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  #1  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:41 AM
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Default Oil Dipstick Broken Off Inside Tube

Hi Guys,

About a week ago after checking the oil (2003 A6 Quattro 3.0 Auto), when putting the dipstick back in the tube (I guess I wasn't going perfectly straight), I put a pretty bad kink in the middle of the stick. I straightened it out and carefully put it back in the tube.

I ordered a new oil dipstick, but when I went to take out the old one this morning, unfortunately, only half of it came out...the rest of the dipstick is still down in the oil dipstick tube.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get it out? Is it possible for it to drop into the oil pan?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Mikey/
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Last edited by pookeymp; 06-20-2012 at 10:58 AM.
  #2  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:26 AM
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If there is still a few inches of the dipstick down in the tube, it won't drop any further than it has already gone and will still be in the tube. I

I'm trying to decide if there is an "easy" way to get the broken half of the dipstick out of the tube and I'm convinced that there must be, I'm just not sure what it is. The alternative is to remove the dipstick tube, which is not necessarily complicated, its just a real PITA to get, eyes, hands, tools, in the areas that you need to work in.

I will poke about and see if I can come up with the "easy" method. hopefully someone else will chime in before then. if not, be prepared for the worst. i've only ever removed my dipstick tube with the front of the car off. I think you will at least have to put the lock carrier into service position to get enough room to work in there, especially if you aren't sure what you are looking for. (search for timing belt DIY to get an idea)

good luck
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02A6Beau View Post
If there is still a few inches of the dipstick down in the tube, it won't drop any further than it has already gone and will still be in the tube.
Thanks for your response 02A6Beau, it's comforting to know that the dipstick will not go anywhere and cause any damage. For now, I'll assume I'm looking at removing the tube, unless of course, anyone has any other ideas.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:07 AM
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talked to a few mechanic types that work on cars all the time. depending on the make and model (no one was sure with our cars) there are some "easy" solutions.

if you still have some of the plastic handle left at the top a small sheet metal screw into the plastic gives you something to grab to pull the dipstick out. doesn't sound like this is going to help you.

one of those telescoping magnet deals that is small enough to fit down in the tube, might do the trick. I don't think I've seen one small enough/powerful enough to do the trick for our cars, but maybe you can find something that will work.

really powerful magnet, run it up the outside of the dipstick tube, needs to be strong enough to capture the broken off dipstick move it up and out. Not sure what kind of clearance you will be able to get for a strong magnet.

i'm not sure what the magnetic properties of an Audi dipstick are either, so none of this might work.

again, good luck
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:00 AM
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Hey 02A6Beau,

I just went out and tested the dipstick and it unfortunately has no magnetic properties at all (it didn't appear to be magnetic, but I figured let me test it out anyway).

Yesterday I picked up a 24" Pickup Tool that has a small 4-pronged claw that comes out and opens up when you push down on the head of the tool, and it then clamps down on whatever object you hover it over when you release the head. The tube part is flexible metal, but at the end where the claw extends from is about a 2" cylinder, so it wouldn't make it around the bend in the oil dipstick tube, and the other piece of the dipstick is just beyond that bend...so no luck there as well. Like you stated, the first option won't work for me because of where the dipstick broke.

It looks like taking the dipstick tube off is the answer in this case.

Thanks 02A6Beau for taking the time to look into this.
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2012, 11:18 AM
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Hey guys,

The exact same thing happened to me and I've been driving around with half a dipstick stuck in the bottom of the tube.

I tried using a shop vac at opening of the tube to try and suck it out, but I was only getting streaks of oil and quickly stopped.

@pookeymp - It looks like I'm going to have to take the tube off as well. What was the level of difficulty you experienced doing this? Did you have to put the lock carrier into the service position, or were you able to get to it from underneath?

Thanks, this is such a stupidly avoidable problem, and I'm feeling your pain.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:37 PM
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Hi Earthdan,

Sorry I cannot be helpful with any of the technical aspects of this job...I had to go out of town for a bit so I passed this job on to a local mechanic I use from time to time. I can ask him for some details if that will be helpful to you.

The last time I put the old dipstick in the tube I said to myself this is probably not a good idea, as it was already in bad shape. I figured if I was very careful putting it in, I should be ok until the new dipstick came in...no such luck.

Good luck with getting yours fixed.

Mikey/
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookeymp View Post
Hi Earthdan,

Sorry I cannot be helpful with any of the technical aspects of this job...I had to go out of town for a bit so I passed this job on to a local mechanic I use from time to time. I can ask him for some details if that will be helpful to you.

The last time I put the old dipstick in the tube I said to myself this is probably not a good idea, as it was already in bad shape. I figured if I was very careful putting it in, I should be ok until the new dipstick came in...no such luck.

Good luck with getting yours fixed.

Mikey/
thought this might help ..... Would find an item like your magnetic flexible slinky thing ... and put an epoxy/glue on the end of it and when you feel it hit/stop on top of the broken piece leave it for a certain amount of time and gentle pull it back out. (may have to cup it with glue inside of it and that way it will bond with dipstick.. be quick though as the glue will run down.. just want to be sure it runs down the plastic/wire dipstick)

YES NO ??
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2012, 03:19 PM
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Hey Guys,

Just an update to this saga. So I tried the 24" claw pick up tool and as others have found the 3" metal housing which holds the claw cannot make it around the twists in the dipstick tube. A cool tool to buy nonetheless, although for this purpose it was not effective.

I did fix the problem however. After looking at a diagram of how the tube fits into the oil pan I realized I could remove the tube, remove the broken piece of the dipstick, and then reinstall it.

In order to do this I put the car up on ramps. Removed the skidplate. Popped the hood. There is one screw that holds the dipstick to the engine block with a rubber and metal holder. This was easy enough to remove. There is another bolt that is about halfway down that fastens directly between the block and a welded brace on the dipstick tube. In order to get at this I needed to take apart the first piece of the housing that leads to the air filter box. Then to get at the screw I needed to remove the wiring harness that leads to the ignition coil.

From there I used a 13mm wrench to loosen the bolt and then the tube was now loose with regards to the engine, only attached at the bottom where it opens to the oil pan. I was able to simply twist and pull this out of the oil pan(though it was tricky to find the right leverage as everything is packed in tight around the alternator). I pulled up and voila! There was the broken piece just sitting there half resting on the bottom of the pan, with the other half resting inside the tube.

I removed it, took a break, and then went about reassembling the tube to the pan. All the steps were reversed and the only hard part is again finding the leverage to shove the bottom of the tube with the o-ring gasket back into the top of the pan. The rest was easy, and after a quick run up of the engine, I found no leaks from the connection of the tube to the pan.

Now I just have to get a new dipstick and I'm good to go!

If you have any questions get at me. I'll be happy to help.

Thanks for all your guys' feedback.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:19 PM
 
 
 
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a6, audi, belt, broke, broken, brokw, dip, dipstick, oil, pan, pics, stick, timing, tt, tube


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