How to remove an oil dipstick tube

Written by cassandra tribe
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How to remove an oil dipstick tube
Rerouting an oil dipstick can make oil checks easier in compartments. (under the bonnet image by Lucy Cherniak from

Before you hoist a car engine out of the compartment, you must remove the components connected to the block to prevent potential damage to parts you may be able to reuse after replacing the engine. One of these components, the oil dipstick tube, is an easily damaged part that may prove difficult to replace. Though an often-overlooked part in this removal process, the oil dipstick tube only takes a few minutes to remove. Use a simple trick to remove the tube without damaging it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Socket set
  • Hex screwdriver socket (if needed)
  • Socket wrench
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Vise-Grip pliers (if needed)
  • Clean rag
  • Wood dowel (if needed)

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  1. 1

    Pull the oil dipstick out of the tube.

  2. 2

    Slide your hand down the length of the tube to check for a support bracket; some models will not have one. Remove the bolt or hex screw from the bracket using a socket wrench with a socket or hex screwdriver attachment, and slide it up and off the tube.

  3. 3

    Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove the bolt from the base mount bracket on the dipstick tube. Pry the mount loose with a slotted screwdriver. Slide the base mount bracket up and off the tube.

  4. 4

    Grab the dipstick tube at the base, and twist the tube back and forth to break the suction grip and loosen any sediment build-up that may be "gluing" it into the block. Use vise-grip pliers if unable to turn or pull the tube by hand.

  5. 5

    Wipe any sediment and dirt from around the base of the tube with a clean rag to prevent the debris from falling into the engine when you remove the tube.

  6. 6

    Pull the dipstick tube out of the engine block. Hold the O-ring in place on the tube while removing the tube to prevent it from falling into the engine.

Tips and warnings

  • Insert a wood dowel (longer than the tube length so the end sticks out) into the tube before using the vice grips to remove it, which will prevent the force of the grips from pinching the tube. Do not reuse the O-ring; replace it with a new one.
  • Never work on a hot engine. Oil can reach high temperatures when the engine has been running and cause serious burns if it splashes or drips onto skin.

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