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I'm a dipstick!

A few days ago I checked my oil and it was over the "Max" line on the dipstick by about 3/8 of an inch! Not a good feeling on a freshly rebuilt motor. Turning to VMF for advice, I got a list of things to check in an effort to figure out why the oil level was up.

First, after the car sat for a day to let any water settle to the bottom, I opened the drain plug to let some fluid out, and to my relief, it was oil, not water. Now my attention was on the fuel pump, thinking it may be pushing fuel into the block due to a bad diaphram or something.

I had only let a few ounces of oil out of the drain plug, so I was curious how much this would affect the oil level. I don't check the level on the first removal of the dipstick, I merely wipe it off and get a reading the second time. This time, the level was correct. No way a few ounces could lower the level 3/8". I checked it 2-3 more times with the same result, then got interrupted by my 3 year old who fell and busted his lip chasing a frog.

Doofus number one:

When I returned and put the dipstick back in for a final check, it was 3/8" higher. Okay, now I thought someone is jacking with me, but no VMFers know where I live. Another 2-3 more checks, and it was still reading 3/8" over Max.

You can only imagine the disbelief at this point. I sat and pondered, and pondered, and pondered. Staring at the motor with a blank and confused look, I began daydreaming and wondered which way the dipstick handle looked better (curved out or curved in) when it came to me. I may have put the dipstick differently. No way could this be the cause of my dilemma though, or could it? Well, to my disbelief, I got one reading at the max and one reading 3/8" over the max!

Doofus number two:

Having the drain pan out and things semi-messy, I decided I would change my oil and filter. The change seemed to go well, then I started the car and was checking things out... Okay, I was admiring the sight, sound, and smell of the car running! ;)

I revved the car a little, and instandly, the car puked oil all over the floor (2-3 quarts in a second or two). Talk about a pucker factor.

Doofus number three:

I jumped over to the drivers door in an attempt to lean in and shut the car off. In that swift and graceful motion (I'm sure), I landed on the edge of the oil catch pan and catapaulted oil up my leg and across the garage.

I managed to get the car off, catch my breath, get my heart beating, and stop cussing long enough to gather my wits and start to figure out what just happened.

My suspicion was that the oil filter blew up or something as the motor didn't make any unusual sounds, it just barfed! I unscrewed the oil filter and it looked fine, so I began to worry. I was nervously looking around where the oil filter goes for a hole in the block or something, and I found the culprit. The seal from the previous oil filter was still stuck on the block.

Reinstallation of the oil filter and topping the oil off with another 3 quarts of oil (meanining I had a total of about seven on the floor now), it started right up and ran fine afterwards.

Now, where's the kitty litter darnit! ::
 

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Sounds like a keystone cops comedy! ::
The seal from the previous oil filter was still stuck on the block.
Been there. Two gaskets is a given to dump every drop. You'll now check religiously for the old gasket. Then, in about 25 years, you'll forget to check it just once, and it'll happen again. Been there too.
 

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"Then, in about 25 years, you'll forget to check it just once, and it'll happen again."
Wow! Are you my long lost twin brother, or what? ::
 

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The old gasket thing happened to me on my last oil change, I had the same reaction except I didn't slip slide into the oil. I thought at the time what the %$&* did I mess up. Amazing how much oil spews out when you start the motor. First time it happened to me in over 30 years. Changed the oil today on my truck and I kept an eye out for that &*^% gasket.
 

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OMG i can picture the whole scene. Hilarious (well for us anyway!).

Been there done that with the oil filter gasket from the old filter stuck on the block. Was changing the oil on my 99 Explorer and went in to start it up and wait for the oil light to go off like it always has when i change the fluid. After about 2 seconds i had that same sinking feeling something was wrong. In the 5 seconds it took for me to realize that all was NOT right in the oil changing universe, i had about 4 quarts of oil all over my garage and undercarriage. What a MESS that is. Good thing the auto parts store was only 1/2 mile away. The guy behind the counter knew what happened when he saw me buying the industrial size "kitty litter" bag. I'll never let that happen again! (until the next time that is...lol)
 

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I learned the filter gasket after draining the complete oil of my F250 down the highway. Couldn't figure why the oil pressure was dropping on a fresh change.
 

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Oh, Lordy! Just wait until the 3 yr old repeats some of the fine words he learned from your episode, just for the benefit of swmbo...at the worst possible time...lol. Been there, done that! :eek: Just wait until she asks where he learned that...and he points at you...lol ::
 

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ROFLMAO. The bright side is you will always locate the old gasket from this day forward (we've ALL been there and done that ::).

Yes, putting the dip stick in 180* different can sometimes give different readings. Actualy it's the same reading, but just on opposite sides of the dipstick. What's happening is the one side is dragging on the dipstick tube and picking up extra oil, giving the impression that the crank case has more oil in it.

The flying oil reminds me of putting my AOD into my '66. I was having major problems getting it to shift and became an EXPERT at R&Ring the valve body. One time I drained all the tranny fluid into a bucket and didn't spill a single drop on the garage floor. I pull the bucket out from under the car and carry it over to one side of the garage to have it out of the way. I go to set it down and couldn't see the jack stand sitting there (my bucket blocked my view of it perfectly). I set the bucket down right on the jack stand with enough force to have it go right through the bottom of the bucket ... transmission fluid EVERYWHERE!

I always have a bucket of kitty litter in my garage now :eek:
 
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Me ::

I learned that from a friend's doofus years ago and have always checked during the oil change. Just did a change on my Tahoe with my son's help and made note to him to always check for the gasket. ::
 

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Yup, the first oil change I did, the gasket stayed on the block! LOL, I learn my lesson early! ::
 

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Yup, the first oil change I did, the gasket stayed on the block! LOL, I learn my lesson early! ::
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been doing my own oil changes for most of 16 years and this was a first!

Johnpro also hit the nail on the head with his explanation of the reason I get different readings on the dipstick. I might try to put some pre-lube on the dipstick and insert it to see if it gets wiped off or shows evidence of rubbing. Um...well.... that sounds pretty perverted doesn't it? :p
 
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