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311 posts

Ultimate Geek


#153940 13-Oct-2014 13:52
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Imagine my surprise when I heard this during my WoF at VTNZ Kingsland.

Not wanting to go into an argument about how exactly the guy determined this, I politely declined saying that I'll do it at home as I have some.

You don't need to be a mechanic to know that you need to wait at least an hour (probably more to be on the safe side) with the engine off for the oil to drain before measuring the level.

I'm not sure which is more worrying:
1. The WoF engineer not knowing this (and even writing it down in the comments section for the WoF)
2. Someone (management?) giving a directive to do this to people that only know what the steering wheel does.

Could someone see a third option?

I've seen the same thing happening at a petrol station (I was at a cafe across the road), a lady with a brand new car asked the attendant to check the oil level (wtf?!) and obviously the guy said it needs a top up and started pouring a litre. I don't want to know what mess was under the hood after driving away with all the extra oil spewing around..

Before someone asks, yes, I did check the oil level afterwards (properly) and surprise, the level was exactly in the middle between the low and high lines. (and I checked it a few months prior anyway).

Honesty. It's slowly becoming a thing of the past even in our remote part of the world. Slowly we're catching by with the rest of the world.. Sigh.

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  #1152858 13-Oct-2014 14:09
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Probably been told to improve customer service, so they figured checking ppl's oil levels was an option (as well as selling you the oil to do it)

I was told by a VTNZ employee (ex-bro-in-law), that they're not allowed to touch anything on your car anyway (except for the usual stuff they do underneath) , so if thats true, was your station breaching the rules.....  

I failed a WOF years ago because according to the agents, my front spoiler was only held on by 2 bolts and some duct tape. If they had run their hand over the duct tape, they would have felt there was another 3 bolts under it - so did show they dont touch the car as such.




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  #1152863 13-Oct-2014 14:13
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I found the VTNZ staffs are reliable & honest. I have probably a dozen of free WOF vouchers from the car dealers sitting in my study room, never bothered to use any of them.





 
 
 
 


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  #1152866 13-Oct-2014 14:15
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VTNZ are trying to find some value-add for their business (do you want fries with that?) no objections there. A lot of motorists would probably appreciate the extra option.

Point to note:  A lot of the WoF inspectors are NOT qualified mechanics let alone "engineers". 

I am not sure about waiting "at least an hour" for the oil to settle.  5 - 10 minutes should be plenty to ensure most of the oil has flowed back into the pan.  It's not that critical that a few drops trapped here or there will make a noticeable difference.  

I don't like the idea of just dumping a litre in as a guess however, not unless they have some specific knowledge on the oil volumes in the particular model.  Should be added gradually and then checked before adding more.    







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Ultimate Geek


  #1152867 13-Oct-2014 14:18
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Gents, you did read the final part where I mentioned that I checked the oil level afterwards and it is where it should be, right?

And adding an extra 1L of oil into a tiny 1300cc engine (which likely tops up at 3.5L probably, give or take) would definitely be bad.

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  #1152875 13-Oct-2014 14:23
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tcpdump: Gents, you did read the final part where I mentioned that I checked the oil level afterwards and it is where it should be, right?

And adding an extra 1L of oil into a tiny 1300cc engine (which likely tops up at 3.5L probably, give or take) would definitely be bad.


It should ideally be at the top of that crosshatched section, not the middle.  More oil = cooler oil = longer life

Not above the line though, that is bad.

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  #1152881 13-Oct-2014 14:30
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When the oil is hot I don't think there'd be that much difference in level after a few minutes drain down. The issue is whether the customer agreed to "maintenance" checks as well as WOF probably at extra cost and whether the level being down actually needs topping up. Some cars get a complete change before the level drops much. I usually check the level waiting at the petrol pump. Leaving it several months is asking for trouble.

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  #1152884 13-Oct-2014 14:35
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Hmmm ... opening themselves up for problems (which involve $$$$)  if they start adding oil to peoples cars without knowing what is already in it!

Take my car needs fully synthetic oil and currently has 10W-40 in it ... are they going to have that or just dump on their general purpose oil ?

I imagine the average little old lady who brings in her Audi is going to just agree to whatever the nice VTNZ person is saying :-(

 
 
 
 


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  #1152886 13-Oct-2014 14:39
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Mark: I imagine the average little old lady who brings in her Audi is going to just agree to whatever the nice VTNZ person is saying :-(


If your car is using oil, you have worse problems than putting in the "wrong" kind of oil...

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  #1152898 13-Oct-2014 14:48
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Mark: Hmmm ... opening themselves up for problems (which involve $$$$)  if they start adding oil to peoples cars without knowing what is already in it!

Take my car needs fully synthetic oil and currently has 10W-40 in it ... are they going to have that or just dump on their general purpose oil ?

I imagine the average little old lady who brings in her Audi is going to just agree to whatever the nice VTNZ person is saying :-(


I doubt it would cause any issues, but hardly ideal, and as a customer (and fussy car owner) I would be right royally p**sed off if they put some common old oil after forking out a fortune for a prime special blend. 

OP - your oil was not at the right level, it should be at the full mark to ensure oil pressure remains at desired levels, also volume increase means stress is spread around a larger quantity = better wear = oil lasts longer.

If in doubt a simple "no thanks" is an easy solution.     







Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



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Ultimate Geek


  #1152900 13-Oct-2014 14:52
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Agree with oil level being at the full mark, not below.
Hot oil is generally thinner than cold oil so will drain back to the sump relatively quickly.  As mentioned above, a few minutes should get it close enough.  I doubt there would be a full litre still hiding in the engine after much longer than that though.

Filling above the mark is also not a huge issue if you know what you are doing.  When racing a Subaru you always add an extra litre above the full mark to reduce the chance of oil surge.
Obviously way over is going to cause problems though.

I would always tend to decline the offer of a top up.  For one car because of the specific oil type and grade it's running, and the other because I don't want to be paying the workshop premium for the oil when I will generally get it on special and have a container or so kicking around at home anyway.

Good on them for noticing and bringing it to the attention of the owner though.  Prevention is far better than cure in this case.




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  #1152903 13-Oct-2014 14:58
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geoffwnz: Filling above the mark is also not a huge issue if you know what you are doing. 


Depends.  It's a very big problem in some engines.

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  #1152923 13-Oct-2014 15:14
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ubergeeknz:
geoffwnz: Filling above the mark is also not a huge issue if you know what you are doing. 


Depends.  It's a very big problem in some engines.


It really depends how much over, as a proportion of standard capacity.

An extra half-litre in a little 600cc that only has ~2.5L capacity, could easily be a major issue. An extra half-litre in a a Lamborghini V12, that has a standard capacity of 13L, is not really a big deal.

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  #1152927 13-Oct-2014 15:17
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Interesting.

They asked me if I wanted them to check the fluids etc... for an extra $20 or something.

I said no thanks, since I just replaced the engine oil (5.8L fully synthetic), trans and diff oils before I put it in for a WoF.

I came back to pick the car up and the testing person noted on my sheet the engine oil was low and they could top it up with their dinosaur oil.

Now, they didn't charge me the extra. However at the start of the conversation it 'cost' to have them check the oil. They still did it anyway hoping I'd buy something of theirs.

I politely said it's not nice to falsely claim something to an unsuspecting vehicle owner.  I guess they hope 99% of people will say yes to splashing up a storm with their crank.

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  #1152934 13-Oct-2014 15:22
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Inphinity:
ubergeeknz:
geoffwnz: Filling above the mark is also not a huge issue if you know what you are doing. 


Depends.  It's a very big problem in some engines.


It really depends how much over, as a proportion of standard capacity.

An extra half-litre in a little 600cc that only has ~2.5L capacity, could easily be a major issue. An extra half-litre in a a Lamborghini V12, that has a standard capacity of 13L, is not really a big deal.


An extra half-litre in any engine where the crank sits close to the oil level in the sump, will cause the oil to foam up reducing its effectiveness (and necessitating an oil change), too much oil can create excess pressure in some engines as well, thereby permanently damaging the engine.  I'd certainly not be playing so lassiez-faire with a quarter million dollar car.

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  #1152978 13-Oct-2014 16:16
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a number of years ago i took my car to the local vtnz station in masterton for a wof,it was refused for a noisy bearing in left front wheel,so i took it to my garage i go to and they could not find a thing wrong with any thing,so took it back next day to vtnz and got the same 2 guys to recheck it,not a thing wrong with it,they got told what i thought of them and there service and have never been to any vtnz for any thing since.

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