Category: automotive

Breaking your dipstick

In all my years, I’ve never heard of a broken dipstick until today. After rejecting Mrs. Roscoe’s suggestion ( bubble gum on the cat’s tail ) to remove the stub, I decided to consult The Internet.

Evidently it is quite common for the 2000 Nissan Sentra to break it’s dipstick. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

I didn’t have any chopsticks laying around so I passed on #1. Although the thought of launching the old dipstick into my neighbor’s pool was appealing, I decided to pass on the air compressor and use the shop vac instead.

Three things that I didn’t see in the linked article that may be helpful:

1.  One poster suggested cutting a small hole in a piece of cardboard and using that to seal the end of the dipstick tube. A hole punch works great for doing this.
2.  Remove the filter element from the shop vac to get a little more suction.
3.  The stick wouldn’t come all the way up until I removed the o-ring around the remnants of the plastic on the dipstick. After that it came right out.

Here’s a picture of the broken dipstick after removal:

All in all, it was one of the fastest car repairs that I’ve had to complete.