Re: Defective dipstick 1998 Avalon

"badgolferman" <REMOVETHISbadgolferman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:xn0eh17n55ekfo8000@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Danny L., 1/9/2006,8:45:08 AM, wrote:

I have a somewhat bizzare problem, which is that my dipstick doesn't
read accurately anymore.  I seem to get a long thin trail up about
half the length of the dipstick, instead of a nice solid reading at
the bottem where it's supposed to be.

I'm pretty sure this started when I got it back from a shop in the
summer, I'm afraid they may have overfilled my engine oil?  Anyways,
when I did my own change last month, I let it drain a long time and
very carefully filled to what the engine + filter capacity is.  The
car has never burned oil, so I'm not worried about the level getting
low, but I would prefer to have a functioning dipstick.

Any thoughts on causes / cures?

What do you think the capacity is? The six-cylinder takes at least 5 quarts. I would say let it sit for an hour or so before determining the true level.

Back in the Olden Days when gas was $0.32 per gallon, and the guy at the station checked the oil and filled the tires all while the gas was pumping, we got a pretty good reading off of the dipstick in under 2 minutes. Yes, there were some jerks out there that would "short stick" to sell a quart that wasn't needed, but people with integrity could see if that quart was truly needed in the time it takes to ask, "may I help you?" then go start the pump and raise the hood.

The correct method of reading any dipstick is to pull the stick and wipe it off, put it back in, then pull it out again and read it. It is common that oil will migrate up the stick while the engine is running, which can cause the oil to be pulled along the side of the stick.

The other possibility is the dipstick is not seating properly.  You
might even try another Toyota vehicle's dipstick that is the same model
as yours.

That's a possibility, but this would result in a short reading, not one where the dip stick reader would be concerned that there was too much oil. Of course, if the stick was not seated well and the person reading the stick responded by adding a quart, then the level would be high, but this wouldn't cause the oil to be drug up the side of the stick.