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Hi guys,

Have you noticed that Honda, as many other manufacturers (car manufacturers included) recommends a new procedure to check the engine oil level?

Traditionally, I used to check it with a cold engine, usually in the morning, to insure all the oil was sitting nice and still at the bottom of the engine, where the measuring stick deeps.

Honda now recommends (see User Manual) to turn on the engine, keep it at min rev for 3-5 mins so that the engine/oil reaches the standard operating temp, then power it down, wait for 2-3 mins (no more, apparently?!) and only then check the level.

Why is that? Anyone knows? Maybe the oil level must be measured at the operating temp and not cold? Why would that be?
 

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You are correct, when the engine is cold all that oil will be sitting down in the sump. However, when warm, you would expect the level to drop due to circulation through the engine, as well as general density changes in the oil. The danger presented by running the oil down to a very low level is aeration, where the level is under the suction tube for the oil pump which pulls air into the system.

Is this going to happen to someone who checks their oil cold and fills up when it is under 50%? No.

Can a person that checks the oil hot let it get down to a point where aeration may occur? Probably.

Do what you feel is right, checking frequently is probably more important than following that procedure.
 

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As hank noted above I think it's more to do with checking the oil level with some of the oil suspended in the internals so that the level you check is more of a working level then a cold level.

With that said, it seems that it would be easy enough for Honda to calculate a cold engine oil check but also as hank mentioned the viscosity of the oil will change over time so the warm check might be a better measure not only of your oil level, but oil condition.

These might be minute points that won't be noticeable or considered by the majority of us checking our oil but perhaps it is a little better way to check?
 

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Hi guys,

Have you noticed that Honda, as many other manufacturers (car manufacturers included) recommends a new procedure to check the engine oil level?

Traditionally, I used to check it with a cold engine, usually in the morning, to insure all the oil was sitting nice and still at the bottom of the engine, where the measuring stick deeps.

Honda now recommends (see User Manual) to turn on the engine, keep it at min rev for 3-5 mins so that the engine/oil reaches the standard operating temp, then power it down, wait for 2-3 mins (no more, apparently?!) and only then check the level.

Why is that? Anyone knows? Maybe the oil level must be measured at the operating temp and not cold? Why would that be?
The manual does not say that. You are referring to the procedure for changing oil. Not checking oil level.
The manual merely says to check the oil level while on a level surface.
 

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My manual says to check oil level when warm as well! In fact when warm it showed a slightly higher level on the dipstick!
 

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The manual does not say that. You are referring to the procedure for changing oil. Not checking oil level.
The manual merely says to check the oil level while on a level surface.
My manual doesn't nor does the workshop manual, the OP is correct.
 

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As Stromcat noted the reason is dry sump engine design. Oil is stored away from the crankcase and on shutdown resides in various locations within the engine, making level confirmation a bit more of an exacting process.
 

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Easiest way is to check it after a run,waiting a couple of minutes for the oil to settle after switching the engine off.
 
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