Dipstick Diagnostics – Engine oil
What an Engine Dipstick Can Reveal About the Health of the Engine
The humble dipstick can reveal much about the internal condition of the engine.
Five Simple Checks
These five checks are easy to make every time the dipstick is pulled. Best practice is to write down the results in the engine Maintenance Log as this will reveal changes over time. What is "normal" varies from one engine to another, so identifying a trend is the simplest way to spot potential trouble.
If there is a potential problem, a sample of oil should be sent for professional analysis before the engine is taken apart. The problem may not be in the engine!
Any compromise in the quality of oil or oil circulation will have serious consequences for the operation and life of the engine; oil works harder in a diesel because of the higher compression pressures. Checking the oil level and its colour and consistency before every engine start-up, and changing oil and filter regularly , are the best ways to ensure good performance and long life.
drawings & tables
to aid diagnosis