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var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/The_dipstick_s_demise_is_blamed_on_dilatory_drivers'; The practice of opening the hood at every fuel stop used to be routine. With an oil-soaked rag in hand, the worker reached over and pulled out the hot metal dipstick, and after a quick cleaning swipe, the dipstick was plunged back into its tube and pushed down into the sump of scalding oil. Withdrawn again, a tell-tale black film in the middle of the scored lines marked the oil level very accurately.

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Castrol's "Think With Your Dipstick" campaign, one of the more memorable commercials we can recall for a motor oil, is currently plying the airwaves. An enigmatic Scotsman ambushes schlubs who proclaim "all synthetic oils are the same," delivering a deadly whip across the legs and exhorting the men to "Think with your dipstick, Jimmy!"

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