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

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I classify myself as old-school as well. I've lost count of the number of cars I've had, currently have five, have had MBs since the late 80s (currently have two) and I have never had one car where the manual says that the engine must be at operating temperature / warm when checking the oil. On level ground etc., yes; leave for, say, 5-20 minutes after turning off IF at operating temperature or since starting etc (variations on a theme between manufacturers), yes. At operating temperature, no (though very specific rules normally apply for dry-sumped engines).

I'm aware of oil expansion but have not seen this mentioned in any manual but what is apparent is the number of times 'only check when hot' has been raised in recent years, possibly since DPFs were introduced or reports of diesel engines 'running on their own' were highlighted.

Clearly, with diesels in particular, there are concerns about diesel getting into the oil if DPF regenerations aren't completed, and thus the level rising, so with my OM642 I refill to approx 2/3 - 3/4 on the dipstick initially, whereas with the petrols I tend to fill closer to full, however, I do change the oil at no more than 5,000 mile intervals, usually far less. I think that the OM642 dipstick is horrendous (had it 10+ years) as the level seems to vary between readings, even without starting the car. It's the only car I've experienced this with (it was like it when new) and it still irritates me after all this time :)

If the OP's reading was mine, I wouldn't be overly concerned about it but I'd probably syphon 500-750ml out initially or, more likely, just change the oil and set it a little lower. Having access to a pump means that would probably be quicker than typing this post ;)
 

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