Peepers was absolutely right. I had already decided that stripping the front off and getting behind the radiator was a bit of a serious job for this and on asking the local dealership they said to try removing the sump and pulling the dipstick out from the other end. But this also looked like a big job, or at least one I would rather avoid.
Hence, I had the same idea and bought one of the grabber tools for less than Ł3 in the UK from eBay.
HOWEVER, on first attempt I was not getting enough grip on the jammed end of the dipstick and was beginning to give up until I read Peepers post. YOU SAVED MY SANITY, since by bending the ends of the tools back as you kindly drew, and with a lot of patience, I eventually got the blasted thing out.
This is clearly something BMW should correct since if the dipsticks were made of steel wire I don't think they would break so easily. Obviously a common problem.
My advice to anyone:
- replace you dipstick as soon as it starts to look warn on the part that bends in the tube.
If it does snap off:
- buy the tool
- bend the ends carefully as Peepers describes, but be careful since the ends of my cheap tool kept snapping!
- then pure perseverance. Just think of the job you are saving yourself if you get it out this way!!!