oil level reading on dipstick is too high on my Mercedes e280 class w211.

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mondotex

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Joined
Nov 16, 2023
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42
Location
manchester
Car
Mercedes e class w211 e280 cdi saloon
Hi All,
I have checked oil level reading in the morning before starting,
Is too high?b514240e-00e7-42b2-b74c-4be4cb8ff15b.jpg
What should i do?
Last full service it was done by previous owner and after that car was parked for around 6 months.
Pictures attached.
Thanks.
 

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Probably not.....on most Mercs you check if after running it and leaving it to stand for 20 minutes.....so some of that oil will still be in the top of the engine.....lowering your reading. It may still be slightly over....but not enough to worry about.
The big issue it if the oil is over filled to the extent that it gets whipped to foam but the crank webs so only aerated oil gets drawn into the pump....then you get the strange situation of an engine suffering from top end oil starvation when overfull!! Needs to be seriously over filled for that to happen though.
 
If that first dipstick reading is with a cold engine not started then its too high. It should read about 2/3rd up the measurement.
When hot, it will expand and be well over the max level on the dipstick.

I'd invest in an oil suction pump for around £25, suck out about 1litre of oil through the dipstick tube and take a reading after letting a hot engine cool for around 20 minutes. It should read just under maximum.
In the future you will will easily be able to do your own oil changes with that pump and save the cost of it in just one oil change.
 
As post number two states, if you'd started the engine and then checked it 10 minutes after switching it off, the level would be slightly lower. So I'm saying it's nothing to worry about.
 
^ The OP stated he took the level first thing in the morning before starting the car.
If the car had been started and the oil warmed up I'd agree with you.
But the level is already on or above maximum and will expand when it gets hot.
I still say its overfilled.
 
^ The OP stated he took the level first thing in the morning before starting the car.
If the car had been started and the oil warmed up I'd agree with you.
But the level is already on or above maximum and will expand when it gets hot.
I still say its overfilled.
Not so, all the oil has drained to the sump. Start the car, check oil after 10 minutes and some oil will still be up the top end of the engine, therefore the dipstick reading will be lower.
 
Per the instructions in the 211 owners manual:

Checking the engine oil level
To do so:

  • the vehicle should be parked on level ground.
  • the engine should be switched off for at least five minutes if the engine was at normal operating temperature.
  • the engine should be switched off for at least 30 minutes if the engine was not at operating temperature (i.e. if you only star-ted the engine briefly).
On that basis, it's overfilled.
 
ime the om642 usually reads a bit low on the dipstick after filling with the correct quantity.
So yours is probably got a bit too much in it but not enough that is going to make any difference.
Easy enough to suck 500ml out of the dipstick tube if it bothers you.
 
On some engines not all of the oil drains back into the sump , no matter how long you leave it parked. A check valve holds oil in the upper part of the engine so as not to starve the valve gear on start up .

The engine designers will take into account the volume of oil held up out of the sump and make 'adjustments' to the dipstick or level sensor settings.

If , on the other hand, this valve is faulty the oil that should be held up will in fact end up in the sump raising the level of measured volume. By how much ? who knows 🤷‍♂️

1702632684706.png This is a MB one .
 
Per the instructions in the 211 owners manual:

Checking the engine oil level
To do so:

  • the vehicle should be parked on level ground.
  • the engine should be switched off for at least five minutes if the engine was at normal operating temperature.
  • the engine should be switched off for at least 30 minutes if the engine was not at operating temperature (i.e. if you only star-ted the engine briefly).
On that basis, it's overfilled.
But the engine wasn't started at all, so none of the above applies.
 
An accidental overfill can be easily fixed by removing some oil.

But keep an eye on it, because if the oil level keeps rising as result of being contaminated with Diesel fuel, than this is an issue that will need further attention.
 
But the engine wasn't started at all, so none of the above applies.
"if the engine was not at operating temperature". That would seem to describe an engine that hadn't been started that day.
 
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"if the engine was not at operating temperature". That would seem to describe an engine that hadn't been started that day.
Don't miss bits out, (if the engine was not at operating temperature (i.e. if you only star-ted the engine briefly).)
 
I really think you need to go back and re-read that again. It does not mean what you appear to believe it does.

The determining factor is solely whether the engine is not at operating temperature. Having briefly started the engine is merely an example of where that situation could apply.

If they had written "the engine is not at operating temperature AND you have started it briefly", then your logic would be valid but there would need to be a 3rd option to cover what to do if you hadn't started the engine. It doesn't, and there isn't, so the previous applies. If we're being exact then the manual is poorly worded (they should have used e.g. rather than i.e.) but these seem to be casually interchangeable nowadays and it was probably originally written in German.
 
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I really think you need to go back and re-read that again. It does not mean what you appear to believe it does.

The determining factor is solely whether the engine is not at operating temperature. Having briefly started the engine is merely an example of where that situation could apply.

If they had written "the engine is not at operating temperature AND you have started it briefly", then your logic would be valid but there would need to be a 3rd option to cover what to do if you hadn't started the engine. It doesn't, and there isn't, so the previous applies. If we're being exact then the manual is poorly worded (they should have used e.g. rather than i.e.) but these seem to be casually interchangeable nowadays and it was probably originally written in German.
The determing factor is if the engine was started, how much oil is still sitting in the top half of the engine, regardless of temp. Maybe it is poorly worded, but the tiny amount of oil on the dipstick above the max is next to nothing on a cold engine that has had almost every drop drained into the sump overnight. It would not worry me one bit and I wouldn't bother syphoning any out either.
 
This one was after coming back from work, checked after 20 mins.
 

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The determing factor is if the engine was started, how much oil is still sitting in the top half of the engine, regardless of temp. Maybe it is poorly worded, but the tiny amount of oil on the dipstick above the max is next to nothing on a cold engine that has had almost every drop drained into the sump overnight. It would not worry me one bit and I wouldn't bother syphoning any out either.
The amount of oil that will continue to drain back to the sump after 30 mins is minimal, in fact modern oils are designed to leave a certain amount remaining to provide better cold start protection. Again, if that was a factor then there should be an upper limit stated.

Personally, I probably wouldn’t drain it either as while it is overfilled it’s not so much as to be likely to cause a problem. I’d definitely keep an eye on the level though. That’s it, I’m out.
 
I can understand your conundrum here as I have a 350 petrol SL and the oil level is all over the place. I'm an old school guy ( old being the operative word ) but I have always checked the oil on a car when the engine is cold or at least been stood for an hour or so. But reading this thread I'm not sure any more.
 

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