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2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Sahara, Black 4Door
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so for some reason I have no problem checkin oil in any car but for some reason I cant get it right in my own car (2018 JK). I recently (within the last 5 months) changed my oil and I haven't put too many miles on it since then (maybe 3k at most). That being said, I know that 5 months ago I had the exact right amount of oil in my car. However, I run 35's with stock gearing (which I hopefully shouldn't be doing for too much longer now) and I wonder if my engine is over working itself because I do push it pretty heavy on weekends I wont lie. That being said, surprisingly, there is not a single thing my car has not been able to do with stock gearing and 35's which has actually astounded me. Just a little FYI for y'all I guess; don't recommend it but if you need to stock gearing can work with 35's.
Anyways, I check my oil frequently and I always check before I have turned my engine on so the oil is always settled when I check (though I have heard sometimes you should do it after the engine has run for a couple minutes?.... if you recommend that let me know and tell me why). I think my issue is coming from how I have been taught to check my oil so please correct me If I am doing this wrong. I pull the dipstick, I look at what level the marker says it is at just for good measure but this is not what I gauge it off of, I wipe the dipstick clean, I reinsert the dipstick, I pull it back out and then I go off of that measurement. Over the last 5 months I have maybe put in a quart and a half... I do not know if this is too much or too little or what...
Anyways, the problem is sometimes when I take the dipstick out the first time the oil looks fine then when I reinsert it looks like its low. So I think, okay add oil. And then other times I pull it out and it looks low at first but then I wipe and reinsert and it looks fine or maybe even looks a little high, so i'm like okay chill out bro. It also depends on how long I decide to wait after reinserting the dipstick. Today I checked my oil, looked really low (after a 300 mile drive home, another 50 miles of driving around Seattle area and then another 50 miles offroad yesterday), I decided to add a bit, and then I wondered if I added too much because, well, anxiety and IDK what im doing as much as I like to think I do. I pulled the dipstick again, it looked fine but to make sure I went ahead and wiped it clean, reinserted, pulled out and it looked like the oil was an inch above the full line?! Only this time, after I wiped it clean and reinserted, I had to go grab something so I came back like a minute later and checked it. Would leaving it in there for a bit make the level look higher than it actually is? Would it make it look MORE accurate then if I were to pull it out quickly?

So here are my questions:
1. Am I following the right process for checking my oil? As far as I know I am... (and I doubled checked online to make sure I am not an idiot. Turns out I am an idiot but at least im checking my oil correctly according to online sources)
2. Do you think oil level being burned out quickly is an issue if I am working my engine that hard on 35's with stock gearing?
3. How frequently should I be adding oil (I know this depends on how much I drive and what kind of driving, but on average what would you say, because ive added about 1.5 qrts in 5 months)?
4. I want to check to see if my oil really is overfilled but I feel like starting my engine to see if it decides to blow up is the worst idea for checking if my oil is overfilled, is there anything else I can do?
5. Am I better off just changing my oil and saying **** it to all these other questions just to make sure I get my oil level right and not end up costing myself thousands in damages? I mean honestly an oil change is only 25 bucks so and an hour of my time so... Still though I would like to know the answer to these questions above even if I do this so that I dont have to change my oil every time I think I need to make sure its at the right level馃槀.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Super Moderator
8,051 Posts
A few things to keep in mind. Make sure the ground is level, that is very important and often overlooked. Slight inclines front to rear or left to right can throw the level off. I found checking the oil first thing in the morning gives the most accurate reading. Make sure the dipstick is seated properly pull it out and read it, done. Pulling it, wiping off and reinserting it, especially multiple times pulls oil up the dipstick tube and will often give an incorrect reading. In my owners manual it states to check the engine oil 5 minutes after shutting off a fully warmed up engine, that's about after 30 minutes of driving to play it safe. Here's the problem with that for people who are OCD and want to always have the exact oil level, the Pentastar engine by design the oil filter slowly drains after the engine sits, in doing so the oil level in the sump rises, until the filter is empty. The rate in which the oil drains can vary a bit, up to the amount of oil that is held in the filter housing. . Sounds to me like you're checking the level a few times as the filter is draining and you might be overfilling it. By checking the oil in the morning you're going to get a more accurate reading, the filter housing will be empty. From the bottom of the safe zone on the dipstick to the top is a quart, if you're adding oil to it in the middle and the filter is nearly full you're over filling the engine. Too much oil can cause aeration, which is not good for the bearings.

Next time you change the oil and filter let it drain about 30 minutes to an hour. Add the amount of oil the engine calls for, start it up and/or go for a drive, park on level ground and let it sit overnight. Check the oil the next morning, make a mental note, that's your full level for a cold engine. Going forward check your oil that way. You can also experiment by doing it the way the owners manual states and compare or use that for when you're checking the oil during a long trip or off roading.

7,724 Posts
Personally speaking I think people get a little too up tight about this sort of stuff. Checking the dipstick too often will give you erratic readings because they are never quite the same at any one time. The dipstick is a crude method of measurement because that's all that needs to happen, and as long as the level is between the min and max marks that's all you need to know.

If however you want to get as exacting and consistent as possible, then check in the morning before you start. All the oil has drained down from the top of the motor (or at least as much as possible). The reading SHOULD be pretty high on the dipstick given most of it is now in the sump as opposed to the upper end of the motor.

The dipstick needs to be removed, wiped and reinserted and then read for a proper measurement. Even at idle the oil is being splashed like crazy all over on the inside (by design) including the dipstick and up into the lower end of the dipstick tube. Indeed the entire reasoning behind a proper oil height is so that the crankshaft can slam down into the oil in the sump as it turns and splash the oil up into the lower end of the cylinders where it can be picked up and controlled by the oil rings on the pistons. For that reason the reading is inaccurate without a wipe and reinsert first.

I personally check the oil (roughly) once a week.
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