Technical Checking oil

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Technical Checking oil

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Obviously it's a given that you should check your oil level at regular intervals, but I've often wondered, how long should you wait after driving the car before checking oil to give it enough chance to run down into the sump?

It's 1.2 by the way if that makes any difference.
 

dan-the-man

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I run my engine for a bit then wait about 20-30mins after it's been switched off when checking the oil, I get a better reading that way on the 2.4
 
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Cool, I've always left it about half an hour, and when topping up, I do it when the engines warmer as oil runs easier that way.

Still chuffed, did an oil change ages ago, still not lost a drop.
 

Greggers

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Just thought I'd dredge up an old thread rather than start a new one...

Right... I've always checked the oil level on my Abarth when the engine is cold and kept it at about 3/4 full. I decided to consult the user manual though to see when they recommend checking the oil level.

This says to check the oil level 5 mins after the engine has been stopped... so I thought, alright 'll give that a go. My 3/4 full has now become just below min! :eek:

I'm now concerned... have I done any damage? I've always had good oil pressure and never any warnings, so I think it unlikely. It was just a bit of a shock :(

What do the Fiat techs and other Abarth drivers say about when to check the oil level? Advice and experience welcome! :D
 

dan-the-man

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I wouldn't trust warning lights as they would probably only come on when you have no oil, check it 5 mins after engine has been turned off to let the oil rest in the sump then check it, don't think you would have done any long term damage.

confused me a bit but after talking to a friend who's a mechanic he told me to check it after 5 mins, with engine at normal temp.
 

Greggers

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I wouldn't trust warning lights as they would probably only come on when you have no oil, check it 5 mins after engine has been turned off to let the oil rest in the sump then check it, don't think you would have done any long term damage.

confused me a bit but after talking to a friend who's a mechanic he told me to check it after 5 mins, with engine at normal temp.

Cheers Dan. Well, that's what I'm going to be doing from now on. It's the recommended proceedure according to the manual and according to eLearn, so that's good enough for me! :D

I'm just glad that I check my oil weekly so that my oil level was always at least 3/4 full when I checked it cold. Dropping below that oil level could really have caused problems as it would equate to a really low level when checking it properly!
 

Big Black Stilo

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hang on its bound to show no oil as most of its floating around the engine, you could end up putting in too much.

heres a thought, pay for an oil change then check it cold and check it after 5 minutes from stopping, and i bet it shows naff all in there.

to o/p, yeah, my 1.2 is good at holding oil, and its still a nice colour come service time!
 

Greggers

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hang on its bound to show no oil as most of its floating around the engine, you could end up putting in too much.

heres a thought, pay for an oil change then check it cold and check it after 5 minutes from stopping, and i bet it shows naff all in there.

to o/p, yeah, my 1.2 is good at holding oil, and its still a nice colour come service time!

That's the thing. According to both Fiat and eLearn, the dipstick should show oil between the max/min markings 5 minutes after stopping the engine.

If it doesn't, then surely there's not enough oil in the engine? That's my take on it anyway (y)
 

Ffoxy

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With my diesel GPS if I check the level cold straight from the engine it shows half, if I dip it again straight away it looks full.... :confused: Its always been that way though since I had it.
 

Argonought

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I think this notion of only checking the oil after the engine has been standing for 5 minutes is to prevent overfilling (which can be just as harmful).

I'd expect the level on a cold engine to be only slightly higher.

Personally the notion that to check oil level - you have to warm your engine up, switch off, wait 5 minutes and then measure the level has got to be one of the craziest I've heard :confused:
 

Ffoxy

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trust me... it's not. It's over 3/4 of a litre difference, eg. 3/4 full of oil when cold, barely registering on the dipstick after sitting for 5 mins.

I understand that, draindown time needed. Oil will be everywhere inside the lump, it has to drain down to measure what the sump content is.
 

Greggers

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I understand that, draindown time needed. Oil will be everywhere inside the lump, it has to drain down to measure what the sump content is.

So the question is, how long should you wait? The oil level is going to be dependent on how long you wait after stopping the engine, so it can't be accurate. The only truely accurate way is to do the check whent he engine is cold, but according to Fiat and elearn, that' not how the scale on the dipstick was calibrated.

What a pain in the arse. knowing my luck, I've probably overfilled my oil now as I've put in enough so that 5 mins after stopping the engine, it reads 3/4 full. :(
 

Ffoxy

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I always check mine cold, always have and never ruined an engine or overfilled one yet, currently have 4 cars at home, 2 Fiats 1 Nissan and 1 Suzuki, all get treated the same way as with all the cars I ever owned.

When doing my own oil changes in the past I have drained the old oil out (left it draining for 30 mins or so warm to hot) then swapped the oil filter and topped up with the exact amount required, run it, dipped it and its always been between half and full. By this time the engine is cooled, thats why I check oil levels at cold. Works for me.
 
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Greggers

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I always check mine cold, always have and never ruined an engine or overfilled one yet, currently have 4 cars at home, 2 Fiats 1 Nissan and 1 Suzuki, all get treated the same way as with all the cars I ever owned.

When doing my own oil changes in the past I have drained the old oil out (left it draining for 30 mins or so warm to hot) then swapped the oil filter and topped up with the exact amount required, run it, dipped it and its always been between half and full. By this time the engine is cooled, thats why I check oil levels at cold. Works for me.

Yep. That's the way I've always done it with my cars as well. Fiat have thrown me though with their "check 5 mins after stopping" malarky. it's made me second guess myself as I know the Abarth is prone to losing it's bottom end.

Oh well. I'll check it when I get home tonight and if necessary, I'll drain some out of the sump. :eek:
 

dan-the-man

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reason I don't check oil level when cold is because the abarth is silly and when you check it when it's cold you can't get a proper reading off the dipstick, one side it's on full and on other it's near min level.

when it's warm I can get a proper reading.
 

Greggers

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reason I don't check oil level when cold is because the abarth is silly and when you check it when it's cold you can't get a proper reading off the dipstick, one side it's on full and on other it's near min level.

when it's warm I can get a proper reading.

Ah! So it's not just my Abarth that does that then!? :D SO I take it you warm the engine up, stop it, wait for say, 15 mins, and then take a reading?
 

Argonought

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Dan, it's the side of the dipstick WITHOUT the oil on which you should be reading :eek:

(assume it can't be that different to a JTD dipstick :chin:)
 
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dan-the-man

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Ah! So it's not just my Abarth that does that then!? :D SO I take it you warm the engine up, stop it, wait for say, 15 mins, and then take a reading?

Yep (y)

but it's strange, i even turned the dipstick 360 when it was in the sump and it still came out the same, one side full other side on min level, after checking when it was warm it showed as full. :confused:
 
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