Oil check.. Cold vs. Hot - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Oil check.. Cold vs. Hot

The book says check hot. Let it idle a few min. then check. Would the oil not drain into the pan over night? Who checks their oil hot or cold? Cold, my level is at the add line. Haven't checked it hot lately. I don't understand the reasoning for checking hot. Seems best to me to let it drain into the pan over night and check before riding. Any thoughts, opinions or advise?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 10:00 AM
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The book says check hot. Let it idle a few min. then check. Would the oil not drain into the pan over night? Who checks their oil hot or cold? Cold, my level is at the add line. Haven't checked it hot lately. I don't understand the reasoning for checking hot. Seems best to me to let it drain into the pan over night and check before riding. Any thoughts, opinions or advise?
Oil expands when hot , that is why.



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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 10:52 AM
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Oil quantity is only 3- 3.5 qts or so it wont expand a lot there is a range on the stick so hot /cold whatever if it is hot just let it sit a few minutes after shutting the engine off before checking the level. Keep it in the range listed on your stick. I know the stick says hot but mine is in the mid range hot or cold with little variation. Hot vs cold on mine is a diff of about 1/8" on the stick.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 11:34 AM
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When you change oil, why don't you just remember where the level is on the stick when cold. Then if you check it again cold, you have a reference point.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Coot View Post
The book says check hot. Let it idle a few min. then check. Would the oil not drain into the pan over night? Who checks their oil hot or cold? Cold, my level is at the add line. Haven't checked it hot lately. I don't understand the reasoning for checking hot. Seems best to me to let it drain into the pan over night and check before riding. Any thoughts, opinions or advise?
+1
I agree with you . Drather check it cold than hot as hell ,drippin hot oil everywhere .
My book says two & a half quarts on a oil & filter change . That puts the oil level dead on the half-way mark between full & add marks . If I happen to check it hot it will be dead on the full mark .
Bike uses no oil between changes and doesn't blow out any oil into the air filter and I regularly redline it with drag pipes & all . LOL .:bikerguy:
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 12:50 PM
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Harley motors are dry sump motors. If you check cold you run into the chance of getting false low readings due to oil getting past the check valve and draining into the crank case.

By checking hot, the oil pump scavenges the oil out of the crankcase and pumps it back into the oil tank, which is where you are measuring the level..... not the crankcase as with the majority of automotive engines.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 01:16 PM
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I check both cold and hot levels. No problem.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kainam View Post
Harley motors are dry sump motors. If you check cold you run into the chance of getting false low readings due to oil getting past the check valve and draining into the crank case.



By checking hot, the oil pump scavenges the oil out of the crankcase and pumps it back into the oil tank, which is where you are measuring the level..... not the crankcase as with the majority of automotive engines.

This. If you add oil cold, you can overfill - especially on a Softail.


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 02:57 PM
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Check hot.




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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 04:47 PM
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This. If you add oil cold, you can overfill - especially on a Softail.


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Softies have the oil tank separate from the engine and above the tranny . Dyna's have the oil below the engine in the oil pan .
So , would there be any difference in the correct procedure for checking oil ?
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