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Old 09-09-2015, 08:15   #1
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Difficulty checking Yanmar oil level

Having worked early teen years at a gas pump along with completely overhauling an auto engine at that time, one would expect reading oil level on a dipstick as quite elementary.

However, that is exactly the problem with my 1999 Yanmar 4JH2E in a 40' Island Packet sailboat. To aid in consistency, oil is checked the morning following a significant engine run.

This mornings attempts to determine oil level were typical. Initial pull of the stick displayed oil approximately eight ounces over the full mark. Wiped the stick, slowly pushed it back into normal position and waited 30 seconds.... withdrew the stick... down 16 Ounces. That can't be correct! ...only ran the engine two hours. Wiped and checked again... waited 10 to 15 seconds and it read several ounces below full. that would seem to be the correct level. Can we try for a confirmation... wiped and reinserted the stick.... down 10 ounces this attempt. I give up!

All of my reads are on the face of the dipstick because the reverse side consistently reads a half quart lower. ...and no, the boat isn't rocking significantly.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Bill
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:58   #2
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Re: Difficulty checking Yanmar oil level

It is a common problem with a Yanmar engines.

The engine seems to create some suction in the dipstick tube which can give some very strange readings.

The best solution is to follow the directions and wait 10 mins after shut down before measuring the oil level.

This works fine. On my 4JH4AE I also know when the engine is completely cold and not run for some time 3-4 mm over the full mark translates to to 80% full when measured at the 10 minute mark.

Some owners open the oil fill caps to release the pressure but the engine uses no oil so the 10 min wait is not a big deal.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:49   #3
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Re: Difficulty checking Yanmar oil level

As Nolex said, a common problem.

I was changing oil yesterday. Which side of the stick to read? They are significantly different!
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