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Is the readout for oil you see on your dash guage fed by a sensor of some sort? On initial startup, sometimes the reading is completely full and at other times on startup, the reading is a bar or two low. I was just wondering how this oil level reading comes about. P.S. Oil was just changed so I know the right amount went into the engine. Thx,

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The sensor is similar to the one used in medical ultrasound machines. It is bouncing sound waves off the air oil interface. The time it takes the sound to get back to the transducer tells the computer where the air oil interface is and thus the amount of oil in the crankcase. EleCTriCT is right. The level will change with oil temp and the angle of the car relative to gravity. Always measure your oil when fully warmed up ( about 220 F on the oil temp gauge) with the car on a level surface.

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Mijostyn, I don't wish to contradict but the below quote is from the manual, it states to check the oil cold (before embarking on a journey if the vehicle has not been driven for an extended period) ie. cold, or after refuelling ie hot. I have found that with mine measure at cold and it will indicate full then measure at hot and it indicates over full, so take your pick but they won't read the same! Oh for a dipstick again! Probably best to settle for under when cold and full when hot.

Display and measurement of the engine oil level

Caution!

Risk of engine damage.

f Regularly check the oil level after refuelling.

f Do not allow the oil level to fall below the minimum mark.

Conditions for measuring the oil level

1. It is important to ensure that the vehicle is horizontal for correct oil level measurement to occur.

2. Engine is off.

3. Ignition on.

Oil return time

Before the oil level is measured, the engine oil has to have flowed back into the oil pan.

The time taken for the engine oil to flow back depends on the engine temperature and how long the engine has been stopped.

This waiting time is counted down in the on-board computer display when the ignition is switched on.

The oil level display segments start to "cycle". It is best to measure the engine oil level before embarking on a journey (if the vehicle has not been driven for an extended period) or with the

engine at operating temperature.

Shorter waiting times are achieved in this way.

Initiating oil level measurement

Switch ignition on (do not start the engine).

The engine-oil level measurement display appears in the on-board computer.

Allow waiting time to elapse.

Once the measurement has been completed, you can read off the engine oil level on the segment display.

– If the segments are filled in up to the top line, the oil level has reached the maximum mark.

Under no circumstances add engine oil.

Edited by Loren
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I also think an important thing to mention is that i noticed some people think that when the display reads half level lets say, alot of people think they are half way down on oil capacity which is not the case.

the digital readout is only reading about the last 1L (check you manual im not sure the exact number)

and i agree every engine should have a mechanical dipstick.!!!

cheers

Edited by EleCTriCT
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That is a quarum for the dipstick.
jl-c I know it says that but the guy that wrote the manual is out to lunch and here is why. Oil temp when hot is thermostatically controlled and will be at the same temp regardless of environmental conditions however what is cold?? Cold is whatever the ambient temp is which can vary from (where I live) 10 degrees below zero to 100 F. At different temps the oil volume changes. Technically you want to measure the oil under the same conditions every time. Tough to do that using ambient temp not that it really makes much difference using these stupid electronic guages. What we all are interested in is how much oil the car is using over time and the resolution of these guages is not good enough to give you a good picture but still it is best to use identical conditions. Exactly where the top level is is not as important as how fast the level is changing. I bet most of you like me neurotically keep the level pinned against the top anyway.

Edited by Mijostyn
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Thanks for the input guys. I always check my oil level in the morning before venturing out to work (same level parking space in my garage) and it just bugged me that one morning it was down a bar and the next morning it was pinned at the top. Give me a dipstick any day but in the mean time, I thought I might ask my dealer to install a new device while I still have my CPO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting comment from the dealer today when I asked them about the fluctuation in my electronic dipstick. They said to measure it when hot not cold. When I mentioned what the owners manual said about checking the level when cold, the service guy just sort of laughed and said once again to measure when hot; just as Mijostyn said:-)

Edited by 0356kid
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Mijostyn, I don't wish to contradict but the below quote is from the manual, it states to check the oil cold (before embarking on a journey if the vehicle has not been driven for an extended period) ie. cold, or after refuelling ie hot. I have found that with mine measure at cold and it will indicate full then measure at hot and it indicates over full, so take your pick but they won't read the same! Oh for a dipstick again! Probably best to settle for under when cold and full when hot.

Display and measurement of the engine oil level

Caution!

Risk of engine damage.

f Regularly check the oil level after refuelling.

f Do not allow the oil level to fall below the minimum mark.

Conditions for measuring the oil level

1. It is important to ensure that the vehicle is horizontal for correct oil level measurement to occur.

2. Engine is off.

3. Ignition on.

Oil return time

Before the oil level is measured, the engine oil has to have flowed back into the oil pan.

The time taken for the engine oil to flow back depends on the engine temperature and how long the engine has been stopped.

This waiting time is counted down in the on-board computer display when the ignition is switched on.

The oil level display segments start to "cycle". It is best to measure the engine oil level before embarking on a journey (if the vehicle has not been driven for an extended period) or with the

engine at operating temperature.

Shorter waiting times are achieved in this way.

Initiating oil level measurement

Switch ignition on (do not start the engine).

The engine-oil level measurement display appears in the on-board computer.

Allow waiting time to elapse.

Once the measurement has been completed, you can read off the engine oil level on the segment display.

– If the segments are filled in up to the top line, the oil level has reached the maximum mark.

Under no circumstances add engine oil.

I own an 997-2 and the engine must be warm and idling to obtain

an oil level measurement. Is this different than a 997-1?

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Hi Bolobar, you certainly can not check the oil with the car idling. The timer will not allow you to do this. It accounts for the time needed for the oil to drain back into the sump.

First thing in the morning with a cold car, keep your feet off the clutch anc brake pedals and switch the ignition on. The oil measurement bar should come up in the display. I am not 100% sure but I think the system is the same in the 997.2

0356kid, very smart service guy you have there ;-}

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  • Moderators

997-1 has M96 M97 engines, 997-2 has a different engine, DFI MA101 and MA102, it is possible that they use the same oil check system as the Turbo cars, engine warm and idle. This must stand in the manual as it is the case.

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