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Fluids and Lubricants Motor oil, transmission oil, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, blinker fluid... wait, there is no blinker fluid. Technical discussion and analysis of the different lubricants we use in our cars.

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Old 12-12-2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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Exactly When to Check the Oil ? What's Wrong with Overfill?

I've always checked my motor oil level in the morning before starting the engine -- to allow all of the oil in the engine to drain into the oilpan. (You should only check the oil level when your vehicle is level -- not parked on a hill.)

I just found a more technical answer to this question by Willie Worthy in the April, 1999 edition of "Four Wheeler" magazine -- I will quote the parts of his answer that apply to all motor vehicles {and insert my comments in these brackets}.

Q: This seems like a simple question, but when should one check the oil level in an engine? One mechanic tells me it should be checked after sitting overnight and another says it should be checked when the engine is hot, while a friend says he checks his while the engine is running. . .

A: It's not really a simple question to answer -- several factors are involved. Generally speaking the oil level should be checked with the engine at operating temperature but at least 10 minutes after it has been shut off. This gives some time for the residual oil that's in the top end of the engine (valve spring/rocker arm area, lifter valley, etc) a chance to drain back down into the oilpan. {So checking the oil while you're filling up with gasoline is too early.} When the engine is running, there can be as much, if not more, than 2 quarts circulating throughout the oil passages and retained within the voids in the engine. . . {These 2 quarts probably apply more to V-8s, but there will be some in our V-6s.)

You really don't want to overfill the engine {with motor oil}. This lets the crankshaft cause too much of a whipping action, which not only can disturb the oilflow to the {oil pump's} pickup but also aerates the oil into foam. Air bubbles don't lube well, even though some foaming takes place anyway, especially in off-pavement situations. Apparently, the pressurization process through the oil passages somewhat breaks down the bubbles before they get to vital areas.

The crankshaft whipping in the oil can also throw an excessive amount onto the pistons and cylinder walls, exceeding the ring's ability to control the oilflow. {This is apparently one reason why oil-burning engines burn less oil when the oil level is kept one quart lower than full. Oil-burners usually have worn or improperly seated rings.} This {overfilling the oilpan} can lead to not only excessive oil use, but the {oil} burning process leaves carbon deposits on the top of the pistons and in the combustion chamber. . .

Unless you have a specially designed oilpan, it's almost next to impossible to get an accurate reading with the engine running. . . {The remainder of the answer covers problems with oil delivery when going up and down steep hills, particularly when the oil pickup becomes uncovered.}

{I hope this helps some of you. I will probably continue to check my motor oil in the morning when the engine is cold, and suspect that this will slightly underfill the oilpan versus the recommended method discussed above. This is why I supply make-up oil whenever the dipstick shows the level down about 1/3 below the H mark -- or 2/3 above the L mark. My VQ gets about 1/3 down after about 5 K miles of driving, and I change at 7.5 K miles.}

I may even try running the oilpan in my VQ about 1/2 quart down to see if this reduces its oil consumption.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:41 PM   #2
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Good info. Thanks!

I'm topped-off right now, but I'll let some oil "burn-off" and see how that effects my consumption rate.

I'll post-up in a few thousand miles!

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Old 01-12-2007, 04:18 PM   #3
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resurrection

I'd like to resurrect this thread because the answer does not seem very clear to me. I would have asked in the "Noobs" thread in 5th gen forums but this seemed like a more appropriate place to ask.

I've tried the "10+ minutes after shutoff" method - the oil comes out on the dipstick too thin and spread out to be able to really determine where the level is - especially when the oil is relatively new and clean. You often get trace amounts way up on the dipstick (yes I wiped it down and reinserted) or in other random spots making it difficult to tell.

I've tried the "morning" method and this results in the oil level being very easy and clear to read. But if I use the "morning" method - is the oil level on the dipstick (a) accurate (b) lower than actual or (c) higher than actual?

When I use the morning method - its right at the L mark - only 500 miles after my oil change. - and I filled it to 4.25 quarts. if the answer is (a) or (c) then I'm burning or leaking oil pretty bad - if the answer is (b) - im ok i think. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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I prefer to let the car stand for AT LEAST an hour - overnight is EVEN better.

Some may say you can get an accurate reading minutes after the engine is shut-down, but I ain't buyin' it. NOBODY can argue the fact that waiting overnight will give AMPLE time to cool the engine and allow as much oil as possible to drain back down to the oil pan, where the measurement is taken on the dipstick; this will be your MOST ACCURATE measurement. Gravity is your friend!

Answer to your question: if you are at the "L" mark 500 miles after your oil change, and you KNOW you refilled with approx. 4.25 qts of fresh oil, measuring "H" on the dipstick when complete -- then you are DEFINITELY either burning or leaking oil!
Check your drain bolt and your oil filter to be certain you torqued them adequately (not leaking). Then, if you are confident it is not user error, get thee to a dealership, and have them top-off your oil level and "test" it for oil loss.

I switched to a M1-105 oil filter, and it is substantially larger than the OEM filters. It took more than an extra .5 qts. (4.75 total) to bring the oil level to "H" on my dipstick after the oil change. Be certain that you are using the standard filter and fill quantities, and that you started with a "full" oilpan (dipstick reading "H") before jumping to any conclusions.

If I was REALLY losing that much oil, I'd be doing everything possible to get Nissan to replace my engine. Ask Soonerfan.....he's the latest victim.

good luck.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:01 PM   #5
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unfortunately i purchased the car used at 72,900 miles so there is no warranty left - I'm assuming in my case the dealer will not replace my engine. Is there any other solution? Im in the middle of an auto-rx clean phase.

also - I did NOT make sure I got an H reading right after the change because the oil was so thin and clean that it was unreadable. I should have done a re-read an hour or so after the change. My measurement of 4.25 is based off the lines on the outside of the 5 quart jug of Castrol GTX they sell at walmart.

I'm using the WIX filter 51356. Don't know size wise how that compares to nissan OEM.

I always run the engine after and oil change with the car still on ramps and check for leaks before lowering. I also wipe down the area so the next time I go under - I can check so see if theres anything coming out of the oil drain plug or filter.

I'm worried about leak or burn because I'd like to switch over to synthetic after the auto-rx. But if its leaking or burning - I can't.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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Sounds like you did everything right, as far as measuring and running the engine to circulate the oil after the change, etc.

I don't know what to tell you about the mileage, and the car being used. I think I would STILL try to push it with Nissan, but that might be a losing battle, they are notoriously NOT generous with warranty claims as it is.

I guess WORST case scenario, is you check that oil level religiously, and continue to throw a quart of oil in it every so often. Other than that, you're looking at an exspensive engine tear-down.

I would be willing to bet, that if you brought the issue to Nissan, then PERHAPS they would be willing to compromise, since this issue is NOT unknown to them. 70k+ or not, these engines should NOT be losing oil. They NEVER did before.

The worst they can say is no.

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Old 01-12-2007, 05:30 PM   #7
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that suuuuuuuuucks
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawacito
I did NOT make sure I got an H reading right after the change because the oil was so thin and clean that it was unreadable. I should have done a re-read an hour or so after the change. My measurement of 4.25 is based off the lines on the outside of the 5 quart jug of Castrol GTX they sell at walmart.

I'm using the WIX filter 51356. Don't know size wise how that compares to nissan OEM.

I always run the engine after and oil change with the car still on ramps and check for leaks before lowering. . .
I will try to answer all of your questions. Your first statement, above, about not knowing whether you were completely full after you did your oil change is very important. It is quite possible that you did not fully fill the engine with oil at this change. But now that you have it fully filled, you can check it again after 500 miles to see if you have "burned another quart of oil." If you leaked a quart of oil, you would see it below the car on the ground and on the engine, so I suspect you are not leaking that much oil.

When I do an oil change, I too run the engine because it fills the oil filter with the amount of oil it will hold. To check the level without filling the filter will give you a false full reading (the pan will be under-filled).

I like checking the level the next morning because of the problems listed with "stray oil" getting on the dipstick. The answer to your question with answers a), b) or c) actually is: "it depends." It depends on how the Nissan engineers designed the lines on the dipstick. My owners' manual is not helpful with an answer to this design question. But if we assume it was designed like Willie Worthie said in his Four-Wheeler article, then having the oil level right at the full level the next morning actually means that your oil level is below the design full level. Because of the oil splash problems also mentioned in that article, I don't think that being about 1/4 quart below design full is that much of a problem.

I just changed my oil last week and put in what I thought was 4.25 quarts. But then I did not measure the exact amount that I installed at the change. I'm also using (for the first time) the M-105 filter -- which is noticably larger than the OEM filters I used before. When I next checked the oil level a day later in the morning (after driving 30 miles or so), it was almost at the L line. I added another quart and have been good since then.

You need to more carefully monitor and document your oil consumption before going to the dealer about trying to fix what may not even be a problem. Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2007, 04:51 AM   #9
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I might be having some problems with oil loss. I've only gone about 2000 mi since my last oil change and the oil level was well below the L mark and it was pretty black.

I added a quart of oil last night and that brought me to the L line. Then I added another quart since I was at L. Now I'm thinking I might have overfilled it and I'm debating whether I should drain some out. The level is about a 1/4 inch over the H line.

Questions:
1. On the dipstick, does anyone know how much oil is in at the L line and how much oil is in at the H line or maybe the amount of oil it takes to go from L to H? My GUESS is that the middle of the gauge is 4 quarts and L is 3.5 qts and H is 4.5 quarts. Does anyone know?

2. The back of the dipstick without any markings shows a much higher level than the front with the L and H markings. Also the old black oil is on the back and the new clean oil is on the front. Why are there two different readings on the front of the dipstick (with the L and H) and on the back of the dipstick? I just assume to use the one with the L and H levels, but I want to check to make sure I don't run the car with significant overfill like the back is showing me. If I read the back of the dipstick, my level is off the charts.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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I can not answer all of your questions. But, because the VQ is a Japanese engine, I assume that the difference between L and H is one liter
(.946 L = 1 quart).

The reason there is clean oil on one side of your dipstick (and dirty on the other) is that when you added the new oil, it ran into the engine past the side of the dipstick that has clean oil on it. The other side did not see this oil flow, and the oil there remains dirty. Run the engine for a minute or so and the oil will look the same on both sides.

For this same reason, you are likely getting different levels of oil shown on each side of the dipstick. If you use my method of waiting until morning to read your oil level, the level will be the same on both sides of the dipstick. Until that happens (both the same), you can not be certain which level is the correct one.

If you are 1/4 of an inch above the H line (after running the engine and waiting at least 10 minutes after stopping), then you are likely about 1/2 quart over full. If that is the case, I would recommend that you drain some of the oil out by loosening (but not removing) the drain nut on the bottom of your pan. It will drain slowly, but this will allow you to fine-tune how much you take out. Catch the oil and measure it so see how much you need to remove to get back to the H line.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:34 PM   #11
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thanks silvermax. the strange thing is that i did check the dipstick in the morning after waiting overnight. actually i cleaned the dipstick and read it the night before, but decided to wait until morning to see the true level and i was still getting the strange dirty oil reading on the back of the dipstick.

good point about using liters.

i just got back from driving the car about 20 miles or so and everything seems fine so i don't think the overfill was too bad.

sad that i only drove about 2200 miles or so and i was about 2 quarts short of the H level. i may talk to the dealership since my car only has 72300 on it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:00 AM   #12
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update: there are no leaks - i went under and checked. there are no puddles of oil forming - i checked. the engine doesnt seem to be burning oil from what i can tell from the exhaust (no blue or white smoke)

When last I posted I had said that I was at the L mark - i refilled with an unknown amount of oil (about .25 to .5 quarts) ... waited till the next morning (because after the refill the oil was just all over the dipstick) and found the level to be smack dab in the middle between L and H.

I haven't driven even 500 miles yet and I'm under L.

this suuuuucks. The car itself runs great. Other than a quick little "rattle" noise on cold start and also just below 2K rpm - the engine seems to perform great.

So let me get this straight - from all the posts I've read it seems the sole solution to this problem is to replace the engine? if its just a matter of rings or seals couldn't those just be replaced? would the cost of repair be so great that a new engine would be better off?
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:37 PM   #13
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I've always checked mine with the engine cold.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawacito
So let me get this straight - from all the posts I've read it seems the sole solution to this problem is to replace the engine? if its just a matter of rings or seals couldn't those just be replaced? would the cost of repair be so great that a new engine would be better off?
Wrong. The simplest and cheapest option is to live with the oil burning. How much does it cost to add a quart of oil every 500 miles or so versus the cost of rebuilding the engine or even replacing the engine.

You say that the VQ runs great. Enjoy that and stop worring about the oil burning. I owned an 86 Celica (bought used) that burned oil -- so I stopped using synthetic and let it burn dino oil. Never had any problems with the engine other than the oil burning. Just stay on top of the oil so you don't run the level down too low.

I would also recommend not filling up to the H line but only to the mid point between H and L. Let it burn down to the L line and then put in 1/2 a quart and do it again. If the rings are the problem, this method will reduce the amount of oil splash that gets on the cylinder walls and is burned in the engine.

I also am not completely convinced that you are burning a quart every 500 miles. Do a more carefully watched control study to see how far you drive before 1/2 a quart is burned. You may be surpried that it will turn out to be more than 250 miles. Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:23 AM   #15
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thanx silvermax

would using a higher viscosity grade or trying something like a "high milage" oil (which purports to have additives that prevent burn off) help any?
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:25 AM   #16
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A heavier weight motor oil should help a little. But you don't want to overdo it. Nissan in Europe recommends 10W30 weight (in the US they recommend 5W30 because it is supposed to get better mileage). You should definitely use 10W30, but (living in Richmond) I would not recommend any oil heavier than 10W40. And if you park outside, you should go to 10W30 in the winter.

I don't have any experience with "high mileage" motor oils, but they probably should help, too.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:31 AM   #17
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did u mean 5w-30 in the winter? i thought it was better to go thinner in the winter? regardless 10w-30 high milage it is. the manual says 10w-30 is ok as long as it dont go below 0 degrees F and that is something that almost never happens here in richmond.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawacito
did u mean 5w-30 in the winter?
Nissan USA says to use 5W30 year round. But you want a heavier oil to help reduce oil consumption. So you should use 10W30 in the winter and probably 10W40 in the summer.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:41 PM   #19
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On the subject of Oil weight and consumption, If Im using 10W-30 for the spring/summer you think its pointless to switch over to 5W-30 for the winter for cold starts ?? This engine doesnt use oil nor it shouldnt. It has 8500 miles on it.

My new motors in my car and I wanna do this right. I havent switched over to Synthetic in the new engine yet so im still on Dyno Oil

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:39 PM   #20
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The cold cranking of 5W30 is slightly better than 10W30. So if you park in a garage (even not heated), you should probably stick to 10W30; but if you park outside, you should probably use 5W30 in the winter.

There is no right answer here -- only what you prefer.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:25 AM   #21
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I would stick with the recommended 5w-30.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I would stick with the recommended 5w-30.
Who recommended it? -- Nissan America. But Nissan Europe recommends 10W30. So which do you go with? (Nissan America is going with the EPA on their recomendation while Nissan Europe does not have those pressures from a government agency.)

I bought a lot of Mobil 1 5W30 thinking it would be best, but now believe that 10W30 is better unless you are in a cold winter location and park outside overnight -- in which case 5W30 would be better in the winter. I will be using my 5W30, but wish I had gotten 10W30.
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Old 01-24-2007, 08:57 AM   #23
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Can you even find 10W30 in Europe? The popular grades in Europe are 5W40, 10W40, and 15W40. You'll find 0W30, 5W30, 20W50 and some other grades, but 10W30 is virtually nonexistent.

Also, if you lookup the PDSs for 5-10W30 from the same manufacturer, 9 out of 10 times the 40* and 100*C viscocities of the 5W30 oils will be thicker than their 10W30 counterparts.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #24
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selling maintenance items

Hello - I don't know where to post this - and I can't start a new thread because I dont have a high enough "post count" so I'll put it here for now because it relates to this topic.

I took my car to a very capable mechanic - he said i'd have to rebuild the engine to make the oil consumption go away. Its more than 1 quart per 1000 miles because it downed 2 quarts in 1500 miles. He said something about leak down test - something about blow by - something about his car is at 85000 miles and only has 1% (and he drives his car HARD) where as my car is 75000 miles and has 4%.

Here's what I need to get rid of - these prices are including shipping.
All parts are for 2003 Maxima SE (3.5 Engine)

AMSOIL Syn Manual Trans Gear Lube GL4 - 3 quarts - $35
10 Manual Tranny Fill-Hole and Drain-Hole gaskets - $20
11 WIX 51356 Oil Filters - $50
Set of 2 Drive belts - OEM Nissan - $20
WIX Air Filter - $8
WIX Cabin Filter Set - $30
6 NGK Iridium IX spark plugs - $40

contact me at wawacito@yahoo.com

The maxima was such a nice car - too bad i got the one with the oil problem. I'm going with Honda or Subaru. No more Nissan for now.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:43 PM   #25
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I'd like to resurrect this thread because the answer does not seem very clear to me. I would have asked in the "Noobs" thread in 5th gen forums but this seemed like a more appropriate place to ask.

I've tried the "10+ minutes after shutoff" method - the oil comes out on the dipstick too thin and spread out to be able to really determine where the level is - especially when the oil is relatively new and clean. You often get trace amounts way up on the dipstick (yes I wiped it down and reinserted) or in other random spots making it difficult to tell.

I've tried the "morning" method and this results in the oil level being very easy and clear to read. But if I use the "morning" method - is the oil level on the dipstick (a) accurate (b) lower than actual or (c) higher than actual?

When I use the morning method - its right at the L mark - only 500 miles after my oil change. - and I filled it to 4.25 quarts. if the answer is (a) or (c) then I'm burning or leaking oil pretty bad - if the answer is (b) - im ok i think. Any thoughts?

i seem to have the same damn problem as you also. im at 49k rite now. bout to bring it to the dealer.


but i also heard the more u "rip" on the motor, high revs and whatnot also eats oil?
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:06 PM   #26
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I bailed on the car - traded it in for a hyundai elantra (frame away people). Its got the 100K powertrain warranty and i just plunked down extra money to extend the bumper to bumper to 100K too. I just don't want to deal with any more problems. I got out of my VW into a maxima to avoid problems and of all cars - i got one that had the oil burn problem. Owned the car for a total of only 47 days. No more ... its warranty world for me.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:49 AM   #27
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To the Dealer for me

I posted this in the 5th gen section, but thought I'd post it here as well:

I've made an apt. with the dealer to start having them "monitor" my oil consumption. Spoke with the local svc. mgr. and told him what I knew - he called NNA, and naturally, they're going to put me thru the normal paces. I don't have much faith that I'll get a new engine - but I suppose I've got nothing to lose. I'm at 52k and 54 months on my powrtrain warranty. It's now or never.

The Svc Mgr told me that NNA indeed HAS a chart that outlines oil consumption in gradients (mm) of loss as measured on the dipstick. Meaning: if an overall consumption of more than 19mm below the "H" mark on the dipstick is observed between oil changes, NNA considers that to be "excessive", and thereby will consider a warranty replacement. I don't know what that translates into in Quarts or Litres, but I will damn sure know before they start this process!
Svc Mgr also told me that NNA does NOT pay HIM to repair the engine, only to REPLACE. Which means, it's all or nothing.

Since I'm running M1, he has agreed to let me bring in my own oil + filter to save on cost, which - is still ridiculous, but I'll play along for now. I have to have TWO oil changes (3500miles) and two oil level checks for each oil change, or whenever the dipstick decides to bottom-out.

I'll keep you all posted - this will obviously take a few months to play-out.

gr
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider17
. . . if an overall consumption of more than 19mm below the "H" mark on the dipstick is observed between oil changes, NNA considers that to be "excessive", and thereby will consider a warranty replacement. I don't know what that translates into in Quarts or Litres, . . .
It is my strong belief (but not knowledge) that the distance between the H and L marks on the dipstick measures 1 Litre of motor oil. You might ask the service manager if this is correct.

Good luck on this test.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:46 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMax_04
It is my strong belief (but not knowledge) that the distance between the H and L marks on the dipstick measures 1 Litre of motor oil. You might ask the service manager if this is correct.

Good luck on this test.
By my own personal experience, I believe this to be true as well. Distance between H&L marks = 1 litre.

I'm going to make SURE both the dealer, NNA, and I all agree on what their "yardstick" is for measuring the oil consumption.
I'm not into subjective interpretations on stuff like this. I keep hearing "significant" and "substantial" used over and over again - and I'm not having any of it.
I just went out and measured the distance between the H & L marks on the dipstick, and it is approximately 11mm. The TOTAL distance from the H mark to the Bottom of the dipstick is exactly 27mm.
By using Nissan's rationale of 19mm of loss measured on the dipstick = problematic, my sump would have to be reading almost double the measurable consumption, or twice as low on the dipstick as the normal recommended operating range in order to qualify for "excessive oil consumption".
.
Using Nissan's "formula": 11mm of loss = 1 litre of oil. 19mm = 1.72 litre. 27mm = 2.45 litres.
At 19mm of loss measured on the dipstick, that's literally 43% of oil lost from the sump (presuming distance between H&L marks is 1 litre) that's required before Nissan considers this problematic....and THAT my friends equates to almost 1/2 of the TOTAL 4 litres of oil in the engine during NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS.

In the past year, my car has NEVER lost more than it has recently, which is about 1.5 litres in 2500 miles....that would equate to about 15mm of loss on the dipstick. Looks like my engine is "Normal" and operating within Nissan's tolerance specifications.

So, essentially, my engine has to Self-Destruct from lack of oil before it's considered to be abnormal.
This is not going to be fun.

gr
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:17 AM   #30
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Ghost,
It has been my experience (particularly if the problem is a bad seal between cylinders and pistons = rings) that oil consumption declines as the level of oil in your pan decreases. So for maximum oil consumption (what you want to prove for a replacement engine), I recommend that you never let the dipstick reading get below the half way mark between H and L. This will require you to go into the dealer so that they can read the dipstick before and after you put in replacement motor oil. You get higher consumption with a full pan because of the oil splashed up into the bottom of the cylinders and then burned because of the poor seal. If the oil level is low, this substantially reduces the volume of the splash.

good luck.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:28 AM   #31
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Yeah, I remember you telling me this a month ago.
I actually started letting it go, but decided to top-it-off before I went into the dealer on Monday.
I've also noticed that I burn ALOT more oil consistently on the Highway, at speed. The unfortunate part about this, is that I don't TYPICALLY drive on the hwy all that often.
I'm going to have alter my driving habits somewhat in the coming months.

Thanks for the input.
gr
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #32
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:39 PM   #33
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The volume of oil needed to get to the F line depends on the size of the filter you are using. Since I switched to the larger Mobil 1 filter, it requires more oil to get to F. You need to experiment to find the volume needed for your situation.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:01 AM   #34
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I use a Nissan OEM filter and the oil fill amount they spec in the owner's manual has NEVER been enough to get me to the Full line. 4.25 quarts gets me to 1/3 of the way up between the L and the F. I usually add an additional 1/3 of a quart and that gets me just below the F.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:37 AM   #35
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so should I be worried that Im not at the H mark when 4.25 quarts of oil was added? Its in the very middle of H and L. Nissan did the last oil change and Im assuming they used one of their own filters
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:45 AM   #36
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so should I be worried that Im not at the H mark when 4.25 quarts of oil was added? Its in the very middle of H and L. Nissan did the last oil change and Im assuming they used one of their own filters
only if it started full, and quickly went 1/2 down. most likely they short filled, and it's not a problem except that they cheated you out of 1/2 quart.

in truth, the oil level does not even need to be above the low mark to maintain oil pressure. the extra 1-2 quarts in the sump are to allow for extended change intervals. that's why a mercedes with a 9qt sump can easily go 15k+ miles on an oil change.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:34 AM   #37
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You really don't want to overfill the engine {with motor oil}. This lets the crankshaft cause too much of a whipping action, which not only can disturb the oilflow to the {oil pump's} pickup but also aerates the oil into foam. Air bubbles don't lube well, even though some foaming takes place anyway, especially in off-pavement situations. Apparently, the pressurization process through the oil passages somewhat breaks down the bubbles before they get to vital areas.

The crankshaft whipping in the oil can also throw an excessive amount onto the pistons and cylinder walls, exceeding the ring's ability to control the oilflow. {This is apparently one reason why oil-burning engines burn less oil when the oil level is kept one quart lower than full. Oil-burners usually have worn or improperly seated rings.} This {overfilling the oilpan} can lead to not only excessive oil use, but the {oil} burning process leaves carbon deposits on the top of the pistons and in the combustion chamber. . .
just read this, and I'm not so sure it is entirely true with the VQ.

it is true with a small block chevy, where the crank actually extends down into the oil pan. if you pull off the pan, you can see the crank lobes below the gasket surface.

but on the VQ there is a lower oil pan (sump), an upper oil pan, and then the crankcase. and there's a baffle plate in the upper pan, physically separating the sump from the crankcase.

you can see some photos here... http://forums.maxima.org/showpost.ph...74&postcount=1

in the last one, you can see the dipstick relative to the oil pick up screen (this shows why the oil level can be far below "L" and still maintain oil pressure.

but this also clearly shows that filling to the full mark does not introduce oil into the crankcase, and therefore should not contribute to oil consumption.

you can't see it in these photos, but the upper pan is much larger than the the lower sump -- it is the entire width of the engine. so I think it would take an extra gallon or more for oil to actually reach the crank, assuming it doesn't spew out the dipstick tube first.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:55 AM   #38
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Just another indication that Nissan designed a better engine with the VQ. Particularly when compared to "Detroit Iron."

Remember that the source of this information quoted by sky (above) was 4-Wheeler Magazine, which has to deal with Ford, Chevy, Jeep & Dodge more than it deals with Nissan.
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