What temperature to measure oil level?

Discussion in 'SL-Class' started by JettaRed, May 26, 2017.

  1. JettaRed

    JettaRed New Member

    When reading the oil level using the diagnostic menu, I get differences by up to ½ liter when the engine is hot (operating temperature) and cold (ambient temperature). In either case, the standard oil level check states the oil level is OK. Should the oil level be measured when the engine is hot or cold? Thx
  2. laberia

    laberia Member

    It should be measured when the engine is cold. All the oil has returned to the oil pan. When the engine is hot, the engine was just turned off plenty of oil is up in engine oil galleries and hasn't returned to the pan.
  3. JettaRed

    JettaRed New Member

    Actually, I found in the owner's manual that the oil should be measured at operating temperature. Specifically, on page 255 of the 2004 SL manual, it states:

    When checking the oil level the vehicle must
    • be parked on level ground
    • be at normal operating temperature
    • have been stationary for at least five minutes with the engine turned off
  4. Kajtek1

    Kajtek1 Awesome Member

    MB dipsticks are usually giving 2 l tolerance on oil level, so I don't think you need to worry about 1/2l readout difference coming with temperature change.
    I like to keep my level 1/2 the way between min and max mark and I always check it in the morning, or after long stop.
    After 5 minutes the oil mark is going to be hard to read.

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