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When is it a good time to cheak your oil? I say do it after the engine is cold and all the oil has drained back in to the oil pan. Then you will get a truly accurate measurment of how much oil you have in your engine. I have a co-worker who is an ASE mechanic. And he said it does not mater if you cheak the oil when it is hot or not and if the engine is running or not.
I told him with thinking like his he will never be a good mechanic. Who is wright? As for my self I am an aircraft mechanic and my years of knowlege tells me this is a no brainer, but he wants to see what the post here have to say!
 

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I would say warm/cold it doesnt really matter. As long as you wait enough so it settles. As long as it has settled for a little bit you are probably getting a good reading; you still wipe it off and stick it in then out to test.
 

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When it is warm.

It is a moot point anyway, for an automobile engine. The amount of fluid expansion you would get when it is warm is about equal to what would still be laying around in the engine and not dripped down to the crank case yet. Hot or cold, the difference on the dip stick would be negligable.

What is really important is that, after you change the oil and filter, that you run it for a moment, check that there are no leaks around the filter or drain plug. Shut it down, then check to see you have enough oil in the crank case. Fill with more if needed. Do not over fill!

IMHO
 

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pile o crap

Greg S said:
When it is warm.

It is a moot point anyway, for an automobile engine. The amount of fluid expansion you would get when it is warm is about equal to what would still be laying around in the engine and not dripped down to the crank case yet. Hot or cold, the difference on the dip stick would be negligable.

What is really important is that, after you change the oil and filter, that you run it for a moment, check that there are no leaks around the filter or drain plug. Shut it down, then check to see you have enough oil in the crank case. Fill with more if needed. Do not over fill!

IMHO

Absolute rubbish engine should always be checked not running and given 5 mins to drain back in the sump if it has been, landrovers especially as they arent like modern engines they have large oil galleries and oil ways these can contain a good couple of litres of oil although over filling unless to the extreme wont do any damage the point here is accuracy so how many manufacturers tell you in the hand book to leave the engine running whilst checking the oil level.

So basically what greg is saying is that if you fill the sump to the full mark on the dipstick then drive around for half an hour park up then go back after 5 with the oil still warm it will according to the dipstick overfull due to expansion.

aye ok!!! :confused
 

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Former LR tech, Albany NY
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when its cold or hot it wont make a real difference.

Works on any car.

If you change the oil then yes you need to run it for a bit to check it.

Been working on cars for years and it makes no difference whatsoever.

Coolant is different.

basically anything that doesnt evaporate really wont loose that much unless you run it months and even years without an oil change.
 

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engine runing ?!? Damn That is the dumbest think i heard to check engine oil like that .

The vibration of the mottor will make the reading wrong on that dipstick . belive me I've done it b4 because i was to lazy to turn it off and I had oil on a dip stick half way up even after whiping .

Auto tranny oil dipstick you want to check when engine is at running temp and running .

Best is when you let the engine sit off for good amount of time ( that what I found in my other 4 cars that I owned ) , or cold , it really makes no difference . Actually I damaged the mottor a little in my VW ( i damaged the seals ) from over filling it , cause I didn't wait for the oil to drip down .

Now that car would hold 4 qwarts of oil , and when it was running it would suck up at least one , So one day in a rush not thinking I checked it as soon I turned off the mottor. I'm like "Oh, **** !! 1.5 quart down " Let me throw in two , cause i was a leack forming a little .

Well the car did not ran good at all , and after that it was leaking like a siff . Cause I had basicly close to 2 quarts over .

That made the crankshaft dip in the oil and that's why the car ran like **** , it had no pick up at all from that 88HP 1.8l mottor . nedless to say I syfoned the two quarts out and the car ran normal , but now it was leacking , cause I couse so much positive presure in that crank case that I blew out the seals . And I was not going to replace the rear and front main crank seals , camshat's seals . and valvecover ruber gusket . all that got trashed .

Oh well 2 weeks later I got rear ended , by a 96 Heep Cherokee traveling at 60MPH , and I was moving at 5mph ( leaving a trafick light as soon it turned green ) . My back still reminds me of that axcident :( . I liked that car , but that bitch made a garage for her heep out of my trunk . BTW no damage to her Heep cause she just missed my bumper .

But yeah . let it settle down for a GOOD 5 min. and then check it . with LR if you over fill one quart , it might not be bad , but I wouldn't chance it . Personaly I would want to take that mottor out to replace all the seals .
 

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keptin said:
you still wipe it off and stick it in then out to test.

You are too young to be talking like this. :D

I say shut the engine off. You will not get an accurate reading due to oil being circulated throughout.

Also, if he wants to be a dumbass and leave the engined on, let him lose a digit or too b/c he will eventually get too cocky and careless and not respect the power of a running engine. Safety first.
 

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roverX said:
You are too young to be talking like this. :D

Also, if he wants to be a dumbass and leave the engined on, let him lose a digit or too b/c he will eventually get too cocky and careless and not respect the power of a running engine. Safety first.
Let him do it with no pants off. He will change his tune fast, probably to alto.

Adam
 

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Engine must be off!!!!!!!! I do cold if in the morning and while four-wheeling, during lunch break, once it settles I'll check it while warm
 

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Best time to check is first thing in the morning when the engine is cold and has settled. Also- make sure it is checked on flat ground as checking on a hill can give a false reading leading to catastrophic consequences.
As for checking with the engine running- what an absolutely cretinous idea!!
 

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onslow said:
Absolute rubbish engine should always be checked not running
aye ok!!! :confused
Hang on there!

I didn't say anything about checking it while it was running.

Nobody is that stupid are they? But then there are some things that are checked when running. The only thing concerning motor oil that "I" suggest you check while it is running is for leaks around the filter after a filter change, and while you're checking under there, may as well glance at the drain plug to make sure it isn't dripping too.

Making sure it is properly full after a change is critical due to the differnt size of filters and size of oil containers. The book says it will take a certain amount of oil at a change, but that was when the vehicle was new. Now there are different sizes of filters on the market, different size of filter canisters and even spin on filters that will take a different amount of oil again. Oil is, or has been, available in 40 ounce quarts, 32 ounce quarts, 1 liter and 978 milliliter sizes as well as in bulk in 160 ounce containers, 128 ounce, 4 liter, 5 liter, and recently 4.55 liter sizes. This isn't even getting to the bulk sizes like 5 gallon or 45 gallon barrels. You can't just assume it will take 6 of 'those' or 7 of 'those other ones' simply because it did last time.

(Ooops! I forgot there is an oil container size that is something stupid like 3.78 liters.) G.S.

Slam me for what you wish. But don't slam me for telling anyone to check their crankcase oil while the engine is running. I haven't done that!
 

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Service specs change over the years and what he was taught or has learned through being updated may be different. But I'll continue to check "cool" oil in a NON-RUNNING engine. How can you get an accurate reading with the engine running??
 

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Capt. Ron said:
Service specs change over the years and what he was taught or has learned through being updated may be different. But I'll continue to check "cool" oil in a NON-RUNNING engine. How can you get an accurate reading with the engine running??
Correct me if I am wrong, BUT I don't see anywhere in this thread where Greg S says to check engine oil level with the dipstick WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING.
Maybe some people should actually read the Posts before they start ridiculing others, Regards Frank.
 
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