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Stuck Dipstick?

My friend drives a 2006 Honda crv he got from his parents, and I decided to pop the hood to see how it was maintained. You can tell at 112k miles it has never been cleaned, and when i went to check the oil level the dipstick wouldn’t budge. Im guessing it hadn’t been checked for almost 60k miles. I tried twisting, jiggling, and brute force to the point i was afraid the plastic would break. I can hear the dipstick rattling around in the tube, but it seems to be the plastic at the top is stuck. Any ideas? There are other neglected maintenance items but can take care of most of them (filters, fluids, etc) and my friend would like this vehicle to last for a few years. This vehicle has the k24a1 engine.


Can you see how the dipstick tube attaches to the engine? Sometimes there’s a little bracket with a little bolt through it (or a nut on stud) and sometimes they just press-fit into the block.

That stick needs to come out at some point, but I think I’d let my friend try, in case it breaks.

If it breaks…

Plan A: … (the plastic portion) there should be enough of the metal part of the stick to get hold of with vise-grip pliers. (My son broke one on a Chevy).

Plan B: … and all else fails then remove the tube and the stick together and then separate them or replace what needs to be replaced.

If it seems like too much then seek professional help and find a mechanic.

Unfortunately the dipstick tube goes down inside the engine flush with it so I dont think there is a way to remove the tube. My accord has the k24 engine too so ill look under my hood and brainstorm some more. One of my guesses is the rubber o rings are seized up from being left in a hot location without moving for years. next time i can ill try dripping some oil down there to see if that helps at all. ill try to attach a pic of the dipstick location on this engine.

Remove the top engine cover to expose the dip stick tube.

With a heat gun/hair dryer heat the dip stick tube under the plastic handle.

Keep twisting and pulling on the dip stick, and eventually the dip stick will come out.


This is wise advice. You might even suggest he discuss it with his parents. They may be totally unaware that a problem exists. They might be wiling to pay a shop to remove it, and to see how bad the oil is.

Trust me, you don’t want any responsibility for this if the stick breaks.

This may be where the phrase ( No good deed goes unpunished ) applies.

Wondering when the last oil change on this car was and how they checked the level. There should be a record somewhere, maybe in the local museums :slight_smile:

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They supposedly get regular oil changes on the vehicle, but I noticed a little bit of dark oil buildup inside where I can see beyond the oil cap where my car with the same engine is cleaner. The amount isn’t too bad, but it shows some level of neglect on top of not checking the oil level.

His parents were extremely reluctant to let me look at the car at first, but once they realized I knew what was needed and had a clue of what I was doing they relaxed a bit. Im pretty sure the dipstick wouldn’t break under the amount of force I was using, but since its not my car I would rather not take the chance, and find a better method.

I had exactly the same situation on my daughter’s 2003 Sentra.
Plastic handle of dipstick would be very snug and by normal next oil change attempt, it was stuck.
I tried spraying oil into the tube, but it did not help and I ended up with yellow stub flush in the tube, tube welded to the pan.
What I did: drilled 1/8 inch lead hole and drove screw into that stub, then used pliers to get it out.
I bought new OEM dipstick, after 2-3 oil changes, ended up exactly in the same situation.
Engine was in OK shape, I would say, great one for the age, but somehow it happened again.
Car was sold half a year later with a third dipstick, never understood WHY it was happening.

A wise decision.


Forget about it and take it to the dealer if Testers suggestion doesn’t work. It may not be abuse. The plastic oil fill cap on my Pontiac can stick like crazy to the plastic oil fill tube, if I don’t lube it every other oil change or so. Who would have thought?

I wonder if you would put a good coat of anti-seize on it , it would come out next time.