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Should Oil Levels be Checked When the Engine is Hot or Cold?
 
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Question:
Should Oil Levels be Checked When the Engine is Hot or Cold?
Is there a "best" way to check the oil level? I have always checked the oil level with the engine stone cold. I recently read in an auto enthusiast magazine that oil should be checked when the engine is hot -- and that seems wrong. What is the REAL answer and why? Thanks.
-- David Lease, Oakton, VA
Answer:
We recommend checking the oil level either before turning on the engine, or 5 to 10 minutes after shutting down so you can have all the oil in the oil pan to get an accurate measurement.
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