What the ^%$ is wrong with these dipsticks?? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 53
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
What the ^%$ is wrong with these dipsticks??

Yes, dipsticks. The real kind, not the one that drives like one.. I can never get a reading thats correct on mine OR my friends 2.5 Sometimes it show NOTHING on the dipstick and I KNOW I just changed the oil! BUT if I place my 1997 Nissan trucks dipstick in, it will read just fine.


Any ideas??
2point2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Registered User
 
Seabass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: At a bar.
Car: 05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Posts: 2,105
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I have the opposite problem. When I check it, it shows me an extra qt or 2. After letting the oil drain down the tube with the dip-stick out for 20 seconds or so, it will be accurate.
Seabass is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 01:34 PM
Super Moderator
 
AWDFTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: About to leave Chicago!
Car: 2003 2.5 4EAT with AWP.
Posts: 7,934
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Subaru dipsticks are annoying. They enter the pan at an odd angle and can read quite different on each side. I get the best reading on a stone cold engine on a level surface, but others vary.

2003 Outback: "Kaylee". 143,000 and counting.
Basics: Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W30, PureOne oil filter, Fram air filter, Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF, Mobil 1 75W90, Michelin Primacy MXV4.
Mods: Fumoto oil drain valve, Phillips VisionPlus low beams, HIR1 Phillips high beam upgrade, Nokya Hyper Yellow fog lights.

Also: More rust and parking lot scars than I care to think about.
AWDFTW is offline  
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 53
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Great!, How do you even know when its correct then? I guess the answer is to use my Nissan Truck dipstick. This is bleeping lame.
2point2 is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 05:51 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Eastern ON Canada
Car: 07 OBW 2.5i D-4AT
Posts: 9,616
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
As AWDFTW noted, the dipstick goes into the engine oil pan at an angle (about 45 degrees). The top of the dipstick has an offset yellow handle that should be oriented toward the front. This will bring the flat dipstick into the oil pan with marked side ("L" and "F") facing up.

Because of the angle the oil level on the marked top of the dipstick will be lower than the level on the unmarked bottom, but they are both measuring the same thing. Use the markings on the top -- this is the correct level.

The handle also has an O-ring that provide a snug fit in the tube. This means that when the engine is stopped and the oil returns to the pan (or is refilled during a change), if the dipstick is in place, there's no vent to allow the oil to move up (or down) the tube. I found that leaving the dipstick out when filling, or while waiting for the oil to return to the pan after the engine is stopped, will provide accurate and consistent reading, hot or cold. (E.g., when filling fuel, I will open the hood and pull the dipstick up about 6-8 inches first, then fuel up, and then remove the dipstick, wipe it and send it down the tube for a reading.)

Also, I'll add that the "F" mark (actually a hole) is "full cold". The level will go up with a hot engine -- to the level of the notch that is about 1/2 inch above the "F" mark.

Granted, it's not the greatest design but necessitated by the location of the oil pan in a boxer configuration. Even the new FB engine seems to be the same, although the dipstick is moved to the front. (See attached.)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	FB.jpg
Views:	663
Size:	58.2 KB
ID:	19288  
plain OM is online now  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 53
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Uhm, I call BS. The oil dipstick on a 96 2.2 and a 97 2.5 go directly into the oil pan. And there is NO excuse for a dipstick that cant read the level of oil no matter WHAT the engine configuration. I have driven air cooled beetles and porsches for years and never once had an issue with the dipstick. Its called poor engineering or lazy ass engineering, take your pick.
2point2 is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 06:11 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Eastern ON Canada
Car: 07 OBW 2.5i D-4AT
Posts: 9,616
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Yes, the dipstick on the 2.5 does go directly into the oil pan on the current 2.5 series (other than the new FB). Attached is for the 2005-9 2.5 and probably other years as well. Note the sharp bend at the bottom of the dipstick tube.

Subaru's have a lot of "quirks" that new owners find strange, if not downright annoying. The difficulty in checking the oil level is one of them. As the slogan goes, "it's what make a Subaru a Subaru".
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2005-9 2.5 liter.jpg
Views:	1893
Size:	31.7 KB
ID:	19289  
plain OM is online now  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Registered User
 
bigjeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mountains of Pa.
Car: 2009 Subaru Outback 3.0R 2004 Subaru Outback 2.5 Sedan
Posts: 115
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
Yes, the dipstick on the 2.5 does go directly into the oil pan on the current 2.5 series (other than the new FB). Attached is for the 2005-9 2.5 and probably other years as well. Note the sharp bend at the bottom of the dipstick tube.

Subaru's have a lot of "quirks" that new owners find strange, if not downright annoying. The difficulty in checking the oil level is one of them. As the slogan goes, "it's what make a Subaru a Subaru".

How true! Same here, never can get a true reading no matter what I do. Thats why we love our Subies!
bigjeep is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 10:47 AM
Registered User
 
tibug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Car: 2003 Outback Limited 2.5L H4 5MT Regatta Red Pearl w/ lift and audio system
Posts: 690
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I thought I was just plain nuts. Thanks for bringing this up!

Wound it up to a-hundred-and-ten
My speedometer said that I hit top end
My foot was glued like lead to the floor
That's all there is and there ain't no more!

Hot Rod Lincoln.
tibug is online now  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 12:09 PM
Subaru Gamehawking Team
 
HawkWagon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Car: 2009 Outback 2.5i Special Edition 5M/T
Posts: 166
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Thanks to plain OM for an excellent explanation of what can be a frustrating phenomenon. I too have learned to live with inconsistent readings, by taking them more frequently and essentially averaging them out. I've noticed the O-ring but hadn't thought of the vacuum effect that would prevent travel in the tube; will try your suggestion of breaking the seal by partially removing the dipstick a few minutes before actually checking the oil level.
HawkWagon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome