I've asked this question before, but I'm going to ask it again. What's the best way to check your oil? Is it manufacturer specific, or is there a general "industry standard" method to check your oil level? Check it on a flat surface is a given, different engines have pans on either the side or the front and oil will pool in different places. Engine off and cycled down (cold engine)? Engine on and warm? Engine off and warm, as in just shut it off? Engine off and maybe wait 10 minutes? What does everyone think? I'm helping someone deal with a problem in a vehicle that should be under powertrain warranty on a Chrysler minivan, it's losing oil internally somewhere but he can't track it and there are no external leaks. He took it to a dealer and they did a full service for him and had him come back at 1,000 miles (this is when it was 100 degrees in texas). His first visit back (1,100 miles) they had to add in a quart of oil! Now, he's right about 1,000 miles again, but when the engine is dead cold the oil level looks like it's WAY below the little hash-marks on the [xxxxxxxx] safe area of the dipstick, but when the engine is warm (and turned off) the oil level actually rises up quite a bit, so it's in the middle of the "safe area". However, when the engine cools off again, it goes back down to well below that safe area. I got some pics the other day when he was about 800 miles after they topped it off. I assume that a regular oil change from a dealer would mean that the oil level would be at the top of the safe area. - - - Updated - - - ... i've been reading several blogs (while I sit in a library with slow internet connection) on this and the all say to wait at least 10 minutes, funny only a few talk about being on really flat ground. Since he's only at like 65,000 miles in that Chrysler, I guess they're going to have to tear the engine apart to figure out what's going wrong. That looks like it's losing about 1.5 quarts per 1,000 miles if I'm reading it right. That's a pretty significant issue and I'm guessing he'll get new rings and what else? He should push for a new cat IMHO as if he's burning up that much oil I'll bet that cat has been collecting the smoke for who know how many miles.