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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all

Hoping you can help me here. Not long ago, I had my engine head rebuilt and then subsequent oil leaks sorted by the garage. They re-sealed the oil pump, fitted a new sump gasket and checked no leaks in the engine head. When I got the car back, the oil level was at MAX with the engine cold.

I drove it for the following week, doing about 70 miles a day, and no noticable change in oil level. Then 3 days ago, I checked the oil with the engine cold (driven the previous day) and it was a little over the minimum indicator. I drove to town, parked up and came back after about an hour. I checked the oil level again and it was now just below maximum.

I checked the level this morning before setting off for work and it was just above minimum level again. When I got to the office earlier this morning, I turned the engine off and sat for 15 minutes, then checked the oil. Now it's showing minimum, so obviously I'm panicking :confused:

I haven't noticed any oil spots on my driveway or any noticeable drips from below after turning the engine off (previously it was dripping before having the seals done). I also have no blue smoke or any noticeable burning smell while driving.

Does anyone have any idea why I am seeing such variation in the oil level? I check it both via the sensor and the dipstick and the level seems to match between the two. Should I top up the oil if I find it's still at minimum tonight after work, or could the oil still be sitting somewhere in the engine? I really don't want to overfill.

Peugeot 307 Rapier 1.6 2002 / 100,000 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, it's a Peugeot 307 Rapier 1.6 2002 (petrol). It's done just a little over 100,000 miles.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Okay, I went for a short drive at lunch and then checked the oil level again once the engine had been off for about 5 mins. It was reading just above the lower indicator, so no change from the cold reading this morning.

I took a couple of pictures under the bonnet. In the first pic, I'm guessing that is the oil filter and it seems to have a small pool of oil around the edge. I wiped it clean this morning and at work now it has a bit of oil there. Again, no oil patches on the ground or smoke from the exhaust, so I don't see where it could be leaking/burning off.



This second picture is of the case housing the cambelt (someone tell me the correct definition :( ). I noticed a bit of black sludge around the metal, so wanted to see if anyone knows what that is? Is that sealant or something where they worked on the engine head?

 

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First picture is your oil filter housing, inside there is a paper oil filter. If i remember correctly it is supposed to be torqued to 24 newton meters. The top part of the housing has plastic thread which after installing the new filter is easy enough to cross thread. The paper oil filter has a small positioning nub on the bottom which must be put in exactly the right place to work correctly.

The black stuff between the head (Aluminium part) and the valve cover (black plastic part) id say is gasket maker. Im not sure though in this engine if it is supposed to have a paper/rubber gasket or are you just supposed to gunk it on finish. Im sure someone on here knows/ can check.

Was the work carried out by a local indie garage? What grade of oil did they put in your car? Incorrect viscosity can really mess an engine up.
A dipstick doesn't lie:) so what ever it reads on the dipstick is the correct level, unless it was replaced by an incorrect dipstick. Might sound silly but are you sure you have pushed the dipstick the hole way back in each time? Sometimes the little o ring on top of a dipstick gets damaged and can bind up on re-installation.

Id say go back to the garage and inform them that the oil filter that they renewed is leaking. Good test of a garage as well they should fix it without the use of Teflon tape on the plastic thread.

This level if fluctuation id say would point to a leak, maybe the oil is being caught by the under tray and not falling to the ground.

Hope this helps
Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm now pretty sure it's leaking. Few more oil spots on the driveway, but only seems to appear overnight as none at work after 45 min drive and sitting for a good 8 hours. If anything it seems to be a relatively slow leak, so I'll top up the oil and get it looked at after Xmas.

The garage who looked at originally and did the head rebuild were Halfords Autocentre in Letchworth. I'm not going back to them as they're a bunch of jokers and I'm pretty sure they've taken me for a bit of a ride with the various parts they replaced. I'll log a complaint with their head office too as I was not happy with the 3 week wait on the most recent visit and their seemingly lacking competence. They didn't do an oil and filter change, so that needs to be done. I don't know what grade of oil they filled it up with, but I have started topping it up with 5w40 now, which was the recommended grade.

I'm going to an indie garage next time who were rated highly on the Good Garage Scheme. Hopefully the filter change will sort out the leak as I haven't had it done since I've owned the car (I know, I should have had it done).
 

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Well, if it was leaking the level would only go down, not up.

The one thing that could affect the dipstick reading is how the car is sitting when checked. If I check my oil in the street outside my house it will show correct on one side of the road and low on the other side of the road due to the camber. Likewise, if the car is on even a gentle slope the dipstick level will be affected. If the car is pointing up the hill the level will look low and vice versa.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, if it was leaking the level would only go down, not up.

The one thing that could affect the dipstick reading is how the car is sitting when checked. If I check my oil in the street outside my house it will show correct on one side of the road and low on the other side of the road due to the camber. Likewise, if the car is on even a gentle slope the dipstick level will be affected. If the car is pointing up the hill the level will look low and vice versa.
I check the level in my driveway and it is on a very slight slope, so I guess you could argue the car is slightly raised at the front than the back. I had the same really low reading the other day, so topped it up just a little bit. The following day I checked again and it was way back up near maximum. I'll keep an eye on it, but it's a really strange one. It's possible I'm paranoid from my prior bad experiences!
 
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