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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 07-20-2008, 10:15 AM   #1
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Need help please oil all the way up dipstick!!

Like the title said I went to check my oil yesterday and it was all the way to the top of the dipstick!! I did a little search and found 2 possible reasons pcv valve stuck or bad rings. I check the valve and it was free so I'm doing a compression test now. Any other suggestions on what I could check? The car runs and starts fine no smoke no noises. I will post the comp numbers in about an hour. Thanks for any help or advice.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Did you check the oil right after the engine was shut off ??
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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what year, how many miles?
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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I think I have the same problem. I'm not sure if you're saying that you have oil ALL the way up your dipstick, or just a lot higher than it should be? But everytime I try to check my oil, even if the car is cool, I have oil all over the dipstick, and it's not evenly coated. It's almost impossible to get an accurate reading. I have researched some past threads about this, and it's a very common issue on 5th gens. I'm not sure if I ever found a resolution, I think a lot of people just bought new dipsticks. Looking forward to see what people have to say about this...
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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Its a 2001 with about 97,000 miles. Its never done this before I've had the car over 4 years now. Thick evenly coated oil all the way to the top of the dip stick I would imagine if I was driving the car without the dipstick oil could just poor out of it that's how bad it is.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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Cancel the compression check......you're wasting your time. I think you're getting your knickers twisted for no reason. Are you just pulling the dipstick out and seeing the oil smeared up it or are you wiping the dipstick clean of oil, reinserting it fully and then checking the oil level indication? You can't just pull it out and check it. When the engine is running and for a period just after shutdown oil will be up/in the dipstick tube. And it's just a known fact that with the Maxi that you cannot just immediately check the oil level after engine shutdown. Your Owner's Manual clearly states to wait at least 10 min. to allow for oil to drain back into the pan before checking the oil level. You are aware that when the engine is running the crankcase and the top of the head/camshaft cover areas are full of oily "breather" vapors, so that oil does "wet" everything, including the dipstick and dipstick tube?

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Old 07-20-2008, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime258 View Post
I think I have the same problem. I'm not sure if you're saying that you have oil ALL the way up your dipstick, or just a lot higher than it should be? But everytime I try to check my oil, even if the car is cool, I have oil all over the dipstick, and it's not evenly coated. It's almost impossible to get an accurate reading. I have researched some past threads about this, and it's a very common issue on 5th gens. I'm not sure if I ever found a resolution, I think a lot of people just bought new dipsticks. Looking forward to see what people have to say about this...
how would a new dipstick solve the issue? what your saying here is you do not know how to check your oil. you take the dipstick out, wipe it down, and re insert it and pull it back out to get your reading.

now for the other guy, if oil is all the way up, when's the last time you changed the oil, and who did it? if you do not know, drain the oil, put in 4qts. check it again.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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I don't mean to sound harsh but like I said I've had the car over 4 years!! Not the first time I've check the oil on it most likely the 3000 time, its not normal. I can clean it put it back and it comes out the same even after the 10 time. I've check it running and not running. I now what its supposed to look like when its running done that 1000 out of the 3000 times I've checked it. I do know my way around this car fairly well I was running boost about a year and a half ago. I'm sorry I am just venting a little ruff weekend not meant at anyone. I know everyone on this board has been very helpful will keep you guys posted. Thanks for all replies!!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineGt66 View Post
how would a new dipstick solve the issue? what your saying here is you do not know how to check your oil. you take the dipstick out, wipe it down, and re insert it and pull it back out to get your reading.
Are you kidding me? You think I don't know how to check my oil? I've been driving for 8 years, I think I know how to check my oil by now.

Maybe if you looked into what I'm talking about, it might make better sense to you. If you don't believe me that other people have had issues reading the dipsticks, try reading this thread: http://forums.maxima.org/5th-generat...dip-stick.html
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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You didn't mention super/turbocharging at the start. Have you checked the crankcase vent hoses for obstruction? You were supercharged and now you aren't? Unless the oil has the viscosity of molasses it should "drain" out of the dipstick tube, allowing you to read the dipstick.

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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I have not had boost for about a year and a half. It was supercharged.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:26 AM   #12
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So is the oil level that hi or is the oil dipstick partially clogged? The drain back is close to the dipstick cause whenever I change my oil it takes about 5 minutes till I get an accurate reading but it's where it should be. I don't understand how that has anything to do with a pcv or bad rings! I've been working on engines for 30 yrs never heard of that before... sounds like some warm chocolate, semi solid substance and someone trying to get you to buy a dipstick for nothing!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
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...and someone trying to get you to buy a dipstick for nothing!
I wasn't trying to get him to buy a new dipstick (if you were referring to me). I haven't bought a new dipstick myself, because I don't think that will actually fix the problem.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:44 AM   #14
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Even if you have a totally trashed engine (boosted or not) with excessive blowby and a plugged PCV valve and a plugged crankcase vent system, whereby the crankcase pressure is trying to escape out anywhere it can including the dipstick tube, that in itself doesn't explain the oil "hanging up" in the dipstick tube after shutdown........unless the oil has turned to "tar". I give up!
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:01 PM   #15
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After I shut down I can clean it enough for it to go back to normal. It only pushes it up while its running. It would seem that there is excessive crankcase pressure pushing the oil up the dip stick, why I don't know. I heard the PVC valve could cause it if it was stuck shut not letting the pressure vent, or it could be bad rings causing blow by?? Did my comp check very weird and bad numbers!! On 5 of the 6 cly. first turn started at 150 and top comp was between 225 and 235!! I know way too high (carbon build up)?? on one of the cly. it started at 70 and slowly ended up at 225. The other 5 got up much quicker. I put some oil in that cly. and it went to 150 right away and got too past 225 much faster sounds like bad rings on that cly?
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:38 PM   #16
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Are the breather vapors "billowing" out of the oil filler when you remove the cap at idle or are they just "wafting" in the filler opening? "Excessive" crankcase pressure can only be created by compression pressure leaking past "worn" piston rings and/or the crankcase vent being obstructed (the PCV valve by itself won't do it). We know that oil gets smeared all over the dipstick and you ARE going to see this especially if you pull the dipstick out with the engine running. Once you verify that the crankcase vent hoses are unobstructed like I've already suggested, and if the engine is running reasonably and not burning gobs of oil (which seems to be the case per the start of your thread), and even with your one "low" cylinder, unless you wish to spend lots of bucks here.......I wouldn't sweat this.

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Old 07-20-2008, 02:30 PM   #17
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did you pull out the dipstick while waiting the oil to drain back?
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfactor172 View Post
After I shut down I can clean it enough for it to go back to normal. It only pushes it up while its running.
It is normal for the dipstick to be coated with oil right after running the car. It takes several minutes to drain back and get a proper reading. Unless I am reading your posts wrong, what you are experiencing sounds normal.

I shut off my car and the dipstick is coated too and even wiping it off, I can't get an accurate reading. 10 minutes later, it is still coated but after I wipe it off, I can get then read the oil level properly.

Same deal when I add oil. Have to wait 10 minutes or so for the oil to completely drain into the crankcase to get a good reading.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #19
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There is no way this is normal! I have owned this car 4 1/2 years and its never done this. Unless my car has been broken all this time and just fixed it self there is something wrong with it. Its not just a little oil up the dip. Its as much oil as the first inch all the way to the top.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
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There is no way this is normal! I have owned this car 4 1/2 years and its never done this. Unless my car has been broken all this time and just fixed it self there is something wrong with it. Its not just a little oil up the dip. Its as much oil as the first inch all the way to the top.
did you pull out the dipstick while waiting the oil to drain back?
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
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After I shut down I can clean it enough for it to go back to normal. It only pushes it up while its running. It would seem that there is excessive crankcase pressure pushing the oil up the dip stick, why I don't know. I heard the PVC valve could cause it if it was stuck shut not letting the pressure vent, or it could be bad rings causing blow by?? Did my comp check very weird and bad numbers!! On 5 of the 6 cly. first turn started at 150 and top comp was between 225 and 235!! I know way too high (carbon build up)?? on one of the cly. it started at 70 and slowly ended up at 225. The other 5 got up much quicker. I put some oil in that cly. and it went to 150 right away and got too past 225 much faster sounds like bad rings on that cly?
My friend had a firebird GTX or something about ten years ago and the dipstick would get shoved out of the hole but didn't burn any oil. I cant remember the exact problem but he had to rebuild his engine.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:28 PM   #22
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Why don't you just drain your oil and put in the proper amount and then see what happens. You may be due for an oil change anyway. Is it possible someone may have overfilled the oil? I agree with P. Samson "I think you're getting your knickers twisted for no reason".

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Old 07-20-2008, 10:25 PM   #23
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There is no way this is normal! I have owned this car 4 1/2 years and its never done this. Unless my car has been broken all this time and just fixed it self there is something wrong with it. Its not just a little oil up the dip. Its as much oil as the first inch all the way to the top.
Are you saying the dipstick tube is actually filled with oil within an inch of the top?
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:06 PM   #24
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i have the same prob and my friends give me crap for it all the time ..its takes like 10 min to the do the oil change and then another 20 min to see how much oil is in it without havening oil everywhere on the dipstick... or more like dip****
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:09 PM   #25
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This drove me to experiment........I drove my Maxi, came up my driveway, shutdown, pulled the dipstick out after a couple of minutes and it had the usual "smear" about a third of the way up, more on one side than the other. Wiped it clean, stuck back in, pulled it out, still had the smear. Wiped it clean, reinstalled it, started the engine, blipped the throttle and left the engine idling and immediately pulled the dipstick. The dipstick was now covered with oil on both sides to over half way up. What you are seeing has to be normal draining/return oil from the head area. The Maxi unlike a lot of cars (like my Focus Duratec) does not have a separate dipstick tube that is pressed into the block just above the oil pan. The dipstick is installed in the head so that the dipstick passes through the head and the block before reaching the oil pan. Somewhere in that long distance between the top of the dipstick and the oil pan oil is getting deposited on the dipstick well above the "crosshatched" area. There is also bound to be some "spash" oil getting on it as well. My Maxi by the way is relatively low mileage and in pristine condition. I checked the FSM and it does not really help. You are still, I believe, chasing a red herring.

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Old 07-21-2008, 01:40 PM   #26
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I can tell you guys I wish it was just in my head. I know the car has the right amount of oil because I've changed it since I've owned the car(4 1/2 )years. No one has put a finger on my car but me since I've owned it other than tires and alignment period. I check my oil on a regular bases. Say what you will about the max dipstick I have never had a problem checking the oil before or after I've driven the car and it definitely has never been full of oil all the way to the top.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:44 PM   #27
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Let's confirm a few things amid all the discussion:

1. After shutting off your engine a good ~30min, on EVEN ground, you dip stick will read past the HI mark for oil level correct?

2. How much oil did you put in the last oil change?

3. When was last time you changed your PCV?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:30 PM   #28
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The oil level is not the issue. I have done over 20 oil changes on this car .
I did not just suddenly add 2 quarts more than I should have. Like I've said the car was not shut off on level ground using a leveler and put a timer on it so I could know when it would be ok to check the oil level. I check it like I always do running not running right after I shut it off. It dose not make a difference it has never done this before in the almost 5 years that I have had the car. I confirmed one of my cly. is low with a compression gauge and the car must have a lot of carbon build up because the readings where all in the 220 too 230 range normal should be around 180 high side too 150 low. Maybe the fact that it has so much compression is causing to much pressure in the crankcase?? I am going to decarb today and recheck the comp. Will keep you guys posted. Thank for all comments good negative or other wise I enjoy reading them its all a learning experience.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:34 PM   #29
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you have to wait to check the oil on any VQ series engine, ive worked on plenty of VQs and they all must sit for AT LEAST 5 minutes to check the oil. your going to take apart your engine to clean carbon, how many miles you got? i think if you had that much carbon buildup in that cylinder, you would also be experiencing some detination from the hotspots..... as P. Sampson said i think your chasing a red herring. do yourself a favor and let your car sit for acouple hours, check the oil before you start it up and let us know what the level is. BTW your engine should take 4.25 to 4.5 quarts(just throwing that out there).
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3985 View Post
Let's confirm a few things amid all the discussion:

1. After shutting off your engine a good ~30min, on EVEN ground, you dip stick will read past the HI mark for oil level correct?

2. How much oil did you put in the last oil change?

3. When was last time you changed your PCV?
+1 on these questions

Its probably because your crankcase breather is clogged.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:10 PM   #31
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Is your TB full of oil too? If you have excessive blowby then your intake tract should be full of oil as well... Pull the breather hoses off and see if you have high pressure, low pressure or vacuum while running you may need the plug/cap those fitting to prevent an intake leak while running!
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:06 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottwax View Post
Are you saying the dipstick tube is actually filled with oil within an inch of the top?
My '03 SE has no dipstick tube, the dipstick is simply inserted into a hole in the head. I consider this dipstick setup to be somewhere between unusable and unreliable. I have tried checking the oil level after allowing the engine to sit overnight with the dipstick out. Still can't get a high confidence reading. I have given up on the dipstick. I just do 3,000 mile oil changes and I measure how much comes out. I've owned the car since new and it has always been this way. I believe that an oil return path drips onto the dipstick causing this behavior.
...j
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:36 AM   #33
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I have the same problem....oil ALL the way to the top of the dipstick (after the initial removal/clean/reinsertion), even after checking an 8 hour cold engine. No oil in the TB.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:38 AM   #34
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ha i got the same problem too. Didn't think of it much until i saw this discussion. In my case, when i start the car up, the low oil sign stays lit for a second or so longer than the rest of the signs. R the 2 things related in any way?
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:51 AM   #35
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Oh boy another dipstick thread...

Let the car sit overnight on a flat surface and check it in the morning.

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Old 03-21-2009, 08:51 AM
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