1. John Dirks Jr

    John Dirks Jr Active Member

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    The check engine oil light lit up on my dash board which surprised me. I thought, I don't have a consumption problem that I'm aware of. I checked the oil and it was only on the stick about 1/4". I added a qt and it took it up to the add 1 qt mark. I added another qt and it took it to the full mark. I drove the car around a while then let it sit. I checked the oil and it was over filled by about 1 qt.

    Whats's going on here? Does this have something to do with the oil pan design having a reservoir at front and back? Is it possible to have a situation where more oil is resting on one end of the pan than the other and thereby rendering false readings?

    I can understand a qt low after all the driving I've been doing and that is what it seems to have been. But why the check oil light and why would it falsely take two qts to fill it up when after all it only needed one?

    Am I ok leaving the extra qt in there? Obviously it's going to consume it eventually anyway.
     
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  2. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

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    Weird. Did you check it when it was on a slope?

    Kurt
     
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  3. John Dirks Jr

    John Dirks Jr Active Member

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    It was on a very slight down slope towards the front but no way should it have registered two qts low. Keep in mind, the check oil light was on as well. Like I said, I added two qts. I checked again this morning and now its way over full. Probably two qts over.

    I suspect the stick dips into the rear of the pan. Somehow, oil must have been temporarily suspended somewhere else. I wonder where and why? I need to drain some back out now.
     
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  4. elarm1

    elarm1 Active Member

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    Damn! Did you turn the car off immediately when you saw no oil pressure? Did you hear any strange knocking?
     
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  5. clement

    Founding Member

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    foxes have a double sump oil pan. if you parked it on a downslope the front sump probably caught more oil than it normally does leaving the rear sump with less. my dipstick reads way over full with 5 qts in it because i didnt bother to adjust it properly, i was more concerned about not having a leak. so i just marked mine after an oil change after i ran the engine and parked it on a flat surface. if your oil level was truely down you have either a leak or a consumption issue, its just small enough you havent noticed yet. if its loosing oil its going somewhere. and if its not leaking its going out the tail pipe.

    drain the pan, fill it back with 4 quarts, youll still have a quart in the filter and youll know its right. in my experience if the oil light comes on its usually at least 2 qts low.
     
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  6. John Dirks Jr

    John Dirks Jr Active Member

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    Never lost pressure that I know of. There is no knocking or other ill effects. Engine runs as it should.
     
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  7. John Dirks Jr

    John Dirks Jr Active Member

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    I bet I was a qt low and the lowered front end along with the slight downhill slope made the check oil light come on. I then dumped in two qts when in reality I only needed one.

    I'm gonna get the car level, drain 1 qt, start up to circulate, turn off and let sit, check oil level.

    I'll post back with my findings.
     
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  8. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    The stock mustang dipsticks are often incorrect. Foolproof way to know how much oil you have. Park the car on a level surface.Drain the oil and refill with 4 quarts. Scribe a line on the dipstick. Pour in the 5th quart. Scribe another line on the dipstick. Now you will know when you have 5 quarts or are low a quart.
     
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  9. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

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    A slight slope shouldn't have made that much difference. That is weird. They actually put a lot of effort to placing that dipstick in the center of the engine so that a slight slope doesn't matter much. The normal oil level is also well above the center section of the oil pan, so there is no way more oil than usual can get in the front sump; it's full al the time. The only reason that front sump is there is to make room for the oil pump. Is the dipstick tube bolted down to the header like it's supposed to be? Check to make sure the dipstick tube is staying seated in the block.

    Also, that low oil level light sensor is well above the pickup tube. It's going to come one well before you have any suction issues due to oil quantity.

    Kurt
     
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  10. MFE92

    MFE92 Active Member

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    And it's probably not overfilled. Ford put bum dipsticks in hundreds of thousands of these things, and when they're properly filled with 5 qts of oil, they show way over the "full" mark on the stick. When you change the oil next time, drain both sumps, change the filter, then fill it 1 quart short. Run the engine til pressure comes up, then shut it off and let it sit a couple minutes. Check the oil and mark the level as "low". Add a quart, re-stick it, and mark that level as "full".
     
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  11. John Dirks Jr

    John Dirks Jr Active Member

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    One of the first things I did when I got the car was change the oil and filter. I paid attention to the oil level after putting 5 qts in and following the normal run, turn off, re-check procedures. At that time, I did notice it reading over full by about 1/4" on the stick. I didn't think much of it.

    Now, I appreciate everyone for responding. Each post adds knowledge to my brain. The most enlightening fact I've learned is that the dipstick "inserted" location is in the middle of the pan between the sumps. Knowing this does make me scratch my head and wonder. I can see how a slight incline should not make much difference in the oil level reading.

    Since my last post, I drained a qt, ran it and parked it. I let it sit, then checked the oil. After draining the qt, it still registers about 1/2 qt over full. This tells me that when the "check oil" light came on, it may have only been 1/2 qt low.

    I'm wondering if something had been preventing the oil from draining back to the pan temporarily? Maybe a pressure or vacuum issue in the crankcase holding oil in the top end.

    The car has never blown any smoke and when I changed the spark plugs not long ago, there was no oil fouling whatsoever on any of the old plugs. The car is parked on a clean concrete slab and there are no signs of leaks beneath the car.

    So far, I'm stumped......nonetheless, learning.
     
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  12. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

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    I wouldn't get too wrapped up in it. As long as it's close, the car will run fine. If you put 8 quarts in it, that might be a problem, but five and a half isn't going to hurt anything.

    Kurt
     
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  13. clement

    Founding Member

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    a buddy of mine had this old 4.0 ranger that needed a fuel pump and a few other things. i didnt want to deal with it so i sent him to this shop i had been using for little stuff figuring surely they could handle it. that thing came back running like kaka. i was checking it out and decided to pull the dipstick because he said he had them change the oil. oil was up in the dipstick tube. i couldnt believe it. but the truck had a new oil filter on it. so i stuck a 15 qt drain pan under it and went to work. ill be damned if it didnt over fill a 15qt drain pain and go all over my driveway. that was the last time i sent them any business.
     
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  14. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

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    That and putting your damn oil drain plug back on with an impact gun. Taking your car in for an oil change just doesn't save you money.

    Kurt
     
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  15. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    NEVER take your car to quicky/jiffy lube or one of those Tire Zoo/Kingdom places unless you want nutswinging monkeys who make minimum wage working on your car. I'll admit that I take my cars to Ford for oil changes. Costs me about $25 after rebates for an FL1 filter, Rotella oil, grease, tire rotation, top all fluids, and I don't have to deal with the mess. Some things are worth the extra $10 at my age not to have to spend an hour dealing with it every 3 months.
     
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  16. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

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    I have never paid anyone to do an oil change for me.

    Kurt
     
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  17. 90lxwhite

    90lxwhite I'm kind of a She-Man

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    W the prices of oil and filters now you're not saving much by doing it yourself anymore.
     
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  18. MFE92

    MFE92 Active Member

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    You're also not risking that a greasemonkey will strip your oil pan bolts, leave them out, forget to drain it, etc. And you're getting a chance to look around under the car. It's amazing how many things I've spotted going wrong just in the process of doing oil changes.
     
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  19. f8tlfiveo

    f8tlfiveo My wife likes my spool and blow-off valve.

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    I agree in most circumstances, paying to have something done. But an oil change isn't one of them. I get my first oil change for free on my wife's car. Not even taking it in for that.. Dealerships have the same idiots working there too. Plus it's across town, don't even feel like fighting traffic.
     
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  20. Shakerhood

    Shakerhood Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, I always take my time and check and inspect my vehicles while changing the oil.
     
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