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Discussion Starter #1
Went to check my oil level (check it weekly).
Pulled out the dipstick and started wiping-------- wait a minute......... the tip is missing!

Oh-oh.

Question is---
did it break off when I last pushed it in---- so the tip is in the oil pan.
or
did it just break as I pulled it out--- so the tip is in the dipstick guide tube.

1st thing to check---is it still in the guide tube?
I removed the 1 bolt holding the guide tube in place, and then gently pulled out the tube. (no oil leaks when this is done).
This literally takes about 3 min.
I inserted the oil dipstick-- and............................ nope...... tip is not in the guide tube. shooot!!!

the bolt is right next to the tube and the the left of the 3.6L Stamp.







the dipstick broke right at the 3rd hole.
Not surprissed as this is where the stick bends/flexes as it goes down the tube
You can see the difference.






So-- the part is in the oil pan............

I vaguely remember that oil pump/oil pick up tubes have a screen to filter the oil that is pumped---- so I go looking for images of the oil pick up tubes in the 3.6..............
the good news is that yes indeed there is a screen. So its not going to be sucked into the engines moving parts......





Ok, I felt better.
I then started up the engine... runs fine.
My oil change was due in 100 miles... so I went ahead and did an Intake valve cleaning with CRC intake valve cleaner and then changed the oil and filter.
Nope- the part did not drain out (I also used a magnet to try to move it to drain hole--- no luck.
I also checked the filter-- just in case.

But car has been driving fine.
 

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Maybe that's one hidden benefit of our 2011 dipstick design.
 

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Guess this is what happens when you're OCD about checking your oil. Once a week seems pretty excessive unless you drive for a living and put 100k+ a year on.
I do this also it just cheap insurance with history of the 3/6 chains and cam phasers. Some weeks its right on the money then other she is down a litre no rhyme no reason........
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe that's one hidden benefit of our 2011 dipstick design.

I was just talking to a Traverse owner (2012) and he was saying he hates the lead sinker design... cant read the dipstick...
 

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I'd say you've got a ticking time bomb on your hands. It's not if it's going to cause a problem, it's when. The screen could deteriorate and then game over. Especially with debris of that size. I would be concerned about it sucking up against the screen and not allowing proper flow of oil thru the screen. If it were mine that oil pan would be coming off for inspection, cheaper than a new engine. As for checking every week, OCD yes, but according to the owners manual GM say's you should check it at every fuel fill up. I'd be a little PO'd at GM for it breaking off in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do this also it just cheap insurance with history of the 3/6 chains and cam phasers. Some weeks its right on the money then other she is down a litre no rhyme no reason........

Yes. thats why I do it.
And also yes- as to oil level changing at different rates.
For this past oil interval.... over 4,843 miles- I added 1.3 qts of oil to maintain the oil level at FULL.
 

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I was just talking to a Traverse owner (2012) and he was saying he hates the lead sinker design... cant read the dipstick...
My new Ford Explorer still uses the old design. The Equinox uses the new cable design. I prefer the old design, it's easier to read.
 

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I was just talking to a Traverse owner (2012) and he was saying he hates the lead sinker design... cant read the dipstick...
Agreed. It sucks for readability.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My new Ford Explorer still uses the old design. The Equinox uses the new cable design. I prefer the old design, it's easier to read.

my 2013 Equinox uses the blade design...
 

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Seems like that wavy section of the guide tube would also skew readings as the whole dipstick rubs on all sides as it slides out.

My 2011 has the wire and bullet design, first time I ever saw that, and found it stupid. It IS very hard to read, but after checking it a few times now, I've become more accustom on how to read it.

I was also thinking about using a powerful magnet to drag it closer to the drain hole, but looks like you covered that. What about using a thinner oil to help "flush" it out? Otherwise I'd do what gostate said, and drop the pan. I think it would bother me too much knowing that its there, and could cause a major problem.

This cannot be contributed to over checking your oil or any OCD. Those dipsticks should not break. Its there for a reason, and meant to be used, it should not break.
 

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rbarrios: I am wondering why do you check your oil weekly ?


Does your Enclave use oil?


Most Enclaves do not use any oil in between oil changes.


Tell us more.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Seems like that wavy section of the guide tube would also skew readings as the whole dipstick rubs on all sides as it slides out.
When the dipstick like mine is pulled out....
one side definitely rubs the sides and 'skews' the reading--- the opposite side will not rub and you can see the actual level.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
rbarrios: I am wondering why do you check your oil weekly ?
Does your Enclave use oil?
Most Enclaves do not use any oil in between oil changes.
Tell us more.
I have the Traverse. Uses the same engine as Enclave.

Why check oil often?
Early models have had timing chain issues. Excessive wear that looks like the chain has stretched.
It can be attributed to bad chain parts, oil quality, fuel dilution, and oil level.
With this engine using oil for more than lubrication, its very important to have proper oil levels.

the 2010's take 5.5 qts with filter change.
in my example- I added 1.3 qts.
if I would not check--- my engine would be running on about 4 qts.
4 qts doing the work of 5.5 qts.

The other issue of lower oil levels is the possibility of the oil sludging up.
There have been pictures posted of sludge on engine/timing chain covers etc.
Dealers refusing warranty on chain repair because of sludge found.

I also change my own oil and do refill the empty bottles with the used oil (for recycling) and can easily see how much oil I drained.
I noticed that depending on the type of driving I did for that interval- the oil usage amount varied.
Stop and go highway vs long road trip highway vs street

The manual actually states to check oil level at every fill up.
I used to commute to work and did indeed use a tankful a week.
So it became a habit of checking the level weekly.

I now ride light rail (but drive to the station).... so I dont do 1 tankful a week, but my wife does drive her Equinox (3.6) and uses 1 tank week--- and im checking her oil level-- and simply check mine too while im at it.

Her 3.6 uses oil- but it appears to be about 0.5 qt over 6500 miles.

So with checking the amount of oil that is drained, I know that oil is being used.
I recommend that you measure the amount of oil drained.
Ive posted pics of my dipstick after an oil change--- 5.5 qts with filter change--
the oil level is ABOVE the hash marks. Its been like this since new.
When my dipstick shows oil in the hashed area...its 1-1.5 qts low. depending on where it is.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
checking the level is good.....

on the Traverse forum--- today someone posted this about their 2010 model...

"our timing chain just broke and damaged the engine. No warning when my husband was driving just died and all the lights on the dashboard flashed - no low oil warning light. A few days prior the checked the message and there was still 35% oil life - no indication oil level was low. Yes we do have minor oil spots in the driveway. Not large at all. The technician indicated the car must be burning the oil because it is not leaking. But we have no oil smell, smoke out the back nothing and now we are told dump the car or replace the engine."
 

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rbarrios: I am wondering why do you check your oil weekly ?


Does your Enclave use oil?


Most Enclaves do not use any oil in between oil changes.


Tell us more.
I know for a fact that my 09 will/does use it but its usually the most after a long drive (200km plus ) and like was mentioned before these engines can be fragile if they run low on oil. It takes me 2 minutes to do it so why not. Also it not just the Enclave that has this engine ,there is even issues when they are installed in Cadillac and I have read that yes they use oil too.
 
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