Have you ever wanted to check the oil level, but the dipstick would not come out? Dipsticks are sword-like rods that sit inside a tube and are used to check the oil level in the engine. There could be several reasons for the dipstick becoming stuck in the tube.

It is advised against using power to remove the dipstick. Before you can figure out how to get the dipstick out, you should understand why it got stuck in the first place. This article will examine a few causes of dipsticks getting stuck in dipstick tubes.

Why would an oil dipstick be stuck?

1. Worn-out O-rings

O rings serve as a dipstick gasket. The O rings may become damaged if the engine overheats excessively. O-ring may also melt with the dipstick tube or break when the engine is overheated. The dipstick will become stuck inside the tube as a result.

2. Grease and dirt

A dipstick is used to check the engine’s oil level. After checking the oil level, debris will likely gather inside the tube if you don’t clean the dipstick. The dipstick becomes stuck in the engine due to the dirt and oil accumulating at the bottom of the tube. Cleaning the tube properly is the only option to prevent the dipstick from getting seized again.

In some cases, if the engine oil drys up and you don’t drive it for a refill for month, the dipstick can get stuck. As soon as you see a dry dipstick without oil, just get it filled replaced ASAP.

3. Broken dipstick

If the dipstick is broken, it can become stuck in the tube. If the dipstick is of poor quality, it will usually break due to vibrations in the car. Pulling or inserting the dipstick incorrectly may also cause it to break inside the tube. The dipstick handle can also break if it is of cheap quality, making it difficult to pull the dipstick out.

How to Remove a Stuck Oil Dipstick?

It is not a good idea to force the dipstick out because doing so could break the plastic handle or make it more difficult to remove.

You can remove the dipstick by removing the dipstick from its metallic side with a telescopic pickup tool. This magnet will assist you in removing the stuck dipstick from the tube. You can also remove the oil pan to free the stuck dipstick. 

This method can be difficult and costly because you must remove the old oil before removing the oil pan. These methods are more useful if the dipstick is broken, as it is extremely difficult to remove.

You must take specific steps to take the stuck dipstick out efficiently. You will need a few tools for that.

Tools Required

  • Heat gun
  • Aluminum expandable shield
  • Penetrating oil
  • Clean cloth 
  • Ratchet set

Steps

  1. Remove any components that obstruct access to the stuck dipstick.
  2. Find the gap between the dipstick’s plastic casing and the dipstick tube.
  3. Apply penetrating oil on the opening’s edges, allowing it to weep inside. This will lubricate the stuck o-rings.
  4. The dipstick seals must then be heated. Cover the metal tube’s sides with an aluminum heat shield to prevent heat from damaging other engine parts.
  5. Locate the dipstick seals on the top of the metal tube. Heat the seals with a heat gun, careful not to melt any plastic parts.
  6. After a minute, try to remove the dipstick. If it remains stuck, apply more oil and heat to the area before attempting again later.
  7. Use a clean cloth to clean the build-up on the dipstick properly.

How to avoid oil dipstick getting stuck

  • Properly lubricate the sealing surface of the dipstick. 
  • Replace worn-out O-rings.
  • Constantly removing the dipstick will keep it from becoming stuck. It is best to check the oil level with the dipstick once a month.
  • To prevent dirt and grease from accumulating, clean the dipstick tube and the dipstick.

FAQ’s on Stuck Oil Dipstick

There could be several reasons why the dipstick does not fit properly. This could be due to an incorrect dipstick or a damaged dipstick tube. Excessive engine pressure can also cause the dipstick to not sit properly in the tube.

There is a chance that something is stuck in the tube, preventing the dipstick from properly sitting. Make sure not to push the dipstick hard all the way in, as this can cause it to become stuck and seized.

Conclusion

To conclude, if the dipstick becomes stuck, never panic. This can happen if sludge accumulates in the dipstick tube or if the dipstick o- ring is damaged. Simply try to remove it gently, and if it doesn’t come out, use some penetrating oil. 

If it is still stuck, use heat to melt the inflated seals. Magnets can also be used to remove a stuck dipstick. If the o rings are worn out, replace them. Use a good quality and appropriate size dipstick for your engine.

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