Something blocking the dipstick?

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For a guy who checks his oil a bunch, this has been driving me crazy. I can check the dipstick the first time, and it comes back full. After that, nothing shows up on the dipstick. If I wait a while, it will come back. Noticed this tends to be the issue as after it is driven for a while. Cars runs fine with only one issue-lack on power ( I'm thinking this is coming from having 11 year old OE Spark plugs, pretty sure one is going, getting changed very soon) but it is fine when it gets up to speed...Car has had this issue since very late last year, just more annoying now, granted this has been a very tough winter on a 11 year old car.... This ecotec 2.2 has almost 100k, and has been on a steady diet of synthetics since 2004 . Looking through the fill hole, there is a bit of varish...(strange for a car on syn, but the car does bunches of city driving.) It is not leaking it, and it's never burned oil before. The only other thing I can think of (at the moment) is that maybe something might be clogging around the dipstick. I feel I'm missing something, just not sure what. My other ecotecs do not have this issue....
 
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Originally Posted By: Doog
Check it first thing in the morning after it has been sitting all night.
^^^ That's good advice. That's what I do, too. I don't even have to wipe and stick it again. Any hot oil on the stick when the car is parked drains off and in the a.m. it's ready to check. Just pull it, check it and put it back. Of course it has to be parked on level ground overnight, or close to it. With regards to having a hard time putting the dipstick back, I've experienced that before. The Town Car has a stick that goes in with resistance one way and when turned over 180 degrees it won't go at all. Pain in the... My previous 4.6 engines have all been somewhat similar, but not as difficult as the '04 TC. Check the dipstick tube carefully, it may have a ding in it causing a restriction.
 
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On my son's '03 Cavalier with the 2.2 Ecotec I can't get an accurate reading with the 1st "pull out" no matter what. His car was 3 quarts low and the 1st pull out after it had been sitting a while showed it almost full. You need to wipe the dipstick and re-insert to get an accurate reading. This is the only car I've ever seen that won't give you an accurate reading on a cold engine check.
 

daves87rs

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Originally Posted By: Doog
Check it first thing in the morning after it has been sitting all night.
True....tough to check sometimes since we work different shifts. My driveway is pretty level, but I think I am going to park it in the street tonight to see if it helps....
 

daves87rs

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Originally Posted By: bigt61
On my son's '03 Cavalier with the 2.2 Ecotec I can't get an accurate reading with the 1st "pull out" no matter what. His car was 3 quarts low and the 1st pull out after it had been sitting a while showed it almost full. You need to wipe the dipstick and re-insert to get an accurate reading. This is the only car I've ever seen that won't give you an accurate reading on a cold engine check.
Interesting. I've never had that problem on my 04 Cavalier....
 
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Oil will creep up a dipstick (surface tension). Mazda suggests to wait 5 minutes before checking the oil level. In addition; some engines have a vertical oil filter which may leak down overnight and show a higher oil level than real. Ed
 

daves87rs

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Parked it on a level surface last night...came out full (even though I threw about half a quart of PYB in) Going to test it again to see...
 
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You would be surprised at how much difference there is in the level observed even with just slightly non-level spot. Of course it depends upon specific model but based upon the dipstick entry in to the pan even an undetectable slope (to eyes) would make the level easily changed by 1/4 or 1/2 mark (the distance between full and add). If you use the same parking spot, try backing in to it sometimes and then check it next day.
 
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daves87rs

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I actually moved it up the driveway toward the garage for a level spot...and it did help. Looks like she's still a little down though... frown
 
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