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  • Well, having worked at a gas station, plenty of people check their oil when they pull in, so it must be hot?

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    • No worries, Still.........

      In fact, checking oil in a cool car but on a level ground ONLY, is appropriate as the oil drains back down into the sump or the drain pan as the car cools and you will get an accurate reading of the level of the oil in the sump, so long as the auto is parked on level ground. Dependent upon whether operating a vehicle in cold or warm months, the viscosity of the oil changes relative to the ambient temperature. When oil is very cold the viscosity increases and the oil takes on a very sticky consistency, which does not flow easily throughout the engine until the engine parts have warmed up.

      It has always been my practice that regardless of where the car is parked, in cold weather it is best to check the oil after the engine has warmed to about 160 degrees.

      If you only do a reading on the dipstick in a cool engine, once the engine is started up and the lube is forced through the system, you may still need to adjust the fluid level. In the perfect world, it would be wise to check it both prior to starting and after the engine has had time to force the lubricant through the system.

      Either way, the most important thing to remember is that sufficient oil is needed to prevent wear of the internal moving parts of the engine. So it is better to err on the side of addding too much, rather than running it too low.

      Always look for additional problems when checking motor oil. Black thick oil could mean you need to do an oil change more frequently. If the oil appears to be milky or whitish then it is an indicator that water is entering the oil. This is a serious problem and should be investigated further. In an auto equipped with a mechanical fuel pump, fuel can enter the engine if the pump is defective. This will show up as gasoline in the oil and the oil will have a distinct petrol-like odor. This is why when checking oil most attendants also smell the oil on the dipstick to be sure. The level will be way over the full mark and the oil will be thin. Blue smoky exhaust means suggests that oil is entering the combustion chamber and being burned, and therefore indicates an oil leak either at a gasket on elswhere.

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      • swissnut, what is your background (education)?

        You seem so knowledgable in everything you say.

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        • Doh! The above post by Mian was really by me, I messed up again!
          Sweet Madame Belu

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          • it is just an illusion.

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            • My oil is fine. I needed a li'l tranny fluid though.

              The van is great in the snow. Mian said like 4 wheel drive.
              Sweet Madame Belu

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              • Ooops...I did miss this whole post from the beginning but let me tell you that spanish if we can call it that........was absolutamente horrible y lleno de errores (absolutely horrible and full of mistakes)

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