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Hello. I have a 2018 Impala Premier with the V6. Could someone explain the marks on the dipstick for me? The owner's manual only shows the 4 cylinder one, saying the V6 is similar, but doesn't explain the marks. Thanks!
 

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Hello. I have a 2018 Impala Premier with the V6. Could someone explain the marks on the dipstick for me? The owner's manual only shows the 4 cylinder one, saying the V6 is similar, but doesn't explain the marks. Thanks!


I have a 2014 Impala 2LTZ with the 3.6 V-6 engine.

I looked online at the 2018 Impala owner’s manual, and although the manual does show a picture of the 4-cylinder dip stick end - and states the V-6 is similar, it has specific information concerning oil level and usage for all engines in the Impala.

The information includes how to check the oil level, how long to have the engine off before checking, when to add oil, and warnings concerning overfilling the oil. It also contains information on the oil specification usage.

Perhaps you could re read your manual to clarify the answers to your question. In brief, the lowest crosshatch marking on the oil dipstick is the “low” level (requiring oil to be added) and the highest crosshatch marking is the “full” level indicator.

For about the first 30,000 miles - my Impala would use about one-half quart of oil after about 2,500 - 3,000 miles of driving. I would check the oil level as indicated, and it would show about halfway between the full and add marks. I would add one-half quart of oil, not wanting to wait until the oil level dropped one quart. I have changed (or had changed) the oil and filter when the oil life monitor reaches 30% - 35%.

Now, with about 42,xxx miles on the engine, it no longer uses one-half quart of oil between oil changes. I’m not sure why. I still check the engine oil on my vehicles every week or so at home, while the engine is cool.
 

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I read the manual. It says "if the oil is below the cross-hatched area at the tip of the dipstick and the engine has been off for at least 15 minutes, add 1 L of oil and then recheck the level" It adds about too much oil: "If you find that you have an oil level above the operating range, i.e., the engine has so much oil that the oil level gets above the upper mark that shows the proper operating range,..." This and the 4cyl picture are all I could find.



Are you saying the top of the upper cross-hatch is full, and the bottom of the lower cross-hatch is add oil, or is the smooth area between the cross-hatches the normal operating level?
 

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I read the manual. It says "if the oil is below the cross-hatched area at the tip of the dipstick and the engine has been off for at least 15 minutes, add 1 L of oil and then recheck the level" It adds about too much oil: "If you find that you have an oil level above the operating range, i.e., the engine has so much oil that the oil level gets above the upper mark that shows the proper operating range,..." This and the 4cyl picture are all I could find.



Are you saying the top of the upper cross-hatch is full, and the bottom of the lower cross-hatch is add oil, or is the smooth area between the cross-hatches the normal operating level?
Basically you have 5 dots on your oil dipstick. You don't want your oil level to be down to the bottom do. Your oil should be at or just a hair above the top dot on the dipstick.
 

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Basically, your oil should be right at the tip of where my thumb is in this picture after your car has been off for a few hours.

 

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I'm late replying on this one - RobHazmat's answer pretty much covers it. But I'm chiming in anyway :)

The way I interpret the dots is shown in the attached pic. That's from my 2013 LFX, which has a different oil dipstick (p/n 12633127) than the 2018 LFX (p/n 12657038).

In my case, you want the oil level somewhere in the cross-hatched area, preferably at the top (FULL).

On the inset, from RobHazmat's pic, I'm scratching my head. What did the GM engineers intend with the 2 clear sections between the 2 cross-hatched sections? All I can think is that the lower cross-hatched area means you're getting close to being low but still OK, and the upper cross-hatched area means you're getting close to be over-filled but still OK.

SMH.

Doug

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I'm late replying on this one - RobHazmat's answer pretty much covers it. But I'm chiming in anyway :)

The way I interpret the dots is shown in the attached pic. That's from my 2013 LFX, which has a different oil dipstick (p/n 12633127) than the 2018 LFX (p/n 12657038).

In my case, you want the oil level somewhere in the cross-hatched area, preferably at the top (FULL).

On the inset, from RobHazmat's pic, I'm scratching my head. What did the GM engineers intend with the 2 clear sections between the 2 cross-hatched sections? All I can think is that the lower cross-hatched area means you're getting close to being low but still OK, and the upper cross-hatched area means you're getting close to be over-filled but still OK.

SMH.

Doug

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I agree with your observation about the clear section between the two cross-hatched section.

With the dipstick that has the clear area - perhaps the cross-hatched sections are a “warning” of getting close to low or getting close to overfilled?

I’ve owned GM cars for 49 years - you think the engineers would figure out a simple marking system for the engine oil dipstick - that would be easy to quickly read and apply across various engine types.
 
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