Reality or the dipstick?

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Jul 10, 2003
Not Seattle, but close.
I have bitched repeatedly at the guys at the garage I use for overfilling my Jeep.
This weekend I decided to do it myself at last.
I let the old stuff drain for at least 45 minutes(it was hot), and nothing was coming out, not a drip. So I put on the new filter, and poured in 6 quarts of Chevron 10W30. The 4.0 holds 6 quarts, according to my owner's manual. So 6 went in. The oil level was right to the FULL line on the dipstick.
Now the dipstick says it's about a half quart too full. I drain it back to the FULL mark, or just consider the new level to be the 'real' FULL mark?

[ October 22, 2003, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: MarkC ]
If your oil filter is a horizontal mount or vertical with the gasket on the bottom it is possible that the oil in the filter is seeping back into the crankcase via a poor anti drainback valve.

If at full soon after shutdown but overnight it says overfilled then the filter may be the cause.
If that's the case, it would p#@$$ me right off. You'd think ADBV's would actually work. The filter is mounted horizontally. I've seen this situation before, with a variety of filters; Napa Gold, PureOne, Fram.
An easy check of the ADBV would be to loosen the filter after setting over night and see if it has oil in it. Did you prefill the oil filter? If not, where could of the extra oil came from? Maybe you need some Auto Rx to clean out your oil return passages.

There seems to be a lot of this around. I haven't gotten an authoritative answer on my 02 Cavalier with the Ecotec engine. Owners manual says 5.8 quarts. Put in more than 5 quarts and the dip stick is above the full mark.
I poured some oil into the filter before installing it. I only bought 6 quarts, so 6 quarts is all I could have put in. I doubt there is any problem with the oil passages, this engine has had oil changes every 3K like clockwork, and a visual inspection of the crankcase and valve cover shows no signs of sludge, varnish, anything.
Dipstick is probably out a little. I'd consider whatever level it shows with the manual's specified capacity in to be the "full" level.
Well like said above, if say 5 min after shutdown you are showing full then I'd go by that. Unless you got a wrong oil pan that holds less oil, I also would suspect the oil from the filter seeping back into the sump overnight.
You could have the same dip-stick problem I have.
When you shut off the car the oil drains back into the pan. One spot where it drains is on the dip-stick. Right at the bottom of the stick one side would show full the other side showed the actual level. I thought my oil pan was full and yet I was down 3 quarts. I now check BOTH sides of the stick now. I also am very careful on how I replace and pull out the dip-stick when I check it. Straight in and straight out with no turning of the stick when putting it in or out.
Capacity of this engine is 6 quarts with the filter. So how could oil draining back from the filter make the level read higher. 6 quarts is 6 quarts, isn't it?

Originally posted by MarkC:
Capacity of this engine is 6 quarts with the filter. So how could oil draining back from the filter make the level read higher. 6 quarts is 6 quarts, isn't it?

But the dipstick would have it's full mark set to a pan level when there is 6qts minus whatever is usually supposed to be held back in the filter. So if your filter is supposed to hold a half quart, then 5.5 quarts of oil in the pan would show full on the dipstick, but when that extra half quart doesn't stay in the filter, it results in all 6qts being in the pan.

[ October 22, 2003, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
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