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Old 10-30-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
jacek_p
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default oil checking pittfals

Some of you may remember my thread on oil consumption. It's more complicated and i'm starting a new one now.

In short, my son drives 03 Ion and lives in another town and visits us about once a month. i checked oil a month ago and it looked like it was very low (barely on the dipstick) and it took ~2 qts to fill it up. I sort of yelled at him and he claimed oil was fine before the trip. I thought he lied about checking. He went back and I asked him to check oil again. He said overfilled. I assumed he does it wrong. So, I checked this weekend and it looks overfilled alright, at least 1qt, maybe more. Maybe it's not burning oil like I though, but somehow oil was trapped in upper part of crankcase when I checked before?

150,000+ miles. I like to check on cold engine after sitting overnight. My driveway is not perfectly flat, but not hilly either.

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Old 10-30-2017, 05:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: oil checking pittfals

I can confirm the same situation on both of my 2.2's. I have to wait at least 24 hours before I get what appears to be a valid reading.

That engine seems to hold an awful lot of oil on the top end before it drains down to the pan.

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Old 10-31-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: oil checking pittfals

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb6667 View Post
I can confirm the same situation on both of my 2.2's. I have to wait at least 24 hours before I get what appears to be a valid reading.

That engine seems to hold an awful lot of oil on the top end before it drains down to the pan.
very helpful, thanks for replying. i thought i was going crazy.

...
fixed/replaced so far: side mirror, window trims x4, trunk floor, radiator bushing, alternator, starter, LCA x2, sway bar bushings x2, end links x2, timing chain tensioner, O2 sensor.

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Old 10-31-2017, 03:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: oil checking pittfals

Does anyone know why this would happen? I prefer to change the oil at a local shop rather than doing it myself in winter but if it won't fully drain then this could be an issue. Has anyone opened the valve cover to find oil hiding up top due to a partially clogged opening or anything?

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Old 11-01-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: oil checking pittfals

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Originally Posted by WrightMan View Post
Does anyone know why this would happen? I prefer to change the oil at a local shop rather than doing it myself in winter but if it won't fully drain then this could be an issue. Has anyone opened the valve cover to find oil hiding up top due to a partially clogged opening or anything?
I did open a valve cover almost 2 years ago to replace chain tensioner and there was nothing unusual re: engine cleanliness or oil trapping.

i did some more searches on this and found some old posts suggesting oil levels should be read on the back of the dipstick rather than front of it. i don't know why there would be a difference.

...
fixed/replaced so far: side mirror, window trims x4, trunk floor, radiator bushing, alternator, starter, LCA x2, sway bar bushings x2, end links x2, timing chain tensioner, O2 sensor.

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Old 11-04-2017, 10:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: oil checking pittfals

This is a bit late, but I will confirm that an immediate check of the crankcase oil level after shutting off the engine will yield a reading of 1/2 of a quart below the actual level. My owner's handbook states that the oil level should be checked five minutes after the engine has been turned off. While this gives a more accurate reading, I found it to be at least 1/4 of a quart lower than the actual level. I can get an accurate reading after the engine has been off for about 3.5 hours. Generally, I prefer to check the oil level before the first drive of the day. Oil level readings are always accurate at that time.

WrightMan, with regard to draining oil and how much oil may remain in the cylinder head, it's not worth worrying about. Make sure that the engine is fully warmed when the oil is being changed so that it drains as completely as possible. One advantage I have over a shop when changing my oil is that I have much more time to let the oil drain than the shop does. Consequently, more bad oil is removed before filling the engine with fresh, clean oil.

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Last edited by pierrot; 11-04-2017 at 10:35 AM..

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