Judging by the thousands of visits this article has received, this must be a common problem in older vehicles… you go to check your oil, and the plastic pull ring breaks off, leaving the oil dipstick lodged in the tube. This happened to us several weeks ago as we were traveling on vacation.
I stopped at a gas station to check the oil and the ring just snapped right off. The rest of the oil dipstick was lodged tightly in place so I wasn’t concerned about it popping out. But that also meant that I couldn’t pull it out because I didn’t have the right tools with me for the job.
Immediately my DIY-inclined mind went to work, because I was not taking the vehicle to a mechanic over a broken oil dipstick. I could imagine a mechanic charging $100 or more for something like this.
Thankfully, later on I was able to buy a new oil dipstick at an auto parts store for $10! I brainstormed with my uncle on a quick fix, and we came up with an easy solution.
To remove the broken dipstick, I took a screw and drilled it into what was left of the plastic pull ring. Then I used my diagonal pliers to grab onto the screw and pulled the dipstick to the top of the dipstick tube. Finally, I used my lineman’s pliers to grab the screw and pulled it and the dipstick out of the tube. I helps to have the right tools!
Afterwards, I checked the oil level with my new dipstick and then slipped it into its new home.
You can see those steps in action by checking out my YouTube video below:
I’ve got more DIY for you!