Help! Broken dipstick

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by scrimmer, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. scrimmer

    scrimmer Tele-Afflicted

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    No seriously.
    NOT what you're thinking. That works fine. So far...

    So I go out to do my regular monthly checks on our cars earlier today.
    I get to my daughter's '08 Kia Sorento.
    No dipstick! WTH? Since I'm the one that mostly changes/checks the oil, I figure my dumbass forgot to put it back in or something last time. Then I notice that the handle (a little plastic yellow ring thingy) has broken off and the rest of the dipstick is still in there approx. 1 inch down. It's broken off flush. The base of the handle is there and apparently snug enough to keep it from creeping down further so far. Nothing to grab onto with needle nose pliers or tweezers or hemostats. Using my telescoping magnet doesn't work, too big. Don't have an easy-out small enough to get in there and even if I did, I'm scared if I goofed while trying, I'd end up pushing it down further and into the oil pan. Yikes!
    Have NO idea how this happened either.

    Any ideas anyone?

    Thanks
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try gluing something to the top of it then pulling it out with that?:)
    Maybe you could drive a screw into it and get the pliers on to that?
    Drill a hole in it and hook it out?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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  3. Chief101

    Chief101 Tele-Meister

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    Pull the oil pan, pull the stick out, re-install the oil plan, put more oil in, get a new stick.
     
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  4. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    Can you pull the pan on a Sorento with the engine in place or are there exhaust pipes or crossmembers or something in the way? If so, can you lift or jack the engine up a bit and get the pan off?

    Shouldn’t you have had this problem in, say, late September or
    early October? Lots of areas are getting kind of cold now.

    I’d be tempted to try drilling into what’s left of the end and running a long screw into it and pulling on that... but if you do that and drill through it, plastic chips will fall down the dipstick tube and need flushing out and pan removal anyway; you probably don’t want that crap in your oil pickup screen...or worse.
     
  5. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Meister

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    Its actually somewhat of a common occurrence on the Kia and Hyundai products, as well as some others with similar plastic handled dipsticks.
    It seems the plastic gets hard and brittle due to heat, and its likely the exposure to used oil contributes. And some of the dipsticks have little o-rings on them that get hard and stick in the dipstick tube.....
    Often they break off in your hand when attempting to check the oil level, other times the handle is just missing when you get there.

    Anyway- I have had some luck getting them out with a similar method to part of what Chunkocaster suggests- basically carefully drilling a small hole in the remaining plastic and threading a small screw into it and pulling it up enough to grab it with pliers. And since there is metal molded into that peice, it may be best to try on the edge, essentially between plastic portion and tube, getting enough grip to just pull it up enough to grab.
    Years ago I made a "special tool" in the form of a long(ish) screwdriver with a sheet metal screw brazed to the end for pulling stuck/clogged PCV flame-traps out of certain other engines. This worked well for the dipstick pulling trick mentioned.

    Good luck. But It may not work! Its tricky.
     
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  6. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I have seen them break off in the winter when checking the oil...they get really brittle and just tear away. My guess is somebody has been checking their oil which is a good thing in itself, but bad engineering is never going to make anyone happy. Being a Kia, just flip it upside down and shake it out.
     
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  7. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's really not a good idea to drill into that because the shavings falling into the dipstick tube into the oil pan.
    Usually, the dipstick tube is pressed into the engine block and can be gently pulled out with a pair of pliers as long as it's done without crushing the tube or damaging the tube. The dipstick will be easy to remove if it doesn't come out with the tube. Press the tube back in and install a new dipstick.
    You may find one in good shape at a salvage yard.
     
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  8. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Is there enough room to extend a stiff wire with a very short 90° bend past the remaining plastic part and then twist the wire to catch underneath the remaining plastic to pull out. I've done something similar on buried broken Tee handle shutoff valves with good success.
     
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  9. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Get a thin, long piece of pliable wire such as bailing wire. Perhaps solder wire would work. Anyway, you need to make a SMALL hook on the end and bend it 90 degrees. You'll need to slide it down into the dipstick hole and you'll wind the end that's in your hands in an effort to catch the dipstick wire to pull it out enough to grab it with needle nose pliers. You'll understand what I'm suggesting when you think about it. I've had to grab cable that slipped back into pvc conduit and that's how we do it.
     
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  10. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Goshdammit, you could have waited ten minutes... Now it looks like I just copied what you typed. Lol
     
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  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I'd try to make "chopsticks" out of something or other, in order to grab it and pull it out.

    Or you could try to get just the right flexible tubing with just the right inside diameter. Slip that over the stick as far down as you can get it, then once it seems secure, pull it out, hopefully with the stick. You want an inside tubing diameter large enough to stretch and slip over the end of the dipstick, but not so large that it doesn't grab the stick tightly once you slip it over. I'm thinking that clear, approx. 1/4" tubing you can get by the foot at hardware stores.

    A wire or string "noose" sort of thing might work too, with enough frustrated tries getting it just right.

    The only other option is an excessive amount of work IMO: pulling the oil pan (drain it first, of course). You don't want to break that factory seal if you don't have to, because sometimes you can never get it sealed up as well ever again. I'd spend half a day trying to get it from the top before resigning myself to taking the oil pan off.
     
  12. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’d try to super glue or epoxy (JB Welds) something to it and try to pull it out.
     
  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Great minds think alike. Actually, if the Op can't fit a 90° bend in the wire (I was thinking bailing wire too), your hook idea at say 45° and long enough to grab the cable might work better.
     
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  14. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

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    hemostats. good luck
     
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  15. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Meister

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    Every case is of course different, but in the several I have seen, the remaining piece of plastic fills the tube and is snug. In fact I would add to my previous suggestion, spraying a little carb cleaner in there might soften any hardened gunk and improve the odds of success.

    Some tubes are slip fit and retained with a bracket.
    But if the tube is pressed into the block, which I believe it is, it will likely be too tight to easily remove without destroying it. Which also reduces the odds of finding a usable salvage replacement. It may not even be available as an individual new part either. I would check before attempting removal of the tube.
    But In some other cases, where accessible and possible- I have placed a bolt that fits as best possible in the tube and clamped tight to it with vise grips, driving it out from below with hammer and punch/drift.
    Thats getting pretty drastic.
    Pulling the pan would be the next resort.

    Keeping in mind plenty of high end expensive cars these days have no dipstick..... (Though they do usually have level sensors/warning systems.) :)
     
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  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If the dipstick is in a tube, you might be able to pull out the tube from the block.

    Ummm, yeah, I have no idea what is under the hood of those Kia(s).
     
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  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Oops, just read @MarkieMark 's post. I like his bolt/plug idea if you need to damage the tube. I would do that way before dropping the pan. You could always mark the dip stick height at the tube hole for future reference.
     
  18. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Meister

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    Well, it is likely sticking up through an opening in a manifold, disappearing into the abyss. Just for reference..... :)

    PS, does your wife blame you?

    PSS, bring it on by. BEFORE making it worse. Odds are extremely high I can get it out. One way or another.

    PSSS Its what I do.......
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  19. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's not what I thought to begin with.

    I was thinking problems with a band member.
     
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  20. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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