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  • FIRST POST
    • elsmandino
    • By elsmandino 13th Jul 18, 10:50 AM
    • 99Posts
    • 7Thanks
    elsmandino
    Has my mechanic overfilled oil and is this a problem?
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 18, 10:50 AM
    Has my mechanic overfilled oil and is this a problem? 13th Jul 18 at 10:50 AM
    Hello.

    I have a 2009 Volvo V50 Petrol, that has just been serviced by my mechanic (everyone I know uses him - over 40 years of experience).

    When I got the car back, I noticed that the dipstick looked like this:



    I was always under the impression that point B on the photo was the maximum level and that C was the minimum.

    However, the dipstick clearly seems to show that oil has been topped up until point A.

    What do you think I should do?

    Am I even reading the dipstick incorrectly - is point A the maximum level?
Page 1
    • loskie
    • By loskie 13th Jul 18, 11:08 AM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    loskie
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:08 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:08 AM
    did you give the car 20 mins or so after switching off before you checked it?
    If so then it does look slightly overfilled not enough to cause an issue though.


    If you have a good mechanic like it sounds you do ask him politely to
    check it. Don't ruin a good working relationship over it.
    • elsmandino
    • By elsmandino 13th Jul 18, 11:15 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    elsmandino
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:15 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:15 AM
    Thanks Loskie - so you also think it is indeed overfilled?

    I left the car overnight and made sure it was on completely level ground before checking.

    Unfortunately, my chap has gone away on holiday for three weeks (he just managed to squeeze me in before he left), so will have to wait a while to ask him.

    In the meantime, it is reassuring that you think it is only a bit over - I know that it is pretty bad to overfill a car with oil but there must be some tolerance built into the dipstick marker.

    I will just use the car as usual, but double check with him when I can.

    I suppose I just also wanted to check where to fill the oil up to, for top ups between services.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 13th Jul 18, 11:36 AM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Stoke
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:36 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:36 AM
    Thanks Loskie - so you also think it is indeed overfilled?

    I left the car overnight and made sure it was on completely level ground before checking.

    Unfortunately, my chap has gone away on holiday for three weeks (he just managed to squeeze me in before he left), so will have to wait a while to ask him.

    In the meantime, it is reassuring that you think it is only a bit over - I know that it is pretty bad to overfill a car with oil but there must be some tolerance built into the dipstick marker.

    I will just use the car as usual, but double check with him when I can.

    I suppose I just also wanted to check where to fill the oil up to, for top ups between services.
    Originally posted by elsmandino
    Indeed, there is. Manufacturers assume that 95% of car drivers are idiots, because 95% of car drivers are idiots. You can run a car significantly lower than the dipstick, and it'll run fine, and higher, and it'll run fine with no adverse affects at all. Blimey, if the engine seized after the oil dropped below that bottom marker, there would be a lot of knackered cars about. That said, what you need to establish is whether it's a bit too much or far too much.

    It's hard to say how much he's overfilled it from the dipstick alone. On my Lupo (which I don't own anymore), I calculated that the bottom to the top of the dipstick was (roughly) a litre, maybe a bit less.

    Do you own the 1.6 litre by any chance? Quick Google search shows Volvo recommend 4 litres for the 1.6 and 4.3 litres for the 1.8 and 2.0..... I would say 0.3 litres corresponds quite closely to that photo. The 2.4 takes 5.8 litres, but there's no way he's put that in. The car probably wouldn't start.

    Obviously it's your car, so I can't tell you what to do. If you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty, you could probably siphon it yourself with a piece of tubing. If not, you could wait for the mechanic..... or you could just drive it. Do Volvo's burn oil?
    • Arklight
    • By Arklight 13th Jul 18, 11:50 AM
    • 1,466 Posts
    • 2,302 Thanks
    Arklight
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:50 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:50 AM
    The last time (and I mean the LAST time) I went to Kwik Fit, I had an oil change (assuming even they couldn't screw that up), I collected my car and drove home. As I don't trust Kwik Fit I checked the oil level when I parked and found it was about a third of the way up the dipstick.

    Not the marker line, the actual dipstick.

    "Just drive it back mate as long as there ain't black smoke coming out the exhaust yer'all right."

    Not having much option as I couldnt afford a tow truck (I was having to get oil changes in Kwik Fit for gawds sake) I drove back very slowly. I also gave the manager a rocket in the reception area in front of a load of other customers.

    It basically went like -

    Me - "I thought even you lot couldn't screw up an oil change."
    Manager - "Yeah sorry, we can."

    Anyway, the car was fine over the short distance it was driven and it had buckets too much in.

    It was an Almera though.
    • foxy-stoat
    • By foxy-stoat 13th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    • 2,667 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    foxy-stoat
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    Between min and max is normally 1ltr - no way that a little over filling will make any real difference.

    Try it again tomorrow morning or after a few hours of it being parked on level ground.
    • foxy-stoat
    • By foxy-stoat 13th Jul 18, 11:53 AM
    • 2,667 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    foxy-stoat
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:53 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:53 AM
    It was an Almera though.
    Originally posted by Arklight
    I thought so, was it a 54 reg one with 34,000 miles being sold for 395?
    • fred246
    • By fred246 13th Jul 18, 12:08 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 627 Thanks
    fred246
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:08 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:08 PM
    It's a lot less stressful to just do your own oil changes.
    • davetrousers
    • By davetrousers 13th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    • 5,638 Posts
    • 4,881 Thanks
    davetrousers
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    Did you remove the dipstick, then wipe it, then dip it to get the reading?
    .....

    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 13th Jul 18, 12:21 PM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Stoke
    It's a lot less stressful to just do your own oil changes.
    Originally posted by fred246
    Agreed, although I suppose it depends where you go.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 13th Jul 18, 12:22 PM
    • 36,137 Posts
    • 46,588 Thanks
    McKneff
    I would say nothing, you might find that you have to look for a new mechanic when you really need one.

    Why use him if you feel you have to check, sounds like you dont trust him
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • elsmandino
    • By elsmandino 13th Jul 18, 12:45 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    elsmandino
    Thanks everyone for your further input on this - just to answer a few issues raised:

    I did indeed wipe the dipstick, before inserting.

    Unfortunately, this is the worst dipstick that I have ever used.

    The dipstick takes a bit of a curve to the sump, so when you pull the dipstick out, it scrapes oil off, making accurate checks really difficult.

    With regards to trust - I implicitly do. He is so knowledgeable and honest and has never got anything wrong before.

    My initial instinct was why would I question an absolute expert - just leave the car alone.

    I was just being a bit nosey when I had a look at the dipstick - had no reason at all to do that, I just like tampering with things.

    Stokes' calculation idea was clever (I should have specified that my car is a 1.8) - I managed to find the online manual for my car and it says that it takes 4.3 litres of oil and that the difference between the marks is 750ml.

    I have printed off the photo of the dipstick and the distance between the marks is 8cms, equating to 94ml per cm.

    The distance from the top mark to the top of the oil level is 3 cm, which equates to just 282ml.

    That really is not much, is it, in the big scheme of things?

    I am wondering whether he just knew this and topped things up, a bit, for good measure.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 13th Jul 18, 12:53 PM
    • 3,549 Posts
    • 2,622 Thanks
    Tarambor
    Did you park it on a flat surface? Most roads have a camber towards the kerb so if the dipstick enters the sump on the passenger side it would show higher than its true level on a flat surface.

    Personally I'd not worry about that much overfilled, it won't cause any issues.
    • cajef
    • By cajef 13th Jul 18, 1:46 PM
    • 4,845 Posts
    • 3,884 Thanks
    cajef
    Did you park it on a flat surface? Most roads have a camber towards the kerb so if the dipstick enters the sump on the passenger side it would show higher than its true level on a flat surface.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    I left the car overnight and made sure it was on completely level ground before checking.
    Originally posted by elsmandino
    I think that answers your question.
    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 13th Jul 18, 1:51 PM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Stoke
    Thanks everyone for your further input on this - just to answer a few issues raised:

    I did indeed wipe the dipstick, before inserting.

    Unfortunately, this is the worst dipstick that I have ever used.

    The dipstick takes a bit of a curve to the sump, so when you pull the dipstick out, it scrapes oil off, making accurate checks really difficult.

    With regards to trust - I implicitly do. He is so knowledgeable and honest and has never got anything wrong before.

    My initial instinct was why would I question an absolute expert - just leave the car alone.

    I was just being a bit nosey when I had a look at the dipstick - had no reason at all to do that, I just like tampering with things.

    Stokes' calculation idea was clever (I should have specified that my car is a 1.8) - I managed to find the online manual for my car and it says that it takes 4.3 litres of oil and that the difference between the marks is 750ml.

    I have printed off the photo of the dipstick and the distance between the marks is 8cms, equating to 94ml per cm.

    The distance from the top mark to the top of the oil level is 3 cm, which equates to just 282ml.


    That really is not much, is it, in the big scheme of things?

    I am wondering whether he just knew this and topped things up, a bit, for good measure.
    Originally posted by elsmandino
    Taking your numbers on face value, I really wouldn't be bothered
    • Arklight
    • By Arklight 13th Jul 18, 2:02 PM
    • 1,466 Posts
    • 2,302 Thanks
    Arklight
    I thought so, was it a 54 reg one with 34,000 miles being sold for 395?
    Originally posted by foxy-stoat
    Lol no, any Almera's I post on here are for instructional purposes only. My 51 plate was traded in at 135,000 miles.

    Sweet as a nut that machine ran. I had started transporting garden waste in it so it was getting a bit spedery at the end though.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 13th Jul 18, 8:18 PM
    • 27,576 Posts
    • 11,162 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    You left it overnight where all the oil would drain back to the sump. There is the reason.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • loskie
    • By loskie 13th Jul 18, 9:09 PM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    loskie
    Thanks everyone for your further input on this - just to answer a few issues raised:

    I did indeed wipe the dipstick, before inserting.

    Unfortunately, this is the worst dipstick that I have ever used.

    The dipstick takes a bit of a curve to the sump, so when you pull the dipstick out, it scrapes oil off, making accurate checks really difficult.

    With regards to trust - I implicitly do. He is so knowledgeable and honest and has never got anything wrong before.

    My initial instinct was why would I question an absolute expert - just leave the car alone.

    I was just being a bit nosey when I had a look at the dipstick - had no reason at all to do that, I just like tampering with things.

    Stokes' calculation idea was clever (I should have specified that my car is a 1.8) - I managed to find the online manual for my car and it says that it takes 4.3 litres of oil and that the difference between the marks is 750ml.

    I have printed off the photo of the dipstick and the distance between the marks is 8cms, equating to 94ml per cm.

    The distance from the top mark to the top of the oil level is 3 cm, which equates to just 282ml.

    That really is not much, is it, in the big scheme of things?

    I am wondering whether he just knew this and topped things up, a bit, for good measure.
    Originally posted by elsmandino

    That's the problem with the internet; it makes everyone paranoid when really there is no issue. everyone want reassurance and validation of their decisions. How the !!!! did we manage before the 'net?!!
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 13th Jul 18, 10:43 PM
    • 1,781 Posts
    • 2,729 Thanks
    coffeehound
    Ive had smoke coming from under the bonnet where oil has been spat out the dipstick tube - now thats overfilling
    • fred246
    • By fred246 13th Jul 18, 11:15 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 627 Thanks
    fred246
    It's sad. Most cars now suffer total neglect. Car servicing standards from Main dealers and independents is appalling. Basically they do whatever they feel like. Universally appalling. Most people seem to have fallen for the story that cars are too complicated to look after yourself. The end result. Total neglect. Sad. Only ones looked after properly are the few still looked after by DIY enthusiasts like myself.
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