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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 500 is the first and only car I've ever heard of where they warn you to check the engine-oil level about 5 minutes after shutting off the engine, and no longer than that. Checking the oil any longer than that after shutting down, the manual says, will yield an inaccurate dipstick reading.

I always heard not to check the oil too soon after engine shutdown, cause the oil needs a few minutes to drip down from the engine back into the pan. That I get. What I don't understand is how waiting too long could result in a misleading level on the stick.

Any ideas?
 

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Any ideas?
Strictly a WAG...it would give you an optimistically HIGH reading due to the oil in the intake valve operating system would drain back to the sump.
 

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The 500 is the first and only car I've ever heard of where they warn you to check the engine-oil level about 5 minutes after shutting off the engine, and no longer than that. Checking the oil any longer than that after shutting down, the manual says, will yield an inaccurate dipstick reading.

I always heard not to check the oil too soon after engine shutdown, cause the oil needs a few minutes to drip down from the engine back into the pan. That I get. What I don't understand is how waiting too long could result in a misleading level on the stick.

Any ideas?

Dan:

I agree with you. The oil needs time to drain back to the oil pan. I would give it some time, a few minutes to settle and cool. Anything further I would refer you to your operations manual regarding maintenance or your local Studio.
 

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The 500 is the first and only car I've ever heard of where they warn you to check the engine-oil level about 5 minutes after shutting off the engine, and no longer than that. Checking the oil any longer than that after shutting down, the manual says, will yield an inaccurate dipstick reading.

I always heard not to check the oil too soon after engine shutdown, cause the oil needs a few minutes to drip down from the engine back into the pan. That I get. What I don't understand is how waiting too long could result in a misleading level on the stick.

Any ideas?

That's because waiting too long will show a higher level because the oil drains from the valves, yes the valves which have oil reservoirs.
 

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So check it however but leave it alone unless it's at the low mark. If it's a nice day and you get to work early, check it in the morning (after a couple mins - let gravity work its magic), and before you start it to leave. Bet there's not a big difference. (I suspect the 5 min rule is social engineering, as opposed to mechanical engineering. If they said "a few minutes", people would have no time scale and would wait about 45 seconds.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Strictly a WAG...it would give you an optimistically HIGH reading due to the oil in the intake valve operating system would drain back to the sump.
If this is the answer, it begs another question: Why would they design a car such that checking the oil longer than 5 minutes after shutting off the engine would yield an abnormally high reading? I'm just guessing, but the only thing I can think of is, a miscalculation occured, and by the time it was discovered, it was too late to correct--they already had 125,000 dipsticks made, and there was no time for replacements, or whatever--so the solution was, "we'll just have to tell customers not to check the oil too long after shutting down."

After all, the engineers know how much oil is in there, regardless of what kind of valve train is used. It doesn't seem to make sense that the level would read too high after all the oil dripped back down into the pan. Not if everything was designed properly.
 
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