Want to figure out how to remove broken oil dipstick? Then you’re in the right place. As scary and frustrating it might seem, removing the old oil dipstick is not hard.
However, before you attempt to do this on your own, we suggest carefully following the steps in this guide.
If you try to get a screwdriver in there or a set of pliers, you could make things a lot worse. For example, debris might get inside the engine oil.
So, ready to learn our infallible methods? Then check below!
Why Do Oil Dipsticks Get Stuck?
If you broke the handle of the oil dipstick, you’ve probably wondered why they’re so weak and how they got stuck. Below, you’ll find 3 common reasons why they get stuck.
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Time Doesn’t Get Along With the Oil Dipstick
Time doesn’t really sit well with oil dipsticks. Your dipstick has probably been inside for as long as you can remember.
They’re regularly exposed to heat and other elements. As a result, they will slowly begin to lose their resistance.
You could be working on your car and then accidentally hit the handle with your elbow only to find you blew it off. For one thing, the lower side probably got stuck inside the oil dipstick tube.
Corrosion Can Be a Pain In The Neck
We’ve faced this issue before. Oil dipsticks can accumulate moisture right at the top.
When this happens, it can get corroded over time. As expected, corrosion will destroy the oil dipstick.
Chances are, you’ll try to pull it up and then have the handle come right out while the other part got stuck inside.
The O-ring Has to Go
If you look down the shaft of the oil dipstick, you’ll notice that there’s an O-ring. That’s the weakest part of the dipstick.
Generally speaking, that’s the first part to break. And when that happens, the bottom half of the dipstick will get stuck.
How to Remove an Old Broken Oil Dipstick Using Heat
Were you trying to check the oil level only to realize you destroyed the dipstick’s handle, and now the other part is stuck inside?
Don’t worry, though. Below, you’ll find how to remove broken oil dipstick:
01. What You Will Need
Before removing the broken piece, grab the following tools:
- A cordless drill and drill bits — to remove the broken dipstick, get a drill and a drill bit.
- A pair of side dikes—once you’ve got the screw inside the broken dipstick, you’ll need the side dikes to pull it out.
- A propane torch—you’ll need a heat source for this job. We’ll go with a propane torch. However, if you have a heat gun at home, then feel free to use that.
- A coarse thread drywall screw—this screw is pretty much the key for this method to work. This type of screw is pretty easy to find. So, it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Screwdriver—get a screwdriver for this job. Getting the drywall screw inside the tube might be hard without it.
- Rattail file—we suggest getting this tool to get rid of all the gunk inside the oil dipstick tube.
- Wheel bearing grease—
02. Set Up The Drill Bit
First and foremost, find a matching drill bit. The drill bit that works like a charm with this one is 1/8 of an inch. Building upon that, please chuck up the drill with the drill bit.
Now that you’ve set up the drill bit, it’s time to remove the dipstick. So, pop the hood of the vehicle and then find the dipstick tube.
Next up, gran the bottom of the dipstick tube so that it won’t move when drilling. Now, begin drilling through the center of the plastic stuck inside the dipstick tube.
Be careful, though. When drilling, you might get too far off to the side, and the screw might not go inside. So, watch out for that.
As the drill bit is going down, you’ll notice all the shavings flying around. If you lose sight of the drill bit, simply remove the shavings inside by blowing them out.
Keep drilling until you’ve made a hole large enough for the screw to fit in.
03. Heat it Up
Here’s how to take out a broken oil dipstick: you’ll have to heat up the dipstick tube so that you can pull out the dipstick inside. That said, get the screw inside the tube.
To do this, get a screwdriver and then screw it until you get inside. After that, start up the propane torch.
From there, start hitting the section of the dipstick tube. When doing this, please play it safe. You could come in contact with something else as you’re using the propane torch.
With that being said, keep hitting the tube with the propane torch until the plastic starts bubbling. What’s more, you’ll also know when it’s enough as soon as you see smoke coming out of it.
Next up, use the pair of side dikes to grab onto the screw. After that, pull it up, and it should come right out.
Now, you might have noticed that you still got some plastic leftover inside the dipstick tube. If that’s the case, get a rattail file and bring it inside.
Move it around and remove as much as you can.
You should know that there’s a pretty good chance that some of the old plastic might get inside the oil pan.
If that were to happen, consider flushing a little bit of oil. After that, drain the engine oil and then fill it up.
04. Install The Broken Oil Dipstick Replacement
Now install the new oil dipstick. But before that, we suggest using wheel-bearing grease.
So, go ahead and put the grease all over the lower side of the handle. This way, the new oil dipstick will have a much easier time holding up over time.
If the new one slides right in without a difference of height, then you’re good to go.
If that’s not the case, you’ll have to do more cleaning so that it can fit in.
How to Remove a Broken Oil Dipstick with a Drill
The first method we covered is useful. And you should be able to remove the old one just fine. However, not everybody has a heat gun or a propane torch.
So, this time, we’ll show you how you can get it off with a drill.
01. What You Will Need
For this job, here are all the tools you will need:
- A drill, a 1/8-inch bit, and a screw—this is the most effective way to remove the dipstick without a heat gun. So, go ahead get those.
- A pair of pliers— you wouldn’t use a pair of pliers to remove a dipstick as you might push it down and make things worse. However, you’ll get a screw inside the dipstick and then use the pliers to pull it up.
- A vacuum cleaner—to clean the debris out of the dipstick tube, use a vacuum cleaner.
02. Use The Drill
To remove the dipstick stuck inside the tube, please turn the drill relatively slow so that it goes right in without destroying what’s left of the dipstick.
The idea behind this method is to pull up the dipstick.
However, that rarely happens. After drilling through the dipstick, there’s a high chance there is still some residue inside.
As expected, you don’t want any of those shavings to go inside the engine oil.
So, to get rid of the shavings, get a vacuum in there and vacuum it out. After that, grab a drywall screw and put it inside the dipstick tube.
Once the screw goes inside the hole, get a screwdriver and screw it until it goes all the way down.
From there, get a pair of pliers and grab onto the screw. After that, pull it up. And that’s pretty much it.
How to Remove a Damaged Oil Dipstick Tube
So far, we’ve only covered how to remove the oil dipstick, but what about the broken oil dipstick tube removal?
We’ve simplified the easiest way to pull the dipstick tube without using any special tools below:
01. What You Will Need
To get started, get these essential tools:
- A bolt—you’ll need a bolt to get inside the dipstick tube to extract it right out of the block engine.
- A sleeve and a washer—once you’ve got that bolt threaded in, you’ll use the sleeve and washer as a spacer.
- Thread sealer—this is the most essential tool you should get. Chances are, you might not get oil dipstick out on your first try. So, shavings might go down the dipstick tube.
- A torque wrench—get this tool to tighten the nut.
- A wrench—get this tool to thread the nut.
02. Secure The Engine Oil
First and foremost, put some thread sealer all over the broken dipstick tube.
When trying to fit the bolt inside the dipstick tube, you might start cutting it as it’s hard to get inside. So, debris might get inside the engine oil.
03. Thread The Bolt
Next up, put the washer on the bolt and then the sleeve. Now that we’re all on the same page put the bolt inside the dipstick tube.
The main idea behind this process is to thread the dipstick tube so that you can pull it up.
Keep doing this until you force its way in there. If you can’t get the bolt to thread itself into the dipstick tube with your bare hands, use a wrench.
After that, put the torque wrench on top so that it doesn’t turn. With that out the way, slowly thread the nut down using your ratchet until you can’t turn it anymore.
After a while, it should pull the dipstick tube out.
Is there anything you’d like to know about broken oil dipsticks? If so, refer to the section down below:
Can I drive with a bad oil dipstick?
Absolutely not. If the shavings of the dipstick get inside the oil, you’re pretty much out of luck.
Instead, remove it as soon as possible and then drain the oil out to make sure nothing got inside.
Can I drive with a damaged oil dipstick tube?
Just like before, no. You should not drive with a damaged oil dipstick. Play it safe, and don’t risk it. Something could get inside the engine oil, which might damage it.
Can you drive without an oil dipstick?
Yes, you can drive without an oil dipstick. However, you might want to seal it.
Things can get pretty messy if you let dirt get into the engine, though we suggest getting a brand new one as soon as possible. You can get a new oil dipstick for roughly $20.
What happens if a dipstick breaks?
If the stick broke off inside the tube, pull it out as soon as possible. Debris could get inside the oil, and you won’t be able to check the engine levels accurately.
Overall, it isn’t enjoyable, and getting it off barely takes any time.
Did you figure out how to remove broken oil dipstick on your own? Hopefully, you got the plastic out of the tube.
We know how frustrating it is when it gets stuck. You were working on your car, and then you find out the dipstick split in half.
Luckily, the dipstick does not get damaged as often. Either way, it’s pretty easy to get it out of there, and replacing one is reasonably cheap.
So, it’s not as annoying as finding out the 4WD system on your truck does not work anymore.
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