Dealership oil change

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Robert_Alabama, Nov 23, 2022.

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  1. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I got the local Honda Dealership to change the oil yesterday. I've always seen the oil at the top of the orange plastic, a little above the top mark after an oil change. The car was like that when it came from the factory and I've never worried about it too much. Yesterday after the oil change, I checked the oil level when I got home. It was on the round metal part of the dipstick, maybe even 1/4 inch above the orange plastic. I ran on battery to the dealership and back, so the gas engine was not started and was cold before the oil change. I called the dealership and spoke to the service manager who said he was pretty sure that the engine wasn't run after the oil change and that the filter was probably empty of oil. I ran the car in HV mode for a couple of minutes on the next trip out yesterday evening to get oil circulated and into the filter. Today the oil checked a little lower, but still at the very top of the orange, maybe even a little on the metal. I decided to pump out some from the oil dipstick with a hand pump. Bottom line is that I removed 22 oz of oil before the oil was comfortably between the two notches (and it was still high, maybe 2/3 of the way to the high notch). I quit there. Would changing it with the engine cold have caused the oil to drain slower, maybe leaving more of the old oil in the engine? 22 oz seems like a good bit (about 2/3 of a quart) to have removed to get it back within the marks, especially with the engine with filter change capacity at 3.5 quarts. Comments/Thoughts?
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  3. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    @Robert_Alabama ,

    Well, this brings me back to the crappy dipstick discussed in the other thread. I changed my oil quite recently. I was very careful to fill with 3.5 quarts (new filter). After seeing your post, I went out this morning. I pulled the dipstick out and read it immediately - the oil level was here:


    Next - I wiped it off, inserted it, took it out, and there was oil all over the entire orange portion and a little on the metal above. I repeated this and got the same result.

    My thoughts - The crappy orange blob drags oil up into the dipstick tube and when you try to check it by wiping, and re-inserting, you can't get a clean reading because that oil gets all over the plastic (including above) and the reading is totally unclear. I believe you can only get a meaningful reading when the car sits for a good while, and you withdraw the dipstick and read it right away. Wiping and re-reading seems to just create a mess.

    Regarding the temperature, I don't worry about that. I changed the oil cold (no warm-up first), and checked it cold (of course, you have to run it briefly to fill the filter), but sitting for a while then an immediate check without wiping... In my opinion, temperature has little or no effect. This is 0w20 oil which is plenty thin to flow perfectly fine even under cold conditions.

    Generally, a dipstick (not this one) has 'calibrated' lines that help quantify how low you are (for instance, it will identify 1 quart between two lines). I am wondering it the two rectangular holes are supposed to represent, for instance, 1 quart. I have zero confidence in this thought however. but it would be nice to know.

    It would be interesting to see if others experience this same dilemma - Go out to your car and 'read' the level by just withdrawing the dipstick. Then try to repeat the reading by wiping, inserting, then withdrawing again. I was just not able to do it.

    Edit - One final thought. Yes, 'overfilling' can be a problem, BUT in my opinion, you would have to be way over the line before it was a problem. If the level is just over the orange blob, I'm sure that would be just fine. If you were a quart over, maybe that could become a problem. Given the above thoughts, my suspicion is that your dealer did not put 22 oz. of excess oil in. You may have been deceived by the orange blob !
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  4. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply. I'm a little under the level you show on your photo, but not much. I could probably put 6 oz back in and get to your level. That makes me suspect that they probably put 4 quarts in it instead of 3.5. I agree that the orange blob is a pain to read. I probably checked the oil at least 3 times each each time after removing some oil to make sure I could really see where the level was. It does make me feel more comfortable that you don't think overfilling by less than a quart is likely to cause any oil leaks (damage seals).
  5. JJim

    JJim Active Member

    I am always wondering what is the correct way to check oil level: push the dipstick all the way down to lock position or just stop it at the "nook" then pull it out. That will be about 1\2" differences of the result.
  6. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    In my opinion you always fully insert the dipstick. Anything less becomes too ambiguous and is subject to error.
    Here is what the Clarity manual says:

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