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Thread: Dipstick - Useless or What?

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    Full Member GazVXLINE170's Avatar
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    Default Dipstick - Useless or What?

    Hi all, does anyone find the dipstick on the Veccy to be useless. Mines is wobbly/bendy piece of metal. As I do 500miles a week, I need keep tabs on the oil, and i find that when i follow the normal procedure of removing dipstick, cleaning it, and then putting it back into the engine, then removing it to check the oil level, the oil is all over the dipstick - hence i can not obtain an accurate measure of the oil. I know that there is not excessive oil as i have never had the blue/black smoke yet. Surely that turbocharger and engine must be swallowing some - not that im complaining if it is being frugal in the oil department - just want to make sure i can catch any oil issues - ie refills/changes - early before any real risk of engine seizure.

    Regards

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    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    Mines fine and it doesn't use any oil. Why would a turbo use any unless its on its way out?
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

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    Default dipstick

    .....yep, totall agreee, have never been able to get an accurate readng on my dipstick

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    Regular Member um20's Avatar
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    Only time my dipstick was truly accurate was the other week on the M62 when the oil pressure light came on Sure enough, the dipstick was almost dry. Thank god there was a shell garage 0.5 mile away at the next junction.

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    Regular Member Penfold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by um20 View Post
    Only time my dipstick was truly accurate was the other week on the M62 when the oil pressure light came on Sure enough, the dipstick was almost dry. Thank god there was a shell garage 0.5 mile away at the next junction.
    mines the same but it was even worse on my B.Would imagine it s best to check it when cold so oil is thicker.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Make sure the dipstick is complete and has the "min" and "max" marks on it
    An employee of mine had a Corsa
    The dipstick was "dry" so added 4 litres of oil
    The car then stopped a few days later
    The AA took the car to a local garage and removed 9 litres of oil from the engine!

    I do agree, the dipstick isn't the best
    However, don't take the first reading from it
    Remove, clean, dip, check, dip, check, replace
    Also make sure the engine is stone cold and the car is level

    Typical oil consumption in the Vectra is "max" to "min" in about 10K miles
    For some engines this is one litre, but in the 3.0 V6 CDTI this is TWO litres!

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penfold View Post
    Would imagine it s best to check it when cold so oil is thicker.
    Quote Originally Posted by m8internet View Post
    Also make sure the engine is stone cold and the car is level
    NO!! That's not what the manual says anyway. It says check it with the engine at operating temperature, after allowing the oil to settle back down again.

    I would imagine the reason for not reading it at cold is that it's going to be thicker and therefore the oil won't be as fluid. There could be oil 'stuck' in parts which aren't therefore in the sump and therefore not read by the dipstick - possibly a reason why people have over filled.

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    Full Member GazVXLINE170's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Sig View Post
    Mines fine and it doesn't use any oil. Why would a turbo use any unless its on its way out?
    Turbochareged engines usually - compared to their NA counterparts - will use slightly more oil.

    My car had its last oil change about 9500 miles ago so it should have used some.

    I think the problem is that the dipstick when it is inserted into the engine goes down the dipstick-pipe-thing (forgive the overwhelming technical terms here) which has a bend, and when the dipstick is removed it drags oil up this pipe, then when you return the dipstick, then remove it again to check the oil level, it picks up the oil in this pipe - again purely speculating.

    Regards

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    Regular Member john_k_sri's Avatar
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    Default

    My 2.0 turbo petrol doesn't appear to use any oil, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Never needed to top it up since i got it 2 years ago. As for the dipstick, OK it's not brilliant, but the one in my old Astra was far worse and far more difficult to read than the Vectra C one.

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    Regular Member mark1319's Avatar
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    As John says the 2.0 turbo doesn't really use any oil unless you go about redlining every gear. Never had any problems with the dipstick, try the dipstick on a 8ton Bedford its over a meter long and a royal pain in the ar$e to get in and out.

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