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Old 03-21-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
Logan964C2
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Default Checking Oil Level with engine 'cold'

I searched all of the previous oil level posts but all of them only explain how to check the oil level when the engine is warm. I am pulling my car out of storage and there is some oil that has leaked out by the passenger side rear wheel well. Now I don't know how much oil has leaked vs. how much is in the car. I suspect the oil level is still OK but I don't want to run it to operating temperature in case the level is critically low.
I can't see any oil on the dipstick. I also don't want to add oil for fear of overfilling.
So... Is there any way of checking the oil level with the engine cold (not having run for months)?
Any help is appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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Well you have (had) 12 quarts in there...unless there are 5+ quarts on the floor (you would know about this) you're ok.

If you're really worried, the only accurate way I can think of is to drain it into clean containers, measure and put back in, topping off as necessary.

But really, unless your car performed its best Exxon-Valdez impression over the winter, you're ok (of course, this is assuming you know it had a good oil level when it was parked. If you're pulling it out of storage for someone else, then I can understand the concern).

As a point of reference, I typically first start the car during an oil change after putting only 7 quarts back in...
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan964C2 View Post
I searched all of the previous oil level posts but all of them only explain how to check the oil level when the engine is warm. I am pulling my car out of storage and there is some oil that has leaked out by the passenger side rear wheel well. Now I don't know how much oil has leaked vs. how much is in the car. I suspect the oil level is still OK but I don't want to run it to operating temperature in case the level is critically low.
I can't see any oil on the dipstick. I also don't want to add oil for fear of overfilling.
So... Is there any way of checking the oil level with the engine cold (not having run for months)?
Any help is appreciated.
JMHO,....

Unless you find an "Exxon Valdez" size oil puddle under the car, its pretty safe to assume that the system still has 8 quarts and that's plenty safe to start and run the car up to full operating temperature.

Once you have the oil temp up to 185 deg F, you can check the dipstick to accurately measure the level.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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Start 'er up!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies. I posted a pic (above) but uploaded it before including the text.
The oil leak is up under the passenger side rear wheel well. My garage floor is sloped and the oil stops basically at the edge of this picture. I can't see it being more than about 1/2 litre (quart) in total and I know it was full when I put it away so now with your replies I feel pretty good about starting it, checking the level and then taking it to the shop for repair. I never had any leaks before so the fact that I now have this as well as that other small spot you can see in the picture is a little discouraging. Hopefully the repair will not be too major. Thanks again for your replies.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:09 AM   #7
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Try driving it for a little while and see if it comes back, before you take it to the shop for expensive repairs. Sometimes when these engines sit unused for lengths of time, the metal contracts and seals start to dry causing leaks. When warm weather driving season comes back, metal expands, gaskets re-lube, and holes sometimes shrink up. My 964 leaves a little less oil on the ground than yours over the winter, but doesn't show a single drop during the ~9 months out of the year I drive it. Maybe it just needs a good Italian tune-up.

FWIW, and its hard to judge form the picture, but as anyone who has dropped a quart of open oil can attest, a little goes a LONG way on the floor. That could be significantly less than a 1/2 quart, especially as your floor slopes, spreading it out & making it look worse. A couple cap-fulls of oil can make a spill close to that size once left to spread out for a while.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:16 AM   #8
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Always watch the oil pressure gauge on start up . If you have oil pressure you have oil . If on the other hand the oil pressure gauge bounces up and down or shows no pressure , shut it down asap .
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Try driving it for a little while and see if it comes back, before you take it to the shop for expensive repairs. Sometimes when these engines sit unused for lengths of time, the metal contracts and seals start to dry causing leaks. When warm weather driving season comes back, metal expands, gaskets re-lube, and holes sometimes shrink up. My 964 leaves a little less oil on the ground than yours over the winter, but doesn't show a single drop during the ~9 months out of the year I drive it. Maybe it just needs a good Italian tune-up.

FWIW, and its hard to judge form the picture, but as anyone who has dropped a quart of open oil can attest, a little goes a LONG way on the floor. That could be significantly less than a 1/2 quart, especially as your floor slopes, spreading it out & making it look worse. A couple cap-fulls of oil can make a spill close to that size once left to spread out for a while.
That sounds promising. I didn't leak a drop over the past few years so hopefully a good run will help minimize this.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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I think I know exactly where your leak is as well. It doesn't look too bad. Oil looks nice and fresh too! Bring it to Zoran in Stoney Creek. He'll sort you out.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:35 PM   #11
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For those that helped out and advised that it doesn't take much oil to create the amount shown in my picture earlier in this thread, I am happy to give the following update:
I took the advice, started the car up and took it for a good drive. I did not and have not added any oil. The oil level on the guage was as shown in the picture below. The dipstick shows almost at the full mark. This is basically where it was when I put it away in November so really the amount of oil on my garage floor must be less than 1/2 litre and probably even less than 1/4 of a litre. Another strange positive thing is that it doesn't seem to be leaking anymore . I will still get it in to get it checked out in the next few weeks but have no stress.
Thanks again for the support.

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:59 AM   #12
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that oil reading on that gauge looks a tad too high for me. I think my gauge rest much lower then that also it might be due to your car not properly warmed up hence gauge not giving true reading.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:10 PM   #13
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that oil reading on that gauge looks a tad too high for me. I think my gauge rest much lower then that also it might be due to your car not properly warmed up hence gauge not giving true reading.
agree.
your car is still cold.
my car would be below red at the temp shown in your photo.
leave car idling, read a book, and wait about 20mins for car to get hot with the oil temp at 9 o'clock.
oil level will shoot up much higher.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #14
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agree.
your car is still cold.
my car would be below red at the temp shown in your photo.
leave car idling, read a book, and wait about 20mins for car to get hot with the oil temp at 9 o'clock.
oil level will shoot up much higher.
If your thermostat has not opened at that temp, there is something wrong. That is pretty much where the temp gauge should be if you go by Porsches recommendations. Whether the oil level is right is an individual choice, and yes it will go higher if the temp goes up, but everything in that picture is pretty much spot on.
If I were you, I would have my thermostat checked or your gauges, you definitely have something wrong.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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agree.
your car is still cold.
my car would be below red at the temp shown in your photo.
leave car idling, read a book, and wait about 20mins for car to get hot with the oil temp at 9 o'clock.
oil level will shoot up much higher.
Sorry, I don't agree. It looks fine to me. His temp gauge is at the position where the thermostat is open and the car is being cooled properly having just come back from a run. The temp guage should gradually rise during the first minutes of running, get just over the first mark and then drop back to just under it when the thermostat opens. It'll remain there in normal running conditions, so that's when the level should be measured. Letting the temp guage get to 9 pm is simulating hot running conditions...track, stuck in traffic or very hot climates. Not the sort of conditions you should be simulating to measure the oil level.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:51 PM
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