Can you drive a car without a dipstick? Not exactly

The answer to this question is yes. However, if you continue to drive without replacing the dipstick, you may eventually cause unnecessary damage to your engine.

Therefore, you need to learn as much as you can about the function of the dipstick and the disadvantages of driving without it.

Disadvantages of driving without a dipstick

Even though you may be tempted to continue to drive without a dipstick, this is not the best course of action. This is because there are numerous disadvantages to doing so, including the following:

No tool to Measure the Oil Level

When you buy a new or used vehicle, you need to make sure that you are checking all of the fluid levels in your car regularly, including the oil in the engine and transmission.

The only way to do this properly is to use the dipstick to see how it fluctuates. Therefore, if you are driving without a dipstick, you will not be able to check the dipstick measurements (i.e. two lines on the engine’s dipstick) to see if more fluid is needed.

Also, on the flip side, if you cannot check the oil level by using the dipstick, you may pour too much oil into your engine. Unfortunately, when this occurs, you are usually at risk of causing a wide range of problems, including the following:

  • Oil leakage
  • A burning smell coming from the engine
  • Smoke releases from the exhaust tailpipe
  • The engine makes strange noises

Excessive Loss of Oil – It will Flow out

Another critical disadvantage of driving without a dipstick is the oil flowing out of the dipstick tube. For instance, whenever there is excessive pressure inside the crankcase, the dipstick must be securely fastened in the dipstick tube so that it can work properly.

On the other hand, If the dipstick is not placed back properly or not at all, this extra pressure will begin to force excessive amounts of oil out of the dipstick tube.

Does Driving a car without an oil dipstick cause damage to the engine?

Driving a vehicle without an oil dipstick may eventually cause significant damage to the engine.

Because the oil from the engine can flow out of the dipstick tube, it may cause the engine to operate while completely dry. What’s more, when an engine runs without oil, all of the metal components in the engine will rub against each other.

And, will eventually lead to serious premature excessive wear and tear. Based on the timing and extent of the damage done, the engine may need to be repaired or replaced.

Does driving without a transmission dipstick damage it?

Driving without a transmission dipstick can be very risky. Because the transmission dipstick is used to check the fluid level in the transmission, you can’t keep track of transmission problems as they occur.

For instance, if the fluid level is low it does not necessarily mean that you are headed for disaster. However, it does mean that there may be a problem that needs to be identified.

One of the most common and troublesome is a possible leak that needs to be fixed. Simply put, if you cannot check the transmission fluid because of a missing dipstick, the loss in the transmission fluid can lead to severe damage to the transmission that no longer works.

How much does it cost to replace a dipstick?

The cost of replacing a dipstick for the engine or the transmission in your car usually varies based on several different factors. For example, you may be able to buy a new dipstick from an authorized dealer.

Or, if you choose to do so, you may purchase a dipstick from a third party that supplies them to an automobile manufacturer. In either case, the average price for a new dipstick can range from about $13 to $35 or more based on the make, model, and brand of your vehicle.


Can you drive a car without a dipstick? Yes, you can. However, several disadvantages and risk factors can cause a considerable amount of damage to the engine.

Because the function of the dipstick is to measure fluid levels, you need to know when to add fluids to the engine. Also, if you do not pour enough oil into the engine, it may cause unnecessary damage, including having to replace the engine with a new one.

To avoid these issues altogether, you should replace the dipstick before you drive your car. The cost of buying a new dipstick is very cheap, particularly as it relates to repairing or buying a new engine.

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