There are so many reasons why you need to learn the process of removing oil dipstick tube from Chevy 350, and it isn't just because your Chevy 350 dipstick tube got broken.
Usually, the Chevy 350 Dipstick tube comes with a rubber top and can be located at the driver side in old Chevy engines, while modern Chevy engine has their dipstick tube located at the rear side.
However, this is the stage where a lot of people meet a dead end; their Chevy 350 oil dipstick, for some reason, does not open despite their best effort.
While such a situation may seem frustrating, it is not uncommon as there have been a lot of situations where owners of Chevy 350 engines have extreme difficulty removing their oil dipstick tube.
Some may even end up with a stuck dipstick and a broken handle due to their insistent use of force when removing the dipstick.
Whichever reason may have led to you having a stuck Chevy 350 oil dipstick tube, knowing how to remove it without having to call a mechanic is the purpose of this article.
How to Remove Oil Dipstick Tube from Chevy 350:
Firstly, you should understand the common factors responsible for not being able to remove a Chevy 350, and they include the following, which the article will be addressing
Difficulty of Locating The Dipstick Tube
If this is the issue you are having, then locating the dipstick tube in a Chevy 350 isn't so difficult. You can find the location of the dipstick in the sections below.
A Stuck Dipstick
The most likely reason you would end up with a difficult-to-remove dipstick is due to it getting stuck. There are a lot of things that could lead to a stuck dipstick, and they include the following:
Grime and sludge buildup
Most causes of a stuck dipstick tube are if it has been left unchecked for too long. This is not a good sign as it also means that your vehicle has been running on bad oil.
Sludge builds up due to a change in oil's Viscosity caused by it lubricating the moving components of the Chevrolet. The more the oil viscosity increases, the more difficult it would be for the used-up oil to carry out its proper function.
Sludge would naturally begin to grow, and this ends up holding up the dipstick tube. The longer this process takes, the more difficult it becomes to remove the sludge.
An engine that overheats spells a lot of trouble for a dipstick tube. An abnormal rise in your Chevrolet engine temperature would badly affect the rubber o rings of the dipstick, which could be a real problem.
As stated, the rings are made of rubbers and can melt with heat, fuse to the metal dipstick tube and create a seriously jammed dipstick. It is virtually impossible to remove the dipstick when this happens, and a deliberate approach will be needed.
Inferior Quality Materials
A common reason why you may end up with a stuck oil dipstick tube is if you have an off-brand or knock-out replacement that is of inferior quality to the normal factory Chevy 350 dipstick tube.
These types of dipstick tubes are often less resistant to engine vibrations and temperature and may lead to a number of problems like melted O-rings and a broken handle to leave your dipstick tube stuck.
How to Remove a Stuck Oil Dipstick Tube
Before taking a more technical route in trying to remove your Chevy 350 oil dipstick tube, you have to go the basic way, and this method only needs your hands.
A bit of advice to note, however, is that you should never attempt to forcefully yank out the dipstick as you would only end up with a broken handle top and the remaining metal part of the dipstick tube firmly stuck inside the engine.
- Try to loosen the stuck dipstick tube by turning the handle in a back and forth circle.
- Once you gain little movement, apply lubricant richly on the dipstick Generously. Any engine-friendly lubricant will do, so it is really no big deal.
- Give the lubricant 2 minutes to settle in and repeat the circular motion. You should feel the tube loosening. Continue till you can comfortably pull out.
If the tube still doesn't budge after following the above steps, you would need a more drastic approach. The Catch here is that you will need to deliberately pull off the handle to make it work. Once you do this, you will end up with a broken and stuck oil dipstick tube.
How to Remove a Broken Oil Dipstick Tube
Okay, this one is a bit difficult than just having a stuck dipstick tube, and the reason is pretty obvious, it is broken and stuck.
You can, however, remove it though.
Mostly when the dipstick tube is broken, most of its metal parts will still be stuck in, and there are different ways to take it out. You will learn very basic methods to more advanced ones to know how to remove the stuck dipstick tube.
The basic methods require only basic tools that you can get from your garage. The advanced ones are not actually advanced but will have you spend a couple of bucks.
Hammer & Screwdrivers Method
This is one of the most basic approaches to remove the stuck and broken dipstick tube.
- To remove the stuck metal, you would need a flathead screwdriver, a small hammer, and pliers.
- Place the flat head screwdriver on the tip of the broken metal and hit gently. You would need to hit for at least 5 - 7 minutes. Hitting the metal helps loosen the grip. Once you feel the dipstick move more loosely, pull up with a plier.
This approach will work if sludge and heat are the cause of your stuck dipstick tube.
Magnetic Pick-Up Tool
You will need to buy a magnetic tool to make this work.
Use a telescopic magnetic pickup tool to magnet the dipstick tube. You would need to ensure that the tool has made firm contact with the dipstick.
Pull the tool. Your dipstick will follow also
This method will work if sludge is not the major cause of your dipstick getting stuck.
Use a Threaded Screw
- Get a bolt that can fit into the hole of the stuck metal. It would need to have an exact circumference with the dipstick tube. Its thread also need to firmly hold your dipstick
- The depth of the bolt should be as deep as the broken rubber handle would reach. It could be deeper. This is to ensure that there is a firm grip.
- Pull out gently but firmly
This method may be a bit complicated as you will need to look for a bolt that fits when shopping. You can always ask the vendor
Chevy 350 Oil Dipstick Location
For a 19" stick, the Chevy 350 dipstick is not a small item, but as you already know, the size is really nothing if you are going to try to locate it from the outside of your engine.
The truth is that the answer to this question isn't so straightforward. Older Chevy engines had the dipsticks on the driver side. It is usually located at the side of the block between 5 & 7.
Newer Chevy 350 engines now have a dipstick tube on the passenger side of the oil pan.
How to Install Oil Dipstick Tube Chevy 350
When attempting to install the Chevy 350 dipstick tube, you would need to be careful and sure of what you are doing to avoid damaging your engine. While the steps of installations are easy, missing them up could hold grave consequences.
Remove the old dipstick and the dipstick tube from the engine block.
Thoroughly clean the opening in the block to make it ready for the new dipstick to be installed
Put the new dipstick straight into the block.
Apply a considerable amount of lubricant into the O-rings on the dipstick and insert it into the block. The dipstick seals at the bottom of the handle at the O-rings.
Note: Before installation, you have to make sure that the factory GM lower dipstick tube (is installed in the block before using an aftermarket dipstick. Failure to install this tube can result in damage to the dipstick or to the engine.
Oil Dipstick Tube Replacement Cost
There are different platforms to get a nice Chevy 350 oil dipstick if you are considering a replacement. Their prices differ a little but generally fall in the same range.
Fydun: fydun sells for $25.39
Summit Racing Equipment: This platform sells between $23.00 to $25.00
Auto Zone: Auto Zone sells at $21.99
Replacing a Chevy 350 oil dipstick tube is quite pricey, and it is advisable to try to maintain the one you already have to save cost.
One of the top ways to maintain your Dipstick tube is to check your oil level regularly. You can do this by regular manual checks and reading your pressure sensor.
If you are to use your pressure sensor, you have to be sure that it is always working as a bad sensor will send deceiving signals on the oil level and Viscosity.
It is essential you know how to test bad oil pressure sensors if you notice that your manual check-up does not coincide with your pressure signal.
1. How do you remove an oil dipstick tube?
You will need to locate the dipstick tube. Grab it at the base and firmly twist it back and forth till it loosens. If this does not work, you could use a vise-grip plier but be careful, so you do not cause any damage.
2. Can you drive with a broken oil dipstick tube?
You need to avoid this situation by all means. There are a lot of consequences that come with this, as oil could spill out, mess up your car and even cause damage to your engine if there is massive oil spillage.
3. What happens if you don't put the dipstick back in?
There may be a little bit of damage if debris gets in. However, there is barely any damage if the situation is quickly noticed.
4. Can oil come out of the dipstick?
Once secured, oil cannot spill out.
5. How do you remove a broken dipstick?
You could use any of the methods provided in the "Broken Dipstick Tube" section.
6. Can you drive without a dipstick tube?
No. it is not advisable to drive without a dipstick tube as you risk damaging the engine.
Removing an oil dipstick tube from a Chevy 350 doesn't have to be hard, and you definitely do not need a mechanic to make it works as you can apply the simple to implement methods outlined in this self-help guide.
With more than three scenarios of removing the dipstick tube, you will be able to remove your dipstick tube even if it is stuck or has a broken handle. In the end, you eventually save important cash that you would have spent for a replacement.
While these methods have been tested and shown to work, it is essential to note that implementing preventive measures is the best way to ensure your dipstick tube lasts better.
You should always take it upon yourself to check if your car is running an abnormal temperature and fix it immediately. Leaving it that way for long will eventually melt your dipstick tube rubber O-rings and fuse the metal dipstick.
Also, ensure that you perform adequate and regular servicing of your Chevy 350 to prevent game and sludge buildup.