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BMW Dipstick Broken in Tube (or in Oil Pan) – M54 and Others

November 22, 2010

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

car year: 2001
car model: 330ci
This morning on my way to work, the yellow Oil Level Light illuminated after I shut off my 2001 BMW 330Ci coupe. While the engine was still warm, I pulled the oil dip stick out to check the fluid level. When I went to wipe the existing oil off and put the stick back in, I noticed the little red plastic piece on the end of the dip stick had broken off in the dip stick tube! The service level indicator shows that the next oil change isn’t due until 1,500 miles, but what’s the risk of leaving the plastic in the tube? Should I be concerned about it making its way back into the engine somehow? If I wanted to remove the plastic piece, how would I go about doing it? Help…!

Are you sure that the end of the dipstick is, in fact, lodged in the tube versus having fallen to the bottom of the oil pan? If it is still in the tube, you can remove the tube and dislodge the tip, then reinstall the tube and insert a new dipstick. If the tip has fallen into the pan, there is a possibility that it could be drawn up to the pump pick-up. The pump pick-up does have a debris screen to prevent ingestion of foreign objects. This should prevent the tip from fully entering the oil pump. In this case, the only way to remove the tip would be to remove the oil pan. In the mean time, you can install a new dip-stick, as you will need one anyway.

The Bentley repair manual would assist you in the access and removal of the dip-stick tube and the removal of the oil pan.

Bentley repair manual:

Oil dip-stick:

Oil dipstick tube o-ring:

Oil pan gasket:

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