When is the best time to check oil? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-05-2012 Thread Starter
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When is the best time to check oil?

When is the best and most accurate time to check the oil on a marine diesel?

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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About 10 minutes or so after the motor is off and the motor......

was at full operating temp.

Hot oil has more volume than cool oil. You need to wait about 10 minutes after the motor is shutoff to allow it to full drain back into the pan. Measuring cold oil won't give you the true oil volume.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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After oil change when engine is cold, and oil is full, check dip stick. That's your full level, engine cold. Thereafter, check with cold engine.
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Also, if you are low, it's easier to add oil to a cold engine.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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Re: When is the best time to check oil?

also, you should routinely check oil level before starting engine. That means it's gonna be cold.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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Disagree somewhat with responses

The OP asked when is it the best and most accurate time to check oil on marine diesel. I stand by my advice to check it when the engine/oil is warm.

My procedure when I change my oil is to:
  1. Run motor for 10+ minutes.
  2. Allow to cool 10-20 minutes
  3. Suck out/drain oil.
  4. Change filter.
  5. Refill with cold oil to about 3/4 mark.
  6. Turn on motor and allow to circulate for 5 minutes to warm oil and fill filter. Motor is still warm from previous operation.
  7. Recheck oil level and add oil until just below top level mark.

About every 10 h of motor running. I recheck the oil. Usually do while it is cold and add oil if necessary, but only add to ~ 3/4 level. Adding too much oil can be a real mess and cause an over flow.

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Re: Disagree somewhat with responses

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Originally Posted by DrB View Post
The OP asked when is it the best and most accurate time to check oil on marine diesel. I stand by my advice to check it when the engine/oil is warm.

DrB
Wasn't disagreeing with you. Just reinforcing that oil level should always be checked before starting the engine. One of my rules, like always checking for water flow from the exhaust. Obviously, I don't check oil level when finished sailing and coming into harbor, but I do check it before going out.

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post #8 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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Re: When is the best time to check oil?

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Originally Posted by dvuyxx View Post
When is the best and most accurate time to check the oil on a marine diesel?
Whatever your manual says. Yanmar manual specifies before starting, IE cold.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #9 of 15 Old 07-05-2012
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Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
Wasn't disagreeing with you. Just reinforcing that oil level should always be checked before starting the engine. One of my rules, like always checking for water flow from the exhaust. Obviously, I don't check oil level when finished sailing and coming into harbor, but I do check it before going out.
Simplest to check before you start (engine cold), as you state and I do also. The OP just needs to be aware that the hot oil will have more volume than cold oil, so filling an engine the upper limit level, with cold oil, my lead to issues when it has expanded to it's hot volume.

When I bought my replacement filter and changed my oil on my Yanmar (3GM30F) the first time, the Service guy made it a point to let me know to not to over fill the motor and only add a maximum of 2 quarts of oil cold when refilling, even if it said I should fill more, and then run engine. He said after the oil warms up, then check the dipstick add a more only if necessary. Advice I have heeded.

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Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Checking cold means you get an accurate dipstick read. Oil volume does not increase dramatically enough to offset the amount of oil still returning to the pan after running to make a post- run, still -warm test any more accurate.It may take an hour for a thicker weight oil to return to the pan. in fact, it may be exactly the opposite, since the dipstick is calibrated for cold volume in addition to cold capacity.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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