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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:58 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
The oil light came on this morning on our Vauxhall Astra ('55 plate, 1.6 Twinport petrol).

I've checked the oil levels, and it's a little low (although not quite at minimum).

I've checked in the user manual to see how much oil I need to put in (I don't particularly want to overfill it!), and it says that there is a 1 litre difference between minimum and maximum. So I'm guessing that means I'd have to put in just under 1 litre of oil to top it up properly.

I've bought some 5W synthetic oil (for "modern petrol engines") from the garage just around the corner - I'm guessing that I can just top it up with that?

The car is due for a service in a couple of months and it'll have the oil changed properly then anyway.

I'm sorry if this is a blindingly obvious question to some of you - however this is the first time I've ever had to do it, so be nice!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:08 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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check the manual for the correct oil, some cant be mixed. I cant remember what was in mine - part synthetic rings a bell.

Unfortunately, my 1.6 drank oil.

A lot of it - despite only having done barely 60,000 miles

A quick google shows up posts I dont think you want to read... :cry:

Although looking further it might just be blocked breathers. Every Vauxhall petrol I work on seems to be oily.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:11 am 
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Location: Norn Iron
Morning,

Park the car on a flat area of ground
Open the bonnet
Locate the filler cap and undo it
Pull out the dipstick and check it
Pour some oil into the filler hole
Check the dipstick again
Maybe 1/2 a litre to begin with then check
Add oil sparingly until you reach the max level
Try not to overfill it as this is bad for the engine
Have a rag with you to wipe dipstick and once you are done, wipe any excess oil off the engine where it has dripped.

Hope this helps,

Richard


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:15 am 
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Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
TGR wrote:
Morning,

Park the car on a flat area of ground
Open the bonnet
Locate the filler cap and undo it
Pull out the dipstick and check it
Pour some oil into the filler hole
Check the dipstick again
Maybe 1/2 a litre to begin with then check
Add oil sparingly until you reach the max level
Try not to overfill it as this is bad for the engine
Have a rag with you to wipe dipstick and once you are done, wipe any excess oil off the engine where it has dripped.

Hope this helps,

Richard


Hi Richard,

That's exactly what I've just come back from doing. Glad to see that I've done it all right!

LGF - I've just googled it too - it seems that my Astra is a thirsty little blighter when it comes to oil. However it's done about 4,000 miles since we bought it and this is the first time the light has come on. I'll keep my eye on it and if it comes on again any time soon I'll book it into the garage.

Thanks for the help both :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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Location: Norn Iron
Good job!

Really you should check your fluids weekly, especially if your car is prone to using/losing oil. I do mine maybe once every 6 weeks when i hoover it but i am a bit lazy. Carry spare oil in the car just in case.

Richard


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:31 am 
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TGR wrote:
Good job!

Really you should check your fluids weekly, especially if your car is prone to using/losing oil. I do mine maybe once every 6 weeks when i hoover it but i am a bit lazy. Carry spare oil in the car just in case.

Richard


I've put the half used bottle of oil in the boot now, ready for next time ;)

I'll try to make a point of checking the levels once a month I think. Thanks for the advice :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:17 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Barneyballbags wrote:
TGR wrote:
Good job!

Really you should check your fluids weekly, especially if your car is prone to using/losing oil. I do mine maybe once every 6 weeks when i hoover it but i am a bit lazy. Carry spare oil in the car just in case.

Richard


I've put the half used bottle of oil in the boot now, ready for next time ;)

I'll try to make a point of checking the levels once a month I think. Thanks for the advice :)


If you're not sure of how much, just do a little at a time, then let it settle. It's a good idea to make it a regular check though, depending on how long you've had the car, if you know it uses / loses a little oil over time, best to keep the checks reasonably frequent. Coolant, brake fluid and screenwash are also good things to check at the same time - I suppose being thorough, you could check the PS fluid level too.

As long as the spec is reasonably correct, some slight variance isn't going to make much difference when topping up. Semi-synth is a blend anyway. Some Ford Zetec engines could be picky in terms of valves gumming up, with the wrong spec of oil - but I doubt that a top-up would cause that.

What sort of oil light came on - because normally the one on the dash will be an oil pressure warning light (which sometimes do seem to come on, or flicker, when the oil level is pretty damned low, but I'd say most cars don't have an oil level warning light.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:22 am 
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Neil wrote:
What sort of oil light came on - because normally the one on the dash will be an oil pressure warning light (which sometimes do seem to come on, or flicker, when the oil level is pretty damned low, but I'd say most cars don't have an oil level warning light.


This one:

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:36 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Barneyballbags wrote:
Neil wrote:
What sort of oil light came on - because normally the one on the dash will be an oil pressure warning light (which sometimes do seem to come on, or flicker, when the oil level is pretty damned low, but I'd say most cars don't have an oil level warning light.


This one:

Image


Well I don't know anything specific about your car - but your handbook would say - but most oil lights are oil pressure warning lights (ie something needs attending to quick, smart - you know, pull over, turn off, sort of thing). Flickering now and again, or staying on longer at startup, can be indicative of the level being lower than ideal. If it stays on, though, and is an oil pressure warning light, you shouldn't run the engine - least until you're sure that the oil pressure is sufficient (occasionally, oil pressure sensors fail...) - but also can be a hint of oil starvation (neglected cars, can sometimes get blockages from the sump / sump filter, and then oil pressure can be a problem.

What does your handbook say - and did the light come on and stay on?

Or your car may truly have an oil level warning light (some cars do, but tends to be not the average / "normal" cars).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:59 am 
Old School Grand Master
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I've checked the manual and the light indicates that the oil level is low, which would tie-in with what I found when I checked the oil level afterwards.

The light isn't on all the time - for example it came on this morning on my way into work but it might not have come on this evening when I'm on my way home.

I've topped the oil up now anyway, so we'll see :)


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