Author Topic: Oil level  (Read 6256 times)

Mforcer

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Oil level
« on: 20 April 2004, 04:37 AM »
Hi all,

I recently had a service on my 450 SE and was told by the mechanic I didn't have enough oil in the engine (M117). My oil gauge had been showing 3 (max) when driving and about 1.5 when idling.

Now while travelling my oil gauge is still at 3 but while stopped and idling, the guage shows a bit over 2.

What is the correct oil level according to the oil gauge in the instrument cluster?

Thanks,
Mike.
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Tremix

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  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
Oil level
« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2004, 04:16 PM »
Mike,

Is the gauge in the same area where the fuel and water temperature gauges are?

If so, then this is the oil pressure gauge. This gauge should always remain above 1 (or 15 if it goes up to 45) when the engine is running - if not, you can risk damage to the engine.

Ie., a bad oil pump or gears, old (cruddy) oil or to little oil will cause this to drop near or below the 1 (or 15), and you'll require service.

The gauge will go up with the engine RPMs, which is normal.

You should be doing pretty well with it fluctuating between 2 and 3.

-- Mike G.

Ferryman

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  • Location: Central Coast NSW Oz
Oil level
« Reply #2 on: 24 April 2004, 07:23 AM »
Mike with due respect your going to have to overcome your fear of opening the bonnet. :shock:

Owning a classic car involves once a week checking things that are generally neglected on lesser cars.
Open your bonnet and you will find the dipstick for both your motor and gearbox as well as there is also a dipstick for your powersteering and if fitted hydraulic suspension.

 Checking your cars' fluids once a week will ensure your intimacy with your cars' health and help you maintain some wealth by heading off cata$trophic failure. If you do it at the servo you can show off that marvellous motor with its nice polished alloy rocker covers.:wink:

 I had a 220SE Fintail. At the sight of the polished alloy rocker covers and long runner inlet manifold. People would feel compelled to ask me about the car, and be amazed at the advanced engineering. It was a 1964 model.

The dipstick has two marks, one near the end which represents the minimum level of oil and another which is the maximum level allowed. You will notice that over time the level of oil drops from the maximum to minimum, What you are looking for is to note how quickly that happens.

As an aside, if your oil level increases then it will be because of two things, a)the incursion of coolant in the oil, b) the incursion of petrol in the oil.

 To read your dipstick, first have your car parked on a level surface,
 Remove the dipstick and wipe off the oil along the dipstick from the top(handle end) to the end, with a rag or paper towel,
 Reinsert the dipstick into the tube it came from,
 Count 4,
 Remove the dipstick and hold it horizontaly.
 The oil will present itself with a line some where between the two marks(hopefully). As long as the oil is above the minimum and not above the maximum line your ok. If its at the minimum, top up your oil till the reading on the dipstick is near the maximum line,
 Rule of thumb is that the distance between the two marks represent about 1/4 of a litre. You need to wait a little bit between topping up and reading the dipstick to allow the oil to settle.

Don't panic if you over fill it by a little bit (say 1-3mm above maximum line) you'll most likely use it soon enough.

Hope this helps

Perry
Fun costs money, how hard do you wanna laugh?

Mforcer

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Oil level
« Reply #3 on: 26 April 2004, 04:47 PM »
Thanks for all your help.

Perry, you are absolutely right about needing to check under the bonnet myself. I'll check it out soon.

Is there anything else apart from fluid levels I need to check on a regular basis?
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Ferryman

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  • Location: Central Coast NSW Oz
Oil level
« Reply #4 on: 27 April 2004, 03:38 AM »
I guess I should start a new post under "Maintenance", but I'll answer the question.

On a weekly basis you should check and perhaps do something about the following;

Under bonnet,
 Check all oil and coolant/water levels. Top up as neccesary, don't forget the washer bottle or the battery.

Around the car,
 Check Tyres for wear and tyre pressure including the spare. Tread depth must be at least 3mm, across the width of the tread of the tyre. Modern radials prefer pressures around 32/36 psi

 Check all lights are functional especially the brake lights!

 Empty the ashtrays!

 Check for signs of water ingress around front and rear windows, look out for water stains on the trim.

That should take about an hour of your time, I'll compose a suitable post under Maintenance when I get a spare moment. :)

Perry
Fun costs money, how hard do you wanna laugh?

Mforcer

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Oil level
« Reply #5 on: 28 August 2004, 09:25 PM »
Thanks again for your help. You'll be glad to know that I have been checking the fluid levels in my car weekly since your message. It has become something of a ritual that I am finding very satisfying. I may even move onto tacking some more difficult tasks.

Do you recommend any references (books, web sites etc.) which have more details?

Quote from: "Ferryman"
Mike with due respect your going to have to overcome your fear of opening the bonnet. :shock:

Owning a classic car involves once a week checking things that are generally neglected on lesser cars.
Open your bonnet and you will find the dipstick for both your motor and gearbox as well as there is also a dipstick for your powersteering and if fitted hydraulic suspension.

 Checking your cars' fluids once a week will ensure your intimacy with your cars' health and help you maintain some wealth by heading off cata$trophic failure. If you do it at the servo you can show off that marvellous motor with its nice polished alloy rocker covers.:wink:

 I had a 220SE Fintail. At the sight of the polished alloy rocker covers and long runner inlet manifold. People would feel compelled to ask me about the car, and be amazed at the advanced engineering. It was a 1964 model.

The dipstick has two marks, one near the end which represents the minimum level of oil and another which is the maximum level allowed. You will notice that over time the level of oil drops from the maximum to minimum, What you are looking for is to note how quickly that happens.

As an aside, if your oil level increases then it will be because of two things, a)the incursion of coolant in the oil, b) the incursion of petrol in the oil.

 To read your dipstick, first have your car parked on a level surface,
 Remove the dipstick and wipe off the oil along the dipstick from the top(handle end) to the end, with a rag or paper towel,
 Reinsert the dipstick into the tube it came from,
 Count 4,
 Remove the dipstick and hold it horizontaly.
 The oil will present itself with a line some where between the two marks(hopefully). As long as the oil is above the minimum and not above the maximum line your ok. If its at the minimum, top up your oil till the reading on the dipstick is near the maximum line,
 Rule of thumb is that the distance between the two marks represent about 1/4 of a litre. You need to wait a little bit between topping up and reading the dipstick to allow the oil to settle.

Don't panic if you over fill it by a little bit (say 1-3mm above maximum line) you'll most likely use it soon enough.
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200