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#1 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:39 AM
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checking oil

I have a problem reading the oil stick on my 06 Rave 4 base. When I clean the stick and try to read the oil level the oil only shows on one side of the stick and is hard to read,not showing a good level read. What am I missing, I have no problem on my other vehicles. Does this engine use that much oil. The engins has 45000 miles changed every 5K with full synth. oil.Thank you jz.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:24 PM
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Same here. It stays so clean that it is all but impossible to see. I need my glasses and a halogen spot light. Even then I have to look for the difference in the reflection from the wet to the dry part of the stick.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:28 PM
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This is what is called a pleasant problem!
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:28 PM
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My dipstick also stays wet only one side, I think that side might have more friction to it. I also check if there is oil in those 2 dimples, ideally filling the higher one. I also check the reflection of the oil in light.

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanib View Post
My dipstick also stays wet only one side, I think that side might have more friction to it. I also check if there is oil in those 2 dimples, ideally filling the higher one. I also check the reflection of the oil in light.
This is exactly what I do, too. If there's oil in those holes then you're good. It's definitely hard to see on the dipstick itself without super close inspection.

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:16 PM
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The normal advice is that if the oil level is higher on one side than the other, the actual oil level is the lower reading. The dipstick is supposed to be immersed in the oil, so it's unlikely the act of pulling it out will cleanly wipe the oil from the blade. However, it is possible for something the dipstick rubs against to put oil on one side.

I can't remember now if the Rav's dipstick has the two holes, but that is only accurate if both sides of the blade are wetted with oil.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:44 PM
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I am go with one side having oil, with the RAV at least. The upper dimple being filled is futher confirmation that there is enough oil.

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:18 PM
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The dip stick enters the oil at a fairly sharp angle, so it would be impossible for both sides of the stick to have different levels.

The dipstick in my V6 has a 1/4 twist at the tip, which helps to keep the stick centered in the tube and prevents the measurement area from rubbing on the tube and wiping off the oil. If your dipstick doesn't have the twist, you might try inserting it into the tube at 90 degrees to what you usually do. You will find it harder to push it into the tube, but it should prevent rubbing off the oil.

Finally, you might try to rough up the end of the dipstick with a little sandpaper. The shiny new oil might be easier to see if the background is not also shiny.

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:49 PM
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Sometimes it's easier to see the level when engine is cold and oil more viscous. Even though it's not the official method.

Last edited by friendly_jacek; 01-24-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanib View Post
I am go with one side having oil, with the RAV at least. The upper dimple being filled is futher confirmation that there is enough oil.
Obviously your car, your choice, but pull out your dipstick, wipe it dry, put a drop of oil on your finger, and lightly rub it against one side of your dipstick. It will fill both dimples.

Then, also think about how a dipstick can get immerse into oil but one side gets wiped dry on its trip out of the dipstick. Actually, if you take your dipstick, try to dip it vertically into some oil so that it only gets on one side. You'll find it's impossible. I personally think you are running at least a full quart low, if not more.

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