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4runner dipstick doesn't register

My son has a 1990 4Runner with 210,000 miles on it. We bought it cheap when it had about 185K on it and had to replace the engine shortly thereafter (argh). Anyway, with the new engine (as well as with the old one), the dipstick never shows that there is any oil in the car.

When we change the oil, we see it all coming out, and we fill it up with new oil as prescribed by the manual - and still - the dipstick shows nothing. I replaced the dipstick with a new one from Toyota, and have same result.

With a car this old (even though the new engine isn’t that old), I’m worried about never knowing how the oil is doing.

Thoughts? Thanks!

Imagine something as low tech as a dipstick giving problems.

Any possibility the “tube” the dipstick slides into being installed to deep into the engine block?

Not sure - any idea how I might check?

Well, it would be a problem if the tube was installed too shallow, not too deep. Look at the tube, is there any way it could be installed further into the block?

If you are absolutely positively sure that the proper amout of oil is sitting in the pan when the car is at rest, you could try and locate a dipstick which is longer and then “calibrate” it at the next oil change. This of course is making the assumption that the problem is that your current dipstick is too short and doesn’t touch the oil in the pan.