SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner
1 - 20 of 119 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted this supplement to the XC60 manual before, but here it is again FYI.
[/URL]PixForPosting9 by tonyjag03, on Flickr[/IMG]

Our T-6 Drive-E XC60 has fortunately not used any oil yet, so it's not clear what the least significant indication or scale of the electronic dipstick is.
[/URL]PixForPosting47 by tonyjag03, on Flickr[/IMG]

Any comments or answers to the following questions will be appreciated:
1. What is the scale...i.e. is MIN a quart less than MAX and each tic mark is 1/4 quart? 1/4 Liter?
2. What the least significant indication, i.e, what is the smallest change that it can display? I hope it's finer than 1/4 quart.

When you change the oil, it appears that it will be a PITA to check if you have to drive 20 miles or wait 2 hours to get a correct reading, per the manual. I can't imagine Volvo dealers doing that after an oil change. They must have a quicker way to check it. If you have it done, be sure to check it when you pick the car up. I am hoping that someone is working on an aftermarket conventional dipstick.

One of our Saab 9000s, '93 CSE i think, had an electric level sensor (binary) but also a conventional dipstick attached to the oil filler cap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK. Let's try a simpler question that any Drive-E owner should be able to answer.
When you checked your oil, did you ever see any reading not exactly at MAX, like the picture above? If so, please describe it for us. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
No answers yet from a Volvo tech?
I would assume the spread between min/max to be 1 liter?... So just below "Min", add 1/2 qt? Time will tell I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No answers yet from a Volvo tech?
I would assume the spread between min/max to be 1 liter?... So just below "Min", add 1/2 qt? Time will tell I guess.
Thanks for your reply. Yeah, it's likely 1 liter (1.0566 US Qt.) from min to max, so each tic mark is 1/4 liter or 8.453 fluid oz. (US).
The MY15 manual doesn't give this info for the conventional dipstick either, but says:
"1. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a lint-free rag.
2. Reinsert the dipstick, pull it out, and check the oil level. The level must be between the MIN and MAX marks.
3. Add oil if necessary. If the level is close to the MIN mark, add approximately 0.5 US quarts (0.5 liters) of oil.
4. Recheck the level and add more oil if necessary until the level is near the MAX mark."
I was hoping to learn the resolution of the digital dipstick, i.e. the smallest increment it can display.. the smaller the better and more like the conventional dip stick

I am also disappointed at the lack of answers, both from techs and owners. I will contact our dealer, then share what I learn here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
I honestly do not know the answer to the question. I do have some vague recollection from the webinar that the display will read "MAX" until the oil level has dropped quite a bit. Certainly more than a quarter liter per mark.

VIDA will read the precise oil level from the oil level sensor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting..

I honestly do not know the answer to the question. I do have some vague recollection from the webinar that the display will read "MAX" until the oil level has dropped quite a bit. Certainly more than a quarter liter per mark.

VIDA will read the precise oil level from the oil level sensor.
Thanks. so the precise level is available on the OBD port? If so, I should be able to read it using OBDScan and the Torque App. But on first look, I could not find an oil level parameter in the list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE: I fixed the picture links to flickr. We are now over 4K miles, but the oil readout still says exactly full.

Has anyone with a Drive-E engine seen any oil level reading other than MAX? If so, please describe it for us. No one seems to know for sure the resolution or smallest difference it can indicate.

I look forward to doing an extra DIY oil change soon. Any suggestions on how to get the level to MAX will be appreciated. I may just measure how much old oil drained out, including filter, then put in that exact amount of new oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
I just had to retake a webinar from December 2013 on the new engines.

In between gulps of Guiness, I think they said the readout will always show full until it is 1 quart low, at which time there will be a message "add oil" or some such.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just had to retake a webinar from December 2013 on the new engines.

In between gulps of Guiness, I think they said the readout will always show full until it is 1 quart low, at which time there will be a message "add oil" or some such.
Thanks..hope you enjoyed the stout!

I can accept that it would give a warning message, e.g. when you try to start it, if it gets more than a quart low. But when you take an action to check the oil and it displays a bar graph with 6 segments (each 1/4 quart), I would expect 1/4 quart or finer resolution in the readout. Anything bigger is misleading and vastly inferior to a conventional dip stick. What were they thinking?

Earlier, you wrote "VIDA will read the precise oil level from the oil level sensor." Does oil level appear on the OBD port?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Thanks..hope you enjoyed the stout!

I can accept that it would give a warning message, e.g. when you try to start it, if it gets more than a quart low. But when you take an action to check the oil and it displays a bar graph with 6 segments (each 1/4 quart), I would expect 1/4 quart or finer resolution in the readout. Anything bigger is misleading and vastly inferior to a conventional dip stick. What were they thinking?

Earlier, you wrote "VIDA will read the precise oil level from the oil level sensor." Does oil level appear on the OBD port?
VIDA is connected via the Dice through the OBD port. In VIDA, once communication is established with the car, oil level (in millimeters) can be read through the Engine Control Module (ECM).

I have yet to do an oil change on any Drive-E engine but I have done several PDI's in which I do check the oil level through the ECM. I normally see the oil level at about 48 mm. I think the oil level sensor will read all the way up to 60 mm, which I imagine is overfilled.

I seem to recall that the car will check the oil level every time the car is unlocked, in anticipation of the engine being started shortly after being unlocked. If the car is left unlocked a while, the car will check the oil level again when the brake is applied to start the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Many thanks for your thorough explanation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Our Volvo was at the dealer today for an unrelated problem and I asked them to check the oil level. They handed me a readout that showed 41.37 mm. average on a time graph with a scale of 41 - 42 mm, at 70.38°C.

It further shows 36.33 mm TEMPERATURE COMPENSATED, which is equivalent to 5.08 Litre (Including 0.4 L in filter). The service manager said it is fine and Drive-E engines are not using any oil. But he didn't know how many mm means full, one quart low, etc. There must be a table somewhere.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eureka!

I found the following info on a UK Castrol web site....
http://competition.castrol.co.uk/top-up.html
It clearly shows that the resolution of the digital indicator is 1/4 liter (assuming that MAX-MIN = 1 liter), as well as how to top up the oil, so that question is finally answered!
[/URL]OilTopUp by tonyjag06, on Flickr[/IMG]:):
Now why couldn't Volvo put that info, which looks like Volvo-style diagrams, in the owners manual?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rant regarding FAKE Volvo displays..WHat were they thinking???

I just had to retake a webinar from December 2013 on the new engines.

In between gulps of Guiness, I think they said the readout will always show full until it is 1 quart low, at which time there will be a message "add oil" or some such.
You are right, this readout is another major disappointment. I just did the first oil change and will do a How-to thread to help other DIY people. To understand how the "gauge" that has replaced a real dipstick works, I
Let out 0.25L of oil, the display still showed MAX.
Let out another 0.25L of oil, the display still showed MAX. I even waited 2 hours like the owner's manual says.
Let out another 0.5L of oil, then the display showed:
[/URL]oillow by tonyjag03, on Flickr[/IMG]

Then, expecting to follow the procedure from the UK Castrol site shown in post #13, i collected the sample for Blackstone, let the rest of the oil out, changed the filter, installed the new magnetic drain plug, and put 4 liters of new oil in. The readout did not change.
I added another 0.5L of oil and the display went back to MAX:
[/URL]oilOK by tonyjag03, on Flickr[/IMG]

So here is another example of a FAKE Volvo display, which looks good and leads you to believe you are measuring the oil level, but all it is is a dumb fixed threshold on/off level indicator. Our 1993 Saab 9000 had an oil level switch , but also had a real dipstick. Incredibly, Volvo left out the real dipstick! The dealer can read the level in mm via the OBD port, but can't tell you what it means. So, with finer resolution available within the Volvo's computers, why did Volvo not display it, rather than just a low oil indicator? Is there a software upgrade in the works? Which Volvos work as shown in the UK Castrol site shown in post #13?

TPMS is another example where the display, although not showing PSI per tire like Acura and others, at least shows an indicator dot for each wheel, but all 4 dots go on/off at once. Unlike the oil level, at least you can check the pressures with a normal gauge. Also, you can only clear the false low pressure alerts by overinflating all 4 tires.

I really expected better from Volvo and would like to hear what some of you Volvo employees and moderators believe they were thinking.

If not already underway, I would like to suggest that an aftermarket supplier develop a real dipstick or, if sealing is an issue, some sort of sight-gauge, or an app that reads oil level via OBD and displays it with 0.1L or finer resolution so we can tell what is really going on with the oil level.
Currently, for the DIY oil changer, the only alternative is to measure how much oil was drained and put back the same amount, hoping it didn't burn any.:mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Would you really want real-time monitoring of oil level in the oil pan? That level (even if averaged over a few minutes like for gasoline) is going to bounce all over the place. One moment it would show full, the next 2 (or more) quarts down as you climb a long hill under throttle (tilt and oil up in the galleys). I can see Mr/Mrs I-don't-know-cars-other-than-where-gasoline-goes freaking out, pulling to the side of the road, and calling Volvo Assist. For liability purposes, a tow truck would have to be dispatched to make sure something didn't puncture the pan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Would you really want real-time monitoring of oil level in the oil pan? That level (even if averaged over a few minutes like for gasoline) is going to bounce all over the place. One moment it would show full, the next 2 (or more) quarts down as you climb a long hill under throttle (tilt and oil up in the galleys). I can see Mr/Mrs I-don't-know-cars-other-than-where-gasoline-goes freaking out, pulling to the side of the road, and calling Volvo Assist. For liability purposes, a tow truck would have to be dispatched to make sure something didn't puncture the pan.
Of course not. Just as with a real dipstick, the level can only be measured when the engine is not running, as you have pointed out. You can't even open the electric oil check function while the engine is running. If the pan were punctured, loss of oil pressure would trigger an immediate warning and a tow truck would indeed be needed.

But when you do check the oil level, IMHO the resolution of the measurement should be comparable to that of the dipstick that has been replaced, not the binary (OK or Low) indication that Volvo has provided. I would be OK with the 1/4 L resolution shown in the UK Castrol site shown in post #13.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
It seems Volvo designed the system for ordinary folks who are overwhelmingly not interested in checking oil level, let alone doing oil changes themselves; i.e., the system checks the oil level automatically and informs the driver when to add oil. The design of the gauge says to me that, as long as the level is in the acceptable range, it's irrelevant whether the oil volume is, say 4.9 liters 5.2 liters. The less messing around with adding oil the better it is for ordinary folks, and there's less risk of overfilling. The system is completely hands-off unless something is awry (e.g, a leak, botched oil change, excessive oil consumption), which to me is a good thing.

The problem I see is that neither the manual nor the Castrol page specifies how much oil should be added when the level drops to min and the "add oil" message appears. That information is provided for models with dipsticks, so my guess is that's merely an oversight.

The typical Volvo dipstick has only a min and a max mark, i.e, no volume markings in quarts/liters. How do you figure out how much oil to refill when changing oil on such a vehicle?

I've never done an oil change myself, but I'll take a stab at it: Add about 1 quart of oil less than the specified oil capacity since the engine is already wet, check the level and then add more oil a little at a time until the level is close to max. It's quicker on subsequent oil changes if you remember the refill volume from the first oil change. It seems to me the same procedure would work with the electronic sensor, and you have already done your first oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
.......The less messing around with adding oil the better it is for ordinary folks, and there's less risk of overfilling.....

The typical Volvo dipstick has only a min and a max mark, i.e, no volume markings in quarts/liters. How do you figure out how much oil to refill when changing oil on such a vehicle?

I've never done an oil change myself, but I'll take a stab at it: Add about 1 quart of oil less than the specified oil capacity since the engine is already wet, check the level and then add more oil a little at a time until the level is close to max. .....
I think it increases the risk of overfill because once the level crosses the threshold, the indicator no longer tells you how much oil is in there, it just says OK. There must be another higher threshold though, because the manual supplement (post#1) mentions that you may get a message like oil service required if it is overfilled.

Most cars just have a MAX and a MIN mark on their dipstick, but by convention, the difference in oil level between MAX and MIN is one quart or one liter. When changing oil, you first put in most of the oil , e.g. all but one quart as you suggested. It is best to then start the engine to fill the filter etc., check for leaks, then let it sit for a while before taking a reading. With a conventional dipstick, you can tell exactly what the level is by the position of the oil line relative to the marks. With one reading, you can judge how much oil to add. For example, if the level is below MIN by 1/4 of the distance between MAX and MIN, you would add 1 1/4 quarts, then check it again and it should be right at MAX. Before you fully understand the calibration of the dipstick, you might add a quart, take another reading that should be 3/4 above MIN, then add 1/4 quart and do a final check.

The conventional dipstick can even read below MIN or above MAX. What Volvo gave us just tells you whether the level is above (OK) or below some threshold near MIN, so you cannot see the effect of adding "more oil a little at a time until the level is close to max." Likewise, you can't see any trend in oil consumption over time.

What worries me is the following case. The car's drivers* check the level often before starting just as the manual suggests and it always reads OK, showing the level at MAX. So they believe that the engine is not using any oil and decrease the frequency of checking...a natural reaction. But the engine is consuming oil and the actual level is decreasing. Just before the actual level reaches the threshold near MIN, the display is misleading by a whole quart. While the engine is OK for a while at this level, the reserve oil supply is gone. I never let my cars get anywhere more than a quarter of a quart low, especially turbos. The older Saabs liked to be overfilled by 1/2 quart, which quieted the timing chain and reduced wear.

*One advantage of the electronic dipstick is that it is easier than raising the hood, wiping off the dipstick with a rag, etc. so a non-mechanically inclined spouse can be taught to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It seems Volvo designed the system for ordinary folks who are overwhelmingly not interested in checking oil level, let alone doing oil changes themselves; i.e., the system checks the oil level automatically and informs the driver when to add oil.......
According to the manual supplement (post #1), it isn't automatic but needs to be initiated by the driver when the engine is not running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Most cars just have a MAX and a MIN mark on their dipstick, but by convention, the difference in oil level between MAX and MIN is one quart or one liter. When changing oil, you first put in most of the oil , e.g. all but one quart as you suggested. It is best to then start the engine to fill the filter etc., check for leaks, then let it sit for a while before taking a reading. With a conventional dipstick, you can tell exactly what the level is by the position of the oil line relative to the marks. With one reading, you can judge how much oil to add. For example, if the level is below MIN by 1/4 of the distance between MAX and MIN, you would add 1 1/4 quarts, then check it again and it should be right at MAX. Before you fully understand the calibration of the dipstick, you might add a quart, take another reading that should be 3/4 above MIN, then add 1/4 quart and do a final check.
Your car's oil capacity is 5.7 quarts/5.4 liters. According to your procedure, you would add roughly 4-1/2 quarts/4-1/4 liters initially and check the level. 1/4 to 1/2 quart more in one or two increments would have gotten you where you want to be at MAX (~ 5 quarts total) with no significant overfilling. That seems pretty straightforward to me, and you now know how much oil to use on subsequent oil changes.

What worries me is the following case. The car's drivers* check the level often before starting just as the manual suggests and it always reads OK, showing the level at MAX. So they believe that the engine is not using any oil and decrease the frequency of checking...a natural reaction. But the engine is consuming oil and the actual level is decreasing. Just before the actual level reaches the threshold near MIN, the display is misleading by a whole quart. While the engine is OK for a while at this level, the reserve oil supply is gone. I never let my cars get anywhere more than a quarter of a quart low, especially turbos. The older Saabs liked to be overfilled by 1/2 quart, which quieted the timing chain and reduced wear.
I'll give you an alternative scenario with a dipstick. Car consumes very little oil so the driver decreases the frequency of checking. There's a problem and the car starts consuming oil which goes unnoticed until the dipstick reads well below MIN. The driver has to check oil level regularly whether it's an electronic sensor or a dipstick.

According to the manual supplement (post #1), it isn't automatic but needs to be initiated by the driver when the engine is not running.
Yes, my mistake. It's a pity Volvo didn't automate it completely considering that the car already checks the oil level each time the door is unlocked and monitors if conditions (e.g., inclination, time stationary with engine off) are right for an accurate oil level reading.

FYI, the Castrol page you posted earlier doesn't apply to your car. It's for 5-cyl diesel engines.
 
1 - 20 of 119 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top