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Old 04-08-2007, 02:16 PM   #1
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Oil capacity

Have you noticed this: after changing my oil and cartridge, adding about 4.5 qts of oil, starting/running the engine to check for leaks, waiting a few minutes for oil to drain back into the pan, I add the remaining half qt. as necessary to bring the level up to the "full" line on the dip stick. Now when I check the oil level two or three days later, the oil level is above the "full" line on the dip stick. This same thing happened after the dealer did the first change, and I did the second. Only explanation I can come up with is that the oil in the filter/cartridge is draining back into the pan.

Has anyone else observed the same thing? I always add the final few ounces of oil to bring it up to the full line, after I run the engine and check for leaks--I'm not overfilling. It's been 6 weeks and about 2K miles since my last oil change, and when I checked the dip stick this morning--engine cold--it's still showing "overfill". I have the 2.4L engine, and even though its a good little engine, I don't think it is capable of "making" oil.

Comments, please.
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:50 PM   #2
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I've noticed the same thing too. Also on my '96 Altima when they change the oil. I think the problem is that many of these 4 cyl. engines actually take just 4 1/2 qts. of oil but the guys at the auto shops just put in 5 qts. anyway! Maybe they don't know how to charge you for half a qt.!! The manuals say not to run them over full, but I never think of saying anything about it to them 'til it's too late. Hasn't seemed to hurt anything though, I've had the Altima for 9 years!
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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Oil overfill

hey vettman, although I hav not yet done my first oil change on the HHR (only have 1000 kilometers) I have experienced this same problem on other make vehicles as well.

I am now in the habit of filling the crankcase just below the "full" line and then waiting a couple of hours (or overnight) then making the final check and adjusting as necessary. Trying to get the level exactly right during the oil change would always leave me a bit overfull the next day.

I know this doesn't make it any easier or quicker to get the "exact" level, but it does avoid the "overfull" issue.

Once I do my first oil change and find the "exact" correct level using my "overnight" method, I will then record how much oil I used so that I can get it right from there on out.

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Yep, I've seen it as well.

When I check the oil, it's about 1/4" over the MAX indicator on the dipstick. This was from a dealership oil change.

The only thing I can think of is that since the oil filter is a cartridge mounted at the top of the engine, it has no way to retain any oil when it's not running luck the "can" oil filters do, so it drains back into the pan.

The manual states 5 quarts or 4.7 litres of oil.
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