No Oil on the Dipstick – Everything You Need to Know!

No oil on the dipstick is a common issue that many drivers encounter. If not addressed promptly, it could indicate serious engine issues.

However, there are steps you can take to resolve the problem. Let’s begin by exploring what a dipstick is and why it’s used for checking engine oil levels.

What’s a Dipstick?

Dipsticks are measuring devices used to test liquids or perform chemical tests. It looks like a brightly-colored metal rod with markings along one end and it’s commonplace to see one dipped into an engine oil tank to check its octane level. Engineers and mechanics often rely on dipsticks when trying to diagnose engine leaks that could have led to serious accidents.

A dipstick of superior quality is worth its weight in gold. This is the best way to prevent engine overheating, slow performance and costly repairs in the future.

Where is Dipstick Located?

No Oil on the Dipstick

Dipsticks are usually located near the engine and/or oil filter on your car’s hood. Checking engine oil is as simple as opening your hood – however, for more detailed instructions you should refer to your owner’s manual.

Most vehicles feature a dipstick on the left side of their engine that can usually be identified by pulling an orange or yellow circular handle. Once located, a long piece of metal will emerge from within the engine.

Maintaining your engine between oil changes is a great way to keep it healthy and running smoothly. But remember – only use the dipstick when your vehicle is parked on level ground and not running.

Depending on your vehicle, you might also need to check your transmission fluid. The location of this dipstick varies, but is typically found either on the passenger side of your engine bay in rear-wheel drive vehicles or the driver’s side for front-wheel drive ones.

Read Also: Can I Change My Own Oil On a Lease

How to Use a Dipstick?

No matter your experience level with car maintenance, using a dipstick is an invaluable tool. Not only is it user-friendly, but it can help determine how much oil your engine requires.

  • Before using a dipstick, ensure your car is parked on level ground and the engine is cold. Doing this helps avoid burns from hot parts.
  • Once parked, unlatch the hood and search for your dipstick. It should be a long, thin tube that fits into an engine oil filler hole.
  • Pull the dipstick out and wipe its end clean with a dry, lint-free towel or paper towel. Doing this will eliminate any excess oil that is stuck to the stick.
  • Insert the dipstick back into the tube and press it down; if there are two lines showing that there is enough motor oil.
  • If your oil levels are below the low mark, you need to add one quart of extra engine oil. Add small amounts at a time until you reach full capacity; be careful not to exceed one quart all at once as this could prove hazardous and messy.

What Causes No Oil On Dipstick?


When your car’s dipstick doesn’t show any oil, it could indicate an underlying issue. To solve the issue and restore your vehicle to optimal performance, it is essential to determine what caused the lack of oil on the dipstick and take necessary steps for restoration.

No oil on the dipstick is often due to low oil levels. If left unchecked, this condition can have devastating consequences for your engine; thus, it’s essential that you get it sorted out immediately.

Checking your oil regularly is a smart idea. That way, you’ll know when your vehicle needs an oil change so you can prevent any costly repairs in the future.

Low oil levels can also be the result of a damaged head gasket or other parts that are leaking. These leaks allow moisture and debris to seep into the engine and cause further harm.

Another possible explanation for why your engine may lack oil on the dipstick is a malfunctioning oil pump. This could lead to low oil pressure and an unpleasant odor of burning oil. You might also hear strange noises and notice warning lights for oil levels.

No Oil On Dipstick Possible Causes

If your dipstick is no longer reading the correct amount of oil, you may have cause for alarm. This issue is common among car owners and may indicate a larger issue that needs addressing.

Engine oil is vital to the health of your car engine, just as blood is to your body. It provides a protective layer between moving parts that reduces friction and makes the engine run efficiently.

It is recommended to check your oil level using a dipstick at least once every week, depending on how often you drive and the condition of your vehicle. Neglecting to do this can result in engine damage and other issues.

However, there can be several reasons why your dipstick may not read the correct amount of oil. The most frequent reason is a low oil level.

Another reason your dipstick may not be able to read the oil is due to cold temperatures. This makes it harder for oil molecules to adhere to the surface of the dipstick, so most manuals recommend waiting fifteen minutes or more after turning off your car before checking oil levels.

What Happens if There is No Oil On Dipstick?

If there is no oil on the dipstick, it could be indicative of an urgent issue. Oil keeps your engine running efficiently and correctly; if there isn’t enough in your car’s reservoir, it could wreak havoc on its entire workings.

Dry dipsticks can be caused by several reasons, such as leaking valve seals or other engine parts requiring repair work. But the most likely explanation is simply that there isn’t enough oil in your engine.

It’s recommended to check your dipstick every morning before driving your car, as this will help avoid situations like this and guarantee that your engine is always properly lubricated.

Without oil on the dipstick, your engine could be severely damaged in a matter of seconds. Your engine contains many moving parts that spin at high speeds; when there’s no oil present, these elements begin grinding against each other and create metal friction which could quickly lead to destruction.

To test your oil level, insert the dipstick into the tube and press it down. If the liquid level is between the high and low marks, your engine has enough motor oil. However, if it’s lower or below that mark, add one quart of oil. Wait a few minutes for it to drain into your crankcase.


If you notice no oil on the dipstick of your vehicle, get it checked out right away. This could indicate a variety of issues from cracked engine parts to leaks in oil supply lines.

A common reason why your dipstick may show no oil is due to low oil levels. Unfortunately, most dipsticks cannot detect levels below two quarts, meaning your engine could be burning through oil faster than expected and leading to serious engine damage if left unchecked.

To check your engine’s oil level, use a shop towel or rag to wipe away the top of the dipstick. Inserting it will reveal whether there is too much or too little oil present; either way, this could indicate you need more. You can purchase oil at auto supply stores, supermarkets or ask your mechanic for recommendations. Ultimately, how much oil you need depends on your car’s age, type of engine and mileage.