A dipstick is a tool to monitor the oil level in your oil tank. If you discover that there is no oil or very little oil on your Dipstick after you pull it out, you must take action. 

Car engines cannot function without engine oil as they generate a layer that prevents friction between moving parts and keeps the engine operating smoothly. It is essential for maintaining your vehicle’s engine’s optimal performance and outstanding condition. 

In this article, we will look at some of the possible causes of no oil on the dipstick and their solutions.

What Causes No Oil on Dipstick? 

Low Oil Level

Many drivers neglect or forget to check and refill their motor oil regularly. Failing to add engine oil at regular intervals can result in a low oil level in your engine. You should change your engine oil every 12 months or at 7,500-10,000 miles intervals. Mainly it depends on how often you ride and how you ride. Most car owners replace their engine oil every 5000-7000 miles.

Credits: Rymax Lubricants

Dipstick readings are not always accurate because they do not measure deep enough inside the tank, which neglects the oil present at the bottom of the tank. If your dipstick comes out dry, there is always the possibility of 2 quarts of oil remaining in your tank. Sometimes your oil light may blink if your vehicle has low engine oil.


Make sure your oil pan is full. Check your engine oil level daily and make sure it is at least half full. 

Oil Leaks

Another explanation for the oil on the dipstick is an oil leak, which causes the oil level in the engine to drop. Leaks in the oil supply lines will allow oil to seep out when you add oil to your engine, depending on the severity and frequency of leaks. Another way to spot your oil leak is to check your intake manifold. If you see oil in the intake manifold, you know what’s wrong.

Reasons for Oil Leaks: 

  1. Leaks can occur from wear and tear in the crankcase and valve seals. 
  2. There may also be dents or holes in the supply lines causing leaks. 


You should contact your mechanic right away and have your vehicle inspected. Only After dealing with the source of the leak, refill the engine oil. 

Increased Oil Consumption 

If no oil is in your dipstick, your engine may be consuming more than it was previously. If your engine consumes more oil than it should, it can produce a low oil level.

Reasons for increased oil consumption:

  1. A leaking head gasket can break the seal between the engine block and the cylinder head. Broken seals in the head gasket can result in the burning of extra engine oil.
  2. If you live in cold weather, the engine oil will take longer to reach optimum engine temperature, and adjusting the viscosity of oil, can cause your engine to consume more oil.


If you reside in a cold climate, you should use a low viscosity oil for your vehicle because your engine requires less thickness oil. Make sure also to repair your engine components so that the oil is used efficiently. 

Incorrect Dipstick

This is a rare instance when your car manufacturer provides you with the incorrect dipstick. Every car model has a unique dipstick specifically developed for that model. Using the incorrect dipstick might result in oil overflow or underflow in your engine due to incorrect readings.

If you received the wrong dipstick by mistake, this could be the cause of your dipstick reporting 0 oil readings even if you have some quarts of the engine left. This could be the fault of your vehicle’s manufacturer. Or perhaps your mechanic accidentally replaced your Dipstick with the incorrect one.

How to Determine If Your Dipstick Is Incorrect

  1. Examine the dipsticks of other vehicles of the same model.
  2. Read the car owner’s manual; it should have information on the dipstick.
  3. If you see incorrect reading patterns on your dipstick, such as receiving a quart high or low rating on the reading scale, make sure to get it checked.


If you are certain that you have a faulty dipstick, request a replacement from your car manufacturer.

What Happens If There Is Low Oil on the Dipstick? 

Having no oil on the dipstick means that the crucial fluid in your automobile, which is responsible for controlling heat and providing lubrication to your engine components, is missing.

Possible side effects of having Low oil on the Dipstick –

  1. Greater friction between internal components.
  2. Internal component wear and tear. 
  3. More quantity of oil is used for lubrication.
  4. Low fuel economy, overheating, and power loss.

There’s another misconception around transmission issues due to this. People often ask if low oil can hinder transmission. Click the link to read more.

Let’s learn more about dipsticks and how to use them to check your oil level.

What is a Dipstick? 

An oil dipstick is similar to a stick, and it is used by inserting it into the oil tank until it reaches the bottom to determine how much oil is in your engine. It is the traditional method of checking the oil and is quite popular because it is simple, quick, and straightforward. It can be a bit tricky to use a dipstick, so you should thoroughly look at the user manual and confirm if the readings are accurate.

What To Do When There Is No Oil on Dipstick? 

So, once you’ve checked your oil level with a dipstick and there is no oil on the dipstick, make sure to follow the following steps:

  1. Turn the engine off right away if it’s on.
  2. Allow your automobile to cool for a few minutes before investigating the cause of the oil drop. Trying to open the cap on a hot engine can be dangerous.
  3. Turn off the car’s air conditioning and lighting as well, as this can result in more gasoline burning and thus more oil consumption. 
  4. Make sure to contact the mechanic in case of any leaks in internal components. 
  5. Make sure your oil tank is full before driving again.


To summarize, If your dipstick is dry when you check the oil level and has no oil coating, you either have a faulty dipstick or your engine oil level is extremely low. The engine oil helps the engine is running smoothly and precisely. Having insufficient oil in your vehicle might cause severe engine harm if your vehicle lacks oil, it will most likely not start. 

So, remember to have your oil changed on a regular basis and to always use a dipstick to check the amount of oil in your vehicle. Make sure that any component wear and tear are repaired first, since this may cause your oil to continuously leak from the engine. If there is none, continue with the oil refill or add more oil.

FAQ’s on No Oil on Dipstick

If the oil level is between the two lines, your car has sufficient oil. If your oil level is below the bottom line, or if there is no oil on the dipstick at all, you should refill your engine oil right away

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