Automotive

reading 4l oil jugs

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  • May 16th, 2019 3:41 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2010
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toronto

reading 4l oil jugs

While changing the oil on my car, i tried and read that line/ strip on the back of the big oil jugs to see how much i put in.

I usually guessimate on the low side and top off but figured i had some time yesterday and decide to see. Well... i could not read that line at all?

What's the trick to reading how much oil you put in by reading the little line?

I've been wrenching on cars for over 20yrs and the only ones that i can read are those liter while bottles. any of the big 4l is impossible.
23 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Maybe the below video will help.

Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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One would assume that if the jug is labeled 4L that it contains 4L. The markings on the side tell how much is left after you dump some oil out. I wouldn’t rely on the markings to be exact to the millilitre.
Member
Jan 13, 2007
491 posts
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Toronto, Ontario
I find the indicators on the side of those 4L engine oil jugs to be really difficult to read too. I like the concept in theory but I never actually use it.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2010
779 posts
430 upvotes
toronto
mrweather wrote: One would assume that if the jug is labeled 4L that it contains 4L. The markings on the side tell how much is left after you dump some oil out. I wouldn’t rely on the markings to be exact to the millilitre.
one would assume that however, one would also assume they put those markings so one would be able to read them. i'm assuming you've not tried
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Aug 29, 2011
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denti72 wrote: i'm assuming you've not tried
And you assume wrong. I can read the markings just fine. I just don’t rely on them too heavily.
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Oct 6, 2010
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denti72 wrote: While changing the oil on my car, i tried and read that line/ strip on the back of the big oil jugs to see how much i put in.

I usually guessimate on the low side and top off but figured i had some time yesterday and decide to see. Well... i could not read that line at all?

What's the trick to reading how much oil you put in by reading the little line?

I've been wrenching on cars for over 20yrs and the only ones that i can read are those liter while bottles. any of the big 4l is impossible.
I never use them as I always use dip stick. I judge the initial unused jug by weight so when I stop, I have an idea of how much is left in the jug, don't really care tho. But I completely agree, oil levels on black oil jugs are nearly impossible for me to read.
DYI difficulty scale:
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Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
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I can read it fine on Pennzoil jugs.
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May 4, 2014
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This guy is an idiot, the manual amount states the capacity of the motor but you often can't drain every drop out of it, so if you pour the amount in the manual, you are overfilling it by half a quart.

And if he's going to shove that LED into the jug, why not just use his flashlight and shine it in. I bet it will do just as well.
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Jul 26, 2007
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I have empty 1 litre oil bottle for jugs I can't read or comprehend. May take extra mins to pour into the litre bottle and into the engine but at least I know for sure.
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peteryorkuca wrote: I have empty 1 litre oil bottle for jugs I can't read or comprehend. May take extra mins to pour into the litre bottle and into the engine but at least I know for sure.
You are really overthinking this. The engine has a dipstick for a reason. Do an initial fill, start up the engine for 10 seconds, shut it off, then top up. Repeat if necessary.

All this pouring between bottles is a waste of time.
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er34er34 wrote: You are really overthinking this. The engine has a dipstick for a reason. Do an initial fill, start up the engine for 10 seconds, shut it off, then top up. Repeat if necessary.

All this pouring between bottles is a waste of time.
Say I need 6.5L for an oil change and I have 2x 4.73L jugs. I pour 1 jug into the engine and do 1x 1000ml and 1x 750ml.

Easypeasy.
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peteryorkuca wrote: Say I need 6.5L for an oil change and I have 2x 4.73L jugs. I pour 1 jug into the engine and do 1x 1000ml and 1x 750ml.

Easypeasy.
And you wouldn't still check the dipstick after?

In that time, I'd pour the entire 4.73L jug, then just pour roughly 1/3-1/4 to get roughly to within the range of the dip stick markings(between Fill and Full).

Start the car, shut off, check the stick, top up, done, while you're still pouring them into your small containers. And hopefully you haven't spilled any because that's another mess you'll be dealing with.

I guess now I know why people say changing your own oil is such a hassle - you are making your life unnecessarily difficult...
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Aug 27, 2014
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Get a measuring cup from dollarama
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er34er34 wrote: And you wouldn't still check the dipstick after?

In that time, I'd pour the entire 4.73L jug, then just pour roughly 1/3-1/4 to get roughly to within the range of the dip stick markings(between Fill and Full).

Start the car, shut off, check the stick, top up, done, while you're still pouring them into your small containers. And hopefully you haven't spilled any because that's another mess you'll be dealing with.

I guess now I know why people say changing your own oil is such a hassle - you are making your life unnecessarily difficult...
Of course I check the dipstick silly u.
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Jun 10, 2008
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Halton Hills
It's a car not a rocket ship. Dump some oil in, check dip stick, start/stop engine, fill up within dip stick limits.
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thisischris wrote: It's a car not a rocket ship. Dump some oil in, check dip stick, start/stop engine, fill up within dip stick limits.
Agreed, but it's a bitch if you overfill.
Crawl back under to drain, or siphon from the dipstick hole.
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vkizzle wrote: Agreed, but it's a bitch if you overfill.
Crawl back under to drain, or siphon from the dipstick hole.
Typical dip stick fill to full mark is close to 1L. Aim for the lower mark and top up. It's hard to screw that up even if you tried.

Most overfill because they just look at the manual and pour the amount stated there.
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I find that grey Mobil 1 jugs are pretty easy to read, but black Castrol Edge jugs are damn near impossible.

But I really just use those markings to get the level on the dipstick right. Both of my cars only take 4.5 - 5 L of oil. So I'll dump in ~90% of the 5 L jug, and check the level.

If the dipstick is dry, then I'll add 1 L of oil using the bottle marks. If the oil is halfway up the dipstick, I'll add another 0.5 L.

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