Measuring engine oil levels correctly

Discussion in 'Technical' started by sinclair1969, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    This may sound like a stupid question from somebody who was driving bikes for the first time (nothing could be further from the truth) but I still feel it is a relevant question because the answer is not as obvious as it perhaps seems.

    My main bike is the one shown in my avatar, a Honda Magna V45. OK, now here is what I have to say:

    When measuring the engine oil level with the dipstick, there are several possibilities. I wonder what the correct method is.

    One: With the bike on the side stand, unscrew the dipstick, then measure the engine oil level by dipping it in without screwing it in again.

    Two: Same situation, but measure by screwing it in all the way, then unscrew.

    Three: Measure the level with the bike perfectly balanced, i.e. you sit on the bike and it does not rest on the side stand. This gives the engine oil in the sump a perfect level, whereas when it is standing on the side stand, you get the oil shifted to one side of the sump.

    Four: If the engine oil should be measured with the bike in a perfectly perpendicular position, should the dipstick by screwed all the way in when measuring the level, or should one just use it as it is, i.e. not screw it all the way in?

    I can tell you that dipstick readings (of course) are totally different when using different methods of measurement. With the bike on the side stand, the oil in the sump does not even reach the dipstick. With the bike in a perpendicular position, the oil level is up to maximum when I screw the dipstick in all the way and then unscrew for the gauging of the oil level. Therefore my question.

    From this post you will see that I do not own the bike manual for the Honda Magna, so I have to look for information on the internet and wherever I can find it.

    Much obliged to those who can help me in this matter.
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  3. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    All the bikes I had & have are measured in a level position, dipstick full in and out and then that's what you've got on oillevel. Hope that helps, rgds, Franz
  4. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    For both my bikes (XR250 and KLR650) it is bike level (balancing agianst a wall or something) dipstick in to the rubber, but not screwed in...

    Actually, the KLR doesn't have a dipstick, but a 'sight glass'... but it is still measured with the bike level...

    Always thought that was stupid, when they could just as easily make it measured with the bike on the side stand, and you don't risk tipping the bike over (went very close to doing that with the KLR)...

  5. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the answers to both of you, this was very helpful.
  6. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    Again, thanks for very good replies on this thread to my questions and useful information about engine oil. This is a great forum.
  7. rmbike

    rmbike Ol'Timer

    I've seen a few thai guys even mechs screw the dipstick in to measure it. :wtf:

    btw daewoo

    they couldn't set it so you could have the bike on its side stand to measure,
    you might be on uneven ground or the stand sits on a bump or in a hole.
  8. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    My Triumph Owners Manual states run the Engine to operating temperature then stop the Engine and let it Sit for 10 minutes then with the Bike Level Screw the Dip Stick all the way in to Check!This sounds pretty Complicated but Luckily the Triumph Never Uses Oil so I rarely need to Check between the 5000km Oil Changes! I Prefer My other Bikes which have a Sight Glass! In the Old Days I just pushed the Dip Stick into the Rubber as Daewoo Stated! Actually correct instructions for each individual Bike are probably stated in their Owners Manual?
  9. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    We don't want to know what you did in the bedroom (or in your case the back paddock). :wink:
  10. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    Barr Barr Barr tell me more loverboy - I luv it when you talk oils and lubrication Bigboy.

    I have always used level bedding, cold oil and screw the dipstick all the way in, making sure you never overfill the bitch as I want her to last for many a good time in the future.

    Cheers Ken F
  11. chiangmairich

    chiangmairich Ol'Timer

    Seems to be a few different methods, the most common is with bike level and dipstick pushed in to the thread only as with most jap bikes.HD's are checked with the bike on the sidestand and dipstick pushed all the way in.
    On the last oilchange on my A/T luckily I was watching as somchai screwed the dipstick in then proceeded to "tighten" it up with a pair of pliers :thumbdown:
  12. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    The reason he did this was probably to prevent kids and possibly also adults from opening the dip, then putting sand or earth into the crankcase - yes, this happens from time to time!If the dipstick is tightened with pliers, it is not possible to remove it with your hand, it has to be removed with a tool that is not readily available to those who suddenly get the idea of destroying your engine.

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