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Discussion Starter #1
Ive always changed my own oil, but a couple months ago I noticed that my dipstick always came out dry even though I knew it had plenty of oil and wasnt leaking. (I have an oil pressure gauge that while not perfect, is pretty reliable) The first time I pull the dipstick out after driving and letting it sit for a bit, it will have oil on it, but no matter how long I wait afterward the dipstick will remain dry until the car drives again.

I had a local place do my last oil change and they didnt notice anything wrong, but still to this day I have the same problem.

Could there be a clog or something that is somehow preventing oil from getting to the dipstick, except when the car is driven, and whats something I can do to check things out?
 

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you could take an air blower and blow air down the dipstick tube. I've honestly never heard of this problem before so I'm at a loss. The oil pan isn't hard to remove and will give you a definitive answer. I advise you to take the dipstick down with the pan because the dealer says they always get stuck and corrode into the pan, which mine did.

Could get the oil nice and hot and then change it, that should flush out anything in there.
 

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Levee
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Ive always changed my own oil, but a couple months ago I noticed that my dipstick always came out dry even though I knew it had plenty of oil and wasnt leaking. (I have an oil pressure gauge that while not perfect, is pretty reliable) The first time I pull the dipstick out after driving and letting it sit for a bit, it will have oil on it, but no matter how long I wait afterward the dipstick will remain dry until the car drives again.

I had a local place do my last oil change and they didnt notice anything wrong, but still to this day I have the same problem.

Could there be a clog or something that is somehow preventing oil from getting to the dipstick, except when the car is driven, and whats something I can do to check things out?
umm, no, your dipstick actually runs right into your crank case through the oil pan. the stick itself goes into the oil pan in the oil storage. The only thing that could be causing something like that is you having oil gallies clogged and the oil isn't returning to the crank fast enough.
 

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Levee
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tear down and rebuild. that's honestly the only way to clean it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Damn. Thats something Im def not prepared to do myself and dont want to pay someone to do...Ill have to pull the pan off at least next time I change the oil just to see what it looks like in there.
 

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If you put 4.7liters or 5 quarts it should mark full on the dipstick if you also changed the filter on a 2.2l. Make sure you check the oil on a level plain. New oil is hard to see on the dipstick especially synthetic. Also there are so many ways for the oil to return to the pan that it is almost impossible for any amount of oil to stay anywhere for more than 20 seconds.
 

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Levee
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If you put 4.7liters or 5 quarts it should mark full on the dipstick if you also changed the filter on a 2.2l. Make sure you check the oil on a level plain. New oil is hard to see on the dipstick especially synthetic. Also there are so many ways for the oil to return to the pan that it is almost impossible for any amount of oil to stay anywhere for more than 20 seconds.
This is true, unless 80% of those ways are clogged.

OP, the only other thing that would cause oil to not show on the dipstick is the oil level being too low and the engine while running the oil pump has enough to push oil through to keep it from being super starved of oil, but it not having enough left in the crank case to show on the dipstick.
 

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I was just about to post that :p

I'm hoping your checking your oil on a level surface with the engine off. Seems like common sense but some people just don't know if they haven't been around cars
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yea, Ive checked it at home and work now and both times were on a flat surface. Im not due for another oil change for a couple months or so, so now Im concerned whether something could go wrong between now and then.
 

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If it's not marking on the dip stick you need oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something Ive noticed, and just assumed was because the car is over 100k miles, is that the engine bay does have more of a smell to it despite being maintained/cleaned like always. Ive never noticed any smoke, the coolant temps seem to be same as always, and I know theres no oil leaking anywhere I park, so could there be oil burning or leaking somewhere internally?

My oil pressure gauge doesnt seem to be reading any lower than normal is the thing, so Im concerned about adding too much oil.
 

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Oil pressure has nothing to do with Oil level.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Any idea what kind of cost Id be looking at by having a local shop do a tear down and rebuild? Changing fluids and simple maintenance is all that Im comfortable doing myself really. Im working my way towards replacing this car, but need it to be reliable in the mean time and am trying to balance the amount of money I put in it to keep it running right with how much I stand to get out of it in the end.
 

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If it was mine, I would change the oil now and measure how much come out. It sounds like it's very low on oil or the dipstick is not the correct length. Then replace with the correct amount of oil. That's the only way to know.
 

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I agree 100%. If it's fresh oil save it and pour it back plus whatever is missing. This is the only way to know for sure. You should get 4.5 quarts at least. If you get 2 quarts I'd say you either got jipped or you are losing oil somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Today or tomorrow Im going to go ahead and drain/measure the oil and see whats going on. Im going to try and drop the oil pan and maybe even pop off the valve cover just to get a look at whats in there and if its all gunked up and such. Just need to see if my local stores have the gaskets I may need to replace.

Any recommendations on what to use to clean up the sludge I may find? I know I may have to scoop n scrape some out if its there, but is there a safe chemical to use?
 

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Remove the oil filler cap, if there's no sludge there, there won't be any inside either. Drain and measure first because I'm sure you're running low.

---------- Post added at 04:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:01 PM ----------

5 quarts to fill and don't skimp.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yep, so there was barely 3 quarts in there after I added a whole quart today and a whole one last week. I havent noticed a single drop/leak anywhere, so now Im wondering where its going. Im going to check the level daily to see if it changes as I drive to work and school because if it isnt eating it, then the place that changed my oil didnt put much in.
 
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