Useless Dipstick

Messages
167
Location
NE Pennsylvania
I have a Toyota 4Runner with the 4.0L V6. The dipstick is entirely useless. No matter when I pull it out - even after sitting all night - I get no reading other than random smears of oil up and down the dipstick. If I didn't change my own oil, this would drive me even more crazy. At least I know my oil level should be correct when it gets changed. If I had someone else do the changes, I would never know whether the correct amount of oil was used. Is there anything that can be done about this? I have seen this mentioned by others on a 4Runner forum, so it must be a common occurrence.
 
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
I have the same problem with a 4Runner with the V8 engine. The best I can do is check it in the morning, and push the dipstick back and forth a couple of times, and wipe it off a couple of times and take a reading. As the oil gets closer to the time to change it, it starts geting darker and becomes easy to read.
 
Messages
210
Location
Quahog, Rhode Island
I have a Tacoma with the same 4.0 V6. I used some sand paper on one side of the dipstick in between the two indicators. Just rub horizontally and rough up the surface. It still smears but the oil holds noticably better where I need it to.
 
Messages
1,383
Location
Agrestic, CA
If it makes you feel any better the V8 on the Tundra is just as bad. There is a nice bend in the dipstick tube in the first 4 inches that smears the oil everywhere. It doesn't help that Toyota used a rigid piece of springy steel as the dipstick media. I just got a Honda and it is really well thought out. First off, it's right in the front and easy to access. Second, it is made of a flexible steel braided cable that ends in a solid round piece of steel followed by a smaller flat piece with the oil level marks. The round piece above the flat piece prevents the flat piece from coming in contact with the walls of the dipstick tube when you pull it out of the engine. The braided cable keeps it flexible and makes it easy around bends. If there was an aftermarket dipstick for the Toyota that was like the Honda I would buy it in a second.
 
Sounds like my 2.2L Ecotec has the same thing - long silver dipstick with a blob of metal on the end. Often times oil smears up the tube so you can't get an accurate reading. I find the first reading is your best bet as the second time I try the oil smears up so the second reading shows 5 quarts over full... lol @ acewiza [Razz]
 
Messages
2,154
Location
New Hampsha
quote:
Originally posted by acewiza: Oops sorry, I thought this was a thread about my boss...
[LOL!] Goose [Patriot] PS Smears a bit on the Matrix dipstick also
 
Messages
506
Location
ATL
you'd think with modern technology, there would be a way to check oil with out using a dip 'stick'. My jettas dip stick is very nice, very accurate, but my moms camry takes 4quarts 3oz. I can put in 3 quarts of oil after an oil change, and when i pull the dip stick out, the oil is waayy above the 'full' mark-Even though i know it doesn't have enough oil. When i put the 4 and then some it really needs, there is oil all the way to half way on the long dip stick. many inches above the 'full' mark.
 
Messages
2,324
Location
Baltimore, MD
the nissan 3.0 and 3.5 engines are the biggest pain. those are the two that gave me the most problems of all of the engines i have touched. the 3.0s were 4.25qts and ship it out the door. cant remember what the 3.5s took.
 

JTK

Messages
13,363
Location
Buffalo, NY
It's tough on the GM vortec 4.2L I6 as well. The engine oil dipstick is a long cable with a metal bob on the end. It takes a few dips/wipes to get a read. Joel
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
Sometimes oil gets sucked up the tube overnight. You have to pull it out, wipe it clean, reinsert, and wait a while. Hopefully you'll get a good reading.
 
Messages
22
Location
Loveland, CO
quote:
Originally posted by JTK: It's tough on the GM vortec 4.2L I6 as well. The engine oil dipstick is a long cable with a metal bob on the end. It takes a few dips/wipes to get a read. Joel
X2... My New Yorker has the same set-up,quite a PITA. I especially enjoyed checking the level after an OC last year and finding the metal bob had broken off!!! Sure was fun removing that from the pan.... [Razz] Chris
 
Messages
2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
Racer!
quote:
the nissan 3.0 and 3.5 engines are the biggest pain. those are the two that gave me the most problems of all of the engines i have touched. the 3.0s were 4.25qts and ship it out the door. cant remember what the 3.5s took.
Gave you the most problems? With the oil level, or other problems? This is my gal's car, she's been taking it to the dealer every 7500 (which has been the OCI for the life of the thing). Probably dino. That's the table in the owner's guide, too. You really have to dig into the owner's manual to find a severe service recommendation on OCI. Then, they only say "may have to change more often". Oil was pretty filthy a month ago (last at the dealer in Feb.), and the fill-hole is showing black and grainy under there (what I can see) with a flashlight. I changed it for her with AA SM 5W30, and then again yesterday at Tires Plus (nice peeps over there, torque-wrenched the lugs 122 inch-pounds for the new tires, nice touch, no?) with 10W40 High Mileage Pennz from my stash. Guy there put 4.25 qts. in it with the new Puro filter I gave him, he stated he knows it has the correct amount of oil in it, but dammed if he could tell what it was on the stick. The stick plugs into a hole in the block, no tube, and NO WAY to see the level. Too smeared. Makes me wonder if that's why it has the sludgies. Anyone checking the stick for her in between dealer trips would see some oil on the stick and say it's "got oil". Original fill and recommendation in the O.G. was 5W30, 10W30, and 10W40. SJ/SG. That why it's sludged? Oil back then, 7500 OCI, jeez.. [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
571
Location
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Same for 2L Mazda Protege. Tiny round wire, bends in the tube, smears everywhere,... It is still new so at least it doesn't consume much. Now I transfer new oil from jugs into qt bottle to measure exactly the amount it needs.
 
Messages
853
Location
east TN
The engineering must be superior in my 91 Dodge and 98 Ford because the dipsticks work fine. All of these modern high tech cars and the dipstick does not work? I wonder about the future of cars.
 
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