Dipstick oil level readings. WTF?? (1 Viewer)

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Hi all.

I have a 97 80 series, and it has the later convex dipstick tube but straight dipSTICK. I've always had trouble reading it and thought (and still do) that it may be leaking oil over time.

I was checking it once weekly in the morning and it would be at the 'F' mark. But haven't checked it for a few weeks now.
Anyhow, I'm driving down the street today and notice the oil warning lamp is on.. lasted a few seconds and went off.

I checked my oil last night when it was still hot (half hr after a long drive) and it is hard to read. I got one reading at a few mm past the 'L' mark, again the same, and the third time I got what I thought was a 'F' reading, there was solid oil up to the same same 'L' mark, then nothing and a little bit of solid reading at the 'F' mark.

What the fook is going on with my oil, do I have a leak or are the dipstick readings just s***e on these things?

I have the usual small leak coming from the oil seal but thats all that I know of. Last oil change was 4000kms ago (I service every 5000) and was measured at 'F' apparently by my mechanic.

UPDATE, Just took another reading after 20 minutes of engine being turned off. It's sitting at 'L'..
Could this just be usage and oil pump leak? The truck has around 130,000 miles on it. 190,000kms
 
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Joined
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With the FZJ-80 1FZFE engine the manual says to check the oil when warm but after the engine has been turned off for few minutes. If you check it first thing in the morning cold it may show full, then if you check it warm later the same day it may show 1/2-3/4 quart low. Also, if the mechanic checked it cold he could have made the same error. What I would do is to fill it now with the engine warm (to get the proper level) then continue to check the level in the same manner along with keeping track of mileage.
 
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The low oil light definitely comes on when you get near the Low mark on the dipstick with our 1FZ. I was surprised at how accurately it does this, never having had a low oil light on a vehicle before.

It doesn't mean you're hurting it unless you ignore it. I'm actually thinking one could get complacent and stop checking the dipstick except for when the light comes on, but probably a good idea to regularly do that still.
 
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Croozer
Thanks for posting this info, I was literally going to post something similar this weekend due to the same issue with my rig.
Kernal and greentruck
Thanks for the info and your knowledge, us rookies definitely appreciate the help and input from the veterans.
 
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The low oil light definitely comes on when you get near the Low mark on the dipstick with our 1FZ. I was surprised at how accurately it does this, never having had a low oil light on a vehicle before.

It doesn't mean you're hurting it unless you ignore it. I'm actually thinking one could get complacent and stop checking the dipstick except for when the light comes on, but probably a good idea to regularly do that still.
Yeah, don't do that. I have 2 cruisers, my wife's that gets driven daily, and mine that gets driven mostly on trails. I got used to waiting for the light on my wife's, which was very reliable in telling me when it was a quart low. Well, I started having a low oil pressure problem on my truck, but never checked the oil level 'cause the light never came on. Finally changed the oil, got 2 quarts out of it. TWO. It was a tad low. Apparently the light doesn't work on mine.
 
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Lol Spike, I'm glad you checked it! But then again these Cruisers are so reliable they don't really need oil :p

I'm just about to go and top it up. I see that this is a common issue, do these 80's just use alot of oil possibly?
 
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I believe the original specs said that the engine may consume up to a quart of oil every 1000 miles.
 
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Well judging by that Spike it seems about spot on.

I just topped up about 1.6 litres (which is 1.5 quarts) for 2000kms (which is 3300 miles) and that is WITH the oil seal as it is with a slow drip, I don't even know if this drip would be enough to register on the dipstick though.

I topped the oil up to the 'F' mark when hot, which brings it about 5mm OVER 'F' cold. I hope this isn't too full?
 
Joined
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Dip Stick Oil Level Reading

Nice Thread. I learned something that has bugged me for years!

I have a 1993 FJ80 with 187,000 miles. I have always had a hard time reading the dip stick oil level. I used to think that I needed to check the oil level when "cold." I would add based on that "cold" reading. I only had one time when the oil light flashed on and I stopped and added oil right away.

I can not get a good reading on the dip stick when it was warm. Just like what "Croozer" describes on the dipstick. Guess I didn't think about the expansion of the oil when warm/hot. I added a quart recently and I am a little bit over the "F". I was at 1350 miles into the oil change. Seems to be in the range that people are getting.

Guess they never improved the dipstick in the FJ80's series. My FJ40 and FJ55 both have simple straight dipsticks and read very consistently.
 
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My impression is that the changing oil level, cold to hot, has more to do with the oiling system (pick up tube, oil pump, oil filter, oil galleries) than the dipstick being straight or curved. IME the system tends to empty out at least partially when the truck sits over night which raises the level in the oil pan, measured by the dipstick. Also IME that likely explains the about one second start up rattle which often occurs in a cold engine until the oil system gets re-pressurized. FWIW.
 
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