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Q: oil dip stick tip seperated and is in the oil pan. on 1998 Nissan Pathfinder

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this is a 3.3,6cyl.,4 wheel drive model. the oil dip stick has a tip on it approx. one and a half inches long which allows to read the oil level. the tip has detached and i assume is in the oil pan. can i drive the car in this condition and when i drain the oil and if the tip can't be found what else can i do? i really don't want to drop the oil pan as this would be a major job for me on this car.
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I'd take a chance that the broken piece wouldn't cause any trouble. It's too big to get into the oil pump screen, and probably would spend the rest of it's life stuck to the goo on the bottom of the oil pan. It's possible it'd come out with the oil or you could get a magnet in there to fish around.
I have the same problem. I was changing my oil today and just when I was about to pour in the oil, i pulled the dipstick and the gauge-end wasn't there. I fear the gauge will get suck into the engine shaft. I wonder if the gauge-end is magnetic? If it is then fishing it out with a magnet might be a solution. If you have any other solution, please post it. Thanks.
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