I'm a dipstick dipstick - North American Motoring

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I'm a dipstick dipstick

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2003, 06:57 PM
OmToast
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I couldn't find a thread dedicated to the many theories of the MINI dipstick, and the one thread in which I found this topic imbedded wasn't helpful, so here's my swan song:

I can't read the dang thing!!!!

I wiped, dipped, wiped, dipped and so on for a good 5 minutes this afternoon. I generally go by pooling oil in the little grooves, but today I got a coating of oil in the grooves, but the only pooling was at the very bottom of the little plastic thing.

So, should I go by pooling, or coverage?

Who in their right mind designed the thing? It's bloody awful!

Help? :???:
 
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2003, 07:35 PM
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I dont really know, when I changed my oil 2 weeks ago I had a hard time reading it as well. Just try to get a good angle on the light so it shines on the stick and oil. It'll probably take a few minutes for you to be sure.
 
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Old 11-02-2003, 07:46 PM
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Try this. Park the MINI on a level surface during the day (for best light). Pull the dipstick and wipe dry with a clean rag (cloth). Wait 5-10 minutes to let all oil in the dipstick tube to drip down completely. Then insert the dipstick fully to the bottom and count 2 seconds then quickly pull the dipstick out and read the level where the oil completely covers the end no just a few streaks at the edges. You might need to look for the shiny reflections if the oil is fairly clean and new. Usually this is easy with darker oil.

Good luck.
 
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:13 PM
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I agree...what a dip "*****" dipstick. Totally useless With new oil, it's next to impossible to read. Good for 10,000 year old black crude readn. I'm ready to mod this piece of crap with a piece of welded metal blade like i'm used to.

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Old 11-02-2003, 08:18 PM
OmToast
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So then I should read for coverage, rather than pooling?


 
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:23 PM
Chitown_COOP
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Uh...yeah, I guess so, OM. (And welcome back by the way!) I think these dipsticks are absolutely idiotic. The problem is that the little bumpies tend to have a sort of capillary action that (IMHO) draws the oil up higher, so that it looks like there is more in there than there really is. I'll take a crappy GM dipstick any day of the week. Oh...and why the %*&@ did they make the dipstick orange...not too far off from the look of fresh oil??? Why not make it white at least, so we could see the oil against it? What is the MATTER with these people!?!?
 
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Old 11-02-2003, 11:15 PM
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minihune
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Well if white is any better can we not paint our yellow dipstick? Use a plastic friendly undercoat or primer and then paint white heat resistance paint as is used on engines or brake calipers?

Also what about aftermarket dipsticks with the MINI logo on it. Any have one of those and is it any better than the stock dipstick?
 
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:28 AM
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Om

I agree with you about the dipstick. Why they would design one that is so hard to read is plain silly. Does anyone know of a more user friendly aftermarket dipstick?

 
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Old 11-03-2003, 03:00 AM
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>> Oh...and why the %*&@ did they make the dipstick orange...not too far off from the look of fresh oil??? Why not make it white at least, so we could see the oil against it? What is the MATTER with these people!?!?

I don't know about your dipstick, but on mine only the handle is yellow. The dipstick itself is a grey metal. The yellow handle is pretty standard in late model cars, at least in my experience. All of my VW's have had a yellow or orange handle, as does my new Nissan.

I have never had any problem reading my MC's oil level, even with new oil, just pull it out, wipe it, put it back in and check to see how far up the oil is clinging. I just checked mine in the dark in my carport. At least it's easier to get in and out that the stupid one in my Frontier. My Frontier's dipstick is a little metal block attached to a long piece of stiff metal cable.
 
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2003, 04:25 AM
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>>I don't know about your dipstick, but on mine only the handle is yellow. The dipstick itself is a grey metal. The yellow handle is pretty standard in late model cars, at least in my experience..
>>

On my 02 MCS the dipstick the handle is yellow, the shaft is fiberglass and the tip is yellow. The tip itself is very short about 1 inch and only half of that is graduated to read the level of oil. A very poor design.




 
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2003, 06:59 AM
OmToast
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Minitron... how did you wind up with a metal dipstick??? I'll tell you what, since I wouldn't want you to miss out on any aspect of MINI ownership, I'd be willing to trade you dipsticks. Now, I wouldn't make this offer to just anyone, so consider this your lucky day...

And thanks for the welcome, Chi!
 
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:10 AM
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They've been making cars for 100+ years with internal combustion engines. Yet now some dipsh*t wants to redesign the dipstick.

Note to dipsh*t: Add - Full lines are useful, little orange "caplets" ain't. Did Chris Bangle work on this part of the MINI??!!

Yes, the MINI dipstick is a frustrating measuring tool. I don't find it user friendly in the least.
 
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2003, 07:25 AM
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Old 11-03-2003, 08:08 AM
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All synthetic oils are very difficult to read when fresh - they are almost clear. If you are having a hard time, take a piece of tisue or paper towel, and lay the oil coated dipstick on the paper. It will change color to the point where the oil is on the dipstick.

Allan


 
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:11 PM
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>>Minitron... how did you wind up with a metal dipstick??? I'll tell you what, since I wouldn't want you to miss out on any aspect of MINI ownership, I'd be willing to trade you dipsticks. Now, I wouldn't make this offer to just anyone, so consider this your lucky day...

Don't know why mine is different. I have a July 03 build MC. When I saw this thread I had to go double check wat my dipstick is like. The MC they gave me to drive while they were doing the dealer prep on my car had the same metal dipstick.
 
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:42 PM
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... there were a couple of threads awhile ago that debated this: there are two diferent part numbers and the Cooper and Cooper 'S' are not the same - the Cooper has a metal one and the 'S' stick is plastic.
 
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2003, 03:01 PM
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>> ... there were a couple of threads awhile ago that debated this: there are two diferent part numbers and the Cooper and Cooper 'S' are not the same - the Cooper has a metal one and the 'S' stick is plastic.

I think they are differenct numbers because they are different lengths and go to different locations on the engine for easy access.

As I was reading this thread for the third time I had a thought of some commercial or silly skit like Mr.Bean where he gets frustrated so much that he tries looking at it, then squinting, the using a magnifying glass hand held then a really big magnifying glass, then medical magnifying head band mounted lenses and finally he just tastes it and nods it's OK and puts it back in and closes the bonnet.

 
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:25 PM
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I have an 04 MCS. The dipstick is metal but the tip (in the oil) is yellow plastic and hard to read. It has a square cross section with a waffle like texture. The handle, by the way, says "BMW"----did someone switch this on me?
 
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:38 PM
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Sndwave asked:

<< Does anyone know of a more user friendly aftermarket dipstick?>>

Well I 've got the same problem as the rest of you in that I can't read it either. So last week I ordered a replacement from Moss Mini. I got it with a Blue mini wings emblem on it. It looked great, but guess what? It was worse than the original. I had a harder time reading it than the original. Not only that but it was 1/4 inch too long (which would throw the reading off for sure) and was little devil to get out. I had to tug and pull on it for ages. To Moss Mini's credit they accepted it back no questions asked and refunded my shipping costs (just got a confirmation letter off them today as a matter of fact).

So to answer your question...no I don't know of one, but just thought I'd suggest that you don't try Moss Mini's.

Somebody please make one with a nice smooth reading area with one line top and one line bottom. I'd buy it in a flash.

Ken


 
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Old 11-03-2003, 09:54 PM
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The difference between the dipstick reading full and empty is really only about a single quart, so it really does not make much difference trying to get an exact reading on the dipstick.

Yucca's official guide to reading the weird yellow dipstick:

If the waffle bits are oily, then you are fine.

If only the tip has oil, then add 1/2 quart and check again. Add a little more if needed.


 
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  #21  
Old 11-04-2003, 05:37 AM
OmToast
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efc...Thanks for the warning on the MossMINI dipstick. Amazing to think that it could be made any worse!

Yucca... Good dipstick advice, thanks! :smile:
 
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Old 11-04-2003, 05:46 AM
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>>The difference between the dipstick reading full and empty is really only about a single quart, so it really does not make much difference trying to get an exact reading on the dipstick.
>>
>>Yucca's official guide to reading the weird yellow dipstick:
>>
>>If the waffle bits are oily, then you are fine.
>>
>>If only the tip has oil, then add 1/2 quart and check again. Add a little more if needed.
>>
>>
your good at this dipstick reading, you got a oil leak or something
 
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  #23  
Old 11-04-2003, 07:17 AM
Chitown_COOP
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I'm just glad that my vision is pretty good. I can't imagine how hard it would be to read this dipstick if your eyesight wasn't great. I'm squinting like crazy trying to see the oil on the "waffle," and it's really hard. the real problem is right after an oil change, when the oil is translucent and essentially the same color as the stupid tip of this stupid dipstick. After a thousand miles or so, then I can actually check my oil!

Does no one else like my theory of the waffle being problematic because of the "capillary action" of the dots and the spaces between the dots, drawing the reading up higher than it actually is? :???:
 
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:46 AM
OmToast
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I like your theory, Chi...

And it could explain the uneven distribution of oil over the little plastic nib, could it not? Back to ye olde covereage v. pooling issue...

I've got to say, however, that I'm willing to read this thing any way someone tells me to. I'm willing to be a sheep in this instance. Baaaa.
 
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  #25  
Old 11-07-2003, 12:41 AM
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I have a question-am I doing something wrong- I cannot pull out the dipstick to check my oil- does it pull straight up or does it twist?? Help. 03MCS
 
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