2017~2023 Stupid? but how do you read/interpret the dipstick?

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ss
So I go to read the dipstick and it's at the low range. I flip the dipstick 180 degrees and it's a little past full. I wipe it off and repeat and it shows the same thing, and again and again.

It appears the face of the dipstick facing forward always reads low and the back side reads high. Yes the car is parked on level ground.

How the heck do I know the real level?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
So I go to read the dipstick and it's at the low range. I flip the dipstick 180 degrees and it's a little past full. I wipe it off and repeat and it shows the same thing, and again and again.

It appears the face of the dipstick facing forward always reads low and the back side reads high. Yes the car is parked on level ground.

How the heck do I know the real level?
Can you give us more info on your CX-5? Model year、mileage、factory oil or oil had been changed、and what kind of oil if changed?

Yeah the oil level on dipstick sometimes is hard to read with watery 0W-20 oil. Try to park the CX-5 overnight on the level ground and check the oil level again the first thing in the morning, i.e. dont start the engine. Take the first read without even wiping the dipstick.

And post pictures if possible.
 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
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'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
0w20 problems.. once you switch to 5w30 its readable lol. And you'll get less blowby. Also, technically you are supposed to check after engine is warmed since the oil in the pan overnight is not the same as when running. Unless you change your own oil and know what the 5qt that you for sure added looks like on the dipstick when cold
 
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2019 Cx-5 sport
I've had the hardest time checking my oil on this cx5.........
only way I can get accurate reading is check after letting it sit overnight and
just pull dipstick out and look in morning......

If I try and check after it's warmed up and let sit for 5 min or 2 hours , every time
I pull it out there's oil smeared all over , like above posters said it's
probably the 0-20 oil causing this problem. so.......... maybe there's a trick reading it..... but
I've checked at least 40 times now, and only have 600 miles on it.......... hah
 

erhayes

Contributor
:
2022CX5 PP
You pull the dipstick out and wait for 15 seconds or so to let any oil in the dipstick tube to return to the sump. You wipe the stick clean and SLOWLY insert the dipstick and slowly remove it. This to get the best reading for me.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
You can check it when the car is cold in the morning. If the level is at the full mark or a hair low or a hair high, then you're good. When the car is warm, all the oil hasn't drained into the pan and there could be a smear. You can tell it is is a smear because there is usually a dry spot within the smear. There might be a little more volume when the oil is warm but it's negligible.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
You can check it when the car is cold in the morning. If the level is at the full mark or a hair low or a hair high, then you're good. When the car is warm, all the oil hasn't drained into the pan and there could be a smear. You can tell it is is a smear because there is usually a dry spot within the smear. There might be a little more volume when the oil is warm but it's negligible.
Agreed. I have been checking the oil level when the engine is cold in the morning since my first car. It's a lot easier to do and you don't even need to wipe the dipstick, just pull the dipstick out and check. As the accuracy you're welcome to compare the oil level when the engine is warm (after the engine has shut off for MORE THAN 5 minutes). There's no difference because the volume expansion from warm oil which is very minimum gets offset by some oil hasn't been drained back to the oil pan.

In fact in old days owner's manual has always stated that checking the oil when engine is cold so that oil has enough time to drain back to oil pan.
 
:
ss
I checked it this morning after sitting all night and both sides of the dipstick now agree using only one pull.

Apparently it takes a loooong time for residual oil to drool down into the pan and it seems to like to cling to the back side of the dipstick creating a false high reading. I guess if you need to check it while hot then the front facing side of the dipstick is the accurate level.)

(2.5T, w/5W-30 M1)
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I checked it this morning after sitting all night and both sides of the dipstick now agree using only one pull.

Apparently it takes a loooong time for residual oil to drool down into the pan and it seems to like to cling to the back side of the dipstick creating a false high reading. I guess if you need to check it while hot then the front facing side of the dipstick is the accurate level.)

(2.5T, w/5W-30 M1)
So your oil level is at the low side? How many miles on your CX-5 and how many miles since the oil change? Do you suspect your engine is burning oil since the oil level is at the low side?
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
So your oil level is at the low side? How many miles on your CX-5 and how many miles since the oil change? Do you suspect your engine is burning oil since the oil level is at the low side?

I think the OP was just stating it was below the "Max" line. Not actually low.
 
:
ss
So your oil level is at the low side? How many miles on your CX-5 and how many miles since the oil change? Do you suspect your engine is burning oil since the oil level is at the low side?

No, last oil change I thought it was at the max. dot but the real level was the min. dot because I read the wrong side of the dipstick. Reading the back side of the dipstick can give an erroneous level unless it's given a loooong drainback period.

Moral of the story is to double check the level after each oil change but only after the engine was been sitting for a while.

I didn't notice this with my 2.5. I wonder if this is specific to the 2.5T and turbo lubrication system.
 
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2019 Cx-5 sport
davefr, I have the 2.5 non turbo and have this 'problem' ........ like others have
said it could be the thin oil........, when I go to dealer in a few days I'll have a
mechanic show me how to read the oil level with warm engine... haha
should be interesting
plus ask why they didn't put a sticker under hood for the CD fix.......
 
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CX5 GT
The main problem is the coloring of the oil stick over time. Its too similar to the oil color and oil seems to stick all over it.
You have to really clean the stick and be slow when putting it back and taking it out. Also do it under the sun light and you will notice where the oil line ends.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
davefr, I have the 2.5 non turbo and have this 'problem' ........ like others have
said it could be the thin oil........, when I go to dealer in a few days I'll have a
mechanic show me how to read the oil level with warm engine... haha
should be interesting
plus ask why they didn't put a sticker under hood for the CD fix.......

Let me know what the say about the sticker. I wonder if they put stickers on unsold cars in their lot that they fix. If not, maybe they considered our cars like that. Mine still has low miles.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
The main problem is the coloring of the oil stick over time. Its too similar to the oil color and oil seems to stick all over it.
You have to really clean the stick and be slow when putting it back and taking it out. Also do it under the sun light and you will notice where the oil line ends.
Or just check your oil level the first thing in the morning to avoid all the hassles you said. Just one pull, no wipe, no waiting. And the reading is as accurate as taking the measurement from the warm oil.
 
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CX5 GT
actually there is accurate oil level sensor, its just not on the dash or anywhere else except through the obdii monitoring.
 

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