checking oil level (engine warm or cold, after a start or not)

I have a 97 Accord. The level on the dipstick reads differently if I check the oil in the morning when the engine is cold, then when its
warm. Is it best to read the dipstick cold or when the engine is warm after driving?. If I read it cold, should I start and stop it first to distribute the oil a bit? Thanks
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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.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

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.
--
Tegger


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On Oct 19, 11:48 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.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 excited about.
Changing oil is something else- I think changing while oil is hot is a better change.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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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: https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/RJAAI001_OMANUAL.asp
It's good you're checking your oil.
'Curly'
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motsco_ wrote:

97's? depends where you are dude - maybe in the rust belt, but not here in ca. not unless it's irreparably smashed.

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