No Oil On Dipstick Or Low Oil On Dipstick: What To Do?

A dipstick is the one you use to check the level of oil you have in your oil tank. If you have noticed that there is no oil or there is very little oil on your dipstick after you pull it out, you have to do something about it.

So what do you have to do if there is no oil or very low oil in your dipstick? Check first for any damages like leaks. If there is none, proceed with the oil refill or add oil.

An oil dipstick is like a stick, and it is used by sticking it into the oil tank until it will reach the bottom so that you will know how much oil you have in your engine. Oil is crucial to maintain the maximum performance and the excellent condition of your vehicle’s engine. Some of you might have checked your oil using a dipstick, and there might be some times that your dipstick displayed no oil and is very low on oil. 

Having no oil is very low in your vehicle can cause severe damage to your vehicle’s engine. Your vehicle is dependent on the oil because the oil is considered to be the blood of every vehicle. If your vehicle has no oil, likely, your vehicle will not operate. 

The motor oil keeps the engine working smoothly and correctly. Your engine needs lubrication because of its moving parts, and oil provides that lubrication. So remember to have an oil change regularly and always check the amount of oil you have using a dipstick. 

So now, let us discuss what you have to do if there is no oil or very little oil in your dipstick. Let’s start.

No Oil On Dipstick

Why Is There No Oil On The Dipstick?

If you have used your dipstick and it came out with no oil in it, there can be a few reasons why it happens. Let us list down below three primary reasons why there is no oil on your dipstick.

1. Your Amount Of Oil Might Be Too Low Or Nothing Left At All

This is the first and top reason why there is no oil in your dipstick. You might have no oil situation here. A lot of drivers would forget the regular checking and regular refilling of their motor oil. 

You can be in one of these situations too. You might have forgotten to change your oil, or you might have forgotten to refill your oil. You are lucky if this is the problem for you. 

It is easily rectified. You have to refill your oil tank or have an oil change, and your problem is solved. You might have also put in some oil, but the amount is not enough, and it just gets absorbed, and you have completely forgotten about it. So you can avoid this scenario by checking your oil level regularly. 

You can check your oil level every morning. Do not wait for any reminders. Instead, check your oil level as frequently as you can.

2. You Might Be Having Oil Leaks

In valve seals and some other seals, there can be oil leaks in there. The leaks can happen almost anytime. So you need to check for any leaks in your vehicle. 

The leaks can also come from any cranks in your engine, especially if they are starting to tear and wear. In addition, you might be having some leaks in your supply lines. 

As a result, even if you are refilling your oil tank, the oil will vanish quickly because it is leaking out. So if you have no oil in your dipstick, check immediately for leaks before adding motor oil because it will just leak out too.

3. Your Engine Might Be Consuming Oil More Than Before

If there is no oil in your dipstick and the oil just vanishes very quickly, then your engine might be consuming more than what they were consuming before. This is a little bit of a serious issue. There are a few reasons why your engine is consuming more oil than they are used to. 

You might have some problems with your engine. In addition, you might have some damages to your engine that need immediate repair. 

You can also have a faulty head gasket. If you have a faulty head gasket, this can also be why your engine is consuming more oil than it used to.

What Do You Do If Your Dipstick Is Dry?

If you have a dry dipstick, do not run the car. That is the ultimate rule. Running a car without oil is dangerous for the vehicle. 

So it would help if you started looking for the reasons why you have a dry dipstick. So park your vehicle on flat ground. This is because the way you have placed your car can affect the reading of the oil dipstick. 

After parking the car, you have to make sure that your vehicle has cooled down first. If it is cold, there can be no oil in your dipstick. On the other hand, if the dipstick is also cold, the oil will quickly stick with it. 

So always have time to let the vehicle cool off. Check the engine also if it has already cooled off. Following the mentioned steps can already help you determine some of the possible reasons why your dipstick is dry.

Again, look for any sign of leaks from your vehicle. Make sure also that in pouring the oil, you have poured them in the right place.

dry dipstick

What Causes Oil To Disappear In The Engine?

Well, if your oil is disappearing on your engine, you might be having oil consumption. There are times that your engine might start consuming some oil when your vehicle is running. The reason for this can be some possible clogged crankcase ventilation system.

It can also be the valve seals are leaking, or there are broken oil control rings. So if you have one of these problems, this is the answer to why your oil is disappearing from your engine.

No Oil On Dipstick: How Much Oil To Add?

If you have no oil in your dipstick, you need to put oil in it. So if there is no oil in your dipstick, you must put one quart of oil in the oil tank. 

Add the oil as soon as possible if you already know that there is no oil in your dipstick. Your vehicle needs oil, and it cannot perform and operate well without it.

What Happens If There Is Low Oil On The Dipstick?

If you have noticed that you have a very low oil in your dipstick, it can cause significant damages to your vehicle. This is because your car needs motor oil. Oil is the blood of your vehicle, and without them, your car will not perform well. 

It is very easy to understand, though. If your car is running, your engine is doing the work to run your car. When the engine is running, the inside of your engine is moving. 

This is because there will be so many moving parts. And with that, they will create friction and heat. So it is the job of the motor oil to lubricate these components so that they will have no tear and wear when your car is running. 

So if you have no motor oil or have a very low level of motor oil, it would mean that your engine does not have the needed lubrication when moving. As a result, your engine will now be damaged. So it is essential always to ensure that your oil is clean and is enough.

How Do I Know If My Dipstick Is Low On Oil?

If you want to know if your oil is low, you must use your dipstick. First, stick the dipstick into the oil tank. 

Make sure that it will reach the very bottom of the tank. Make sure that the stick makes contact with the bottom part. Your dipstick has markings. 

They can be marked as high or low. After pulling the dipstick and the oil below the low mark, you have a very low oil level, and you will need to refill more.

What Do You Do If You Have Low Oil On The Dipstick?

If you have done checking your oil using a dipstick and it came out that you have very low oil, the only thing you have to do is add more oil. You also need to check if your motor oil is still clean. If otherwise, you need to have an oil change.


In summary, engine oil makes your car operate. So it is essential to maintain a clean motor oil and enough motor oil level so that your vehicle will run smoothly. Make it a habit to regularly check the level of your oil. 

You can do this by using our dipstick. If you have no oil or very little oil in the dipstick, you have to add more immediately.


Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more