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Dipstick Inaccuracy?

Discussion in '4 Cylinder' started by themeat424, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. DGXR

    DGXR Well-Known Member

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    By what I've read, the majority here at TW agree that the manual provides accurate capacities and that the dipstick is off a little, but not enough to be a serious problem, and the fact that the stick is hard to read does not help matters. I suppose the 6.2 qts in the manual could be for a dry (new or freshly rebuilt) engine but I cannot confirm this. What I can confirm is this: as long as you add between 5-6 quarts after a good drain and filter change, and the level reads between the marks on the stick after the engine is run, you're golden. I don't understand why some owners insist that the oil level is exactly perfectly full. As Rich said, the stick is only a gauge and it tells you if there's enough oil in the engine, not the exact quantity. Many engines burn a little oil between changes, and even the worst burners are not blowing up as soon as the level drops a half- or full-quart. Typically the level has to get seriously low (like 3 quarts or less remaining) before damage occurs, at which point it probably won't even register on the dipstick, which is why it's important to check the level regularly in the first place. To each their own.
     
  2. themeat424

    themeat424 [OP] Active Member

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    Yup, that's what I figured. I'll just stick to roughly 5.5 quarts when changing the oil with filter. I wonder if it's just me, but no matter how careful I pull the dipstick out, even with the truck having sit for a while on level ground, the oil is sort of spread well up the dipstick, far past the markers. Again, the oil looks thinner as it goes up the dipstick, but I've never seen on any other car the oil spread out so far along the dipstick, which is what's making the reading so difficult to tell...
     
  3. OffroadToy

    OffroadToy The dog did it...I swear!

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    Try waiting 5 minutes before putting the stick back in... gives the oil time to drain back down the tube.
     
  4. themeat424

    themeat424 [OP] Active Member

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    That's an idea. I'll give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  5. 91r100gs

    91r100gs Understand the Voice Within

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    I have not had a problem reading the stick, just turn it over and the oil will not have run up the stick. It is always very readable on the back side.
     
  6. PSJ

    PSJ Prerunners Work

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    Go with the dipstick reading- and as mentioned 5.5 qts with filter seems to be the magic number. Double Check your oil the next day as it develops a color with use, and is easier to read on the stick :cool:
     
  7. MikeCB600F

    MikeCB600F Well-Known Member

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  8. Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Looks good.

    Now buy one of each and cut them open to confirm that the 20195 doesn't use the same element as the 10241. Amsoil (supposedly Wix OEM) is really bad about doing this.


    One thing concerns me about Purolator... seems the thickness of the housing is not what it was a few of years ago. I've been using the PureOne, Bosch, and Mobil-1 filters exclusively on my cars and motorcycle for many, many years.

    Lately, my strap wrench has been crushing the housings on the PureOne filters. This started when they moved from the old blue can to the textured mustard color can.

    Something to keep an eye on if you have a performance application that runs higher than standard oil pressure. It's not going to be an issue with a stock engine (unless you tighten the filter with a wrench), but it's something to be aware of.
     
  9. tuco29

    tuco29 Member

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    Try roughing up the area between the upper and lower level marks with emery cloth. The oil will cling better to the dipstick. Much easier to read!
    Be sure to clean the dipstick well before putting it back in the tube.
     
  10. Robnik

    Robnik Abandoned Lucidity

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    Can anyone explain why a 4-cylinder takes almost double the oil to fill a smaller filter, than the V6? Either way, I doubt you can fit almost 3/4 qt. into the recommended OEM filter.:confused:
     
  11. T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    The best way to read dipstick accurately after an oil change is first thing before the truck has been run from sitting overnight or at least for several hours. Mine is always dead on F using 5.5 qts with oem filter.
     
  12. Robnik

    Robnik Abandoned Lucidity

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    Agreed^^^ Just trying to figure out if the manual is wrong or the dipstick. Seems the manual is inaccurate on a few things. Attached is a Honda manual which IS accurate in my experience. Anyway, I'll trust the dipstick, not the manual.
     
  13. T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    The way I look at it is.............If the manual is wrong it is on Toyota to correct verbage. If the dipstick is wrong it is on Toyota to do TSB and provide a corrected one. I see it as impossible for them to place blame for any capacity issues using the dispstick they have provided with the motor and an oem filter, whichever motor it is in whatever vehicle you purchased from them.
     
  14. Robnik

    Robnik Abandoned Lucidity

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  15. knayrb

    knayrb Well-Known Member

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    There are too many variables if you are measuring the oil volume. First you really don't know how much oil is coming out unless you accurately measure it to the 1 oz accuracy. The temperature of the oil has a lot to do with this when you change it. I always drain the oil at full engine temperature and let the engine cool a bit before removing the filter. I use the larger mobil M1-209 just because it's the same price so why not. This allows more oil volume.
     
  16. T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    Whether you put a bigger oil pan on the motor or use a bigger filter equals the same thing - fill to F according to dipstick to not cause the crank to be whipping the oil or for the pickup to be exposed. Temp variance is realistically gonna cause what? Maybe less than 1/8th of a qt difference on the stick. Sounds more like a dealer excuse to get out of covering a drivetrain issue. Don't remember any warnings in the manual about what temp it is when you check the oil. Doesn't happen to the same extent as the coolant in the overflow bottle.
     
  17. Robnik

    Robnik Abandoned Lucidity

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    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if 6.1 qts. is the true dry capacity or is it 6.1 + what's left in the engine. So, I'd assume around 7 qts. dry capacity, which sounds high for any 4 cylinder. I changed mine the other day, 5 qts. exactly on the dot w/ OEM filter 90915-YZZD1. Granted, I did'nt let it drain long (5 mins.@Walmart parking lot:D) but I'm sure another quart would'nt have drained out. I'll just go by the dipstick & ignore these conflicting #'s.
     
  18. OffroadToy

    OffroadToy The dog did it...I swear!

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    Like the Chilton's manual says the capacities called out (same capacities that Toyota mentions) are approximate and to add as necessary to bring to appropriate level. Granted the owners manuals say a certain amount, but they also show a picture of the dip stick and mention that the level should be between the low and full marks and that above the full mark is "too full". They also say to avoid overfillng or the engine could be damaged.
     
  19. Robnik

    Robnik Abandoned Lucidity

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    Problem is, if I blindly would have added 6.1 qts. it would have shown way over on the dipstick & I would've had to subtract oil:(. It would be better to say start with 5 qts. & add as necessary to full mark. Whether it be 1/8 qt. or 1.1 qts.
     
  20. 91r100gs

    91r100gs Understand the Voice Within

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    5.5 quarts with the oem filter has mine reading slightly above the full mark on the stick. I let mine drain about a 1/2 hour while I am grabbing all the stuff needed and changing the filter.

    Wonder how much it would cost Toyota to give us all new dipsticks when they are selling 150,000+ Taco's each year now for 9 years. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
     
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