Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGF Technical - F#!?%$ Oil Level

I know I'm extremely stupid and non-technical, but still I want to be able to measure the oil level of my F now and again.
But even if I follow the instruction book to the letter, I only see a lot of oil on the dipstick, but no level. I wiped so much oil from the dipstick that I stopped trying in fear of emptying the engine completely.
Can anyone tell me what to do??
Kryn Saman

Firstly stop worrying!
Next leave the car to sit
Now get a tissue (forget the auto wiper mech!)
remove the dipstick and wipe clean
push the dipstick full back into place and pull back out
although some oil may be on the sides of the stick you should be able to see a defined line that crosses the whole of the stick.

Will Munns

First of all - dont use those silly little things at the top of the dip stick tube.

Second leave the car to stand on level ground for a couple of minutes then withdraw the dip stick, wipe it with a tissue or piece of cloth replace it, pushing it firmly into place and withdraw again for checking.

Works every time for me (as the actress said to the bishop).

Ted Newman

The easy way is to check the car when it has not been used for some hours - perhaps overnight. It is not necessary to wipe the dipstick in this case - just pull it out and look at it !
At other times :-
Stop the engine (!)
Wait a few minutes to allow oil to drain back
Pull the dipstick out 2-3 cm, then press the wiper blocks on the side of the dipstick, while pulling the dipstick out.
You will not be able to remove the dipstick fully; when you reach the limit, release the wiper blocks and push the dipstick fully home.
Pull the dipstick out without touching the wiper blocks and look at the min/max levels (they are 1 litre apart).


Maybe I need new glasses, but I did exactly as you all suggested, but even if the car has been standing overnight in my (level) garage, I pull the dipstick out, wipe it with tissue, put it back in and it comes back out completely wet with oil on both sides of the stick. I even called my wife to help looking, so I,m really desparate. Could it be that there is far too much oil in the engine? (I only have the car for two weeks)
Kryn Saman

Possible- but it would be a LOT of oil! (and I would expect it to be venting from all over the place). If it is too full then I would advise draining a lot of it out, too much oil will bugger all sorts of expensive items (given a little time).
An oil change (if the oil is blackened then a change of filter would also be advisable) should only set you back 50 including oil.
Will Munns

the marks are small. Clean the dipstick first to see where they are.

Thanks Gareth, but I see the marks allright. The only thing I do'nt see is where the oil stops.
Kryn Saman

Try leaving the dipstick out for a couple of hours - would the oil not then drain down the dipstick tube?....obviously don't drive the car with the stick out....


I think I would drain the oil and see if any water has got in and then replace the filter and the specified amount of oil, then you will see the level. After keep a check on the level in case there is a leak into your oil from somewhere.
Best of luck

I know this is a silly question but...

Have you topped the oil up at some stage without removing the dipstick? If you have, then the reservoir used to hold the oil before it drains down the dipstick tube will probably be full of oil. In which case the dipstick will be completely coated with oil as you pull it out of the tube.

Steve's suggestion of leaving the dipstick out for 10-15 minutes (I think 2 hours is slightly excessive!) will allow the oil to drain down the tube.


>>>>>>>obviously dont drive the car with the stick out<<<<< like i did one time after checking the level, i accidently left the stick on the drive before driving up to Edinburgh.......messy!!! Davey.

...continuing from my last message. You will need to remove the oil filler cap as well as the dipstick to allow the oil to drain down te dipstick tube.

The other thing, of course, is you need to check the oil level when the car has been standing on level ground. The F having a transverse engine will give an incorrect reading even when on a slight incline. I always check my oil level in the carpark at work because I know that it is level.


Thanks Ralph, your remark about the oil filler cap triggered a memory of one of my first cars 30 years ago, a citroen 2CV AZAM, which had the same problem as my F, and indeed, removing the oil filler cap solved the problem. The next problem is that my oil level is about one centimeter above maximum. I have had this in the past with other cars, and it never posed any problems. But this is a car within a warranty period and I want to be absolutely certain that too much oil will not damage the engine (or the catalysator)The instruction book says that the level may never be above maximum!
Kryn Saman

This thread was discussed between 05/08/2002 and 07/08/2002

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.