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Old 09-17-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
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Checking oil dipstick: hot or cold?

I usually check in the morning after the Jeep has been sitting sitting overnight and let it run for a couple minutes. Started burning oil about 15k miles ago so I check more often. The dipstick reads about half a quart higher after getting the engine up to temperature, just wondering when you guys check and if it matters.

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Old 09-17-2013, 08:22 PM   #2
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When its been sitting for a while.

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Old 09-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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The best time to check it is after it's gotten up to operating temperature and then sat for about 5 minutes. That gives any oil that is going to drain back into the pan time to get there.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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The best time to check it is after it's gotten up to operating temperature and then sat for about 5 minutes. That gives any oil that is going to drain back into the pan time to get there.
X2, this is correct and is what the owners manuals recommend!
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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I prefer to do it when the oil is cold in the morning (after a 10+ hour drain.) This lets all the oil go back into the pan and give you the most accurate reading on the dipstick.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:00 PM   #6
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Thanks, I check right after I get an oil change so it's always hot, and the next time I check is when it's cold so I always assumed I was low on oil.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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I prefer to do it when the oil is cold in the morning (after a 10+ hour drain.) This lets all the oil go back into the pan and give you the most accurate reading on the dipstick.
Pg 566 of the 2013 owners manual:

Checking Oil Level

To assure proper lubrication of your vehicle’s engine, the
engine oil must be maintained at the correct level. The
engine oil level should be checked five minutes after a
warmed up engine has been shut off.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RoadiJeff View Post

Pg 566 of the 2013 owners manual:

Checking Oil Level

To assure proper lubrication of your vehicle’s engine, the
engine oil must be maintained at the correct level. The
engine oil level should be checked five minutes after a
warmed up engine has been shut off.
They say that because after the engine runs for a while the oil is much thinner and after 5 minutes most will drain back to the pan. That is a guideline for the casual user. For an enthusiast that wants the most accurate reading, my way is still king. Drive home, park on a level surface, leave it to drain overnight, check in the morning.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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Checking the oil is a simple task. Don't overthink it.

I don't think it matters at all... and I guess I'd consider myself an enthusiast. Obviously checking the oil when your vehicle is parked on an incline will skew the results, but if you have to be told that, you probably have no clue about where the dipstick is either, so I won't bother.

What matters is that you do check it, and do it on a regular basis. The fact that its hot or cold "may" have a slight impact on the dipstick reading, but not enough to mean anything. Are you really going to add 2-3 oz? - No.
It matters when the oil level is down towards the "ADD" mark. And if your checking it on a regular basis, seeing the oil level at the "ADD" mark is not a surprise. That's when you know how much oil you need, or are using.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:50 AM   #10
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They say that because after the engine runs for a while the oil is much thinner and after 5 minutes most will drain back to the pan. That is a guideline for the casual user. For an enthusiast that wants the most accurate reading, my way is still king. Drive home, park on a level surface, leave it to drain overnight, check in the morning.
The engineers didn't put the recommended method in the manual for grins. The right way is what it says in the manual, regardless of how you're used to doing it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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I'm tellin ya right now....Get rid of that 5W-20 oil and go to 5W or 10W-30 like the rest of the automotive world and life is a lot better.
I know, I have one of these oil suckers.....
Blkfender is right, whats important is to Chk the oil and do it often ! I like to do it after it sits overnight, but thats just me....I was really paranoid when i discovered I had an an oil sucker....I'd never owned one before, just get in and drive ! Not anymore....
I would even check it at "potty stops" along the way...At least now with the 10W-30 I can relax and not have to worry about it between fill ups !!.... "BH"
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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The engineers didn't put the recommended method in the manual for grins. The right way is what it says in the manual, regardless of how you're used to doing it.
Hahaha, ok buddy. Im sure you disconnect your negative terminal everytime you change a bulb as well. You enjoy listening the engineers that used undersized bolts for the trackbar and control arms, the engineers that can't fix a leaky top, engineers that can't build a decent head, or engineers that can't put together a decent clock spring, after all, if it came from the factory, it must be perfect right?
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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WOW, it's getting interesting............
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #15
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Oil suckers????
Please expand on this........
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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I hope that's Budweiser that you are drinking.................
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #17
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Oil suckers????
Please expand on this........

The minivan motor. It has a reputation for beginning to go through oil anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 miles.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #18
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Fat Tire....I just find it funny as hell that a VERY simple question gets the polar answers that it gets on a thread like this and finding helpful information is like pickin flypoop outta pepper.....So I'd rather just watch and drink.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #19
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Fat Tire....I just find it funny as hell that a VERY simple question gets the polar answers that it gets on a thread like this and finding helpful information is like pickin flypoop outta pepper.....So I'd rather just watch and drink.
Im not really interested in arguing on the subject. Anyone that knows engines knows what the correct way to check oil is (if you really want an exact level, for example, to see how much oil your motor is eating/at what rate) simple...the dipstick goes into the oil pan. When you turn your motor on, oil is pumped out of the pan and into many places. Checking oil when it was circulated will give you are pretty decent idea of your level, but not exact. To get an exact level, you want as much oil as possible to go back into the pan. This occurs when the rig has been parked for a while. Sure, you can sit there for 3 hours waiting for it, I simply stated to check it in the morning since the rig had plenty of time to sit overnight and drain.

If one thinks about the way the manual tells you to do it vs my way, how does that make any sense? The dipstick still reads at the same location, the oil pan.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #20
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Agree^
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #21
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Im not really interested in arguing on the subject. Anyone that knows engines knows what the correct way to check oil is (if you really want an exact level, for example, to see how much oil your motor is eating/at what rate) simple...the dipstick goes into the oil pan. When you turn your motor on, oil is pumped out of the pan and into many places. Checking oil when it was circulated will give you are pretty decent idea of your level, but not exact. To get an exact level, you want as much oil as possible to go back into the pan. This occurs when the rig has been parked for a while. Sure, you can sit there for 3 hours waiting for it, I simply stated to check it in the morning since the rig had plenty of time to sit overnight and drain.

If one thinks about the way the manual tells you to do it vs my way, how does that make any sense? The dipstick still reads at the same location, the oil pan.
The reason the manual recommends the method of checking it while warm is simple. They want to avoid the average user overfilling the oil pan. The reading taken from a cold engine will be noticeably lower than that same engine warmed up.

In order for your method to work, the person will need to be more familiar with engines than most and also, more work would be involved because you would still need to establish a baseline in order to recognize oil loss.

Neither way is wrong. But for the average person, just follow your manual. I mean come on, it's not like there are finite markings on your dipstick that measure oil level by the ml. No need to over think this one.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:37 PM   #22
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The reason the manual recommends the method of checking it while warm is simple. They want to avoid the average user overfilling the oil pan. The reading taken from a cold engine will be noticeably lower than that same engine warmed up.

In order for your method to work, the person will need to be more familiar with engines than most and also, more work would be involved because you would still need to establish a baseline in order to recognize oil loss.

Neither way is wrong. But for the average person, just follow your manual. I mean come on, it's not like there are finite markings on your dipstick that measure oil level by the ml. No need to over think this one.
That is exactly what I said...the manual is written for the average person, not for enthusiasts on a message board that over obsess about everything.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #23
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In this instance I'd follow the owners manual. Typically I check it first thing in the morning after it sat overnight on level ground. For shitz and giggles I'd compare the reading you get doing it the way the OM states and parking it overnight as I mentioned above, and compare the readings. If they're the same, then you have two methods to get an accurate reading.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:04 PM   #24
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Run your engine up to operating temperature. Make sure that you are on level ground. Turn your engine off and wait 5 minutes and check your oil level. This is very simple and what is recommended.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:04 PM   #25
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In this instance I'd follow the owners manual. Typically I check it first thing in the morning after it sat overnight on level ground. For shitz and giggles I'd compare the reading you get doing it the way the OM states and parking it overnight as I mentioned above, and compare the readings. If they're the same, then you have two methods to get an accurate reading.
I think I know what you are saying, but just to clarify something for others reading this, the dipstick level when cold will not ever be the same as the dipstick level when warm. So when comparing the two different ways, just know that you will be seeing two different readings still. If you aren't really following that, just use your owners manual recommendation!
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:10 PM   #26
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Hahaha, ok buddy. Im sure you disconnect your negative terminal everytime you change a bulb as well. You enjoy listening the engineers that used undersized bolts for the trackbar and control arms, the engineers that can't fix a leaky top, engineers that can't build a decent head, or engineers that can't put together a decent clock spring, after all, if it came from the factory, it must be perfect right?
Well, Kilroy, I trust what the engineers who designed the engine have to say about how to check the oil level than I do some nobody on the Internet. Do it however you want but the right way is the way stated in the manual. It's your engine.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #27
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Well, Kilroy, I trust what the engineers who designed the engine have to say about how to check the oil level than I do some nobody on the Internet. Do it however you want but the right way is the way stated in the manual. It's your engine.
You don't need to listen to me, but you can use your head and think for yourself no? Oil is a liquid. The dipstick reads from the pan. When do you think the stick will have the best reading? Makes sense that it would show the most accurate level when most of the oil drains into the pan no?
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:25 PM   #28
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I think I know what you are saying, but just to clarify something for others reading this, the dipstick level when cold will not ever be the same as the dipstick level when warm. So when comparing the two different ways, just know that you will be seeing two different readings still. If you aren't really following that, just use your owners manual recommendation!
If they're different then you have to follow the OM, which you should do anyway.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:38 PM   #29
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WOW, a WAR on how to check your oil, this has to be a first............

Not as great as synthetic, verses conventional, Brand, oil viscosity, oil change intervals, but never the less, it is still a good one........

How about just following what the owners manual says, HELLO....
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:45 PM   #30
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You don't need to listen to me, but you can use your head and think for yourself no? Oil is a liquid. The dipstick reads from the pan. When do you think the stick will have the best reading? Makes sense that it would show the most accurate level when most of the oil drains into the pan no?
It reads differently when warm than when cold. They say to check it when warm, after the engine has been turned off for 5 minutes.

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