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Hi. Checking to see if anybody has thoughts on my 2, possibly related issues. I check my oil before starting in the morning and the dipstick shows no oil. Put the dipstick back in. Remove the oil filler cap, and presto!... There is a properly filled engine. This has been going on for about 8 mos now. Also, after a commute or run on the highway, or even some (hard) running around town, the engine is noisy. The kind of rattling you get when the engine is low on oil. Yet there IS oil in the engine and the car sounds fine before I head out. Is there somehow an air lock inside the block? Oil pump weak? My tough as nails Focus is a 2007 wagon, 240K kilometres. Any body seen / heard this before?
 

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2006 ZX3 2.0, 2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT
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Pull the valve cover and make sure the drain holes aren't clogged with sludge.
 

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2006 ZX3 2.0, 2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT
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Additionally there is a one way check valve in the cover for the crankcase vent. It is the rubber hose coming out the back of the valve cover and connects to the air intake hose.
 

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As stated by zacautomotive, the correct way to check the oil is to pull the dipstick out, wipe it off and stick it back in. The dipstick will always read low on the first pull.
 

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'Additionally there is a one way check valve in the cover for the crankcase vent.'

Are we sure about that? Proper PCV operation requires that hose to absolutely flow BOTH ways. Never ever heard of a check there in ANY car.

Maybe it is a restriction rather than a full check, I could see that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Definitely have checked the dipstick properly. Just blows me away how it acts like there's some kind of vacuum or air block until I open the oil filler cap. I changed thermostat and pcv valve about 2 weeks ago. PCV hose was in good shape. Did an oil change at same time and had been running with a bottle of Sludge Away in the crankcase. Didn't see any sludge come out though. I will definitely check the hose coming off the back of the valve cover and possibly remove the valve cover this weekend. Again, thanks for the help.
 
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