Checking oil level

I cannot get a clear reading on oil dipstick for a 3L dodge caravan. I let the car sit for a good 10 minutes so I can get a good reading but tthe dipstick still has oil smears on it and I cant get a good reading. Any suggestions, thanks.

Have you tried taking the dipstick out, wiping it off and reinserting it before checking the level?

Ed B.

Some dipsticks will always have an oil smear, on both side, even after the dipstick has been wiped just prior to dipping. Look carefully at the end of the dipstick. Look at the unwetted area. The lower edge of the unwetted area will be the fill line.

Some engines always leave a smear on the dipstick even when it is removed, cleaned, and re-inserted. I found that on such cars it is best to check oil level when the engine is cold and has been sitting for a while, usually overnight. Remove the dipstick in the morning and the oil level will clearly be visible on one side or the other as a horizontal mark despite the inevitable smear.

On some cars, I’ve been able to read the oil level by pulling out the dipstick, wiping it off and reinsterting in the dip stick hole the other way–I just turn the dip stick over. I have then avoided the smear. After I’ve read the oil level, I put the dip stick back in the regular way.

I have this problem on my lawnmower with a B & S engine. I usually have to let it sit for 15 minutes after I’ve changed the oil to get a reading. If it sits overnight, I can pull the stick out and get a reading right away. This may work for your car as well.

You could try drilling a couple of holes in it above and below full. It usually is easy to see that way.