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Okay so now I have owned this 03 996 for about 3 months now and still learn new things about it every day.

When I first got it, the RMS was leaking and was fixed under warranty. At that time the dealer, according to the paperwork, put all new oil in the car.

Seems logical right? After all....they had to take the oil out to do the work.

So last night for whatever reason I decided to check the oil level deal using the dash gizmo. Normally the reader comes up high on the mark near the top arrow. Last night it was at the very first bar on the bottom-below the lower arrow.

What gives? There has been no leaks, no wetness on the motor, no smells at all. Is this meter accurate and if so, where has my oil gone to?

I won't be able to do any service or oil changes until Saturday morning. The motor sounds smooth and there is no ill smelling odor from the motor area at all.

Any thoughts on this?

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Unless I am mistaken in order to get a proper reading you have to check when the engine has been warmed up. Next time you stop at a gas station, having driven at least for 10-15 minutes, leave the engine switched off during fill-up and check the oil when you are done filling up. Both methods of getting a reading (manual and electronic) are most accurate this way. Of course you have to make sure the car is level.

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Check the oil level with the dip stick on level ground with the engine properly warmed up.

Dipstick? You mean actually get out and open the hood?

I was getting spoiled with this inside gig.

I will do that when I get off work. The car will have sat for about 9 hours and be good and cold.

My guess and hope is that there is a sending unit issue only. The car doesn't burn oil or smoke or leak so it would have to be going somewhere unless they didn't put enough in when doing the RMS.

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Check the oil level with the dip stick on level ground with the engine properly warmed up.

Dipstick? You mean actually get out and open the hood?

I was getting spoiled with this inside gig.

I will do that when I get off work. The car will have sat for about 9 hours and be good and cold.

My guess and hope is that there is a sending unit issue only. The car doesn't burn oil or smoke or leak so it would have to be going somewhere unless they didn't put enough in when doing the RMS.

It’s been my experience that the inside oil level display is affected by even small inclines or declines. Oil expands when hot so for the most accurate reading check after the engine is fully warmed up but allow a few minutes for the oil to drain back into the oil pan.

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Okay so this is what I did today.

Before I left for work and before I turned the motor over at all this morning I checked the oil level in the car-it shows at the base arrow.

I opened up the hood and checked the oil level. It shows at the first notch.

I drove to work (20 miles away), and checked the oil when I got there. It doesn't show at the first notch at all-nothing. Granted, I didn't wait more than 5 minutes for any oil to fall back into the case so it may be a false read.

The motor is dry.

There is no ill smell of burning oil.

There is nothing on my garage floor from anything leaking at all.

There is no weird color exhaust coming from the pipes.

There is no oil burning smell in the exhaust path either.

I still think that when they did the RMS fix that they didn't put enough oil in the car.

So like it or not I will be pulling the oil out of the car this weekend just so I know for a fact how much is in there.

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Okay so now I have owned this 03 996 for about 3 months now and still learn new things about it every day.

When I first got it, the RMS was leaking and was fixed under warranty. At that time the dealer, according to the paperwork, put all new oil in the car.

Seems logical right? After all....they had to take the oil out to do the work.

So last night for whatever reason I decided to check the oil level deal using the dash gizmo. Normally the reader comes up high on the mark near the top arrow. Last night it was at the very first bar on the bottom-below the lower arrow.

What gives? There has been no leaks, no wetness on the motor, no smells at all. Is this meter accurate and if so, where has my oil gone to?

I won't be able to do any service or oil changes until Saturday morning. The motor sounds smooth and there is no ill smelling odor from the motor area at all.

Any thoughts on this?

How long ago did you get your oil changed? Those things burn oil all the time, just add some every month or so depending on your check until the next oil change.

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I know some Pcars burn oil, but NOT that much oil!?

Mine either doesn't burn much or it doesn't at all.

Did you take a look in your coolant tank? Did the oil get in there? (I hope not!)

Oh, and the proper way to check your oil is AFTER the engine has been shut off for some time.

Preferably in the morning before you start her up, and of course, on level ground.

If you do it with the engine warmed-up, you're gonna get an inaccurate reading as all the oil has been distributed all over the engne.

I alway use the dipstick, don't quite trust the gauge.

Though my gauge has been pretty consistent with the dipstick.

They don't necessarily match exactly, but you learn to read the differences if they're consistently different.

Like for eg. one bar down on gauge coincides to full on dipstick...

Edited by CosmosC4S
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Oh, and the proper way to check your oil is AFTER the engine has been shut off for some time.

Preferably in the morning before you start her up, and of course, on level ground.

If you do it with the engine warmed-up, you're gonna get an inaccurate reading as all the oil has been distributed all over the engne.

Let's not give innacurate information to others :rolleyes: . On page 171 of the owners manual you can find the way Porsche suggests in order to take an accurate reading:

"Engine must be switched off and at operating temperature"

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Okay so let me fill you in on what I did this weekend. It was a multi-pronged approach to try any and all suggestions and including those that matched the book.

Saturday morning before turning the car over I checked the stick. Nothing on it at all, not even to the first notch.

I turned the car over and waited for the idle to drop so I would know that it was warmed up enough to drive. Turning the car off I checked the oil again. Still nothing showing on it.

Yes, the stick was pushed in all the way!

So then I drove the car around from store to store looking for the correct weight listed in another thread and returned home.

At this point the oil was very warmed up for sure. I checked it again.

I got the jack stands out and lifted the car and supported it. This took about 20-30 minutes and then I checked the level yet again.

Guess what? Still not a lick of oil on the stick. And no, the meter on the dash wasn't showing anything more than the single bar.

The underside of the car was and still is dry at this point too.

I drained the oil into my 9qt container. (I didn't need a filter since the oil/filter change was done in December when they fixed the RMS leak)

The container was filled to the rim. 9qts of slightly used oil!!!

I turned the car over to warm it up some and checked the level. There was some on the stick and slightly abover the first notch.

Oh and looky-looky, the meter is working too.

Is there some ghost that I didn't know about here? Now I don't mind doing this from time to time and it can never hurt to change out oil too early but it is a false sense of security when the methods of measurement are giving mixed signals.

Side note:

This was the first time in the last 3-4 months that I have owned this car that I had been underneath it. What a mess!!! That RMS leak covered nearly everything.

I started to use Simple Green and a brush to clean the motor and surrounding bits but is there something that is faster and yet will not hurt any rubber or gasket areas?

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I've done a lot of testing on both the dipstick and gauge. To get the most consistent reading, it's best to check the oil level in the morning with the dip stick and top it off to ~1/8" below the MAX mark (so at operating temp, the oil will be very close to the MAX mark). Even though the manual says check the oil at operating temperature, practically you need to wait at least 10 minutes after shut off before you could get a consistent reading plus I found the engine temp could change the tip stick reading a lot (about 1/4"). The hotter the engine, the higher the reading. Say if you had a spirited drive and red lined a few times before turning the engine off, then wait for 10 minutes and check the oil. The level will be like 1/8" higher. That's why checking in the morning will give you the best consistency but keep in mind that the oil level will be a little higher at operating temp.

Whoever did the RMS should have cleaned up the mess around that area (so they could identify any new leaks in the future). You may want to keep an eye on it after you cleaned things up.

Hope it helps.

- Ahsai

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Oh, and the proper way to check your oil is AFTER the engine has been shut off for some time.

Preferably in the morning before you start her up, and of course, on level ground.

If you do it with the engine warmed-up, you're gonna get an inaccurate reading as all the oil has been distributed all over the engne.

Let's not give innacurate information to others :rolleyes: . On page 171 of the owners manual you can find the way Porsche suggests in order to take an accurate reading:

"Engine must be switched off and at operating temperature"

No Sir, I am not giving inaccurate information. In fact, your quote: "Engine must be switched off and at operating temperature" is misleading, as it is not complete.

I have always been taught, I have read, I have heard...that the most accurate way to check your oil (I'm talking of using the dip stick) is on level ground, with the engine turned off and rested for at least a few mins, and the oil is settled. It is not necessary for the engine to be at operating temp, nor is it necessary for it to be cold.

However, many people choose to check the oil level in the morning, or anytime before the car is started up, becoz' at that time, all the oil is settled in the pan (they don't have to wait!), and thus, would give a more accurate reading on the dipstick.

I am not saying you read it wrong from the manual,

but... what you quote from the manual, I am thinking...that could possibly be procedure for the onboard computer gauge reading only. And I am not saying you cannot check your oil with the engine at operating temp, you just have to wait at least a few mins for the oil to settle, to get a more accurate reading.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong in any way, and I would like to know why. We never stop learning...

Edited by CosmosC4S
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If you had 9 quarts of oil in your engine and none was on the dip stick you’re either on unlevel ground or the dip stick is the wrong length.

While my garage may not be perfectly level, as designed to allow water and such to flow out, it is level enough so that the car doesn't roll when not in gear or with th e-brake on.

I will look into the stick length.

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Unless I am mistaken in order to get a proper reading you have to check when the engine has been warmed up. Next time you stop at a gas station, having driven at least for 10-15 minutes, leave the engine switched off during fill-up and check the oil when you are done filling up. Both methods of getting a reading (manual and electronic) are most accurate this way. Of course you have to make sure the car is level.

I have always been taught, I have read, I have heard...that the most accurate way to check your oil (I'm talking of using the dip stick) is on level ground, with the engine turned off and rested for at least a few mins, and the oil is settled. It is not necessary for the engine to be at operating temp, nor is it necessary for it to be cold.

However, many people choose to check the oil level in the morning, or anytime before the car is started up, becoz' at that time, all the oil is settled in the pan (they don't have to wait!), and thus, would give a more accurate reading on the dipstick.

The complete procedure was described in my first reply to this topic, the second reply was just to stress the fact that the engine must be at operating temperature in order to get a proper reading. You can still take a reading with a cold engine but it can only be a relative reading to compare with another "cold engine" reading.

The problem with cold readings comes into play when oil level is close to max or min. For example, during my last oil change the mechanic added oil until he got a max reading. He thought this was ok. When I took a reading at operating temperature, the oil level was way beyond max which apparently can be very dangerous. I removed almost 1 litre of oil in order to get back to the max reading at operating temperature.

The 996 is the only car I know which requires this procedure. All my previous cars were happy with cold readings and operating temperature made small or no difference to the reading. The 996 is different :rolleyes:

Edited by mpikounis
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The 996 is the only car I know which requires this procedure. All my previous cars were happy with cold readings and operating temperature made small or no difference to the reading. The 996 is different :rolleyes:

From my personal experience with oil level checking on this "different" 996...I do my checks with the dipstick, usually before I start the car, and sometimes if I feel the need to, after a drive home and letting the engine rest like 10-15mins (engine is till hot in 10-15mins!). There has never been a big difference in those readings at those different times.

With the gauge on the dash, however, the readings have been inconsistent and fluctuates from time to time. The 996/997 has an onboard computer oil level gauge that is far from perfect. How many complaints have you heard of, (including myself) that the gauge on the dash doesn't match the dipstick?

Whatever the confusion is here, I always check my oil the way I described, with the dipstick. I don't quite trust the dash gauge, and only use it as an "alert" check should it drop below normal.

Talking about removing excess oil, I had the opposite experience as yours.

My mechanic used the dash gauge to fill the oil during the oil change, and swore he filled it to one bar below max (reading on the gauge, I couldn't believe a mechanic doesn't even check the dipstick!). When I left the shop, it showed max on the gauge. I had instructed him to fill it to one bar below max, as I'm experimenting with the "white smoke" issue on hard acceleration with a max oil level.

When I got home, I checked the oil level with the dipstick, with the engine cold. The level was way over max!

I had to remove about 1 1/2 liters!

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