Like so many before myself, I too fell victim to the crumbling Audi/VW dipstick. Shocker, right?
In all three of my A4's, the dipstick has failed to some degree, but not like this. The top of the stick itself completely shattered last week and the tube became compromised to the point of seeping a considerable amount of oil. So, it had to be swapped.
First, in case you're wondering, "Why the F is the dipstick make of plastic when every other one is made of metal?" Cause it's smack in between the manifold and you'd burn your fingers somethin fierce if it wasn't make of heat dispersing plastic. So the Audi engineers were doing the right thing. Downside is there's a shelf life... and then it pretty much turns to dust.
It should be noted that the dipstick in this engine holds pressure so if you go driving around all willy nilly w/out something in the tube, it just might spray oil all over your engine bay. Maybe. But I wouldn't know anything about that.
Pabblo suggested the very savvy temp solution of using tin foil which worked really well (props man). So, I origami-ed up some foil which held me over long enough to pick up the new parts.
The newer, better, superseded parts (which IIRC first appeared in the 04 Passat) are:
06B 115 611 M
06B 103 663 G
These of course can be purchased at any stealership or from your friendly neighborhood forum sponsors (like DTH or Europa).
Most of you will likely find this mundane but I felt inclined to write it up as so many have faced this issue w/difficultly (where as I actually did not... hopefully it will help).
First, a good look at what we're dealing with. Although this is not the 1.8T from a B6 A4 (maybe a Corrado?) it's close enough. There she be... the damn dipstick. Take notice how it's seated on the black metal pipe protruding from the block below.
Here's a shot from inside my engine bay after I'd already cleaned up the spillage last week (non OEM filter FTL). As you can see, it's still seeping. No bueno senors.
First, I had to clean things up a bit. Since I'm surrounded by hippies here in the Bay Area, I opted for the enviro-friendly Simple Green Degreaser. Worked pretty damn good. ProTips on engine bay cleaning:
* cover the alternator and coil packs
* use a low pressure hose or 'fireman' attachment to lightly spread the water around
* be mindful of connectors and wiring
* hot water FTW
* rinse - degrease - let it sit for a bit - rinse again
* use a towel around the bay to dry things off just in case (especially the connectors on the firewall)
My engine bay is kinda starting to look nice. Well, except for the Jiffy Pop package under my manifold.
Here's the lower end of the dipstick which attaches to the metal tube. It kinda snaps into place which can make removal quite difficult.
First thing you need is some good light. I already had the belly pan removed so from the bottom, I placed my shop light just underneath the manifold area. This helped out a lot.
Check it out yo, I gots neon in my engine bay.
Removal of the TB hose is likely unnecessary but I wanted a clear shot to the dipstick. But the coolant tank needs to come out. No need to disconnect anything, just unscrew the one bolt and pull up. It pops right out. Just mind the hoses and connectors.
Temporary Tin Foil Origami Dipstick, you served me well. Off to the big recycling bin in the sky for you. Kind looks like a bird w/ his head goin straight up... ka kaw!
Okay, down to business. Due to it's fragility, the dipstick needs to be extracted from the lowest point. Therefore, the upper attachment needs to be cleared, so to speak. I used needle nose pliers to break away the upper clip from the metal arm piece by piece. Obviously, you don't want to drop anything in the tube so be careful (or use a smaller piece of foil to plug it).
Totally cleared away and free from the arm. Good to go.
Next, holding a wide, flat head screwdriver, reach down underneath the manifold towards the lower part of the dipstick.
You'll want to get both hands on the driver -> one to hold the handle, the other to pull UP against the dipstick (not push into).
Apply some pressure slowly and ... POP! It'll come right out. Done. No plastic in the pan to worry about. Yay.
With the same amount of pressure it takes to snap your fingers, it would break. Hilarious really.
Now to prep the new Agent Orange Dipstick Tube. Carefully work a flathead into the lower part of the attachment point. Since the arm is kinda flexible, this makes it easier to attach.
Next straighten up the arm a bit. It's flexible but don't overdo it. I'm sure some of you monkeys have wicked forearm strength... don't dial it up too hard chief.
Now holding the arm w/needle nose pliers, seat the new dipstick tube both on top of the black metal tube blow and lined up with the arm. It might take a few times to get it right (up top at the arm) so don't fully seat the tube quite yet. When you do, gently push down on the dipstick from the top and then feel / look at the seat point to see it's in properly.
Afterward, I gave the tube a few very light taps with my vampire stake. For some reason, this was the smallest piece of wood I could find in the garage. Weird. Oh, and towel FTW... this'll keep you from cracking the tube.
And there you have it. Just gotta get my extractor cause after all this mess I'm actually due for an oil change.