June 28, 2011
I brought my 2003 Acura MDX to Acura Mission Viejo for
routine maintenance including an oil change.
When I got the vehicle back home, I was examining the air filter as
they recommended I replace it. Since I was under the hood, I checked the oil
dipstick and found it to be over the maximum line. It has the letters
RCA above the maximum line and oil was covering the A.
I took the vehicle back to the service department and was told that the
correct way to check the oil level is to run the engine for 30 seconds,
turn it off, and immediately check the oil level before all the oil drips
back down to the oil pan. We tried it, and the oil level was right on
the full mark.
Once back home, I did a little research about what is the correct way
to check the oil level. I find that each vehicles is unique. Read the
ConsumerReports.org How to check your car's engine oil
"First, make sure the car is parked on level ground and, with most
cars, the engine is cold, so you don't burn yourself on a hot engine
part. With some cars, the automaker recommends that the oil be checked
after the engine has been warmed up. With the engine off, open the car's
hood and find the dipstick."
The 2003 Acura MDX Owner's Manual, page 240, states, "Check the engine
oil every time you fill the vehicle with fuel. Wait a few minutes after
turning the engine off before you check the oil."
My conclusion is that the 2003 Acura MDX oil dipstick is pre-calibrated
to require oil to drip back into the oil pan for a few minutes, not as
soon as possible after the engine is off.
I sent an e-mail through their "Contact Us" link pointing to this page.
I received no reply.
I have resolved the problem by draining half a quart of oil. I measured
the amount I drained. I also made sure the car was level by using a
bubble level on the running board.
I also checked the coolant reservoir, brake reservoir, and the ATF fluid.
I topped off the coolant before I took the vehicle in for service.
It was still at max. The brake is between min and max. The ATF was
below the minimum hole on the dip stick.
The inspection checklist checked off that ATF oil condition was "checked
and okay." Perhaps they have a method which differs from the Owner's
Manual which I used.
I have now received a postcard asking for my comments/concerns, and a survey
Sat Jul 9 11:36:39 PDT 2011
I have now added ATF DW-1 to the max mark. The parts department said
ATF Z1 is no longer available and ATF DW-1 is the replacement.