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How to Remove a Broken Oil Dipstick From an Engine

Updated February 21, 2017

If your oil dipstick breaks, you should remove it as soon as possible. A broken oil dipstick that is left in the engine can prevent you from using a replacement dipstick to accurately check your engine oil. The way that the dipstick enters the engine means it does not have far to go. You can usually easily remove a broken oil dipstick from an engine.

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  1. Examine the top half of the broken oil dipstick to determine where the break has occurred. If the piece that broke off and is not in the engine is shorter than 4 inches, it most likely has fallen into your oil drain pan.

  2. Extend your telescoping magnetic pickup tool and insert it into the oil dipstick holder. Move it down and around inside of the tube until you feel a slight tug, this means the magnet has connected with the broken oil dipstick. Withdraw the dipstick slowly, it might take a few tries to be able to do this without the piece falling off the magnet, but it will eventually come out.

  3. Drain the oil from your engine to retrieve the broken dipstick if the magnet didn't work. Place an oil drain pan under the drain pan bolt, remove the bolt with a socket wrench and let the oil drain out.

  4. Pull the pan out from under the car. Reach underneath and remove the series of bolts attaching the oil pan to the car. Let the oil pan drop out of place and look inside the pan for the piece of broken oil dipstick and remove it.

  5. Tip

    If you do not see the broken piece in the oil dipstick, reach up and feel along the end of the oil feed tube to see whether it is wedged there.


    Never use a "stick and glue" method to remove a broken oil dipstick from an engine, even a small amount of the glue dropping into the oil supply for your engine can cause serious problems.

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Things You'll Need

  • Telescoping magnet pickup tool
  • Socket set
  • Oil drain pan

About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.

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