Oil Dipstick - Am I a complete idiot? How to read - Drive Accord Honda Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Oil Dipstick - Am I a complete idiot? How to read

How do I get a proper reading with the dipstick? Sometimes when i check my oil, the dipstick works, other times, I just get splashes of oil all up and down the dipstick. I noticed with my latest oil change I wasn't really able to read my dipstick, as oil would just be all over the place no matter how many times i dipped and looked at it.

Turns out about 3000 miles in I took it to the mechanic to get a state inspection he let me know I was short about half a quart. With my dad's 96 camry I noticed the bottom of the dipstick kind of has a texture to it so the oil seems to stick to it and am able to read it consistently. with the accord it's just a smooth surface and oil just seems to get anywhere on it and can't read it properly. Am I doing it wrong?

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post #2 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 06:59 AM
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Are u wiping the dipstick off b4 u check it? Make sure the car is on a flat surface take the dipstick out wipe it clean stick it back in then pull it out and u should have a clear reading
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Are u wiping the dipstick off b4 u check it? Make sure the car is on a flat surface take the dipstick out wipe it clean stick it back in then pull it out and u should have a clear reading
yep wipe it clean then dip it in, still get stuff all over. do i have to measure when the car is completely cold and hasn't been running for a few hours so the oil settles and doesn't get up in the dipstick holding area?

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 07:42 AM
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Sounds like you have either too much or to little. If it is past the textured part there is too much if its under there is too little. Post a pic
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 08:09 AM
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omg!! sell ur car!! get a bicycle!!
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:01 AM
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How much oil are you putting in the car during oil changes?

I start off with 4 quarts. Check the level. Add a little. Check. Add a little. Check. Add a little. Until the reading is where I like it.

Capacity for 4cyl = 4.2Liters/4.4 Quart

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post #7 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:01 AM
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omg!! sell ur car!! get a bicycle!!
Hey, with gas in CA being $5.24/Gal right now, that might not be out of the question OP! lol

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:06 AM
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Hey, with gas in CA being $5.24/Gal right now, that might not be out of the question OP! lol
It ****s to be in Cali right now lol filling up my car for 80 bucks is breaking my bank account. I remember filling my car up for 20 bucks in high school....


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post #9 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:15 AM
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Haven't seen it for $5.24 in the bay area yet. It is around $4.69.

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post #10 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:34 AM
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turn the car off. let it sit for a few seconds. pull dipstick, clean it and put back in to check the oil level. Once you pull it back out it should be between the two dots.

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post #11 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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It ****s to be in Cali right now lol filling up my car for 80 bucks is breaking my bank account. I remember filling my car up for 20 bucks in high school....


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Haven't seen it for $5.24 in the bay area yet. It is around $4.69.
Yea, I was at work Monday and it was on the news! I shook my head in disbelief. I didn't catch what part of Cali though. I'm glad to hear y'all in the Bay area haven't hit $5 yet! Gas is still around $3.75-89 here in PA

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post #12 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 09:53 AM
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turn the car off. let it sit for a few seconds. pull dipstick, clean it and put back in to check the oil level. Once you pull it back out it should be between the two dots.
A few seconds is not enough for the oil to drain back into the pan. The best time to check oil is with a cold engine as the oil is also fully drained from the dipstick stalk. If the car has just been shut off, you need a few minutes... about the amount of time it takes to pump a tank of gas.

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post #13 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 01:28 PM
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You need to wait a few minutes, and let the oil drain out of the dipstick tube. Give it at least 3 minutes, and you should be able to read it clearly.

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post #14 of 17 Old 10-10-2012, 07:52 PM
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If you wait a few seconds and you are between the min and max then you are fine. No need to wait a few minutes. If it looks low then you are probably low a little. Very little oil gets in the tube. Hell the whole thing could only hold a few ounces, which is not nearly enough to throw off the level. Also most of the oil stays in the oil pan. Very little oil is pumped through the motor. If you just wait a few seconds to check the level and it looks to be at the min line then you are low on oil...if you fall at the middle to top...you are fine.

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-11-2012, 05:29 AM
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It needs to sit for several minutes if you want an accurate reading.
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