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2013 Kia Optima LX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013 Kia Optima LX (132,080 miles as of writing, 5W-30 Mobil High Mileage FS)

Can someone tell me the reading on my oil dipstick? It doesn't make much sense to me. I've been trying to figure out if my car has been burning oil. My dealer wants $600+ to do an entire oil consumption test which consists of two seperate visits to the dealer, the most expensive being the second where they claim they have to clean some internals and where they check to see if the car passes or fails the oil consumption test. If it fails, I get a free engine covered under the recall and if it passes well I guess there goes $600.

Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Vehicle

Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Hood Automotive design


These photos were taken on a rainy/somewhat humid day in CT after the car had been shut off overnight (which was probably about 10 hours) Yes, this is after taking the dipstick out a second time. I tried running the car for a few minutes, shutting it off, waiting 10, and checking the dipstick but it looks almost identical to the photos above. Any insight would be appreciated, if you have questions I'll try my best to answer.
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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Maybe describe your procedure for using the dipstick?

For example, do you use a rag or paper towel to wipe the dipstick clean before dipping it back in the 2nd time?

Maybe you can re-try the oil dipstick check after letting the car sit overnight, so any splashed oil has a chance to drain back down the dipstick tube so it won't get on the upper part of the dipstick
 

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2013 Kia Optima LX
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe describe your procedure for using the dipstick?

For example, do you use a rag or paper towel to wipe the dipstick clean before dipping it back in the 2nd time?

Maybe you can re-try the oil dipstick check after letting the car sit overnight, so any splashed oil has a chance to drain back down the dipstick tube so it won't get on the upper part of the dipstick
When I took these photos it was while using a white cloth rag, which I always use. Very rarely a microfiber towel. Does that make a difference? If so I'll experiment. Thanks
 

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Eliminating the streaking up top from residue in the tube, I'd say it reads very low, down where the dark area is. So do it again, I usually do it 3 times to achieve consistency. Look for the line that goes across the width of the dipstick, not focusing on the streaks above.
 

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2020 Kia Soul X-Line 2.0 MPI
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156 Posts
When I took these photos it was while using a white cloth rag, which I always use. Very rarely a microfiber towel. Does that make a difference? If so I'll experiment. Thanks
Let the vehicle sit overnight and check the dipstick level, before starting the cold engine.

No rag or wiping of the dipstick is required. Just pull the dipstick from the tube one time and read the oil level. Then add oil if necessary and re-check the level the next morning. I never re-check after only having the running engine sit in the off-position 15 minutes. That can draw a vaccuum of oil up the dipstick tube on the 2nd check and either give you a false reading, or smeared, inaccurate reading.

Evaluating how much oil you need for top-off is easy to learn.
I've adopted this practice 55 years ago. Works like a charm on any pre-2021 GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, VW, or Hyunkia engine I've serviced.

Happy Holidays
 
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