No oil reading on dipstick

About a year ago the oil stopped showing on the dipstick of my 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is the original dipstick. I have changed the oil, filled it according to manual. It runs well, engine has no ticking (unless its low on oil, then I add a quart), pressure is fine. Just no way to check the oil !
The tube is still attached from looking at the outside. ANy ideas?

What does “no way to check the oil” mean?

Can you not see any oil on the dipstick?

If someone did any work on the jeep just before yo noticed that the oil doesn’t register anymore, they probably had to pull the dipstick tube and didn’t get it back in place properly. There is only one bolt holding the tube in place.

looking quickly it seems to be attached, i have heard of that before too. Would it be noticeable ? Or would you have to go from underneath?

There is no oil showing at all on the stick. The end appears to be burnt, like it hasnt been in oil for a while. I have had the oil checked, changed and filled by a someone I do trust and he can’t figure out why it isn’t reading either. He did say the tube could be the reason, but it looks like it is on correctly. I did have the transfer case worked on about a year ago, and the radiator replaced and the water pump and the serpentine belt; all done one right after the other, and a complete tune up (these were done before I found the mechanic I use now)

@cdavern clean the dipstick with a wire wheel and try again.

I use a straight willow stick when I don’t have my stainless, clam discoverer. You may do the same-something is wrong either in the hole or the stick. Or you have a very bad leak.

Some of the oils are now so clear, it is difficult to see new oil on the dipstick. Wipe the dip with clean paper.

@longprime I completely agree with you. With some of the oils, you have to look at just the right angle to see the oil on the dipstick.

at least someone agrees. Thankyou.

I changed oil once where I forgot to replace the plug/ I added the oil to check my accomplishment and of course could not see the oil on the dip. Luckily I never removed the catch pan from under the oil drain plug.

Did you think I would admit in having the 4 quarts go to ground?

It might be the wrong dipstick. Possibly the tip has broken off. Or the dipstick may be getting deflected to the side if the tube is bent. A long universal dipstick is available at most parts stores and if the oil is changed and the proper amount added, the engine started and run then shut off, the universal dipstick can be installed and checked to see if it registers. If oil shows up repeatedly wipe and restick to find the depth at which oil is about 2 inches above the bottom of the stick and lock the collar at that position.

5 possible explanations

  • The oil actually is low – drain all the oil out and measure how much you get.
  • The dipstick has had the tip broken off — Find another car like yours and compare dipsticks.
  • The little tube you put the dipstick in is higher up than it should be – take the dipstick tube completely off the crankcase body, make sure everything is clean, then put it back like it should be.
  • The oil isn’t visible on the dipstick – Clean the dipstick, and/or paint the tip white, and see if that helps make the oil more visible.
  • The oil pan has been replaced, a non-OEM version, and it isn’t compatible with the original.

Check your dip stick tube for damage or movement or make sure the stick is seating properly. Both will five you a false reading. As far as the clear oils are concerned. It’s pretty dark under the hood and moving the sick around too much could move the oil, so developing a feel for the oil with your fingers is the way I feel most sure of where it’s at.
Btw, how do you know it’s down a quart when you can’t read the dip stick ??? I would definitely use a plumbers snake or the like, to see how far down and where the tube was going…till I struck oil that is.

I too agree, Longprime. And it was even worse before I had my cataract surgery. The yellow tint in the cataract combined with the reterioration of the clarity totally obfuscated the oil on the stick.

But of I were the OP, I’d pick up a long aluminum rod at the hardware store and try to fiure out what’s going on. Perhaps a bit of cloth tape at the end of the rod would pick up oil and show that the problem is just difficulty seeing it on the stick. It’s not possible for a dipstick to dip into the oil and not leave a trace.

Two agrees but you’re not increasing my counts.

Think about putting back 4 oz of the drained oil at the valve cover. (eas)
or ounce at the dipstick hole, but you’ll need to borrow the turkey baster from spouse.

Or don’t walk away to have lunch after you removed the drain plug-not enough residual oil to be a tell.

If you follow the dipstick tube all the way to where it enters the engine, you will see a shelf that the dipstick tube goes into. The tube itself will have a ring on it just above this hole to keep the tube from going into the block too far. If the ring is not all the way down to the shelf, then the tube has been pulled out and not reinserted properly, most likely when the water pump was replaced.

The collar at the top of the dipstick can be moved on some dipsticks. That is usually pretty hard to do but it might be worth looking at. The dipstick handle would appear unusually long.

Edit: To the person who flagged this post, exactly what part of this post is abusive? I don’t see it and I certainly never intended to be abusive.

Is the dipstick a flat piece of metal, or more like a flexible cable, like on my '94? If a cable style, it is probably getting deflected somehow before it hits the oil.

Thank you for all the helpful advice. The problem was, the oil pan was deeper than we thought, and held a quart more fluid than the manual said. After an oil change and adding the correct amount of oil, I can now get a reading! Thank s again!

@cdavern. What do you mean the oil pan was deeper than you thought? Is this the original oil pan? And the original dipstick? It seems like if both are original to the car, then if you are using the amount of oil recommended in the owner’s manual, it should show on the dipstick. So explain a little more please, helps the folks here to understand what exactly the problem was, then they can help others with similar problems.