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Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: gbullman ()
Date: September 16, 2021 07:42AM

Pretty much all my life I've checked oil level with a cold engine with the car as level as possible. Typically the car sits for a few days or more before I check it. I just feel that is the most consistent reading that I will get.

I've noticed interesting behavior with my Corvair that I don't believe I've seen with other cars. This week has been a good example, took the car on a pretty long, fairly spirited drive on Sunday. When I checked the oil on Monday it read about 1/2 quart low, by Wednesday it had risen to about 3/8 quart low and this morning it is more like a 1/4 quart low. I suspect some parts of the engine drain slower than others and that is why I see this. The few times the car has sat close to 2 weeks it isn't unusual to have some lifter noise when it is first started which goes away after a few minutes.

This is not an issue, just curious about the behavior and what others have observed.


Gary
1966 Corsa Convertible
Northern New Jersey


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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: September 16, 2021 09:16AM

Back in the day when o-rings were bad you checked the oil as soon as it shut down to fill with gas. Sort of a fill the oil and check the gas situation.eye popping smiley

I've never checked any engine more than once. I do like cold after sitting. Easier on the hands.winking smiley

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: jamesolefjensen ()
Date: September 17, 2021 07:03AM

Mine will gain ~1/2 pint when going from hot to cold. No idea where the oil is hiding. Maybe the cooler?

James
65 Corsa
SF Bay Area

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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: September 17, 2021 08:14AM

It takes several minutes to drain to where you should measure it. When I let my service manager change mine, he filled with what I told him, started the engine to check for leaks, and then checked the oil again a minute or so after turning the engine off. Then added til full. When I checked after ten minutes or so, I could see it was over-full.

I once fixed a problem for the Mitsubishi dealer in Bolivia. They imported hundreds of small city busses with 4.0 engines. As people started buying them, they started complaining about oil consumption, and having to add a liter every day (checked oil at the end of the day right after turning it off). They would show up at the dealer and the dealer would measure and find them 1 liter low.

Since it was the same engine as my Mitsubishi truck, I had read the manual, where it said wait 30 minutes before checking the oil. Then when people came in with the complaint, he had them sit down and drink a cup of coffee and chat for a while, then measure and find the level was full.

For any car, it is best to figure out the measuring point. Check when you turn it off, 5 minutes later, 10 minutes, etc. Then you know when it had stabilized. My Mini needs 10 minutes. Obviously, viscosity and temperature are variables.

Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the Corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: September 17, 2021 09:00AM

Good story Richard, but if they were adding a liter a day....where was it going? Out the pipe?

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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: gbullman ()
Date: September 17, 2021 09:19AM

I'm aware of needed to wait after a car has been running, in fact when I do check under those circumstances I usually won't add as long as it is above the low mark.

Any comments on the consistency of measuring after the car has sat for a day or so? I've always felt that was a better indication of how much oil is actually in the engine.

The fact that my Corvair continues to rise for a few days after it has been run I find interesting but not an issue. Because of this behavior and being told that many Corvairs lose the first 1/2 quart pretty quickly I don't fill it more than 1/4 quart low except when I change the oil. 40+ years ago I never thought of filling the filter before putting it in, now I think that is a great idea.


Gary
1966 Corsa Convertible
Northern New Jersey


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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: September 18, 2021 05:54AM

I suppose optimum if you're trying to be consistent and driving it regularly is after it sits for several hours like in the morning or after work. If you're on a trip or something you can take factors like how soon since you shut it off into consideration.
Checking the oil is especially important if you're running a mechanical fuel pump. Level rising not good.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: Checking Engine Oil Level
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: September 18, 2021 07:51AM

Wagon Master Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good story Richard, but if they were adding a liter a day....where was it going? Out the pipe?

That is the assumption.

I had a similar situation years ago, where the Komatsu dealer called me in and complained that the oil I sell was terrible "evaporated" 4 liters a day in the loaders he had sold to a local construction company. I went to see the loaders and asked the operators about it, and what their measuring procedures were. He said each day when the truck came by, usually about 9 or so, He would turn off the engine and measure the oil. Then the truck would pump in the needed oil and he would go back to work.

I asked him where the manual was, and he said probably back in the shop. At the shop they told me they were kept in the construction office, where I found them wrapped in their plastic sleeve, unopened. I opened one and read that you needed to wait 20 minutes to measure the oil level. We set a new procedure where the operator would measure the oil before starting it in the morning, and if he needed oil when the truck came, to tell the driver. Never again had oil consumption on those two loaders,

Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the Corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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