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Dipstick won't go back in the tube!

edited November 2011 in Repair and Maintenance
2007 Jeep Liberty - Help ! Can't get the oil dipstick back into the tube! Goes in about 3/4 of the way and jams - feels like it's hanging up on something. This is what I did: pulled it out, wiped it off, slipped it back in, pulled it out again to check the oil. Now it won't go back in. (No - I didn't put anything else down there!) The dipstick has this little twisty bit at the end - is there a valve in the tube it's supposed to slip through? This is my only car and I travel to work. Can I drive it without a dipstick?


  • edited November 2011
    Some dipsticks will only go into the tube one way, and not the other, due to a bend in the tube.
    Try rotating the dipstick 180 degrees and then try again to insert it.

  • Yep, ll you have to do is twist it.

  • Thanks - I've tried this repeatedly, every which way. It just won't go!

  • You can still drive your Jeep even without a dipstick.

  • Thanks, Steve - I really appreciate your following up with the second part of my question. I've driven the car about a mile and tried again to reinsert the stick. As far as it goes in, the stick comes back out dry. Just worried that the 30 mile one way drive to work could be a problem. Don't want to loose all the oil through an open tube.
  • edited November 2011
    Maybe the base of the tube has come dislodged from where it attaches to the engine. I'd be afraid of the oil coming out of that hole, and I'd drive it straight to the shop.

    What happens when you run the engine for 5-10 seconds, is there oil under the car?
  • Thanks so much for you comment - very logical. Been out on several short trips this morning, maybe 1.5 mi each - no oil under the car ( crawled underneath with a flashlight) no oil under the hood. Dipstick still won't go in more than 60-70% of its length, and what does go in comes out completely oil free.
  • "...and what does go in comes out completely oil free."

    That is expected. If you can't get it in all the way except for about 2 inches, the dipstick will not get wet. I wouldn't worry about that at all for now. It will only become a problem when you really do need to check your oil level. Try pushing something like a thin wire through the tube and see if it hangs up in the same place. It has to be thin enough to pass through a hole in the blockage that the dipstick can't, but it still mist be stiff.
  • edited November 2011
    I Don't Know If You've Tried, But Grasp The Actual Dipstick Just Above The Tube (Instead Of The Handle) And While Turning It Clockwise (Like You're Screwing It In), "Feed" It Into The Tube. This Allows You To Push A Little Harder Without Kinking The Dipstick.

    The reason some dipsticks have a "twisty" look is so that they can make compound bends in the tube. A regular, old-fashioned flat stick can only follow simple bends.

  • Just let the handle on the dipstick rotate as you put it into the hole and your problem should be over.
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