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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been noticing an odd thing when I check my oil. The first time I read it, it shows a low oil level. Since I usually let it set overnight on a level surface, the level is clearly visible about 1/2 way between the max and min lines. But if I check it again right away, I get a different level that is a little above the max line. I can repeat the check again and get the same level - above max.

I got some ideas on this, but would like some help from others in the forum to do an science experiment and share your results. I want to see if this is something common to all MS3's or if it just my car.

1. After driving, park on a level surface and wait at least an hour. Don't check your oil before waiting!
2. Pull the dipstick straight out and read the level
3. Wipe the dipstick, put it back in, pull it out and read the level.
4. Repeat step 3 to get a 3rd reading.

Then post what the levels were for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings. If you know for sure how much oil was put in at the last oil change, post that too.
 

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Yes it's common. Even seen a complaint on another forum about it. The first reading is always low while the subsequent readings are higher and accurate.
 

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I've noticed this and puzzled over it myself... I haven't ever noticed this phenomena on other cars that I have owned. Are there any credible theories on why this happens with the Speed 3? Has anybody noted this on other cars?
 

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For 2), I think the reason they say to wipe the dipstick first is to get rid of the capillary action. I am not sure what properties oil exhibits but water moves up against the force of gravity.
 

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Most cars I have had do this to some effect, but the mazda seems to have more variation between the first and second check after its been sitting.
 

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[quote author=Saitech link=topic=70993.msg1246613#msg1246613 date=1172957167]
For 2), I think the reason they say to wipe the dipstick first is to get rid of the capillary action. I am not sure what properties oil exhibits but water moves up against the force of gravity.
[/quote]

Yeah, I've always been told to remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, then replace it for several seconds before removing it again and reading the oil level.

Also, you should check the oil on a warm engine that has been sitting for at least a few minutes so that the majority of oil has drained back into the oil pan.
 

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to read your engine oil level
1) pull out dip stick
2) clean dip stick
3) insert dip stick - pull and read

its not rocket science.
 

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I changed mine today, it was at the same exact spot as the last oil change when i filled it up
 

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my area of expertise!

start car
turn off car
pull out dipstick
wipe dipstick
insert dipstick
pull out
read.
 

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I found out today that Fo(rd)Mo(tor)Co(mpany) is written on the dip stick. Hopefully this doesn't affect oil levels :) .
 

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[quote author=Frosty link=topic=70993.msg1247202#msg1247202 date=1172984825]
I found out today that Fo(rd)Mo(tor)Co(mpany) is written on the dip stick. Hopefully this doesn't affect oil levels :) .
[/quote]

ROFLMAO
that's a good one. muhaha
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's my theory on why the first reading is low. While you drive, the oil level in the pan drops because the oil is elsewhere in the engine doing good things. When you turn off the engine, the oil gradually returns to the sump and the level rises. But the dipstick is housed inside a tube that is immersed in the oil. When the level rises, the oil in the tube "wants to" rise but can not because there is air trapped in the tube. Ever notice that nice o-ring at the top of the dip stick?

I bet if you "burped" the dipstick by lifting it just far enough to break the seal with the o-ring and then put it back down and pulled it out again we would get a first reading that is the same as the 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Or this could be hogwash and the real reason may be that a sub-standard FoMoCo part is to blame...
 

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[quote author=MS3 link=topic=70993.msg1248393#msg1248393 date=1173055290]
Here's my theory on why the first reading is low. While you drive, the oil level in the pan drops because the oil is elsewhere in the engine doing good things. When you turn off the engine, the oil gradually returns to the sump and the level rises. But the dipstick is housed inside a tube that is immersed in the oil. When the level rises, the oil in the tube "wants to" rise but can not because there is air trapped in the tube. Ever notice that nice o-ring at the top of the dip stick?

I bet if you "burped" the dipstick by lifting it just far enough to break the seal with the o-ring and then put it back down and pulled it out again we would get a first reading that is the same as the 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Or this could be hogwash and the real reason may be that a sub-standard FoMoCo part is to blame...
[/quote]

Makes sense to me. I'll try burping it.
 

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You should always wipe it and check the level at least a few times. The burping is just to see if that's the cause of the initial low reading.
 

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[quote author=MS3 link=topic=70993.msg1248393#msg1248393 date=1173055290]
Here's my theory on why the first reading is low. While you drive, the oil level in the pan drops because the oil is elsewhere in the engine doing good things. When you turn off the engine, the oil gradually returns to the sump and the level rises. But the dipstick is housed inside a tube that is immersed in the oil. When the level rises, the oil in the tube "wants to" rise but can not because there is air trapped in the tube. Ever notice that nice o-ring at the top of the dip stick?

I bet if you "burped" the dipstick by lifting it just far enough to break the seal with the o-ring and then put it back down and pulled it out again we would get a first reading that is the same as the 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Or this could be hogwash and the real reason may be that a sub-standard FoMoCo part is to blame...
[/quote]

Your theory does seem to fit the facts... if the dipstick housing tube goes all the way down near the end of the dipstick. Anybody know for sure? I seem to recall that it didn't on my rotary engine...
 
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