Burnt oil dipstick

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Old 27 Aug 2005, 04:07 pm   #1 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Burnt oil dipstick

Looking at buying a used rig. Noted that the oil dipstick had what
appears to be a hard glazed on "varnish" of what appears to be burnt
oil (dark brownish) all the way up the stick.

My 20-year corolla and 25 year-old tercel, both have "clean" dipsticks.
Is this a cautionary thing. What caused this?

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Old 27 Aug 2005, 08:15 pm   #2 (permalink)
HachiRoku
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Default Re: Burnt oil dipstick

On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 14:07:11 -0700, timbirr wrote:

> Looking at buying a used rig. Noted that the oil dipstick had what
> appears to be a hard glazed on "varnish" of what appears to be burnt
> oil (dark brownish) all the way up the stick.
>
> My 20-year corolla and 25 year-old tercel, both have "clean" dipsticks.
> Is this a cautionary thing. What caused this?


I have a Corolla GTS and a Celica GTS, both 1985's. The Celica's is clean
as a whislte, the Corolla's is like you describe.

I met the original owner of the Celica; he's a car nut and did all the
maintenance on time.

I bought the Corolla in '86 with 10,000 miles and changed the oil every
3,000 miles. Why one is varnished and the other isn't???

--
It doesn't take a genius
to know the difference
between chicken shit
and chicken salad...

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Old 27 Aug 2005, 11:28 pm   #3 (permalink)
Merritt Mullen
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Default Re: Burnt oil dipstick

In article <Ge8Qe.3656$Ni1.499@trndny03>, HachiRoku <Trueno@ae86.GTS>
wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 14:07:11 -0700, timbirr wrote:
>
> > Looking at buying a used rig. Noted that the oil dipstick had what
> > appears to be a hard glazed on "varnish" of what appears to be burnt
> > oil (dark brownish) all the way up the stick.
> >
> > My 20-year corolla and 25 year-old tercel, both have "clean" dipsticks.
> > Is this a cautionary thing. What caused this?

>
> I have a Corolla GTS and a Celica GTS, both 1985's. The Celica's is clean
> as a whislte, the Corolla's is like you describe.
>
> I met the original owner of the Celica; he's a car nut and did all the
> maintenance on time.
>
> I bought the Corolla in '86 with 10,000 miles and changed the oil every
> 3,000 miles. Why one is varnished and the other isn't???


Could it be the location of the dip stick tube with respect to the exhaust
manifold?

Merritt
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Old 28 Aug 2005, 09:13 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Burnt oil dipstick

*Is this a cautionary thing.

Yes. Indicates condition of the inside of the engine block, however,
varnish is not particularly harmful. Would be better if clean.

What caused this?

Heat. Conventional motor oil "breaks down" over time. That is,
viscosity index changes, volatile compounds flash off. Some varnish on
the upper end - valve cover, is considered normal, less so on the
dipstick.

You could check auto-rx.com.

When buying a used car, I often perform a couple of extra oil changes,
to help clean up the oil. Surprisingly, even if you drain it out fairly
soon, it still comes out dirty. That's the detergent working, so
perhaps that helps a little.
In terms of operating efficiency or longevity, probably doesn't make a
lot of difference. Varnish coating internal parts interferes somewhat
with the cooling effect of circulating oil. If there's enough varnish
that the pistons rings begin sticking in their lands instead of sealing
against the cylinder walls you'll see increased oil burning and / or
loss of compression and power. Those conditions are more cause for
concern.

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Old 28 Aug 2005, 09:22 am   #5 (permalink)
HachiRoku
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Default Re: Burnt oil dipstick

On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 04:28:36 +0000, Merritt Mullen wrote:

> In article <Ge8Qe.3656$Ni1.499@trndny03>, HachiRoku <Trueno@ae86.GTS>
> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 14:07:11 -0700, timbirr wrote:
>>
>> > Looking at buying a used rig. Noted that the oil dipstick had what
>> > appears to be a hard glazed on "varnish" of what appears to be burnt
>> > oil (dark brownish) all the way up the stick.
>> >
>> > My 20-year corolla and 25 year-old tercel, both have "clean" dipsticks.
>> > Is this a cautionary thing. What caused this?

>>
>> I have a Corolla GTS and a Celica GTS, both 1985's. The Celica's is clean
>> as a whislte, the Corolla's is like you describe.
>>
>> I met the original owner of the Celica; he's a car nut and did all the
>> maintenance on time.
>>
>> I bought the Corolla in '86 with 10,000 miles and changed the oil every
>> 3,000 miles. Why one is varnished and the other isn't???

>
> Could it be the location of the dip stick tube with respect to the exhaust
> manifold?
>
> Merritt


Yeah. most likely. The one complaunt I have with this car is that the
dipstick and the filter are on the 'hot' side of the engine, with the
filter located directly below the exhaust manifold. Know how thay tell you
to change the oil with the engine hot? I have a couple of small scars from
that little bit of advice...

On my '85 Celica GTS, the filter is hidden away down on the block, but on
the 'cool' side of the engine.

--
It doesn't take a genius
to know the difference
between chicken shit
and chicken salad...

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