Where can I get a new dipstick for my outdated car?
October 15, 2007 11:31 AM   Subscribe

The Manimal needs a new dipstick.

I have a 1996 Nissan Maxima (or, Manimal, for those of you that helped on the last auto question I had, thank you).

The dipstick in it does not match the tube and, hence, provides no guidance as to how much oil is in there (says me and the mechanic).

I will not be able to get a new dipstick locally (I live on an island without a proper junkyard). So I want to order one online... Sounds easy, right?

Well I can't find a 96 Maxima dipstick anywhere online. I've been looking under "dipstick"... on ebay, car parts websites, froogle, anywhere. There are replacement dipsticks for other cars, but not Nissans.

What gives? Can someone show me the error of my searching ways and tell me where I can order a replacement dipstick for my 96 Manimal online? Preferably on ebay, as affordable shipping to this location is limited to USPS and a lot of the online retailers won't use it. But anywhere at all would be a huge help.

Carry on, manimals.

posted by letahl to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
I have no suggestions, but do you have pictures of the manimal??? Where are the pictures???
posted by emyd at 11:38 AM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

What about calibrating the current dipstick? You could mark it by making light dimples in the metal.
posted by exogenous at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2007

Sure. To do this, borrow the correct dipstick to confirm the full point (don't overfill!) and mark the dipstick you have--at least until you find a replacement.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2007

Response by poster: emyd - Ok I'll take a photo later and post it!

exogenous - How?

weapons-grade pandemonium - You overestimate my ability to find another 96 Maxima on the island!
posted by letahl at 12:00 PM on October 15, 2007

Best answer: You might want to call Courtesy Nissan at 1.800.527.1909. They tend to be one of the "go to" dealers for Nissan parts. Their online catalog shows a dipstick only for the '96 300ZX. I'd call them and ask about a stick for the Maxima. It might be the same part, since it's the same engine. If not, I'm sure they can get you one.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:03 PM on October 15, 2007

Just out of curiosity, how did you end up with a mis-matched dipstick?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2007

Response by poster: It was mismatched when I bought the car used. Of course I didn't notice it when checking the car out... I bought it "as is" so figured it wasn't the biggest deal in the world.

The thing about calibrating it is that it doesn't exactly glide in and out of the engine. It's like the entirely wrong dipstick, useless I think. I'm open to suggestion though.

That 800-number doesn't work from my landline right now (it's a regional issue), but I will try it out on my s/o's cell phone tomorrow. Thank you!
posted by letahl at 12:17 PM on October 15, 2007

You could also try asking over at the Maxima.org forums.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:32 PM on October 15, 2007

In my experience, junkyards don't find it worthwhile to list small stuff like that. I'd find a junkyard with a Maxima of the correct year range in the yard by calling some of those junkyards listed online. If they've got a Maxima or Maxima engine of the correct year range, ask them if they'll sell you just a dipstick. It may take a bit of calling, but I bet you'll find one that'll give it to you for $5-10 plus shipping.
posted by hackwolf at 12:41 PM on October 15, 2007

If what hackwolf says is true (and why wouldn't it be?), you could search for a more expensive part for your year, make, & model car -- like a transmission or a body panel -- which would give you a list of junk yards that have the correct car. Then contact those to ask for the dipstick.
posted by amtho at 12:48 PM on October 15, 2007

Why bother? It should be trivial to find out the oil capacity of your engine-

Simply do an oil change, add the correct amount of oil, accounting for the filter, and mark your current dipstick for an ersatz "FULL" mark. Done deal. Add oil if it gets down about a half inch.
posted by pjern at 2:32 PM on October 15, 2007

Response by poster: As promised, the MANIMAL.
posted by letahl at 4:09 PM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]

Refrigerator Magnets! Nice touch letahl.
posted by sociolibrarian at 4:56 PM on October 15, 2007

Re: calibration - what solopsist said. You can use the same technique to do a "quart low" mark.
posted by exogenous at 9:17 PM on October 15, 2007

« Older Entourage database corrupted   |   Mr. Bento you're a bloodthirsty foe, but your... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.