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Old 03-13-2010, 04:15 AM   #1
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Checking engine oil!?

I went to see this car today its a performance mustang with Very High horse power and modified engine parts. The seller said the only way to check oil on that car is when the car is cold. He showed me the dip stick while the car was hot and i couldnt tell if the car had any oil or not in it. The seller also told me the oil stays up on top while engine is hot and in the oil pan when engine is cold is this true?
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:11 AM   #2
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Checking engine oil!?

Yes and no. The engine has to be off, of course. If it is off for a few minutes, you can get a reading. It will read slightly low, but close enough. If it shows a quart down when hot, then it is down, probably at least half a quart. If it shows half a quart or less down while hot, it is fine. The most accurate check for any car is first thing in the morning, or whatever time of day, before you start it the first time. That is the only time I check my oil, and I have been doing it that way for 42 years, for Fords, GMs, Chryslers, Volkswagens, one Vauxhaul, and a Mercedes Benz.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:41 AM   #3
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Checking engine oil!?

You should always check the oil when the engine is cold. That give an accurate reading on the dipstick on how much oil is in the crankcase.
If the engine is running, or has been running, you can still do a reading, but it will be lower or higher than when it's cold.
If you don't see any oil on the dipstick when it's hot, I would think twice about that vehicle. There still should be an oil line showing!
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:15 AM   #4
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Checking engine oil!?

You should always check the oil when the engine is cool (before cranking). But even if the engine had been running you should have been able to see oil on the dip stick.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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Checking engine oil!?

You never said what engine or year.
All oil dipsticks should show at least some oil on them, no matter what temp. Yes, you can check it hot .....just after about maybe 2 minutes or so.
In racing, if the oil pump pickup (in the oil pan) gets uncovered for ANY amount of time, it would do damage. Therefore, the oil MUST drain down to the bottom to the engine fairly quickly. If it does not.....the oil drainback holes in the heads are clogged or restricted in some way. (carbon/metal fragments/etc)
The above oiling system is called a "wet sump" system.
Now, if the engine had a belt driven external oil pump and an external oil reservoir.......it is a "dry sump" system, and the oil reservoir usually has a sight glass to take an oil reading. Might have a dipstick if it was cobbled up. This type of oiling system is for the very serious......which I doubt this is what you saw, but matches the description, "oil stays up on top while engine is hot". (yeah, in a tank)
By the way, mustangs and camaros are the worst used vehicles to buy, due to the abuse/modification factor.
Oh.....and you never check it with the engine running. (wet sump systems)
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:19 AM   #6
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Checking engine oil!?

no its not true engine oil runs down to the pan faster after it has warmed up the heat lowers the viscosity of the oil only a portion of the oil should stay up top while its running.
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