Oil Dipstick Reading; Way Over Full!

Oil Dipstick Reading; Way Over Full!

This is a discussion on Oil Dipstick Reading; Way Over Full! within the RAM 1500 Diesel Mechanical forums, part of the RAM 1500 Diesel Garage - RAM 1500 Diesel Mechanics Corner category; Here's the issue, I've checked the oil a few times since I bought the truck in early September. The trend seems to be an increase ...

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Thread: Oil Dipstick Reading; Way Over Full!

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    RAM Jr Member abnmedic's Avatar
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    Oil Dipstick Reading; Way Over Full!

    Here's the issue, I've checked the oil a few times since I bought the truck in early September. The trend seems to be an increase in volume, with out being overly dirty or strong diesel odor. I've checked about every 1000 miles, with about an eighth of an inch increase each time. When I parked it in the driveway on "day zero" I verified that the fluid level was correct, so that's not it.
    So now I'm at a level that has become concerning, real close to 3/8 of an inch over the full indicator on the dipstick. I've checked it in the same spot each time and two different locations on level ground today to confirm the readings. I haven't had any CEL's or Indicated Regen's and have been getting super cool fuel mileage (29.5+ MPG). I drive mostly country roads (50-55 mph) with some town driving kids to football, wrestling, basketball and all that good stuff. Done a few trips to the beach and hauled some firewood and such, but now good tow's yet to really build some prolonged oil temps above 217F or so. I usually run around 208-212F on the average around here.
    I'm not a big diesel guy, but no big dummy either, so; any other folks finding the same issue under the same conditions, or even heavy use? Does anybody have any recommendations? $.02?
    Out here in the Great Northwest, it's been really warm, barely been below 50F, for what it's worth. Thanks.
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    RAM Regular ph363's Avatar
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    Have you been idling the truck at all?

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    RAM Jr Member abnmedic's Avatar
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    Not to much, I've got 11 hrs idle with right near 100 hours run time.

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    Don't know much about diesels ... waiting on my first one at the moment but I do know that any normal 4-stroke gas engine will experience some blow by of raw fuel past the rings ending up in the crankcase sump oil. Up to 4% is considered normal. It's not uncommon for a new engine to experience this up to an 8% level until the rings have seated normally and less blow-by is experienced as a result of the better seal of the ring to wall. I don't know what Chrysler considers a "break-in" point where the rings should have seated fully. Any abnormal condition causing an overly rich mixture can also aggrevate this condition. 4-stroke outboard engines that are used primarily as a trolling motor (lots in the Pacific Northwest) routinely suffer from increased "oil dilution" simply because the engines run for such a long time well below their normal operating temperatures (prolonged idle). Normal operating temperatures are necessary for the proper expansion of parts to mate properly with their mating parts.

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    RAM Platinum Member Captainmal's Avatar
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    It doesn't "make" oil. Something like fuel or coolant must be getting in. An oil analysis ,might be in order.

    Always the possibility of an issue with the dipstick or timing taking the reading (hot, cold, angled up/down etc. Sometimes I don't get the dipstick down to the same top position all the time and you followed my lead.

    Keep watching it. Mine never showed usage until I towed heavy around 5K miles. Then it dropped. 4 K since I changed the oil at the 7K mark. Just checked yesterday. Nothing.

    One thing I did was to scribe lines on the dipstick so I could see the reading easier and have a good handle on the exact level.

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    RAM Ninja howie12's Avatar
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    As I have posted elsewhere on this site and a few others have noted the same thing, the oil level cannot be accurately read if you park it at night and just pull the dipstick in the morning and read it. It will read low. Push it back in and you will get the correct reading on the second pull, or pull it out a few inches and then push ot back in and then pull it to get a correct readiung. The theory is the O-ring on the dipstick seals the dip stick tube tight enough that the oil doesn't rise fully up the tube as the oil drains down int the base. I thought I was a quart low using the single pull method and added a quart and found myself something like a half quart overfull on the second pull. All these checks were done in the garage on a level slab afrter sitting overnight.

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    RAM Rookie andyk32's Avatar
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    I recently got an oil change at dodge and I heard the technician say something about a TSB. So i called him over and asked him about it and he mentioned Chrysler just released a new tsb for the EcoDiesel. He said there is a new (and to be strictly followed) oil change procedure. The major thing they emphasis is timing. Before they can give you a proper reading of your oil level, they must let the truck sit 15 mins after filling with fresh oil, then run it for so many mins, then shut it off and let it sit for another 15 mins before pulling an oil level reading. I'm not sure how you've been checking yours, but maybe time it next time so at least when you go to Dodge to tell them something is fishy, you've done your due diligence. Hopefully it isn't serious.

    But maybe Captainmal is right. An oil analysis might be a wise move if this trend continues.

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    RAM Sr Member Cattledog's Avatar
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    I let mine sit all day in a flat parking spot and then checked it on the second pull. At 3,400 miles it was showing about 3mm above full. This is the first time it has shown above the full line. It stands to reason that it takes awhile for all the oil to drain into the pan, so I am not surprised that the dipstick would read lower normally. Reading higher, I would have to think something other than oil is in there.
    QC, ED, Outdoorsman, 3.92, Prairie Pearl, 20" Wheels

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    RAM Jr Member abnmedic's Avatar
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    So I've pulled the dipstick under various conditions:

    First, cold sitting all night in the drive way which has produced varied results but consistently over full.

    Second, Hot in the driveway, < 15 min after shut down, varied results over full.

    Third, in the parking lot on level ground, 15 minutes after 30 mile run, consistnetly over full by approx. 1/8 " every thousand miles.

    Fourth, in the same parking lot, same spot multiple days on level ground, cold sitting for 6 hours, consistently over by 1/8" full every thousand miles. (This is the spot I verified the fluid level and took baseline measurement, and have noted the incremental increase in volume.)

    So I've don't my best to take measurements in a consistent fashion, using appropriate techniques (same temp, same spot, noting the 2nd and 3rd pulls etc.) I don't count the driveway measurements because they are inconsistant, but generally high.

    I like the input from you guys, oil analyisis and a trip to the dealer (likely a waste of time!! Ha Ha) but to at least have it annotated in some kind of record for warranty purpose's down the road, even though I like to do my own maintainance. If anybody else has the same issue, post it here so we can see a trend, that's why I did.

    Cant imagine that you would have to work this thing like a mule to burn off excess fuel/water accumliation in the oil as these engines are used in Europe and Asia in passenger car applications.

    Food for thought: No CEL, No active Regen, possibliy an issue with a DEF sensor or EGT sensor or the flash update to mitigate the issues guys had on here earlier this year???

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    My best .02 is you have fuel dilution. From the owner's manual-

    NOTE: It is possible for your oil level to be slightly higher than a previous check. This would be due to diesel fuel that may temporarily be in the crankcase due to operation of the diesel particulate filter regeneration strategy. This fuel will evaporate out under normal operation.
    Never operate the engine with oil level below the “MIN” mark or above the upper “MAX” mark.

    I would take an engine oil sample and see what is going on.
    Always learning.

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