Go Back   Maxima Forums > Maintenance, Tech, & Care > Fluids and Lubricants
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Photos FAQ Timeslips Members Parts Guide Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read ExperienceUsed CarsGarageVendor Directory
Search

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.

Welcome to Maxima.org!
Welcome to Maxima.org,

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to start new topics, reply to conversations, privately message other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join Maxima.org today!


Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-18-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
Banned
 
1993-VG30E-GXE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 1,159
Should I Check Engine Oil Cold or Warm?

Right now i've been following the Owners manual method of heating the oil up and then letting the car sit before dip stick test. However, I've been reading all over the net that many people say the most accurate test is to check it in the morning when the car has been sitting all night, without running it first.

I'm getting different levels. Checking from cold in the morning, i'm about 1/4 of an inch over the MAX line. Checking according to the owners manual, I'm slightly below the max line.

Which is correct?
1993-VG30E-GXE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2006
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 271
Points: 6,327, Level: 51
Points: 6,327, Level: 51 Points: 6,327, Level: 51 Points: 6,327, Level: 51
Activity: 12.2%
Activity: 12.2% Activity: 12.2% Activity: 12.2%
It seems as if there would not be that much diff between the reading times, but if I were you I'd just take a bit out until it's an acceptable level on the stick no matter when you read it...then you'll sleep better knowing there is not a concern whatsoever.
MichMaxFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
Senior Member

 
Join Date: May 2004
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 6,130
Points: 13,163, Level: 74
Points: 13,163, Level: 74 Points: 13,163, Level: 74 Points: 13,163, Level: 74
Activity: 8.1%
Activity: 8.1% Activity: 8.1% Activity: 8.1%
I believe the best method is to check the engine oil level when the engine is cold.
Bobo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
Banned
 
1993-VG30E-GXE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 1,159
I'm just going to follow the FSM and it says to do it when the oil is warmed up. They probably wouldn't have put that in there if it wasn't necessary.

Reason being, there's a big difference for me when it's cold or warm. When it's cold, it's 1/4" above the MAX line. When it's warm it's 1/4" below the max line. If I lowered it so it is right at the max line, my warm measurement would be too low - so I'm just going with what Nissan recommends.

Some mechanic guy told me a little overfilled visible on the stick won't really harm it - there is some tolerance.

Last edited by 1993-VG30E-GXE; 10-26-2008 at 01:13 PM..
1993-VG30E-GXE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
\(_o)/


 
Greeny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Tunasea
iTrader: (43)
Posts: 62,843
Points: 47,451, Level: 100
Points: 47,451, Level: 100 Points: 47,451, Level: 100 Points: 47,451, Level: 100
Activity: 100.0%
Activity: 100.0% Activity: 100.0% Activity: 100.0%
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993-VG30E-GXE View Post
I'm just going to follow the FSM and it says to do it when the oil is warmed up. They probably wouldn't have put that in there if it wasn't necessary.

Reason being, there's a big difference for me when it's cold or warm. When it's cold, it's 1/4" above the MAX line. When it's warm it's 1/4" below the max line. If I lowered it so it is right at the max line, my warm measurement would be too low - so I'm just going with what Nissan recommends.

Some mechanic guy told me a little overfilled visible on the stick won't really harm it - there is some tolerance.
I have ran my ve a nearly a quart(3/4} over for many years now, no problems.
Greeny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
Junior Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 77
Points: 6,384, Level: 52
Points: 6,384, Level: 52 Points: 6,384, Level: 52 Points: 6,384, Level: 52
Activity: 0.8%
Activity: 0.8% Activity: 0.8% Activity: 0.8%
I feel that it's better to have a little underfill rather than overfill, so I have the level at full with a cold engine.

Too full and it could foam/splash.

It's a pain to check it warm as the oil is sometimes still draining down the dip stick, so letting it sit over night, there is no drip and I just make sure it reads full.
A33Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2008, 07:30 PM   #7
Banned
 
1993-VG30E-GXE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 1,159
Quote:
Originally Posted by A33Black View Post
I feel that it's better to have a little underfill rather than overfill, so I have the level at full with a cold engine.

Too full and it could foam/splash.

It's a pain to check it warm as the oil is sometimes still draining down the dip stick, so letting it sit over night, there is no drip and I just make sure it reads full.
I thought about that too - so what I did was let the car sit level for 30-40 minutes, after the car was well warmed and driven. I timed it. Then checked. The cold dipstick test isn't mentioned in the manual - it specifically says to warm up the oil in both the owners manual and service manual. So I figured, because the two tests don't match - better to go with what the manual says.

The dipstick markings corresponding to the actual working oil levels in the engine - are likely calibrated for the test they state in the service manual.

Another engine machinist guy told me that it's best to keep the level at the MAX mark - to let the oil run slightly cooler than a low level...he explained why - I can't remember. Something to do with the amount of oil available to the pump or something - slower recycling.

Last edited by 1993-VG30E-GXE; 10-30-2008 at 07:35 PM..
1993-VG30E-GXE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2008, 07:12 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Connecticut / Western Mass
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 460
Send a message via AIM to petro2342
Yea you want to check the oil when its cold because its less thin. Think about it, when you drive your car circulates oil all over making it not read accurately. But when its cold you don't have oil all over your dip stick dripping down.
petro2342 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2008, 08:12 PM   #9
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 1,980
Points: 11,217, Level: 69
Points: 11,217, Level: 69 Points: 11,217, Level: 69 Points: 11,217, Level: 69
Activity: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%

Quote:
Originally Posted by A33Black View Post
I feel that it's better to have a little underfill rather than overfill, so I have the level at full with a cold engine.

Too full and it could foam/splash.

It's a pain to check it warm as the oil is sometimes still draining down the dip stick, so letting it sit over night, there is no drip and I just make sure it reads full.
I agree completely.

The auto tech's statement about getting better engine cooling with the oil at or above the "full mark" on the dipstick is really pushing a point to the extreme. While it is technically true that this will be the case, the ability to detect the very slightly better cooling capability would be very difficult to measure -- because it would be so very small.

Rather than obsess over which is better -- hot oil or cold oil measurement -- I believe it is better to pick a oil check method you are comfortable using -- and stick with it. I like the cold method after the vehicle has been sitting overnight. With the warm method, you will get much more variation in readings depending on how long the engine has been stopped before you take your reading. If the cold method has a tendency to underfill the oil sump, that is not all bad. It is much worse to have the oil foaming due to the sump being too full of oil. And the oil splash that occurs with an overfull oil sump can also cause problems.

All of the above is just my opinion. And if you do the warm oil measurement consistently every time (harder to do and more time consuming having to wait for some of the oil to drain down out of the upper reaches of the engine) you will get good and consistent reading.

Another reason I like the cold oil measurement is that (as pointed out above) you don't have to wipe the dipstick off before you take a reading. You just pull it out and the oil level is shown on the stick. This saves having to have a wipe rag handy and also does not waste oil that is spread on this rag. Not a big volume, but running high-cost synthetic oil, every little bit (saved) helps.
__________________

Last edited by SilverMax_04; 11-04-2008 at 08:14 PM..
SilverMax_04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
Member

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 200
Points: 6,933, Level: 54
Points: 6,933, Level: 54 Points: 6,933, Level: 54 Points: 6,933, Level: 54
Activity: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
defintely cold check after sitting over night.
Burny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 10:59 PM   #11
Banned
 
1993-VG30E-GXE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 1,159
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMax_04 View Post

All of the above is just my opinion. And if you do the warm oil measurement consistently every time (harder to do and more time consuming having to wait for some of the oil to drain down out of the upper reaches of the engine) you will get good and consistent reading.
Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to stick with the warm measurement, since it gives me the most consistent readings. I remember when I did the cold measurement and had the level at the MAX line, I then went to do the warm measurement, and it was reading really low - almost at the LOW line.

So I do the warm measurement that the service manual & owners manual recommends, and I let the car sit for 30 min on LEVEL surface. before reading. The most recent Maxima manual says to let it sit 10 min +. (they increased the time), so I just increased the time to make even more sure.

If any of you ever get free time, or feel like cross referencing, i'm curious what results you get. Do one reading in the cold morning. Then later when coming home from work get the engine really hot, then let it sit LEVEL for 30 minutes, then do the dip stick test - im curious if you get the same variance.

There could be something wrong with my engine that's causing this, who knows.

Last edited by 1993-VG30E-GXE; 11-05-2008 at 11:09 PM..
1993-VG30E-GXE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2008, 04:52 AM   #12
Junior Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
iTrader: (0)
Posts: 77
Points: 6,384, Level: 52
Points: 6,384, Level: 52 Points: 6,384, Level: 52 Points: 6,384, Level: 52
Activity: 0.8%
Activity: 0.8% Activity: 0.8% Activity: 0.8%
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993-VG30E-GXE View Post
I remember when I did the cold measurement and had the level at the MAX line, I then went to do the warm measurement, and it was reading really low - almost at the LOW line.
That seems like a wide range (between measuring cold vs. hot).

At one time, I did happen to measure the levels after waiting 30+ mins on a warm engine and don't think it had that wide of a range. Maybe reading 3/4 warm instead of full/cold.
A33Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2008, 04:52 AM
MaximaOrg
Nissan Maxima




Paid Advertisement
 
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


 




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:31 AM.


Maxima.org Forums Home Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Frequently Asked Questions on the Forums Search Find other members Registration is free! Support Maxima.org! Receive perks and benefits by donating to Maxima.org Questions? Comments?  Suggestions? Contact Us! Visit our Sponsors View and submit Maxima events Log Out of Maxima.org
Emails Backup