Just bought a secondhand KA but can't get an oil level reading from the
dipstick. The bottom 4 inches or so comes up covered in oil to various
degrees, but the oil leaves no clear level mark. Tried inserting the
dipstick using different orientations without success, although the
dipstick turns as it is inserted so ends up in one of two positions.
Best I can get is a mark across half the face of the dipstick near the
full notch, but even then only in about 1 in 4 attempts. Doesn't give me
much confidence that this is a true reading.
Is this a characteristic of a KA? Anyone have any tips for getting a
Mine was similar. Leave the car to stand a good while after the engine's
been run before you try to read the oil level, and on mine, certain angles
worked better than others when you put the dipstick in.
By far the best and most accurate way of checking the oil in *any* engine is
to check it first thing in the morning, when the engine's been standing for
several hours (if overnight it's likely to be 10 hours or more). This gives
the oil plenty of time to drain back into the sump and the reading should be
nice and clear - you probably won't even have to wipe the dipstick and
A lot of engines hold quite a bit of oil in the head - well hold is the
wrong word, but the head seems to retain quite a bit of oil, meaning that
dipstick readings are frequently unclear, and often under-read quite a bit,
so careful you don't overfill it with oil as a result of wrongly assuming it
to be too low on oil (which sadly buggered the engine in an Omega TD I had
Thanks for the replies.
I had tried all suggestions, well, apart from asking before I bought.
Rather surprisingly I got the clearest reading using the dipstick on my
Mondeo (1.8l petrol). The critical dimensions of the two dipsticks are
the same, but whilst the KA dipstick has a kink at the tip the Mondeo
dipstick is straight. The oil level is above the max mark by about half
the distance between max and min. Maybe this caused extra oil to be
thrown up the dipstick tube. Hope this isn't in oil seal knackering
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