How to Remove a Stuck Oil Dipstick Tube and What Causes It?

How to Remove a Stuck Oil Dipstick Tube

Whether you did it out of neglect or simply the lack of knowledge, the oil dipstick can be stuck and in many cases, you see that the handle of the dipstick gets damaged. 

This can leave the owner with a damaged oil dipstick stuck within the tube. If these things happen, it is imperative that you learn the ways on how to remove a stuck oil dipstick tube.


What Causes Dipstick to Get Stuck

There are numerous reasons why you get your dipstick stuck and become hardly removal. Here are some of the factors that could lead you to this unfortunate situation:

Accumulation of Grease and Dirt

When it comes to the engine, negligence often comes with several indicators along with a stuck oil dipstick within the engine. While vehicles are using engine oil for the lubrication of the entire moving parts, its viscidity alters and after a particular interval, this exhausted oil must be replaced.

A lot of vehicle owners forget this important thing and through time, this consumed vehicle oil because of friction, and heat can be extremely sticky and begin to accumulate in engine parts as well as engine sump where movements are relatively low.

One of the affected places is at the base of the dipstick tube where the moving component is only one, and that movement is initiated by human influence. If this scenario is demonstrated in the dipstick tube, the sticky dirt accumulation of used and consumed motor oil takes up the dipstick and stops it from doing a movement. This is a case where access from the internal of the engine is important to remove the stuck dipstick and clear out the tube.

Heat Factors

Normally, engines can overheat because of several factors. The more frequent it occurs, the more atypical heat is delivered to the components of the engine. This heat is quite excessive compared to the approved operating temperature that is rated for the engine and the components.

In this situation, the o-rings that serve as gaskets to your dipstick are seen just beneath the handgrip of the dipstick can vanish, dissolve, and merge them to the dipstick tube – which can make the dipstick essentially not possible to take out.

Inferior Materials

Inferior materials which are usually seen in modeled dipsticks or those that are off-branded that is utilized as a stand-in are not defiant to the typical vibration and temperature of the engine. This may, in return, create extreme stress to already inferior material and extremely reduced the fundamental strength of the dipstick’s handle. This may create damages keeping the metal rod of the dipstick stuck within the tube. This is not extremely risky for the operation of the engine; however, it inhibits you from examining the level of your oil and its quality.

Also Read: How to Remove Stuck Oil Filter


How to Remove a Stuck Oil Dipstick Tube

Taking out a stuck oil dipstick tube is a method that can either consume a lifetime and plenty of patience or can be plain and easy, depending on the kind of car, dipstick’s design, and the manner it is connected to the handle and the placement of the tube to the engine.

Tip #1: Access from the top portion of the engine

The first method is clearly to get access to the top part of the engine, in the dipstick tube’s opening. Because of the engine’s structure, a dipstick with a damaged handle will stay in place less the handle.

  • Step 1: Using a telescopic pickup tool (magnet-type), get into the dipstick tube.
  • Step 2: Feel for any hint of magnet contact or any implication that your magnet has touched the broken portion of the dipstick. This is the moment that you initiate the process of removal.
  • Step 3: Tightly but slowly pull the magnet and draw the metal portion of the dipstick away from the dipstick tube.

Tip #2: Remove the stuck oil dipstick from the tube with a specific tool

However, if by any instance there is grease or dirt accumulation that made the dipstick stuck within the engine, you should consider using a more forceful way. You can remove the stuck part by using a particular tool.

  • Step1: Get a bolt that a strong and highly advancing thread and screw-in, then draw into the tube. The thread of the bolt must be of similar diameter with the circumference of the dipstick tube. You may also get a PowerPull Oil Tube Extractor that creates a similar impact if not the better one in taking out the stuck-up dipstick.
  • Step 2: Get the depth of the damaged handle that was connected to the dipstick and use the removal tool or bolt into the dipstick that is a similar depth and an extra quarter to provide it the chance to catch the metal dipstick.
  • Step 3: Since the oil dipstick tube was processed through a machine to become a strong cylindrical shaft, the removal tool or bolt will grab into the dipstick without getting the tube ruined.
  • Step4: With the tension and the strength of the friction that the bolt or your removal tool has exerted to the stuck oil dipstick, you may tightly pull the oil dipstick away from the tube and change it with a brand-new one that has the specifications indicated in your vehicle.

Tip #3: DIY mechanic

Another way is quite approachable with a DIY mechanic.

  • Step 1: Jack the car up securely that you get a clean and safe environment for working.
  • Step 2: Take out the oil plug and allow the oil to drain from the engine.
  • Step 3: Change the oil pan which is now loaded with old oil and change it with a clean and new one to capture the halting oil that is inside the engine.
  • Step 4: Take out the oil pan from the base of the engine to get an entry to the stuck oil dipstick. You shall quickly see the bottom edge of the stuck oil dipstick.
  • Step 5: Get a rubber mallet to lessen the risk you can develop to the engine and upwardly tap the oil dipstick that is stuck, so it comes over the oil dipstick tube.
  • Step 6: Get pliers to extract it from the tube and throw it properly.
  • Step 7: Change the damaged oil dipstick with a brand new OEM component as contrary to the generic type that might or might not suit to the oil dipstick tube of your car.

How to remove a broken oil dipstick stuck inside tube YouTube Video:


Last Words

Overall, a common analog tool like the oil dipstick can become a terrifying concern for any vehicle owner. You should be knowledgeable about how to remove a stuck oil dipstick tube. Just like the other perishable components, the dipstick must be checked visually for any traces of wear and routinely used by the owner to check the quality of oil as well as the level.


About the Author JamesL Davis

James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.

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