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Does your 2016-Present 2.0L or 2.4L Tucson Exhibit Oil-Fuel Dilution?

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White Pearl 2019 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I purchased my Tucson SE in January 2020 (build date 01-04-2019). The first time I checked the oil after purchasing the vehicle I noticed the level was higher than the Full mark by about 1/2 inch (I could be wrong, but I know for sure it was over by a decent amount), but at the time I thought maybe it was filled too high, so I thought nothing of it.
In November that year, I changed the oil myself with Quaker State full synthetic 5W-30, which is what Hyundai dealers use. I changed it at 20K miles. No metal shavings were present. I made sure I filled it exactly to the Full mark. 1K miles later, the level is creeping up.

Every month I check the oil and this is what it looks like this morning:
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To compare, I checked the oil levels on a 2014 Chevy Equinox 2.4L at 73K miles and a 2018 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 27K miles (which the Ford's was changed less than 2 weeks ago). Neither the Equinox nor the F-150 displayed oil levels above the full mark. Mine also smells like gas, but so does the Equinox.
Circled in GREEN is my Tucson, ORANGE is the Equinox, and BLUE is the F-150.

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This is another view:

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It may be a little hard to tell but the Tucson is a light red-brown, the Equinox is dark gold, and the F-150 is light gold. All vehicles have been sitting for at least 12 hours and the engine is cold. About one month ago my car's oil color was more gold in color, but now it has an odd red-ish tint. When I bought the car, the color was also red-ish.

This past month I've tried to drive my car for longer periods of time because usually, I make only short trips. Last month I also tried a tank of non-ethanol 88 octane at Maverik to see if that would help, but the level looks to be the same (but I did get a little increase in fuel economy, nearly 30 in mixed driving after calculating by hand). Mechanically I've had zero issues with the engine; it sounds and drives normally.

First, has anyone noticed this with their Tucson (or 2.0L GDI Nu)? I know early versions of the Nu had some issues, but I don't recall oil-fuel dilution being one of them (or having this occur to such a new engine).
Second, is there anything else I could or should be doing to mitigate the dilution? I've changed my driving habits a lot and have done a ton of research into this but I'm always looking for other things to try.

In the meantime, I'll watch this closely and I plan to do changes every 5K miles instead of Hyundai's 7,500-mile intervals.

Thoughts?
 

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I find the backside (non-textured) of the dipstick better for reading a precise level.
I see the oil level rise about 1/4" in a few hundred miles, then stabilize.
The motor oil smells, but not like raw gas to me.
Your first photo looks like about 1/8" over full.

I also change oil every 5000 miles or 1 year.
However, with COVID my last change was after 3500 miles and 14 months.
 

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The first time I checked the oil after purchasing the vehicle I noticed the level was higher than the Full mark by about 1/2 inch (I could be wrong, but I know for sure it was over by a decent amount)
I find mechanics often over-fill the oil (and tires!) because most customers never check these things.
Better to be a little over than let it get too low between changes.
 

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White Pearl 2019 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I find the backside (non-textured) of the dipstick better for reading a precise level.
I see the oil level rise about 1/4" in a few hundred miles, then stabilize.
The motor oil smells, but not like raw gas to me.
Your first photo looks like about 1/8" over full.

I also change oil every 5000 miles or 1 year.
However, with COVID my last change was after 3500 miles and 14 months.
What about the color? Is it normal for the oil in these engines to turn to a reddish-brown? I've never seen engine oil this color before. It almost looks like the color of transmission fluid. It shouldn't be coolant because the color is green, not red. Gold + green = a green hue.
 

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White Pearl 2019 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The color is fine. Not blackened with soot.
The red color is a function of the additives in the oil.
Did all 3 of these vehicles use the same brand and grade of oil?
If not, that can account for color differences.
The Equinox has Mobil 1 Dexos spec and the F-150 has Penzoil Platinum with Pureplus natural gas. All vehicles including mine are full synthetic and 5W-30, and I used Quaker State.
Previous vehicles my family has had included a 2008 Toyota Tacoma 4.0L V6 (sold at 112K miles), a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora 3.5L V6 (my old car, sold at 125K miles), a 1996 Honda Accord 2.2L (sold a decade ago at 165K miles) and a 1996 Ford Explorer 4.0L V6 (also sold a decade ago but at 130K miles). These all used conventional oil and I think were 5W-30 but never exhibited a reddish tint and didn't exhibit fuel dilution that I'm aware of. I'm not sure the brand of oil they used but I would guess either Penzoil or Chevron.
 

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The dipstick in my 2016 Elantra Nu 2.0 is yellow where as yours is orange. I think I read on this forum, orange dipsticks are used in engines being monitored for oil consumption and red is for replacement [warranty repair] engines. Different lengths?
The oil level in my Nu 2.0 varies more than I would like but it runs fine. Very noisey when cold. A long drive once every few weeks is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The dipstick in my 2016 Elantra Nu 2.0 is yellow where as yours is orange. I think I read on this forum, orange dipsticks are used in engines being monitored for oil consumption and red is for replacement [warranty repair] engines. Different lengths?
I've never heard of a manufacturer doing that before. Of the issues Nu's are known for I don't recall oil consumption being one of them. The 2.4L Theta II is a lot more well known for that but I don't know what color the dipstick is. Considering how much more powerful a GDI fuel injector is compared to a MPFI one I'm not surprised some gas is getting past the rings, in addition to a very high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for my Tucson. But I don't appear to have any oil consumption.
 

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I forgot to add that my dipstick handle is yellow but the end is orange.
Well after reading this, I just had to go out and check my dippy stick. and..I'll be dipped in ****, mine is yellow on top and orange on the bottom too.
 

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Dipstick handle on owned Tucson is yellow (part 26611-2B610). I noticed the end used for reading oil level was discolored. Vehicle has low milage and thought that was odd that dipstick would have become discolored (have never had this occur with other vehicles). It made oil reading sometimes difficult. Thinking this may have been a defect, purchased a new OEM dipstick. It appears that the color difference is how the dipstick is manufactured and not a defect (see photo showing new item Azure Textile Sleeve Collar Denim
Outerwear Blue Azure Sleeve Line
on the right, current dipstick on left). May be difficult to see the difference in color beginning above the F downwards to tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dipstick handle on owned Tucson is yellow (part 26611-2B610). I noticed the end used for reading oil level was discolored. Vehicle has low milage and thought that was odd that dipstick would have become discolored (have never had this occur with other vehicles). It made oil reading sometimes difficult. Thinking this may have been a defect, purchased a new OEM dipstick. It appears that the color difference is how the dipstick is manufactured and not a defect (see photo showing new item View attachment 456265 View attachment 456266 on the right, current dipstick on left). May be difficult to see the difference in color beginning above the F downwards to tip.
Does this belong to a Tucson with the 2.4L Theta II? The 2.0L Nu doesn't have a metal reading end like the one in this picture. Ours (or at least mine) is an orange-plastic.
 

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Some oils come out reddish. SOPUS oils especially.
I prefer the red tint. My engines don't consume oil, having the red tint.
What's most important is when you're changing that oil. More often is longetivity-recommended (3-4k GDI / TGDI gas engine)
 

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That UOA reminds me of a Dexos 2 oil (wth additional Moly supplement included at the factory. That's an unusual add-pack. I suspect it's a 0w20 Euro oil. Maybe even a Quaker State label, originating from the European Shell Helix lineup.

Thanks for posting that UOA and having it done Wemay. My 2.4 from 2019 with 18k now exhibits no fuel smell and no fuel streaks in drained oil. after a 3.5k run. Neither does our 2.0 Kia. I use a 50-50 blend of Pennzoil Ultra Platinum and the Dexos 2 Pennzoil Euro L Platinum 5w30s
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
1 MONTH UPDATE
A few days ago I checked the oil and the level is about the same, slightly above what it was a month ago. I measured the amount over with a ruler and it's around 3/16 of an inch. So far I don't think running non-ethanol fuel helps with this issue except for a slight increase in fuel economy. I did some reading around (I think on Veloster forums) and owners of the 1.6L Gamma T-GDI commonly complain about fuel diluting the oil. I can't find the particular post again, but someone said this problem is attributed to the vehicle's "software" controlling the fuel. The vehicle thinks the engine will start knocking, so it adjusts the injection to run rich to prevent this to prevent low-speed preignition which is a common issue with direct-injected engines.

This person said to mitigate the excess fuel being injected, the engine RPM needs to be 3,000 or more, which forces the computer into making the car run leaner, thus less fuel is diluting the oil. Can anyone verify this? Or find the particular post?
Additionally, I think it was also on this forum someone recommends running premium fuel (91 octane) or higher to (I guess) force the software to inject less fuel because of the higher octane rating because LSPI is less likely to occur. Can anyone verify this as well? Here are pictures of the level and current mileage. Out of habit I check the oil in all cars every month, so I may (depending on how much I drive) continue to document the level by posting updates around once a month. If anyone else has suggestions as to what I can try to mitigate this I'd love to hear them.

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