After I shut off my engine and check the oil, it is over the full mark on my dip stick. When I leave the engine to cool down about 5 hours, the oil level is below the full mark on the dip stick. This just started happening after my last oil change.

  • What does your owners manual say about when to check the oil levels? Jan 17, 2015 at 21:57
  • 1
    I'd wait at least 5 min, maybe 10 before checking, could be oil dropping down giving a false high reading.
    – Xen2050
    Jan 18, 2015 at 13:34
  • Isn't it necessary to know the make & model of the vehicle before anything else? Jan 20, 2015 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


The most obvious answer is heat-related expansion and contraction. Back in the day of full service gas stations, it was standard practice to check the oil when filling the gas (and I still do that at self-service stations). The best practice is to check the oil as the last thing you do at a fuel stop, giving the oil time to drip down into the bottom of the crankcase but not allowing it time to contract from cooling (a few hours later, as you indicate).

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