[C38] Oil dipstick

Tom Troncalli tdtron at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 11 00:18:58 EDT 2005

Hello Scott,

You are correct in that the top of the cross-hatched marking is the suppose
to be the top of the fill level.

The problem is though that many dipsticks are either improperly marked from
the factory or they have been replaced with dipsticks from other engines by
previous owners.  The safest way to know your engine's fill level is to do
an oil change using the factory recommended oil quantity, run the engine to
lubricate the filter and oil galleries, and then shut off the engine and
wait for several minutes for the oil to drain down to the pan.

Now, after the oil has drained to the pan, pull the dipstick and check to
see where the oil level marks on the dipstick.  Scratch this level with a
file and now you will know exactly where your fill level should be.  I'm
retired from the automotive business and you would be amazed how many
engine dipsticks are not accurate.  Underfilling can run the engine low on
pressure and possibly cause dry running and overfilling can cause the
crankshaft seals to blow out making removal of the engine necessary if the
rear seal is blown out.  Even replacing the front seal is no quick
procedure.  Neither a low or high oil level is a good thing so finding the
factory level is a good procedure for all of us.

Tom Troncalli
The Renata #95
St. Pete, Fla

> [Original Message]
> From: Scott and Ann <ctigloo at gci.net>
> To: Catalina 38 Listserve <Listserve at catalina38.org>
> Date: 10/10/2005 11:35:57 PM
> Subject: [C38] Oil dipstick
> Here's a really basic question. Can anyone tell me how to read the oil 
> dipstick on the 5424/M30? There is about a half-inch of smooth metal at 
> the bottom. Above that is an inch or so that is cross-hatched. Then it's 
> smooth the rest of the way up. I've been assuming that the "full" mark 
> is at the top of the cross-hatched section, but my manual doesn't specify.
> Thanks,
> Scott Miller
> Tacita II #224
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