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Dipstick won't go back in the tube!

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?

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.

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?

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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.

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.

i have the same problem, have tried to rotate it many times but it wont work.

Keep trying. It took the original poster four years to get it solved. If you can’t get it in, you’ll have to take it to a shop and have them check for a restriction. Worst case the oil pan needs to come off to repair the chute going to the oil pan. When mine gets stubborn though, just reversing it seems to work. Treat like you were clearing a clog from a drain with one of those clean out lines.

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I’ve read that Viagra works, especially on older cars, but I’d never use anything but the specified engine oil in the engine, no additives of any kind.
That leaves the suggestions discussed above. If your dipstick is limp (some are quite bendy or even have a cable section) then support it near the tube as you insert it and use a turning motion as you gently push it in.

What make, model, and model-year are we talking about, here?

You people are funny!

The original post is almost FIVE YEARS OLD!


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I think a missing dip stick can cause a CEL to come on. That can lead to a vacuum leak situation or an ERG valve problem. So what if it’s 5 years old. It’s good for lecture purposes.

A missing dip stick will not cause a CEL. Nothing monitors the engine for the presence of the stick. And the bottom of the tube it goes into is submersed in the pool of oil in the crankcase.
It will not lead to a vacuum leak, the tube being immersed in the oil pool like it is.
The crankcase pressures also have zero to do with the ERG(?) (I assume you’re thinking of the EGR, Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system.

The only problem a missing dip stick can cause is oil to get pushed out the stick if there’s sufficient blowby (like on an older engine) and make a mess. I don’t recommend driving without a dipstick, but your concerns are unfounded.

Skull, if you’re dragging up years-old threads for lecture purposes, please don’t. If you have a question you’d like answered, just ask in a new post. We’ll be happy to explain anything… sometimes in many different ways. :slight_smile:


And you know this for a fact??

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Sorry if you don’t like dead thread reborn. I for one review them and learn. If you don’t like it kick me out or don’t click the mouse to read it. Just as easy to ignor it or bitch about it.

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Actually, insightful, I don’t. More often the tube through which the dipstick goes does not go to the oil pool.

Do you have anything constructive to add, or did you just want to stick me with a sarcastic comment?