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2.4D - no dipstick!

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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 16:58   #1
Lincolnite
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Default 2.4D - no dipstick!

Oh er, I’m all nervous.

How does that oil level check thing work & is it reliable?

I had a car with no dipstick before, a 320i, but that was a company car, whereas this XC60 is mine.

I suppose that makes more frequent oil changes more difficult- does anyone on here do them?
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 17:56   #2
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I was told there was no dipstick as well. It’s a load of tosh. If you look at the front of the engine block from under the bonnet, down at the bottom centrally left to right, there is a ‘service’ dipstick that the tech’s can use. It is awkward to get to and I’d hate to try and use it after a run because my arms would be burnt to heck! It is quite small when it comes out. If ever the oil warning light comes on, you can verify things with this dipstick. It is safe to take it out and check the oil, you do not risk causing any damage. After a short time of owning mine, the low oil message came on. Allegedly it is set up to quite sensitive levels. I always carry a 500ml top up bottle, always have done whatever the car, just in case. Just ensure you have the right spec’ oil as reserve. These days, warranty companies will test oil to ensure it is 100%. Any contamination, they won’t pay up! Also, drop the oil yearly. No excuses, it’s simply not worth it to do otherwise, false economy.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 18:19   #3
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I have been driving XC60s for 8 years now and have never had to put any oil in the car ever, and IIRC even the 'technicians' dipstick has been removed.

You trust the fuel gauge on the car, you trust the temperature gauge on the car (assuming your model has one) and a host of other things that the car manages more accurately and more frequently that you ever could - just let the car get on with its thing, if there is an issue with the oil level the car will give you a warning quicker than you will by checking a dipstick
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 21:36   #4
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I understand your comments, however, from personal experience, when you are traveling along the motorway and a message pops up saying ‘oil level low’ what would you do? I have photos which prove what I say happened in my experience a few days after taking delivery of my car from a main dealer. For the sake of a few quid, knowing where that dipstick is and having a small bottle ready to use is good peace of mind. Either that or be prepared to drive and it fails or sit and wait for a recovery truck!
Re the fuel gauge, how is it biased? Is half a tank on the gauge half a tank? I like to know what I have got and how that fuel is likely to last. Each to their own. I like to know my vehicle to the best of my ability, each creak and squeak so I know if something has changed.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 21:59   #5
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What matters in a car engine is the oil pressure, not the level of the oil. The dipstick was only installed in cars to let drivers know that there was enough in the sump for the pump to pick it up and provide lubrication to the bearings.

Manufacturers fitted an oil pressure switch when they became reliable enough to let drivers know there was sufficient pressure people complained that the pressure gauge had gone but came to realise and accept that the replacement was more than sufficient. The same scenario now applies to the dipstick and in 10 years you won't even remember that one existed. They were taken off gearboxes years ago and no-one complains and as for the fuel tank you don't go and dip it like they used to do you? Nope, you are confident that the gauge is telling you what you need to know and it is accurate, same applies to the engine management system (which also provides the feed to the fuel gauge) monitoring the oil pressure and level and telling you when there is something wrong.

In your example it wasn't the dipstick that told you something was wrong, it was the engine management system and you took the action it told you to - you put in some oil. All the dipstick did was provide you with the confidence in the diagnosis of the management system - which spotted the problem in a situation when you could never have spotted it.

Trust the car, hundreds of thousands of us do and we have no issues
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 22:21   #6
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I’m not sure if you are fishing for a bite? I guess you never check your tyre pressures or tread wear either! Each to their own. Good luck, you do it your way, I’ll do it mine. Safe driving!
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 22:22   #7
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Now tgat us a silly response, but I think you know that
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 22:30   #8
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Yeah, the lack of dipstick (a real one) does miff me somewhat. I’m old Skool and I check mine monthly normally. Not liking this idea of no dipstick malarkey.

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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 22:38   #9
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If you really worry about not having a dipstick, you can get one fitted by the dealer. It's called the 'police option' - seriously. They simply replace the electronic dipstick with a traditional one. Don't ask me why the police 'specification' requests a traditional stick, but I do agree with WIMorrison that the electronic option - as fitted standard - is the best. Beware also about adding 500ml of oil because you think it needs it. There are dangers to over-filling.
Regarding the fuel gauge, the yellow light will come on (roughly) when you are 80 miles or so to empty. It is based upon a calculation on recent fuel consumption, so if you have been driving like a Vicar it will come on at 110 miles to empty. When it gets to 20 miles (or perhaps 15, I'm not sure) the next reading will be "-- miles to empty". Shortly after this the orange light will turn to red. You are now in serious territory. At this stage, DO NOT expect a 5 litre tank will remedy the situation. Add this alone and you will run out in a few more miles, all to do with the design of the fuel tank. You need 10 litres minumum to properly re-fill the dual chamber fuel tank.
As for tyres, the TPMS works perfectly. Set your pressures on a day when the sun is NOT shining on one side of the car, run the tyre monitor to set the baseline, and the job is done.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 23:29   #10
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Firstly I don’t think my post was silly. You chose not to answer the question of what would you do if you were driving along the motorway and the ‘add oil’ message came up. Having a dip stick and a drop of oil, (not adding the full 500ml) gives you the option to move on.... if needs be and the marks on the stick concur with the message. Peace of mind. Belt and braces. Call it what you like. In my case, the dealership ended up checking the calibration of their oil delivery system!
Yes my tyre pressure gauge and tread depth gauges have both been checked against calibrated devices! I’m interested to know just where-which of the sensor systems in your car you choose to not believe in and why. Seems as though you may check your tyre pressures? Why, if the sensors are that good?
Relying purely on electronic sensors in my opinion is foolish, they can all fail. The OP expressed that he could not see a dipstick. I told him where the stick is on my car, if he has one on his vehicle he now has a choice! To look at the ‘techs dipstick’ if one is fitted, God forbid he gets a low oil message pop up.
None of the sensors will have a lifetime guarantee. Your eyes may need a pair of glasses to help them function. If they’ve failed, then you shouldn’t be driving. He will be able to see the oil on the stick, he won’t see if the sensor is messed up. The tech actually told me to check the stick if it happens again, (that was stating the obvious!)
It is interesting to see just how many people do rely purely on sensors, be it to change lanes, notice if lights are working or not etc, they have no idea of what their pressures should be or how their tyres are wearing until it is too late, defective suspension components can also show up on tyre wear. A sensor won’t show that!
I smile at the term, ‘the police option’ because I dealt with the results of poor driving, shoddy maintenance and ignorance etc for 20 years. Vehicle and road safety should not be sniffed at! No matter how many comments are put towards the way I choose to look after the vehicle I drive, I know I am doing all I can. Yes I’ve been into main dealerships and trawled through historic job records to find out who may have re used a nylon nut which came off and as a result caused the death of a person. Main dealer techs are not all squeaky clean. I’ve seen the end results of altered suspension components. Do I trust technicians? Do I heck! I know there are the odd members of plod out there who enjoy nothing more than getting stuck in to find out who hasn’t done their job correctly. Do all you can to keep your mind at ease and keep good records of visits to dealers etc.

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