Do what Honda recommends to get the most accurate reading. If you start it and
then shut it off while cold you will get a much lower reading. Otherwise the
reading should not vary too much and you shouldn't have any trouble keeping
between the add and full line no matter when you check it. I have always checked
the oil in my vehicles in the morning because the readings are more consistent.
The dipstick measures the oil that's in the oil pan. If you start the
engine then shut it off, you take oil out of the pan and pump it around the
engine. It will take a bit of time to fully drip back into the pan again,
so your dipstick reading will be falsely low.
If all you're doing is making sure the pan's oil level isn't too low, you
can check at any time, cold or hot. If the engine's been running, give the
oil a minute or so to drip back down into the pan before checking. And make
sure you check a couple of times (wiping the stick clean each time) and
seat the dipstick fully between checks.
If your car uses oil and you're using oil level checks as a precise study
of your car's oil consumption, then that's a /whole/ different ballgame.
On Oct 19, 11:48 pm, email@example.com wrote:
A precision reading is not important. You don't need to know if you
are 0.27 quarts low. If you get around a quart low, add oil. The
difference between checking warm or cold is not enough to get too
Changing oil is something else- I think changing while oil is hot is a
For a '97, there's plentiful owner's manuals at the wrecking yard.
You'll pay about 1/3rd of the Honda dealer's price. Meantime, you can
check what the manual says here:
It's good you're checking your oil.
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