We continue to see questions about oil “consumption” and oil on radiators and toads on the FMCA Forum and other RV websites. It seems to be universal across all brands of diesel engines.
THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE IS AN OVERFILLED CRANKCASE. CALIBRATING THE ENGINE OIL DIP STICK TO ENSURE THE CORRECT OIL LEVEL IN THE PAN “FIXES” OVER 90% OF THESE PROBLEMS.
If you “think” your engine has an oil consumption problem, you are seeing oil mist on your toad or you just want to verify that yours is correct; you need to verify that you are using the correct amount of oil. Note: the quantities listed INCLUDE the oil filter and is the total amount of oil you put in when changing oil and filter.
Now, CALIBRATE THE DIP STICK. Since the same engines/dip sticks are used in many different applications with different angles of installation, do not ASSUME that the dip stick is correctly marked. Calibration costs $0.
At the next oil change, drain oil, remove old filter (as usual). Then install the drain plug and new oil filter and add the engine’s correct oil capacity LESS THE NUMBER OF QUARTS you want between the “ADD” and “FULL” marks (let’s say 2 quarts). So for an engine with 20 quart capacity you would add 18 quarts. Run the engine a few minutes, shut off and wait until oil has descended into the pan (at least 30 minutes and an hour is safer). Pull the dip stick and use a file or dremel tool to mark the oil level “ADD”. Add the remaining two quarts, let the oil settle in the pan, pull the dipstick and mark this the “FULL” mark.
In many/most cases, you will find that your engine “throws out” the access oil and then “consumption” settles down to next to nothing. Put in the correct amount and your “consumption” issues may go away.
This applies to all ages (including brand new) of motorhomes and boats with every brand of engine.
Also, when checking the oil level with the dipstick it is safest to do it in the morning after the oil has had all night to flow back to the pan.
Do not add oil until the level reaches the ADD mark.
Finally, make a sticker to affix near oil fill: OIL CAPACITY INCLUDING FILTER: xx QUARTS.