Oil level: read while engine is running or cold and drained? '99 Accord ex

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201430 by F23A1
I've read all kinds of conflicting info on this topic, so I just went with what the Honda manual told me. Quote "To add oil, unscrew and remove the engine oil fill cap on top of the valve cover. Pour in the oil, and replace the engine oil fill cap. Tighten it securely.Wait a few minutes and recheck the oil level. Do not fill above the upper mark; you could damage the engine."

That sounds like it's added and measured while the engine is cold, and you're reading the oil in the pan after it flows through the engine.

So I added oil up to about 3/4 quart less than I thought it needed, waited 20-25 mins, read the dipstick. It looked about 3/4 quart less than needed, right above the first hole in the dipstick.

I added about half a quart, dipstick read about a quarter below the top line. I added a tiny splash more, ran the engine to get oil into the filter/engine, read the dipstick again. Now when the engine is running it looks like oil splashes up the dipstick, it doesn't look evenly coated as though the dipstick is sitting in the oil. The oil is about 2 'spaces' too high (1 space being from the bottom of the dipstick to the 'full' reading, so it's like 4.5" up the dipstick instead of 1.5" for example) while the engine is running.

The exhaust is smokey, but I've had a problem with oil leaking into the cylinders fouling the spark plugs since my buddy decided to hoon my car. I don't know if this is related or not.

So today after letting the car sit for about a week I checked the oil. It was low, around the bottom hole on the dipstick. I started her up and let her heat up for maybe 7 minutes, checked the oil 3 times, It's way high again. So has anyone experienced this? I'm thinking there must be something seriously blown out cause this doesn't seem like normal behavior.

TLDR: It appears the Oil is too high while engine running, too low while cold

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201431 by nightflyr
Checking the oil level either before turning on the engine or 5 to 10 minutes after shutting down so you can have all the oil in the oil pan to get an accurate measurement.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201432 by F23A1
Thanks, that's what I figured. Should I be concerned that the oil reads way too high while it's running?

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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #201434 by nightflyr
I would be more inclined to think due to the crank shaft spinning, it is slinging oil all around the pan which would also splash on to the dipstick giving a false reading.
Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by nightflyr.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201436 by F23A1
I was thinking it might be that too, but from what I've read it seems like the oil would have to read high to have it hitting the crank shaft. And mine reads low when cold.

Other than over pressure or being high and reaching seals that are compromised, which in my engine probably are, I thought the crankshaft hitting oil was one of the worst things that could happen from overfilling the oil.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201439 by nightflyr
Not really..
Keep in mind the oil is sloshing around in the pan during turns, bumps, pot holes etc, so not unusual for it to get slung about by the crank.
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3 months 2 weeks ago #201441 by F23A1
Alright, in that case I'll probably fill it a wee bit more. I was just concerned how high the oil was sloshing. Didn't seem right to me. Thanks for the help!

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201446 by cfarber2688
you never check the oil while running it wont give a good reading and your car takes exactly 5 quarts of oil. now if you are burning oil you should top it off run it for a couple of day or a certain amount of miles check it again to know how much oil you are losing.
what is the mileage and oil weight are you using.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #201449 by F23A1
240km or 150k miles, mostly 5w-20, a little 5w30, synthetic.

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3 months 1 week ago #201480 by hondaguy453
I would stick with a high mileage 5w30. Don’t use 5w20. Thinner oil could Ben why it’s being burnt.

To check the oil, let the car sit for a few minutes, and pull the dipstick. Wipe the dipstick, stick it back in, wait a couple of sec’s and pull it back out. Check the oil level. If it’s low, add a little bit of oil. Repeat this process until it’s at the full mark. And you already know, but never check the oil with the engine running.

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