We all use dipsticks to check the oil level in the engine to ensure the level from time to time. But with time and long use, it can get stuck, and the handle may also break off if pulled very hard. This will leave a piece of dipstick stuck inside the tube, and you may find it difficult to remove it.
Why Should You Pay Attention To Your Car’S Oil Dipstick Tube:
It is a metal rod, has a holder, and comes with a bright-colored handle. The dipstick slides down the hollow holder tube into the oil container in the engine and measures the level and quality of the oil. This tube is welded to the engine, but you must use it only when the engine is cold or at the. This is when you can check the quantity of oil correctly due to its normal viscosity.
In addition, even after a short drive, the oil moves within the container and sticks to the sides, and its level may be false.
Oil Dipstick May Get Stuck
It is common, and you may find the dipstick stuck inside the tube. Some of the reasons are-
- The oil container/oil sump may be corroded.
- Debris build-up on the dipstick makes it stick to the oil.
- The tube may have some oil sludge
- Oil dipstick and tube may not be of good quality though they should be made using stringer metals.
- Due to the vibration produced by the car the dipstick breaks. This may also happen if the screws are not put correctly.
The oil dipstick may also get stuck completely, and the handle may break while you try to remove it.
Engine Oil May Also Cause The Breakage Of The Dipstick
The importance of oil in an engine need not be explained. The multiple components, small and big, keep moving when the vehicle is running. Oil is essential to keep the fraction away and prevent the heating of these parts. This oil changes its viscosity slowly with use and time, and the mechanics must change the oil when they service the car.
Otherwise, the oil collects into a denser sludge, leading to problems for the engine, and the dipstick may also get stuck.
If the engine oil is very hot, it may also lead to the dipstick getting stuck to the oil, and one of the reasons for this overheating is the poor quality of oil in the car. There are ‘o’ rings inside the dipstick tube, and gaskets to keep it in place. Too much heat in the engine due to poor oil quality may melt these gaskets, and the dipstick will get stuck to the oil due to these melted rings.
Engine oil needs to be of good quality and regular service and change. Otherwise, it may damage the engine and break the dipstick too.
There are many types of modern cars that have different engine types. The process will depend on the tube’s location with the dipstick in the engine, its design, damage, and the status of the handle.
If the handle is broken and the dipstick is partially stuck or broken completely, other aspects will help you choose the right tools. You will need some essential tools through the process, including lubricating spray, pliers, magnet, removal tool, etc.
How To Remove A Stuck Oil Dipstick Tube
- Try to wriggle the dipstick very gently and move.
- Try to move it in circles to loosen itself from the oil.
- Once it has moved but is still not dislodged, use a lubricant specifically meant for vehicles. Spray it on the dipstick, and the debris will move away from that.
- This will loosen the dipstick, and you can gently pull it out.
Push the dipstick up if the handle is broken
If the dipstick is stuck in the oil and the handle is broken, it may be easier to push it up to the surface from below than pull it out.
Keep your vehicle at the level where you can reach the engine from below with the help of a jack. Keep a large container under the engine oil container, take out the plug, and allow the oil with debris to flow out.
Once the sump is empty, you can see the dipstick in its tube holder inside the engine oil sump. Use light and soft tools to tap and push it up without damaging the engine. You may be able to pull it out with a plier once it loosens a little and moves up.
Using a magnet
This is a good idea if the dipstick handle is broken, and you can see the metal rod. Mechanics use a smaller telescopic magnet to pull out the dipstick from the tube.
Using more tools
Sometimes the dipstick is so deeply stuck that none of these methods work. The hard bolt can be used to attach the tube. But when you buy the hard bolt the diameter matches the tube. Once the screw is fitted into the tube, it creates movement tension for the dipstick and dislodges it. Now you can use a magnet or a plier to pull it up and out.
Any of the methods mentioned here may help you get the dipstick out, but it may not be fit to be used again. It is critical to buy a good quality dipstick and install it rather than buying a cheap one. You may opt to purchase a good-quality dipstick from a renowned brand.
It is usually alright to drive the car with a broken dipstick, but it is a good idea to change it as soon as possible as it may damage the engine oil sump and cause leakage. You will also not know the real status of oil levels and quality without a working dipstick.
Keeping track of the oil levels using a dipstick is essential. But if the dipstick is stuck in oil, you cannot even check that. So, it is important you remember to take out the dipstick and check the oil levels.