Oil dipstick impossible to read

max3dvision

Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Location
Charlotte NC
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE
Hey all, I got an oil change form the dealership the other day because I was in an area I don’t know. Two days later the check oil light comes on(just the casual orange one).

If I check it, it goes off and comes back two days later.

but when I check it...

the oil is WAY up on the side closest to the front of the car, but on the other side of the dipstick, only the bottom bulb is covered. Then it looks dry,

Is this too full? Or too empty?
 

max3dvision

Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Location
Charlotte NC
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE
At first I thought it was too full. So I extracted some. Still got the light.

Then I thought it might be too empty. So I added some. Still got the light.

Thats where I am now. And now I don’t know what to do because this dipstick is the least legible I’ve ever dealt with
 

jmodge

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
Don’t know what you are driving, but if it is a diesel it probably has the wrong oil in it. Should be dark enough to read
 

max3dvision

Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Location
Charlotte NC
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE
Don’t know what you are driving, but if it is a diesel it probably has the wrong oil in it. Should be dark enough to read
totally thought I had mentioned it — 2015 Golf tdi,

oil is dark, just it reads different levels on the dipstick depending on the side of the stick

photo coming soon
 

JM Popaleetus

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Location
Connecticut
TDI
Signature.
The gentle warning usually comes on when it’s 500mL low.

The dipstick can be a pain to read. But turn the engine off and let sit for two minutes. Pull it out, wipe clean and reinsert completely, pull out again. Should give you a better reading.
 

jmodge

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
try rotating the stick while it's all the way down, to coat the end all the way around. or you might have to re-insert it 180degrees rotated to get both sides wet.
Pervert
 

max3dvision

Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Location
Charlotte NC
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE
The gentle warning usually comes on when it’s 500mL low.

The dipstick can be a pain to read. But turn the engine off and let sit for two minutes. Pull it out, wipe clean and reinsert completely, pull out again. Should give you a better reading.
I think you’re right, I’ve added some more and will see. — mind blowing the dealership would indirectly fill it but I guess we can chalk it up to tdis betting rare
 

Ovrhill

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Location
Haltom City, Texas
TDI
'04 Jetta Wagon BEW, '06 Golf BEW, '15 Golf TDI(sold), '05 Golf TDI (wrecked)
I agree that that the dipstick is difficult to read on the MK7 and have mentioned this here before. Others disagree.

Give me a flat stick. I can read those.
 

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
If I remember correctly, the MK7 dipstick has bends and textures on how much oil is in there (probably need to check mine - but last I knew I wasn't burning any between oil changes).
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
The Mk4 is dead-simple to read/understand. The Mk7 is not as good, but those bulbs really do lead to the potential for confusion.
The Mk5 BRM, on the other hand, is a complete ****ing disaster.
Every time I look at it, whether the oil is drained or full, I get oil on the upper bulb section and somewhere between spotty and continuous oil over the rest of the length measuring area.
That ~3cm length of depth indicator has (I counted) 10 changes in diameter. 😖
 

Rrusse11

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Location
PA Deutsch Country
TDI
2002 Golf, 5spd; 05 Jeep CRD
My girlfriends Corolla had a dipstick that was polished the entire length. I took a file to it to give the surface some texture, it helped. I also supect some of the convolutions and contortions the stick goes through to get to the pan tend to wipe oil off the stick as it is retracted. Never had a problem with my MkIV.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Not exactly rocket science here. Unless the vehicle has been sitting overnight or longer I always wipe the dipstick and reinsert to check. Sometimes twice. Oil sloshes around when the engine is running.
 

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
When I check the oil , I take the vehicle for a run to get it warmed up, then park for about 5 minutes, pull dipstick out, wipe off, put back in, then pull it out and read it. Works for all my vehicles.
 

max3dvision

Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Location
Charlotte NC
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE
Finally able to post a picture of the most over-engineered dipstick of all time.

For those that agree this is the most over-engineered dipstick of all time, yes 100% 👊

For those who offered their humble condescension... Here are photos of what I was dealing with. ;)

Turns out it was a FULL QUART LOW after a VW dealership oil change(was out of town without my tools)...(and yes, this was after letting car warm up, sit for 5min, wiping the dipstick, and reinserting again to check.)

One side of the dipstick looked like this:


One side of the dipstick looked like this:


And after I added a full quart to the car, the side looked like this.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Glad you figured it out. Don't complain too loud or they'll take away the dipstick altogether.
 

Rob Mayercik

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Location
NJ, U.S.A.
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, Baltic Green/Beige
Yeah, no kidding - don't give the dipsticks in the design groups ideas like that.

Seriously, though, what the heck were they thinking with that design? Does it take the owner's manual 3 pages to explain how to use it, or did they do what they did in the MKIV for headlight bulb changes and just say "too difficult for owners, just take to the dealer service dept.?
 

yadic

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2023
Location
United States
TDI
just looking
Hey all, I got an oil change form the dealership the other day because I was in an area I don’t know. Two days later the check oil light comes on(just the casual orange one).

If I check it, it goes off and comes back two days later.

but when I check it...

the oil is WAY up on the side closest to the front of the car, but on the other side of the dipstick, only the bottom bulb is covered. Then it looks dry,

Is this too full? Or too empty?
if you didn't get any solution visit this https://bikerwhizz.com/how-to-read-harley-davidson-oil-dipstick
Based on the information you provided, it seems that your oil level may be overfilled. The discrepancy you described with the oil level being high on one side of the dipstick and low on the other side suggests an uneven distribution of oil in the engine.
An overfilled oil level can lead to issues such as increased pressure within the engine, potentially causing oil leaks or foaming, which can affect lubrication efficiency. It's important to address this issue promptly to prevent any potential damage to the engine.
To resolve this, you have a few options:
  1. Contact the dealership: Reach out to the dealership where you had the oil change performed and explain the issue. They may be able to offer guidance or schedule an inspection to resolve the overfilled oil level.
  2. Check the owner's manual: Consult your vehicle's owner's manual to determine the correct oil level range for your specific make and model. This will help you identify if the oil level is indeed too high.
  3. Drain excess oil: If you feel comfortable doing so, you can drain some of the excess oil yourself. Ensure you have the proper tools and follow the manufacturer's instructions for safely draining the excess oil.
  4. Seek professional assistance: If you're unsure or uncomfortable handling the issue yourself, it's recommended to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic or technician. They can assess the situation, correct the oil level, and ensure the engine is in proper working condition.
Remember, maintaining the correct oil level is crucial for the health and performance of your engine. Resolving the issue promptly will help prevent potential complications and ensure the longevity of your vehicle.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
honestly they WOULD lol
Neighbor's sister dropped by the other day (had seen me frequently working on VWs) with a 2011 Audi A4 (2.0L TFSI) asking about how to check the oil....and sure enough - no dipstick. There was the dipstick tube where one would be (if it was a VW, I think), but it was just capped.
Instead, it just had an electronic sensor that showed like a six-segment LED level meter buried somewhere in the infotainment display. 🙄
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
I find the dipstick on the Mk7 (looks exactly like the one in the photos above) not great, but I can usually feel confident I get an honest reading. But there was a time where I was sure I'd checked and had everything oily after pull-clean-insert-pull. And then got a low oil warning within a couple thousand km.

A friend's BRM car, though.....I always look at the dipstick on that thing and feel like I'm guessing.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
Drain excess oil: If you feel comfortable doing so, you can drain some of the excess oil yourself. Ensure you have the proper tools and follow the manufacturer's instructions for safely draining the excess oil.
Easier way of "draining" excess oil is to pump it out using an oil extractor (which many members here have).
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Finally able to post a picture of the most over-engineered dipstick of all time.

For those that agree this is the most over-engineered dipstick of all time, yes 100% 👊

For those who offered their humble condescension... Here are photos of what I was dealing with. ;)

Turns out it was a FULL QUART LOW after a VW dealership oil change(was out of town without my tools)...(and yes, this was after letting car warm up, sit for 5min, wiping the dipstick, and reinserting again to check.)

One side of the dipstick looked like this:


One side of the dipstick looked like this:


And after I added a full quart to the car, the side looked like this.
On the Mk7 dipstick it's the oil in the cross-hatch section which indicates level (your third pic), not the smooth sections (your first two pics). Not surprised at anything the dealership would do...
 

jjblbi

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2000
Location
lbi, nj
TDI
2014 Passat SEL TDI
My brm had a black dipstick. I cleaned it, sanded it lightly, cleaned again and then painted the bottom 4 inches white. Problem solved.

When I worked for a construction company the first driver (or starter) of any piece of equipment each day pulled the dipstick to check. No rag needed.

I still do that only probably monthly; nothing I own leaks or burns oil. Good luck, John
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
My brm had a black dipstick. I cleaned it, sanded it lightly, cleaned again and then painted the bottom 4 inches white. Problem solved.
I'd actually thought of doing that once, but worried about the oil slowly (or quickly) pulling the paint off and the paint gumming up some oil passages.
 

jjblbi

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2000
Location
lbi, nj
TDI
2014 Passat SEL TDI
I used some Krylon spray made for painting plastic and prepped well. Hasn't chipped or flaked in ~15 years. Oil used is Delvac-1 ESP 5w-40.

Good luck, John
 
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