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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 09-26-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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My dipstick hates me

Ok I have a problem, I just changed my oil a few days ago. So now, I am of course paranoid, that my oil level might not be just perfect. So when I was changing it I put a little under 4 liters to start with and started up the engine for a minute or two to let it circulate. Turned it off and then checked the dip stick, and of course it gives me a completely nonsense reading. So of course i clean it and try again. And again another bad reading. Is there anyway to get good readings off of the dip stick right after the car is shut off. I there something I can buy to clear the oil out of the dip stick channel?

I know you can always get good reading if the car is shut off for a wile, but thats not acceptable when I am at the gas station filling up and want to check it.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
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With the Max's VQ engine, the oil level reading on the dipstick will never be very good just after sutting the engine off. I know of no solution to this problem.

I personally check my oil level in the morning before I start the engine. The longer the engine has been turned off, the less "stray motor oil" will appear on the dipstick. So if you have to check the oil level only at the gas starion, you should do that as the last thing you do before leaving. But I recommend doing the morning check before starting.

Others on this site may have other advice on this problem.
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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well i have the same problem, but if you look carefully when you pull out the dip stick (if you do it quick enough before the oil gets all mixed up on the stick) you should be able to see the oil on the end of the dip stick a little thicker then the rest, do it a few times to confirm but do it quick.

I guess the oil splashes inside the dip stick tube and takes some time to drain back into the pan, this is a common thing on the vq30de (and de-k?)
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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just an idea:
leave the dipstick out when the engine is running and turn off the car and put the dipstick back in and wait for a minute then take it out and see what it reads.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:04 PM   #5
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^^ isnt that the same as pulling out the dipstick with the engine off, wiping it, puting it back on and then pull again to read the level?

My car has a warning that says do not pull out the dipstick when the engine is running.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:48 PM   #6
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same thing, the oil reaches into the dip stick tube cause its splashing around i think
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:07 PM   #7
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I guess the oil splashes inside the dip stick tube and takes some time to drain back into the pan, this is a common thing on the vq30de (and de-k?)
I had this prob on my old VQ30DE and my new VQ35DE. Same junk design. We all know the oil sloshes around when the car is running. And most cars you can check the oil level 1 minute after shutting off the car and get a good reading. But for some reason, it seems that the dipstick tube in these VQ motors tends to smear and coat the dispstick with whatever residual oil is in the dipstick tube. In my experience, no amount of waiting or checking in the morning totally clears this prob up. I also noticed that one side of the dipstick shows a less messy reading than the other, and is more "accurate" prob due to the tube smearing the one side of the stick.

I put 4.5 qts in and just trust that it's enough. I gave up on the dipstick.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:24 PM   #8
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I have no problem getting good readings if I'm patient enough and redip it after wiping it down the first time it's removed.
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:36 PM   #9
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I do it when the car's been off for 15+ minutes.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:19 PM   #10
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I have no problem getting good readings if I'm patient enough and redip it after wiping it down the first time it's removed.
Define "patient enough."
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:40 PM   #11
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Define "patient enough."
Waiting long enough after shutting the car off. Otherwise, with cold starts or if the car's been sitting a while, no problems. Just wipe, redip, and read.

Last edited by nismology; 10-20-2007 at 11:42 PM..
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #12
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The vq engines are notorious for bad readings as the oil that has been added flows right by the dip stick and after shutting off car the oil that has circulated to the upper engine drains back down over the dip stick. So don't be a dip stick, dip stick. Lmfao
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #13
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So don't be a dip stick, dip stick. Lmfao


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Old 05-11-2011, 12:40 AM   #14
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Since my first post on this thread back in 2007, I continue to use my system of checking the oil level in the morning before starting the VQ. Checking the oil level after the engine has been stopped for only a few minutes will give you a somewhat false reading.

Also, I now run my oil level between 1/2 quart down and 1 quart down. When the level gets to down one quart, I add only 1/2 a quart of oil. I find that by not topping the oil sump off, I burn less motor oil in my VQ engine.

I change my oil every 10K miles and with this system, burn only about 1 quart of oil every 10 K miles or so.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:40 AM   #15
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This has always bothered me, and I have never been a patient person.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:40 AM
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