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Discussion Starter #1
In the factory service manual for the 400AN are these instructions for checking the oil level after a change. These instructions lead be to assume the oil level reading is to be obtained with the dipstick plug screwed completely into the engine case:

[attachment=0:3doctcyq]check oil.jpg[/attachment:3doctcyq]

The factory owner's manual that came with the bike states that the oil should be checked with the dipstick inserted into the port in the engine without threading it in at all.

Videos on the same operation posted on YouTube also contain the same contradiction but I would not consider them reliable sources.

So which factory publication is correct?
 

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The owner's manual method is the one I use. I think they just left of a step in the service manual.
 

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Easy enough to test (I have on my K3), next time you change the oil drain it and load the recommended amount; then check the level using both methods...
 

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To me those instructions mean after you have refilled the engine and run it to distribute
the oil round, let it settle take out the dip stick wipe it put it back but not screwed
in and check were the level is on the stick, top up as unnecessary, I would do it again after
riding a few miles.
And that's the way I would do it but others will no doubt disagree, but it would never cross
my mind to do it any other way.
 

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Though no one has asked, I will reveal what my simple test found--the "proper" method is to remove the dipstick, wipe it, screw it back in and then remove it and read the level. I have never had a bike with a screw-in dipstick that worked any differently...
 

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cliffyk said:
Though no one has asked, I will reveal what my simple test found--the "proper" method is to remove the dipstick, wipe it, screw it back in and then remove it and read the level. I have never had a bike with a screw-in dipstick that worked any differently...
You must have had special bikes.

The Japanese standard is NOT to screw in the dipstick after wiping it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks... I'll use the world standard "put-the-plug-into-the-port-but-don't-screw-it-in" method; it gives me a closer-to-being-right reading.

I assume the Suzuki factory figures that the people who use the service manual already know that the plug should no be screwed in when checking. I guess no one ever explained that to the people who posted their how-to videos on YouTube.
 

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ErikDK said:
cliffyk said:
Though no one has asked, I will reveal what my simple test found--the "proper" method is to remove the dipstick, wipe it, screw it back in and then remove it and read the level. I have never had a bike with a screw-in dipstick that worked any differently...
You must have had special bikes.

The Japanese standard is NOT to screw in the dipstick after wiping it off.

It's the same with my BMW airhead, my 2 John Deeres, my 2 generators and my snowblower.
 

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Well here's a funny thing then! My Suzuki dealer says to check it with the cap screwed in. I don't know who is right as I've not teched on Suzuki as a professional but other makes I teched on have it screwed in to check the level. Best way is do as cliffyk is saying and carryout a proper check next time you drain and fil with the correct amount, then dip using the screwed in method and then by not screwing it in.
 

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The dealer is wrong. Sheesh.

On A 400 with a dipstick you check oil level by inserting a clean dipstick into the chamber Until you can PUSH it no further DO NOT screw it in when checking level.

Of course after you have established a true oil level and made any fluid adjustments then as a final act make sure the spdipstick is screwed home.
 

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Just checked the Suzuki workshop manual on this and it's not completely clear. It says the usual things like letting it run for several minutes, then allowing it to stand for one minute. Then, unscrew the oil filler and check the level showing the dip stick and the parameters the oil level should be within. It doesn't say wipe the stick and re-dip with the cap unscrewed which normally books tend to say if that is required. This is in line with my training as a Honda tech some years ago where all bikes were checked with the stick screwed in. In view of the varying views and uncertainty, best to play safe and refill with the correct amount and check both ways next oil change. Then post back here and let us all know. I'm no Suzuki tech.
 

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I hate to disagree but the Honda GL1500 and GL1800 both specifically call for checking the oil level with the dipstick NOT screwed in as does my Honda Silverwing 600. Most of the small machinery I've owned that has a dipstick is done the same way. After all they call it a dipstick, not a screw stick. :D
 

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exavid said:
I hate to disagree but the Honda GL1500 and GL1800 both specifically call for checking the oil level with the dipstick NOT screwed in as does my Honda Silverwing 600. Most of the small machinery I've owned that has a dipstick is done the same way. After all they call it a dipstick, not a screw stick. :D
I agree. Most engines call for checking with the dipstick not screwed in. Of my current toys with a dipstick, all specify that they be checked with the dipstick not screwed in. They include a BMW Airhead, Snowblower with a Briggs engine, Generator with a Tecumseh engine, generator with a Chinese engine and a John Deere with a Kawasaki engine.
 

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osbornk said:
exavid said:
I hate to disagree but the Honda GL1500 and GL1800 both specifically call for checking the oil level with the dipstick NOT screwed in as does my Honda Silverwing 600. Most of the small machinery I've owned that has a dipstick is done the same way. After all they call it a dipstick, not a screw stick. :D
I agree. Most engines call for checking with the dipstick not screwed in. Of my current toys with a dipstick, all specify that they be checked with the dipstick not screwed in. They include a BMW Airhead, Snowblower with a Briggs engine, Generator with a Tecumseh engine, generator with a Chinese engine and a John Deere with a Kawasaki engine.
Sorry - but I never even looked at the owner's manual.................. :lol: :thumbup:
 

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Well I guess I've been doing it wrong for only the last 45,000 miles. :roll: Hasn't hurt it so I'll just keep doing it wrong for the next 45,000 miles. :wink:
 

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Desert Rat said:
Well I guess I've been doing it wrong for only the last 45,000 miles. :roll: Hasn't hurt it so I'll just keep doing it wrong for the next 45,000 miles. :wink:
If you are right, we are slightly over filled and if you are wrong, you are slightly under filled. Not enough to make a difference either way.
 

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For what it's worth.
Hear is what my owners manual for my 05 Burgman 400 sates.
"Install the filler cap.
• Place the motorcycle on the center stand.
• Start up the engine and allow it to run for several minutes at
idling speed.
• Turn off the engine and wait about one minute, then check the
oil level by removing the filler cap
4. If the level is below mark
“L”, add oil to “F” level.
If the level is above mark “F”, drain oil to “F” level."

Hear is what my owners manual for my Honda Silverwing sates.
"Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick ( )
and wipe it clean.
Stop the engine and wait 2 3 minutes.
Start the engine and let it idle for 3 5
minutes.
Park your scooter on its center stand on
a firm, level surface.
Insert the oil filler cap/dipstick until it
seats, but don’t screw it in.
Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick and
check the oil level.
If the oil is at or near the upper level
mark ( ) –– you do not have to add
oil.
If the oil is below or near the lower
level mark ( ) –– add the
recommended oil until it reaches the
upper level mark. (Do not overfill.)
Reinstall the oil filler cap/dipstick."
 

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osbornk said:
Desert Rat said:
Well I guess I've been doing it wrong for only the last 45,000 miles. :roll: Hasn't hurt it so I'll just keep doing it wrong for the next 45,000 miles. :wink:
If you are right, we are slightly over filled and if you are wrong, you are slightly under filled. Not enough to make a difference either way.
I agree with you.......... !!!!! No big difference.....at all.! As you have testified.......!!!!!
 

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Desert Rat said:
Well I guess I've been doing it wrong for only the last 45,000 miles. :roll: Hasn't hurt it so I'll just keep doing it wrong for the next 45,000 miles. :wink:
Well duh mine is a 07 so it has a sight glass I feel so. :oops: Then again I check mine on the center stand so yes I'm still doing it wrong. :roll:
 
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