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#1 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 12:19 PM
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Driving without oil?

Just curious, how long do you think you can drive a car without oil before you see serious engine damage? I don’t mean bone dry. I’m saying what oil was in there leaked out so there's still some coating of oil. 50 miles? 20 miles? 10 miles? 12 feet?
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 12:50 PM
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You will damage the engine a minute or so after the oil pressure drops to zero (and stays there).

The engine might run 15 minutes longer but it is already toast. You have to have a pressurized film of lubricant in the plain bearings (crank and rod) to prevent galling. Once that film goes away, the bearings, crank and rods get scored.

Why do you ask, did you drive off without adding oil after draining it?

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#3 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E Davies
You will damage the engine a minute or so after the oil pressure drops to zero (and stays there).

The engine might run 15 minutes longer but it is already toast. You have to have a pressurized film of lubricant in the plain bearings (crank and rod) to prevent galling. Once that film goes away, the bearings, crank and rods get scored.

Why do you ask, did you drive off without adding oil after draining it?
Thanks and no, this didn't happen to me personally. One of my cousins drove her car until it finally seized up and we found out it was because she didn't have any oil left in her car's engine. She doesn't know how long she's been driving it dry. The oil pan plug was wet with oil so it looks like oil leaked out.
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:28 PM
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Re: Driving without oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyride
50 miles? 20 miles? 10 miles? 12 feet?
Here's a story of a "1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee" going 17 miles... with no damage http://blog.oregonlive.com/complaint...enrys_you.html

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#5 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyride
Quote:
Originally Posted by John E Davies
You will damage the engine a minute or so after the oil pressure drops to zero (and stays there).

The engine might run 15 minutes longer but it is already toast. You have to have a pressurized film of lubricant in the plain bearings (crank and rod) to prevent galling. Once that film goes away, the bearings, crank and rods get scored.

Why do you ask, did you drive off without adding oil after draining it?
Thanks and no, this didn't happen to me personally. One of my cousins drove her car until it finally seized up and we found out it was because she didn't have any oil left in her car's engine. She doesn't know how long she's been driving it dry. The oil pan plug was wet with oil so it looks like oil leaked out.
Was the 'oil warning light' not working or did she just ignore it.

Trev..
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevnhil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyride
Quote:
Originally Posted by John E Davies
You will damage the engine a minute or so after the oil pressure drops to zero (and stays there).

The engine might run 15 minutes longer but it is already toast. You have to have a pressurized film of lubricant in the plain bearings (crank and rod) to prevent galling. Once that film goes away, the bearings, crank and rods get scored.

Why do you ask, did you drive off without adding oil after draining it?
Thanks and no, this didn't happen to me personally. One of my cousins drove her car until it finally seized up and we found out it was because she didn't have any oil left in her car's engine. She doesn't know how long she's been driving it dry. The oil pan plug was wet with oil so it looks like oil leaked out.
Was the 'oil warning light' not working or did she just ignore it.

Trev..
Good question. I don't know the answer to that. It was probaby on and she just ignored it.... knowing her. She probably saw it as a low fuel light being on and figured she can go a few more miles before she has to fill it.
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 11:54 PM
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Re: Driving without oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAVMAN
Here's a story of a "1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee" going 17 miles... with no damage http://blog.oregonlive.com/complaint...enrys_you.html
Nope - the engine is still running, which is pretty much a miracle IMHO, but there is NO question that there is internal damage. If they tore it down all the plain bearings would be trash and the adjoining machined surfaces ruined.

Just because it runs doesn't mean there was "no damage". And running an engine until it seizes, while entertaining, is no measure of how bad the damage might be. I remember a guy who wired the throttle of his air cooled motorcycle wide open and ran it until it melted down and seized. I think it was about five minutes. A water cooled engine would probably go much longer.

Anyway, this is a very a good example showing the need to check the oil and look around the engine compartment and under the chassis (for oil pouring out) before you leave any quicky lube, or even the Toyota dealer. I was once looking at a used car when another used vehicle pulled into the lot from a test drive. The engine was puking oil and smoking because someone there had left the oil cap lying on the cam cover..... it really does happen often.

John E Davies
Spokane WA USA
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 02:25 AM
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Last Saturday my friend lent out his Suzuki car to his nephew to drive
to another city.

He just had the oil changed at a Lube shop (starts with the letter E).

The filter came off during the long drive and the Engine seized

I heard a story here on R4W about a GM dealer forgetting to put Oil in
a truck and same end result.

Years back my friends brand new employers company Van, Also GM servicing
seized and brand new Engine installed
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 11:12 AM
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My mother-in-law drives an Isuzu Trooper 4x4 and when it was fairly new she had the oil changed at the dealership. Driving home, the oil light came on and she pulled over immediately. There was smoke and oil everywhere--she feared the worst. Had it towed in and found that when they removed the old oil filter, the gasket remained attached to the block. So they just screwed the new filter on, sandwiching the gaskets together, and the pressure blew the oil through them. Lucky for her there was no engine damage. That's why they tell you to spread a film of oil on the filter gasket before installing a new spin-on filter.

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#10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 01:01 PM
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Some years ago when Montgomery Wards was still around my parents took their new car in for an oil change. They got a tad over 3 miles before it locked up due to no oil. The employee got fired, they got a rental and a brand new 350 engine in place of the original 305.

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