Any other way to check engine oil level besides dipstick without having to change out the oil?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Moses Bruh, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Moses Bruh

    Moses Bruh New Member

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    My 2008's dipstick is trash, on a level surface after wiping the dipstick and reinserting and pulling back out, I cannot comfortably gauge the oil level on the dipstick. Car is driving fine but I want to be able to check if its getting low or not.
     
  2. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    That dipstick is your only ticket. Check the oil after it's sat for several hours. Compensate for ground level.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  3. egg_salad

    egg_salad Active Member

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    Or buy a new dipstick? Even at dealer prices, they can't be all that ridiculous.
     
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  4. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I find it helps to get a good reading by waiting a couple of minutes after wiping the dipstick before reinserting it. It seems that there is a bit of oil dragged up the dipstick tube when you withdraw it and waiting a few minutes allows it to drop back down the tube. I also look at the top side of the dipstick, as the bottom side seems to suffer from oil being dragged along it.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    It can be hard to see freshly changed oil on a dipstick. If you still can't tell, after following @dolj's tip, try pulling and wiping the dipstick, wait a minute or two, reinsert the dipstick and then pull it out and lay it on a flat paper towel. The part of the stick with the oil you want to see will soak the paper towel and the rest will, at most, moisten it a little. Should be pretty obvious.

    Once you'd got a few hundred miles on that oil, it'll darken up. All 20 or 30 cars I've had have been like that.
     
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  6. prius_deep

    prius_deep Junior Member

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    the oil is way way low, you are reading the splashiness the dipstick is getting. turn off the car take the dipstick out, wipe it off, take it inside your home. wait an hour or two, etc; stick it back in, you will see there is no reading.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    post before and after pics of both sides, we'll read it for you
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Need more info, regarding "trash" condition of dipstick.
     
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  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If the oil level is below full, one side of the dipstick might read low compared to the other. The low side is the correct side to read. Fill to the full dimple and both sides of the dipstick should read about the same.
     
  10. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    or if you're feeling really frisky, drill a bunch of small holes in the dipstick from the top dimple down to near the tip. Your true oil level will be where the highest hole is filled with oil. One 2007 Prius dipstick from the parts car, one drill press and one 3/32 cobalt steel jobber bit. Poked a hole where each dimple was, one in the ~middle then one in ~middle of those.

    IMG_2999.JPG
     
    #10 TMR-JWAP, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Huh, kinda like the windshield washer dipstick.

    I don't think I'd could bring myself to do that though. Even with a drill press, I'd be sure to screw up.
     
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  12. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Pull a spare one from the landfill for a test;).

    You’ve got time in your hands:).

    I’m sure it’d turn out fine(y).
     
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  13. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Well Seasoned Member

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    I agree with the OP that the reading is always a bit vague. When I do an oil change and KNOW I've put in the right amount of oil I'll see a big difference from one side of the dipstick to the other. Good tips about pulling it and waiting a while, I'll have to try that.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    I did an oil change on our 2010 last Friday, and put in the specd amount, carefully measured with a graduated pitcher. Before start up (oil filter not filled) it was on the top mark, but a day or two later, was about 1/4" lower. I top it up carefully to that upper mark, cus down the road I want to see asap if it starts using. So far nothing though, never had a car this tight.
     
  15. Moses Bruh

    Moses Bruh New Member

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    Thanks for all the posts everyone, got real busy after i posted so i just got to read all the posts.
     
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