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  #1  
Old 06-05-2002, 08:45 PM
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Wiping dipstick with paper towel?

Am I doing damage by using a paper towel to check the oil on my car? Or should I use a rag instead? This is for the engine oil and for the ATF.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2002, 09:05 PM
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I wipe the stick clean with my fingers, and wipe my fingers off on a rag (most paper towels are too linty for my comfort). I read an article once that claimed this was the factory procedure for checking tranny fluid level in a Benz, and it works just as well for engine oil. It just lessens the chance of particulate contamination unless you were just in the sand box and didn't wash your hands

To answer your question, I don't imagine you're doing much damage, lint fibers are likely filtered out pretty quickly, but why take the chance? I would say that engines are only slightly more forgiving that trannys in regards to damage via particulate contamination, and any extra care that can be given, should be. These are afterall, the things that make the car go!

Probably overkill, but hey, when it doesn't take any extra effort...

Regards,
- Ryan
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2002, 09:22 PM
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Wiping it with paper towel is fine ... heck, some of them here uses an old newspaper!
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2002, 01:15 AM
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Maybe not fine

It has been said that paper lint or textile lint particles can make their way into automatic transmissions via the dipstick, where they can get stuck in the valve body and cause problems. I have no idea how much truth there is in that statement, but I now wipe the transmission dipstick only with my fingers. The oil dipstick I still wipe off in the traditional manner.
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2002, 01:20 AM
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this might be a dick of a thing to say....but why do you think there are filters on the engine and transmission?
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2002, 01:42 AM
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Alright thanks for the tips guys. I guess I should just be careful and wipe them with a rag or my fingers.
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2002, 02:07 AM
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valve body

Lint cant get into the valve body because the fluid goes into the pan and its sucked up as its going through the filter into the valve body.

I have used paper towels my whole life and even newspaper, I havent had any problems with that.

My dad always told me to make sure you get the old gaskets off, and the one time I didnt check, plow, there goes 5 qts of oil all over the floor. haha.

When I changed my tranny fluid those cork gaskets like to stick so be extra careful with those.

Austin
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2002, 02:26 PM
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MB maint manual says to use a leather rag when wiping tranny dipstick. Supposedly cloth, etc could allow foreign substance into tranny.

Some techs over on the Ritter-Easley list have said that a mere spec of hardly anything can deep-six a tranny.

I'm still lookin' for a leather rag.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2002, 02:45 PM
LarryBible
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I personally handle the dipsticks on the engine and A/T much differently. As Paul said, the slightest piece of lint in the A/T can foul up a checkball. The engine is a different story, as long as it's not abrasive, it will really do no harm in the crankcase.

Have a great day,
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2002, 05:18 PM
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For those wiping oil with their hands might not be aware that prolonged contact w/ motor oil causes skin cancer. I was watching an explicit show one time in which a female covered herself in motor oil and I was just sitting there exlaiming "you're gonna get cancer."
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2002, 06:59 PM
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Yes it does say that on the bottles for the engine oil. If you have prolonged contact of oil with your skin, you can get cancer.
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