sure it's right.
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Old 23-01-2014   #9
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by babbo_umbro View Post
Yes - I had the oil changed in my 4x4 TA at around that mileage; the idea of going 18000 miles on the first fill of oil just seems like a false economy, especially if you intend to keep the car for quite a while. It is quite a palaver - the sump guard has to be dropped so it's best done on a garage ramp - and the oil is pricey. Everyone does a double take when they're checking what the oil spec is so make sure it's right.
Presumably you could us a vacuum pump to drain the oil? inserted via the dipstick hole. I was thinking of buying one of these to have for my TA and Alfa Spider, I believe its what garages use now and saves all the hassle of ramps etc. Anyone ever used one?
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Old 23-01-2014   #10
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by Mercky View Post
Presumably you could us a vacuum pump to drain the oil? inserted via the dipstick hole. I was thinking of buying one of these to have for my TA and Alfa Spider, I believe its what garages use now and saves all the hassle of ramps etc. Anyone ever used one?
I hope garages don't use them. Surely they leave any swarf and sludge at the bottom of the sump, rather than draining it out.

I think my dad used to have one for intermediate oil changes (but I may have made that up - as he's not very mechanically-minded ).
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Old 23-01-2014   #11
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Re: How to read Oil level on a T/A Panda...

Quote Originally Posted by chr1s View Post
I hope garages don't use them. Surely they leave any swarf and sludge at the bottom of the sump, rather than draining it out.

I think my dad used to have one for intermediate oil changes (but I may have made that up - as he's not very mechanically-minded ).
IMHO the Twinair has the best dipstick I've ever had on any of my (many)
cars- its straight course through a wide channel makes for accurate readings.
(Conversely the Multijet on my Mito had an awful flexy thing...)

I've not been confused by the manual as I didn't bother to read the relevant
bit- I just took out the dipstick and found the level was halfway up the
narrow portion at its end- when new, and now after 7800 miles

Provided a suction device had a tube >5mm bore and got to the lowest point
in the sump, I'd be quite happy to use such a device. Changing the filter was
always the messiest task when I did my own oil changes

An early oil change is a good idea for cars used for short trips, but as I do
only long journeys I'm happy to leave mine until the 18000 mile service.



Chris
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