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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my truck back from the dealer after they pulled the oil pan and then re-sealed and reinstalled it. I tried to check engine oil tonight and the dipstick would not come out. It will pull past the 2 O-rings and it actually comes out about 1 inch, enough to get past the plastic piece and then it is stuck. I tried twisting it which it does do in both directions and pulling / jerking it fairly hard at each position on the clock and it is definitely hung up on something. I have had it out many times before and there has never been an issue with it hanging up on something when pulling it out. This is just too bizarre. Has anyone come across such a thing before? I did a search on "stuck dipstick" and "dipstick" but nothing relevant showed up.
 

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I just got my truck back from the dealer after they pulled the oil pan and then re-sealed and reinstalled it. I tried to check engine oil tonight and the dipstick would not come out. It will pull past the 2 O-rings and it actually comes out about 1 inch, enough to get past the plastic piece and then it is stuck. I tried twisting it which it does do in both directions and pulling / jerking it fairly hard at each position on the clock and it is definitely hung up on something. I have had it out many times before and there has never been an issue with it hanging up on something when pulling it out. This is just too bizarre. Has anyone come across such a thing before? I did a search on "stuck dipstick" and "dipstick" but nothing relevant showed up.
I wouldn't pull too hard on it. Since it's obviously caused by the recent dealer work I'd take it right back to them.
 

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Since it pulls part way, and twists, I would think it almost has to be bent at the end. Perhaps a cruel joke by the technician. Clearly it needs to go back.

By the way, I would insist upon watching whoever pulls it out for two reasons

1. to assure I was not crazy
2. to assure they dont damage your truck by leaving part of the dipstick in the pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the reply.
Yes it is a strange one and great advice re: insisting on witnessing the removal process. I'll bring it back on Monday to see what they make of it. Since I can't look at the tip of the dip stick/cable I can't inspect it closely to discern what part of it could get hung up but I don't recall any edges etc...that could get caught on anything. Is it possible a dipstick from another model could have been put in and if yes, are any of them designed in such a different way that they could get hung up on something? If the dipstick was laying across the sealing surface of the oil pan, there would be a major leak going on right now so it can't be that. It's all the stranger in that it pulls out about an inch and twists freely.
So far after about 20 miles the bottom of the motor is dry so I think/hope the oil pan gasket sealer did the trick. I'll let you guys know later in the day tomorrow what this turned out to be.
 

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My guess that there is some sort of goo stuck to the end of the dipstick. When you pull it out, the goo gets stuck at the first bottleneck. When they worked on the oil pan they were careless with the sealant.
 

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Agree with above..........
Also from your other posting:
Can't be a coincidence that dealer just pulled/replaced oil pan, and now you have a stuck dip stick. DON'T try to fix this yourself. Just take it back to them & assert that the dip stick was fine BEFORE their work, and now won't come out. I suspect they bent something when they did the work. In order to 'pull' the pan properly, you have to remove a bunch of stuff, including the frame submember, if I'm not mistaken. They might have tried to just loosen the pan & apply the "goop" without actually removing the pan & cleaning the area. IF they did that, I could see how moving the pan around like that 'might' cause some issues.
In any case, SOMETHING got screwed up, and I'd be taking it back to them with a "WTF?" look on my face.

(Previously Replied here:)
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1533073&postcount=12
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I brought it in today. Three different techs, pulled, twisted, fiddled, scratched their heads etc...and could not figure it out. I stood there in the bay the whole time and watched all their moves and listened to all conversation. The tech who did the job (a master tech) got the comeback. Then he unbolted the valve cover and was able to get a flexible, lighted scope (think colonoscopy) into the very limited opening allowed by the small amount of play in the dipstick and said the galley looked fine and no obstructions that he could see, therefore the issue had to be further down. At this point he was resigned to pulling the oil pan. So I left the bay and a shuttle driver took me home. Half way home, the driver gets a call from the dealership and they say come back, they got the dipstick out. Alex, the master tech who did the job and was about to redo the job said less than a minute after I left, another tech came over to look at the problem, he grabbed the dipstick and it "just pulled right out". They said just to be sure it doesn't happen again, they gave me a different "used" dipstick and they allegedly showed me the original one that was stuck. There were no witness marks on the cable or tip where something had been pinched or stuck and there was no gasket goop residue on it. From the time I walked away from the truck to the time we got the phone call was about 10 minutes, and then another 10 minute return trip. It could have taken 8 minutes for the tech to tell the service advisor and then the service advisor to track down the cell number of the driver. Or maybe the delay in making contact was to "clean up the crime scene". They sent me away with everything is fine, no problem. I insisted on paperwork for the visit explaining what had occurred so that there is an established history in their system of the dipstick getting stuck and noted by customer with a phone call within 24 hrs of receipt of the vehicle after an oil pan repair and then customer bringing vehicle to dealership the next day the dealership was open. I still have no idea what happened and the dealership is saying the same, whether they know more than they are telling me or not. I don't think there is anything else I can or could have done.
 

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Im glad they got it out, but I think what I feared would happen actually did happen. They waited till you weren't there then yanked the #$%^&&* out of it. At least you have it all written down.

I have to say I'm a little bit worried there is some piece of metal or silicone roaming around in your oil pan. Might want to do a quick oil change for good measure. Hopefully it was all just a fluke.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I think I will call them tomorrow and ask for a free oil change to remove anything that might have come loose during the extraction. Because we all know, something "gave" in order for, it to free up and come out. Whether that is a piece of silicone or a piece of metal on that pathway down to the oil pan or a part of the dipstick that they didn't show me.

They charge $27 for oil and filter change and I just paid for that exact thing when they did the oil pan job. I don't think it's asking too much for them to do it again, no charge for the customer's peace of mind. I will watch them drain and pour in the new oil.

I have been surprised that during my many recent visits to this dealer, I have never been asked to leave the shop area. I alway wait behind a cinder block half wall until the vehicle is up on the lift and they have had 30 seconds to walk under it. Then, when there is no vehicle traffic, I make my way across the shop floor to the lift and engage the technician. I enter the area like I belong there, I am respectful of their time, I know where to position myself so I am not in the way or in an unsafe area that the tech will have to worry about. I don't ask for permission to be there. I've done this 4 times now and not once have I been challenged to leave the work area or to not talk with the techs because I am distracting them or slowing them down or that the dealer's insurance doesn't cover me in the shop area etc.... I did not think I could get away with this behavior in a corporate type shop area.
 

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We're you able to compare the length of the dip stick they trade you for against the original? From some not too distant posts I seem to remember there are several different lengths out there.
 

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I'm imagining the "how" of your experience, and I'm wondering if there isn't a "stand-off" wall or sheet metal skirt around the inside edges of our oil pans? If the dip stick was in when they put the pan back on, and IF there was any "channel" space like that around the edge for the dip stick to get caught up in, (a lot of ifs), then they might have snagged the tip of the stick in that side channel, and since it's flexible, got it "bound up" in that area as they pulled it to the side to align & install the fasteners.... at which time there may have been enough side force (from the tip being pulled/stuck over to the side) to cause the binding as you tried to pull it back out (it wouldn't be able to come "straight" out, but would be getting pulled up against the inner wall / tube opening at the bottom of the stick tube).

Possible....???? Maybe a pretty big stretch........... I just can't imagine anything else causing this, other than a mechanical binding down at the other end of the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When i was in the shop with 3 other techs looking, pulling and discussing the issue, Alex, the master tech that did the oil pan job did confirm while discussing his procedure with the other techs on the oil pan job that he had specifically moved the dip stick cable (which was in place) to the side to keep it away from a position that could cause problems. He sounded like he was pretty familiar with the procedure and the precautions necessary to do the job correctly. But it obviously got hung up on something and it got released by pulling from the top because they did not drop the oil pan. I did talk to the service writer today that I usually deal with (he was off yesterday) and told him the whole story, asked for a oil and filter change at no charge and he agreed to this. I bring it in tomorrow, Wednesday for this. I asked if he could check around with the techs to find out the "real story". He said he would but I understand it is not in his best interest to confide in me. I don't sign his paychecks. And maybe the truth is, the last guy to check the cable, knowing if he did not get it out or if he broke it trying, they were going to drop the oil pan anyways so they could retrieve the broken cable or whatever at that time. So why not pull with everything you got at that point?
 

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At this point I think you have gotten as far as you will get with the dealer. Keep your records and hope for the best.
 

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When i was in the shop with 3 other techs looking, pulling and discussing the issue, Alex, the master tech that did the oil pan job did confirm while discussing his procedure with the other techs on the oil pan job that he had specifically moved the dip stick cable (which was in place) to the side to keep it away from a position that could cause problems. He sounded like he was pretty familiar with the procedure and the precautions necessary to do the job correctly. But it obviously got hung up on something and it got released by pulling from the top because they did not drop the oil pan. I did talk to the service writer today that I usually deal with (he was off yesterday) and told him the whole story, asked for a oil and filter change at no charge and he agreed to this. I bring it in tomorrow, Wednesday for this. I asked if he could check around with the techs to find out the "real story". He said he would but I understand it is not in his best interest to confide in me. I don't sign his paychecks. And maybe the truth is, the last guy to check the cable, knowing if he did not get it out or if he broke it trying, they were going to drop the oil pan anyways so they could retrieve the broken cable or whatever at that time. So why not pull with everything you got at that point?
That (bold above) is telling info. I would be that he pushed it to the side & "hung it" on something to keep it out of the way... knowing it get pulled back into position when it was pulled up (or he intended to move it back but just forgot, and knew it was not a problem... again because it would return to position when pulled up). BUT, while it is flexible, it may very well have retained some position "memory" after being bent/stressed to the side? Maybe enough so that it was able to snag on the bottom end of the tube when you pulled on it.... and if it was just the side of the stick that was catching (due to the 'bend' in the cable), it could have finally just released when enough pressure was applied to get it past that 'snag'. 'Might have snagged where flex transitions to the lower 'solid' portion. Makes sense to me anyway, given he pushed it over out of it's natural position while they did the work.
'Idiot should have just pulled the dip stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes Dnick, I agree, why not just pull out the dipstick as part of standard operating procedures to avoid having to do any special operations on the bottom end and then remember to undo that special placement of the end of the dip stick cable before closing things up. Well they did my oil and filter change today gratis. The service writer had not gotten any intel from the shop on what "really" happened as far as the dip stick extraction. The oil leak (from oil pan seal) has stopped so I am happy with that. Now the only thing hanging over my head is the engine light - P0430 code - catalytic converter. This first came on last year and went away. It came on again in December, stayed awhile longer, then went away. I had them replace the upstream O2 sensor when they did the oil pan. The light was not on when I brought it in, it was not on when I got it back, but about 100 miles later the light came on again and has stayed on now for a few days. So what do you think. Do I need to replace the cat that the code refers to? No noticeable difference in performance or mileage. Can I wait this out until I have a more significant performance symptom or should I just get it done now? I plan to keep this truck forever so I don't want to damage it by waiting too long if the cat needs replacement and the job will need to be done in the next 6 months anyway. Dnick or anyone else, what do you think?
 

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You said they replaced the "upstream" O2 sensor. Was it the one on the bank identified by the code you got?? There are 2 "upstream" O2 sensors, one for each bank of cylinders/exhaust manifold. If you are going to have to be replacing the Cat Converter anyway, I'd be replacing all of the O2 sensors first (there are 4 total). You really don't want old ones on there anyway with a new Cat.
So what have you got to lose? Change the O2 sensors first, and see if the code goes away.
As far as "do I need to do it now?"..... I'm not sure how a bad cat & resultant O2 readings effects the ECM for your fuel/engine management. I've not read/heard anything in particular that is ominous running a bad cat (or no cat at all for that matter).... but you won't pass an emissions test with a bad one. So depending on where you live, that might end up being your trigger to bite the bullet. 'Could be you might get poorer performance/economy in the mean time. If you are Eco-sensitive, that might drive you to make the repairs.
Maybe someone more knowledgeable about emissions & the Cat/ECM effect will chime in on just how necessary it is to get this fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The code referred to the front, left bank, radiator side CAT. I made a mistake and had them replace the lower O2 sensor and not the top A/F sensor (also referred to as top O2 sensor). So I think I will order one, get the O2 sensor socket tool and try replacing it myself. It looks rusted on pretty good and I hear there is some technique for getting the connector unhooked from the metal bracket. Apparently it has to come off the metal bracket first and then the connector can be pinched and separated from the other side of the switch receptacle. I just looked and felt around it and can't see how to separate the connectors from the bracket. Any advice on this is appreciated.

No inspections in my part of the state, Columbus, Ohio, but there are emission inspections for vehicles in the Cleveland area.

I'll try this upper O2 sensor and see if that takes care of the light, if not I'll probably get the cat replaced now so I won't have to mess with it later.
 

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The code referred to the front, left bank, radiator side CAT. I made a mistake and had them replace the lower O2 sensor and not the top A/F sensor (also referred to as top O2 sensor). So I think I will order one, get the O2 sensor socket tool and try replacing it myself. It looks rusted on pretty good and I hear there is some technique for getting the connector unhooked from the metal bracket. Apparently it has to come off the metal bracket first and then the connector can be pinched and separated from the other side of the switch receptacle. I just looked and felt around it and can't see how to separate the connectors from the bracket. Any advice on this is appreciated.

No inspections in my part of the state, Columbus, Ohio, but there are emission inspections for vehicles in the Cleveland area.

I'll try this upper O2 sensor and see if that takes care of the light, if not I'll probably get the cat replaced now so I won't have to mess with it later.
I'd bet a buck anyway that your new O2 will quell your code/light. There is a very recent post here about that O2 connector bracket.... you should find it easily scanning recent posts. Those sensors usually look a whole lot more stuck than they actually are. If you can get a box end wrench on it (don't remember if there's clearance or not) you might be able to get it off w/o the special tool (you can cut wires on the old sensor)...... but it's good to have the tool anyway; probably won't be the last O2 sensor you change out & they are convenient to use. Whether the box will work to tighten the new one is another question (will connector fit through box, etc)... you could get away with open end, but the O2 socket is your best bet all around, and they are readily available and not expensive.
You might also try a crow-foot box end wrench, if you already have one.
Be sure to screw the new one in place before you connect the connector end... so you don't end up twisting the wires/connector.
Crow Foot Wrench:
 
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