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My 2007 Cadillac CTS burns a litre of oil every 2,000 kilometres or so. I drive mainly on the highway, so the oil doesn't get dirty, and it is difficult to get an accurate reading on the dipstick. Suggestions? Dye? – Sandra

I receive a surprising amount of help requests from customers who find it challenging to accurately read their dipstick. While there is a UV dye product available for leak detection, I have never seen anything that would help with your problem. Here are a couple of general suggestions that may assist you:

Repeatedly lifting the dipstick in and out while trying to get a solid read only pulls more oil up into the dipstick tube. It is this residue oil in the tube that smears the indicator. Wait at least 10 minutes after topping up to let the oil settle into the pan. Removing the dipstick and setting it aside for that 10 minutes allows as much of the oil as possible to drain back down.

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Check it first thing in the morning. There will be a slight oil level variance between a hot and cold engine but checking your oil after the car has sat overnight will usually yield the easiest-to-read results.

Don't forget to have the car sitting on level ground.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing "Lou's Garage" in the subject area.

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