Reading Escape Transmission Fluid Level

Just bought a 2001 Escape. When I check the level [in P, warm engine] one side of the dipstick shows fluid consistently lower than the other. About 1
inch dfference. So if I rotate the stick on insertion, the level is either about 1/3 inch above the crosshatching or 1/3 inch below.
I've done this repeatedly. I've left the dipstick in for several minutes. I still get a variation. Weird.
How do you folks determine the level with accuracy?
Thanks.
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John Keiser wrote:

With great difficulty. This is the reason I think Ford and others are eliminating dip sticks from automatic transmissions. You should read the procedure for checking the fluid level in my Vue's transmissions, or for that matter in a 2003 Explorer's.
In your case I think I'd leave well enough alone. It sounds like the "average" is right in the sweet spot.
Ed
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one
1
I
Generaly, use the higher mark. Pulling the stick back out will scrape the fluid off one side. Also, try turning the stick 180' while checking to compair readings.
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