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Did a quick forum search and did not find anything on this. For those with the I4 engine, have any of you found it difficult to get an accurate dipstick reading to check the oil? I am not satisfied with what what I'm getting. My 4Runner has the same damn issue, can't get a good read on the dipstick. Maybe it's just me that's the dipstick:biggrin:
 

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It helps to check the oil when the engine is cold so the oil will be a little thicker and it will be easier to read as the miles increase and the oil gets a little color to it. But I've found that the best way to check it is to wipe the dipstick really well before hand (I'll even use a paper towel doused in rubbing alcohol to make sure it's clean and dry). Then after dipping it and pulling it out, turn it sideways into the light and just look for moisture. The highest wet spot should be the oil level.

For whatever reason, after I did my first oil change (used Mobil1) the oil seems to be much easier to read than the factory oil.

My 8th gen V6 had a much better dipstick that was super easy to read. Not sure why they couldn't use the same dipstick design for the I4.
 

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I have found that checking my oil cold gives the most consistent reading. If the oil is full, the level will be at the top of the first hole on the dipstick. If I check it a minute or two after running the engine, it will be at the bottom of the first dot. It's definitely easier to read the level when the engine is cold.
 

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The oil resides in the oil pan at the bottom of the engine. While it's operating oil is circulated around the upper parts of the engine like the valve train. When the engine is cold all of the oil has had time to drain down into the oil pan. Therefore, it stands to reason that checking the oil when the engine is cold, first thing in the morning, would result in the most accurate reading of quaintly.

I am not sure that wiping the dipstick with alcohol will make the reading any more accurate than just wiping it with a clean cloth or paper towel.
 

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I have found that checking my oil cold gives the most consistent reading. If the oil is full, the level will be at the top of the first hole on the dipstick. If I check it a minute or two after running the engine, it will be at the bottom of the first dot. It's definitely easier to read the level when the engine is cold.
Never check the oil level on a cold engine that had only been run for a few minutes. The oil will take much longer to get back into the pan and not give you an accurate reading.

The oil resides in the oil pan at the bottom of the engine. While it's operating oil is circulated around the upper parts of the engine like the valve train. When the engine is cold all of the oil has had time to drain down into the oil pan. Therefore, it stands to reason that checking the oil when the engine is cold, first thing in the morning, would result in the most accurate reading of quaintly.

I am not sure that wiping the dipstick with alcohol will make the reading any more accurate than just wiping it with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Don't confuse consistency with accuracy. They are two different things.

Consistency - Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events

Accuracy - the quality or state of being correct or precise.

Many manufacturers recommend checking the oil on a level surface when the engine is at operating temp and after it has been off for approximately 5 minutes. Oil expands with an increase in temperature and is at this state when your engine is operating so you should check it in that state.

Honda suggests the same in the manual.

Our oil is 20-weight when warm, it basically flows like water. 5min is more than enough time for it to get back into the pan for an accurate reading.

Now, in the real world. If you check it cold and it's between the dots, you are good.

Jay
 

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I prefer dipsticks with 2 holes in them. Hash marks are OK. My RX8 had THE worst dipstick ever. Smooth with a faint line and the color of the dipstick made it worse. Had I kept it, I was planning to dremel some hash marks in it.
 

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Hot or cold the difference in quantity on the dipstick will be negligible. The important thing is to check it regularly.
 

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I prefer dipsticks with 2 holes in them. Hash marks are OK. My RX8 had THE worst dipstick ever. Smooth with a faint line and the color of the dipstick made it worse. Had I kept it, I was planning to dremel some hash marks in it.
I wish my I-4 had the dipstick our Odyssey has. The Oddy has a dipstick that has a much better read.

Hot or cold the difference in quantity on the dipstick will be negligible. The important thing is to check it regularly.
I have not found that to be the case with the I-4. When cold the level will show at the low dot, when warm right in the middle of the two dots.

My Magnum would show 1qt low when cold. Warm right in the middle of the hash marks.

Jay
 

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Many manufacturers recommend checking the oil on a level surface when the engine is at operating temp and after it has been off for approximately 5 minutes. Oil expands with an increase in temperature and is at this state when your engine is operating so you should check it in that state.

Now, in the real world. If you check it cold and it's between the dots, you are good.

Jay
Jay, how much does oil expand when it gets hot? Does it expand enough to see a difference on the dipstick?
 

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Jay, how much does oil expand when it gets hot? Does it expand enough to see a difference on the dipstick?
Uh oh, here we go again. I'm like the OP. I don't feel comfortable checking while hot, even after waiting the 3 or 5 minutes, whatever Honda says. The oil is still smeared all over the dipstick, and if you check at a gas station, most of their drives are not very level. I check at least once a week in my garage before I start the car. How much will the oil expand when it gets hot? I don't know. I do know that the dealer changed my oil and that, given it does expand when hot, if I check it cold and it's between the lines, that's the minimum reading it will have. Actually, right now it's about 1/16" above the top line. I'm comfortable with that.
 

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lol at this thread. why are yall worried so much about the dipstick? doesnt it have 2 holes in it? youll see the oil filled in the small holes to determine its level. even if thats too hard for you then wipe the stick until you see the correct level. i take a measurement whenever i think its necessary, and if its too low ill add more ( havent had it low ever tho). its not rocket science, the thing isnt going to blow up lol.
 
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