Oil climbing dipstick

Messages
318
Location
Woodbridge, VA
I am currently running a homebrew of: 4 qts of Rotella T syn 5w40 1/2 qt of M1 0w40 and 7 oz of VSOT I added the VSOT about 2000 miles into the OCI and the next time I checked the oil (and every time thereafter) I noticed that the oil has "crept" or "climbed" up the dipstick several inches. It takes several dip/wipe iterations to clear the dipstick tube and actually see the oil level. So to make a long post longer...is this good? Does it show that the oil is clinging to metal parts? Also, I always check the oil in the morning after the car has sat all night.
 

UncleRunkle

Thread starter
Messages
318
Location
Woodbridge, VA
My engine isn't configured that way, the dipstick tube is out side of the engine block until right before it goes into the oil pan (4 cylinder so the tube is parallel to the side of the block and the makes a quick turn in to the sump). I already stated that I only check the oil in the morning after the car has sat all night, so is 12-16 hours long enough? [Roll Eyes] Really, I'm not stupid or inept. I have never noticed this happening before and I've owned this car for nearly 5 years and checked the oil the same way. I've never noticed this with the Mobil 1 5w30 that the car has seen almost its entire life; it only started after I added the VSOT.
 
Messages
3,478
Location
Millbrae, CA
re read your post and can only think that angle of dip stick tube and leveal of oil are just right that the oil creeps/slids into the tube? otherwise no reson for static cold oil to climb against gravity. bruce
 
Messages
2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
I get that with mine, too. 2005 Accent GT Hyundai. The finish on the dipstick is is smooth at and below the Full mark, kinda rough above the full mark. I get some capillary action going on there with the oil, I think. To say that it "climbs" the dipstick is an apt-enough term, I suppose.
 
Messages
267
Location
Idaho
My 1969 VW does this, I have owned several Bugs and this is the only one that I have ever seen, I figured it is capillary action but not sure why it would work this way [I dont know] Joe
 

Kestas

Staff member
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13,942
Location
The Motor City
I have a car where oil climbs on the dipstick. After sitting overnight the oil is an inch or two above the full mark. I simply remove the dipstick, wipe, wait a bit, and reinsert for a good reading. I'm guessing the tube dips into the oil charge and the seal on the top allows the hot air in the tube to cool down and suck up the oil. A couple of controlled experiments could verify this.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
I think what it means is that the oil is foaming because of additive clash . . .or because the crankcase is overfilled. Not good.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
In my case I know the crankcase isn't overfilled and only one oil is in the charge (no top-offs, doesn't burn oil). What is additive clash?
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
What is additive clash?
Some additives don't work well with others. Although the combination generally results in a degradation of performance, mixing typical motor oils together doesn't usually usually cause a big problem. But if you mix enough different oil chemistries at random and add an aftermarket additive, anything can happen. It is possible that the anti-foaming agents in one oil reacted with some other additive and stopped working. Sometimes I will top off my old car with a different brand, if that's what I have on hand and will hope nothing bad happens. Oil chemists work very hard to make sure that the additive packages in a PCMO are balanced. Adding an aftermarket elixir or creating a home brew is generally based on ignorance, rather than science. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would mix together stuff from my chemistry set at random. I hoped to make something really neat. All I ever made was a mess.
 
Messages
498
Location
N. Texas
BigA, keep beleiving that if you want to , but to keep spouting off that ** on the internet is just ignorant. You will **** near never get a true additive clash from mixing any name brand OTC PCMO with another name brand OTC PCMO. It would be hard to even get near solubility limits in modern OTS formulations, and about the worst you might be able to do is dilute an add pack with a mix. To do what you suggest youmight have to start mixing gear oil with cutting oil and PCMO, hydraulic oils, etc. Chemists also work hard to make sure that their chemistries are compatible with the majority of the market. Dipstick climbing is not proof of an oil foaming in the crankcase, it is one remote possibility not likely if the CC is not overfilled.
 
Messages
2,233
Location
Wisconsin
I agree with Kestas. Just what is additive clash?
quote:
Adding an aftermarket elixir or creating a home brew is generally based on ignorance, rather than science.
That statement just doesn't sit well with me, as mixing is a fairly popular activity, even with veteran members, here on Bitog. Here's a couple of home-brew UOA's that no one can throw stones at: T-Keith's Supreme & Delo mix - http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=002816#000000 Ray H's mix of 5 different 10W-30's - http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=003260
 
Messages
392
Location
Central Florida
I dont believe its his particular auto, as he said M1 5w30 never did this...nor do I believe its "add clash" as I switched from 5w30 M1 to 10w30 M1 and had the same climbing effect. Even the current Amsoil Im using climbs a little too...but I kinda like it that way, makes me feel that everythings got a nice layer of lube, that its clinging, and seems like thatd be desireable for start ups.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by reyjay1: BigA, keep beleiving that if you want to , but to keep spouting off that ** on the internet is just ignorant. You will **** near never get a true additive clash from mixing any name brand OTC PCMO with another name brand OTC PCMO. It would be hard to even get near solubility limits in modern OTS formulations, and about the worst you might be able to do is dilute an add pack with a mix. To do what you suggest youmight have to start mixing gear oil with cutting oil and PCMO, hydraulic oils, etc. Chemists also work hard to make sure that their chemistries are compatible with the majority of the market. Dipstick climbing is not proof of an oil foaming in the crankcase, it is one remote possibility not likely if the CC is not overfilled.
ReyJay1: Yes, mixing oil that is all of the same viscosity range and of similar vintage API rating should not be an issue. I have stated in other posts that I have done it in a pinch without any obvious problems. However, although the mixture would be compatible, I doubt that it would be optimal. The original poster mixed Diesel engine oil with PCMO and an aftermarket additive from a third company. I'm not sure why that would be considered a good idea. There was also no mention of how old these oils were. They could have been made years apart with totally different basestocks and different generations of additive chemistries. He also stated that the oil started climbing up the dipstick AFTER adding the VSOT additive. Based on the information given, the most reasonable conclusion is that something changed as a result of the VSOT additive combined with the rest of the homebrew . . . perhaps foaming. I don't consider that spouting ignorance. [ April 12, 2006, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: BigAl ]
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by Blue99:
quote:
Adding an aftermarket elixir or creating a home brew is generally based on ignorance, rather than science.
That statement just doesn't sit well with me, as mixing is a fairly popular activity, even with veteran members, here on Bitog. Here's a couple of home-brew UOA's that no one can throw stones at: T-Keith's Supreme & Delo mix - http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=002816#000000 Ray H's mix of 5 different 10W-30's - http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=003260

Blue, the oil analysis numbers look good . . . but a lot of outside factors can influence engine wear and oil life. Was this a controlled experiment comparing the mixture to any of the individual oils run under the exact same conditions? Would any of the individual oils have done better by itself? Are these results reproducible, or were they the result of some unusual event? Maybe these combinations of oil are actually OK, but can you provide any evidence that the mixes were actually determined by accurate scientific knowledge rather than just by dumb luck? I don't think so.
 
Messages
1,087
Location
Germantown TN 38138
I get this dip stick climbing action to a certain extent in my auto, and also in the engines on my lawn mowers and yard vac. I have Honda and Briggs and Stratton on my lawn mowers, and Tecumseh on my yard vac. The last time I checked it, the Tecumseh had oil 1/2 inch above full on the dipstick, and when wiped off and reinserted, it was slightly below full.
 

UncleRunkle

Thread starter
Messages
318
Location
Woodbridge, VA
I like the capilary effect idea...WHat other indications of foaming are there to look for? The cars valvetrain (DOHC 16v w/ mechanical lifters) was noticeably more quiet after adding VSOT. Here's the reason for the mix... I change my oil myself at the auto hobby shop here on post. As mentioned, I have used M1 for several years and am used to 5 qt jugs. I bought Rotella T syn after reading about it on here and decided to try it. I didn't noticed the jug was one gallon and not 5 qts. Well, I completed my oil change and drove the car .5 half a mile, half a quart low, to the post gas station. The only oil they had that was synth in a 40 weight was M1 0w40. So that's what I grabbed to top up. I put the VSOT in after reading about it on this sight and seeing the strong add pack in the VOA section. It did make the valvetrain noise I had always experienced with this car since new much less noticeable.
 
Messages
2,233
Location
Wisconsin
Lazy JW, Kestas & Bruce have all touched on what is the most likely explanation. Negative pressure generated by a tight dipstick seal and the cooling of the trapped air within the tube could create a capillary action. Ester based oils probably have the best potential for migrating or creeping up metal surfaces, but elevated oil levels on a dipstick is not a commonly reported issue/problem by users of say, Redline oils. I'd certainly be interested in any info for motor oil additives that can cause the oil to climb up against the forces of gravity or atmosheric pressure within a tube.
 
Messages
3,478
Location
Millbrae, CA
quote:
Originally posted by Kestas: I have a car where oil climbs on the dipstick. After sitting overnight the oil is an inch or two above the full mark. I simply remove the dipstick, wipe, wait a bit, and reinsert for a good reading. I'm guessing the tube dips into the oil charge and the seal on the top allows the hot air in the tube to cool down and suck up the oil. A couple of controlled experiments could verify this.
That would exsplian it I think thats it. bruce [HAIL 2 U!]
 
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