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Thread: Checking oil level : When to do?

  1. #1
    Regular Member RSV_Ecosse's Avatar
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    Default Checking oil level : When to do?

    Now, first of all I'm not a complete idiot ( some would argue with that ) but I have a few quick questions on checking the oil level on the Vec-C.

    As many of you will know, I have a 54 reg 3.0 V6 CDTi SRi.

    Over the last couple of years of ownership I have found it hardly uses any oil whatsoever. Even when I had the CRD2 box on it under hard acceleration with the Sally map running the puffs of smoke to the rear resulted in no apparent oil consumption.

    Anyway, cut to the chase - In between oil changes I don't check my oil every week, but try and do it on a reasonably regular basis say once a month or so.

    Now, I checked it yesterday in the morning, coming off nightshift at work. Pulled the dipstick out, wiped it, put it back in, waited a bit and then pulled it back out. Result was a tiny spot of oil at the very bottom of the dipstick ( the pointy bit ). Nowhere near the "Min" mark.

    So I topped it up with what I had left in a bottle of GM 5W/30 Synth in the boot ( about 400ml worth ).

    So got home in the car and parked up. Left it to cool down for 3 hours and checked the oil again. This time it was sat about 3/4 the way between the "Min" and the "Max" marks. Fine.

    Checked it again this morning after the car has been sat overnight and it's back to showing just a slight blob of oil on the pointy end of the dipstick, nowhere near the "Min" mark again.

    The car has been on perfectly level ground during the checks.

    So what's going on there?. When are you meant to check the oil level?. Is 3 hours not enough time to let it cool down to get a reasonably accurate idea of the level?. And why after leaving it overnight does it look like I'm running the thing with no oil in it!!!???.

    Car has done just under 50k miles and has been serviced at the required intervals ( I dunno what service interval thingy I'm on, Ecoflex or what, not sure how to check? ) all I know is that there's a service light thing that pops up on the dash when it needs done.

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    Sure I read that the oil level should be checked with the engine hot and after leaving for 5 minutes.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Dan_BlackSRi's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra SRi

    Trim : XP NAV

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2007

    Default

    I'd be interested in the definitive answer to this, as mine is the same, appears not to use any oil, but being a diesel, it must do

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    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    I am sure its what tridley said. Its what I do too
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

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    Regular Member glenboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tridley View Post
    Sure I read that the oil level should be checked with the engine hot and after leaving for 5 minutes.
    States that on my slam panel..........

  6. #6
    Regular Member Dan_BlackSRi's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra SRi

    Trim : XP NAV

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2007

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    ***** STUPID QUESTION ALERT *****

    Will it make much difference to the level comparing it hot than when cold..?

  7. #7
    Regular Member RSV_Ecosse's Avatar
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    Weird.

    I thought most cars should have their oil levels checked when cold.

    And most bikes too, with the exception of bikes with dry sump systems/seperate oil tanks like my own RSV Mille which needs to be brought up to operating temp first before checking for the correct oil level.

    Ah well, you learn something new every day!!.

    Actually, I'm relieved to hear this is indeed the case, since now I know there's plenty oil in my V6 and it doesn't use oil as I thought.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Graham's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Focus

    Trim : Titanium

    Engine : 1.6 TDCI

    Year : 62

    Mileage : 9K

    Default

    As said, engine hot and then wait 5 min after shut down.

  9. #9
    Regular Member byebyeitsagsi's Avatar
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    Leave the car parked on a level surface, give it 10 mins (longer if your prefer but no less) to allow all the oil to return to the sump and settle. Pull dipstick out and wipe it clean put it back in to check level. To make sure this is accurate i usually give it another clean and dip to be sure you get the same reading.

    Never check it just after you have turned it off or you will think you have no oil!

  10. #10
    Regular Member Pecojess's Avatar
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    Vauxhall Facelift Instructions

    "The oil level must be checked with the vehicle on a level surface and with the engine (which must be at operating temperature) switched off. Wait at least 5 minutes before checking the level to allow normal engine oil accumulation in the engine to drain back into the oil pan"

    just as uv all said lol

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