Oil Dipstick Funnel: Dos and Don'ts When Buying One
The oil dipstick funnel is the rubber or plastic tubing where you insert the dipstick to measure the oil level of the engine. But even if it's just a tube, it should be replaced immediately once it breaks or else the dipstick won't be able to pass through the dipstick tube to measure the oil level. However, buying a replacement dipstick funnel is not that easy. So, to make this task less troublesome, we compiled a list of dos and don'ts when buying an oil dipstick funnel.
Do read reviews about brands
One way to avoid getting cheap yet low-quality parts is to research about brands by reading reviews written by car experts online. These reviews give helpful tips as to which brands should be patronized by rating them based on their affordability and quality. In terms of oil dipstick funnels, some of the well-known manufacturers in the market nowadays are Beck Arnley, APA/URO Parts, Febi, and Vaico. These brands receive positive assessments because of their top-notch yet reasonably priced products. In fact, most of them are ISO 9000 certified which means that these brands have products that meet regulatory and statutory requirements. Thus, if you'll see these brands in catalogs, you should go for them so you'll have the long-lasting part that you paid for.
Don't forget the warranty
Despite what other people believe, warranty is very important because it guarantees that the part you need is free from defects. When it comes to dipstick funnels, you should one that comes with 90-day or 4,000-mile limited warranty so you can return it in case it breaks within the period specified by the plan.
Do choose between OEM and aftermarket
If you'll browse car parts catalogs, you'll notice the words aftermarket and OEM. The difference between them is that aftermarket parts are not from your car's maker while original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are made by your car's manufacturer. So which one should you choose?
- Price: In terms of price, you can save more if you will buy an aftermarket part instead of an OEM. But of course, the amount you're going to save still depends on the brand you're going to buy. For instance, aftermarket oil dipstick funnels cost around 10 to 30 USD. So, always choose the brand where you can save more without compromising the product's quality.
- Familiarity: Because OEM parts are manufactured by your car's maker, you can be assured that it will suit your car perfectly. This is why buying an aftermarket part can be a gamble-you don't know if the part will suit your car's specs, and you don't know if the product is made from high-quality materials.
Overall, it's still up to you whether you're going to choose aftermarket over OEM or vice versa. However, remember that all OEM parts are equal, but this isn't true for aftermarket ones. If you're an aftermarket veteran, then choose aftermarket. If you're not, then you should settle for OEM.
DIY: How to Replace a Broken Oil Dipstick Funnel
Measuring oil level is a task that drivers routinely do. By using their cars' oil dipsticks, they can accurately measure the amount of oil left in their cars' engines. It sounds easy, right? But imagine this: while you're using the dipstick, a part of the oil dipstick funnel-the plastic tubing where you insert the stick-breaks and a part gets stuck in the dipstick tube. What will you do? Though the dipstick funnel is oftentimes overlooked in terms of car maintenance, once it breaks, it can cause problems. Fortunately, you can replace it at home with the help of a few common tools. Read on and check the simple steps on oil dipstick replacement. You can actually finish this installation job in 15 minutes if you're an expert on car repairs, and in 30 minutes if you're a beginner.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- New oil dipstick funnel
- Pipe cleaner
Safety tip: Before replacing the funnel, make sure that the engine is cool, so you won't be scalded by hot engine oil.
Step 1: Check if a part of the broken oil dipstick funnel is attached to the dipstick. If there is, pull it off with your hand.
Step 2: Using your wrench, remove the clips that connect the oil container and dipstick funnel.
Step 3: Remove the other half of the broken funnel with your wrench or pliers. Twist it back and forth while pulling a little. However, make sure that you're not squeezing too tight to avoid damaging the dipstick tube.
Step 4: With your tweezers, get the part of the funnel that is stuck in the tube. Carefully pull it out, so it won't fall through. If it does, make sure that you'll get it out, so it won't contaminate the engine oil.
Step 5: Remove the remaining plastic debris from the dipstick tube with a pipe cleaner.
Step 6: Once the tube is clean, put the new funnel in place. Make sure that it's snug, so it won't suddenly come off.
Step 7: Put the clips back to reconnect the funnel and oil container. Then, slide the dipstick in place, and close the hood.