Just done an oil and filter change.

Fully drained and topped up with 4.5l. I believe the engine takes 5l

The dipstick readings are seemingly inconsistent.

Could it be residue or could I overfilled somehow.

Oil was added whilst front was still jacked up and on a slight uphill incline. Dipstick is twisted.

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Update: I have since driven the car, parked it on a flat, returned 30 minutes later and did 3 dip stick checks one after the other. I've attached pictures. In 1 and 2, side A has a gap and oil well past the max line. Side B stops where the gap starts on side A. On the third attempt, Sides A and B are the same (inline with 1b and 2b). I am thinking B is the reading I should use and top up oil accordingly. Would appreciate opinions

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Oct 6, 2022 at 16:15
  • 1
    Have you started then engine since the refill, so that oil gets sent to the new filter? The new filter should hold some of the oil.
    – HandyHowie
    Oct 6, 2022 at 17:01
  • I have now ran the engine and retested on a more level surface. I've added more photos.
    – Kiee
    Oct 14, 2022 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Every vehicle can have its own set of rules for reading the dipstick. Some want the engine to be warm. Some want a cold engine. To that end not knowing what your vehicle requires, I'll describe for what I view as a "normal" way to read a dipstick. This may be what is at issue here.

Normally what I'll do to read the dipstick is to ensure the vehicle is on flat ground, completely warmed, and having sat after shutdown for a few minutes (5-10). Once the vehicle has rested, pull the dipstick and wipe it off, then re-stick it until fully seated. Immediately pull the dipstick and take a look at the reading. To get a clear "reading", look for a distinct line where the oil stops at. This should give you a good indication of where your oil level is at, though there is a caveat.

In a lot of vehicles, oil remains in the dipstick tube, so when you pull the dipstick for a reading, it shows too much because the dipstick is picking up oil as it travels down and back out of the tube. One of the ways you may be able to get around this is to look on the opposite side of the dipstick. Many times oil will show a distinct line on one side, but will be smeared on the other. It doesn't matter which side you look at, you'll see that line and know it's an accurate read.

It appears to both the top and bottom images show the actual level between the two notches. It appears in the third image the dipstick has picked up some oil from the tube where the twisty is at. To me there is that "distinct line" there as well as it matching up to the amount of oil said you put into the engine. IOW, it makes sense.

  • Thanks for your detailed response. I've added an update and would value your thoughts. I'm thinking it's on the low side.
    – Kiee
    Oct 14, 2022 at 10:32
  • @Kiee - All of the images show the level to be (within reason) the same. Add a bit of oil to get it to the full mark and call it a day. Oct 14, 2022 at 10:42

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