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Old 01-28-2004, 09:31 PM   #1
WS6toWRX
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Default Oh my god ... please help...

For the past week or so, my oil light has come on for a split second, when I come to a stop, but that was some times. But today the light stayed on for a bout a second, so I checked my oil. Nothing. Dry. I added a quart ... nothing on the dip stick, dry ... well, its about 5 degrees out and the engine is cold when i checked it. What do I do? Is the engine ok? Why wouldnt the oil light come on when the oil was low? I have 3 qts here and all I use is mobil one ... i dont want to add them in fear that i might have too much oil in the engine ... what the crap do I do? Is my engine toast, is it never going to be the same? I have hit red line several times in the past week, but actually i have drinving it quite easy ... I just bought the car a few months ago, will I get stuck with a bill for a new engine?

thx
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Old 01-28-2004, 09:37 PM   #2
jaypride
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Probably fine. WHen there is not enough oil to hit the dipstick, there is still some in there. I'd still have the dealer check it out. And chew them a new one for not filling it before you picked it up.
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Old 01-28-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
WS6toWRX
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my dad said it should be fine but what about metal on metal contact?
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:21 PM   #4
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You can't rely on the oil light to tell you when the oil level is low, that's not what it's for. It's a pressure indicator and will only come on when the pressure drops to almost nothing, around 2-3 psi. If it flashed for a second as you came to a stop, it may have been because the level was low enough that the oil in the pan sloshed forward and the pickup momentarily sucked some air.
Check the oil level again with the engine cold, and add more slowly until the dipstick reads in the normal range. Don't be afraid of adding too much, just don't dump in the whole quart at once and keep checking the dipstick until the level looks ok. A slight overfill is preferable to leaving it underfilled.
Although there is really no way to determine the long-term effects, your engine is probably ok as long as you didn't run the oil fully dry which it doesn't sound like you did.
More important is why the level was low in the first place- How long ago was the oil changed and by whom, and have you been checking the level regularly (or at all)? You need to be sure there are no leaks or internal engine problems causing abnormal consumption. Best thing to do is change the oil, making sure the proper amount is used and the dipstick reads full, and then check the level at least once a week to see if it drops. If it does look for leaks, if there are none it's time to check engine internals.
Of course since the car is new and under warranty you can just have the dealer do all this.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:29 PM   #5
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If I were you, I'd just go ahead and do an oil change as soon as possible. Pull the drain, and see how much comes out. Doing an oil change is ALWAYS good, it'll just cost you a few bucks.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:41 PM   #6
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I did an oil change about 3 weeks ago. There is no oil on the ground, so I can assume the oil leaks when in motion. I have a lift here, however it has a car on it, so tomorrow I'm going to drain the oil. And fill it back up. Should I pull the filter too and see if there is anything in the filter? i dont know what might be causing it, so tomorrow I'm pulling the turboback off and putting it to stock just in case it has to go in ... wait a minute, of course it has to go in! I know the TBE didnt cause the leak but we all know how anal car companies have been getting ... well, my oil pump went on my TA and then it came back on a few days later and they wouldnt check it. A few weeks later, it went and the engine was toast ... replaced the motor under warranty, brand new LS1. I think i might invest in the warranty extension.
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:43 AM   #7
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The dipstick's L--->H range only measures about a quart of oil, not the entire quantity, so if you're not registering, you could still have 4 quarts (of the 5 quarts total) in the engine.

Another thing is to make sure you give the oil enouhg time to drain back into the pan before checking it...I've changed the oil in my driveway, added 5qt of oil, and immediately checked the level only to see nothing on the stick...even though I know I just poured 5qt's in. A few minutes later, it read "full".

Brian
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:20 PM   #8
DISCOPOPE
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did you replace the crush ring when you did the last oil change?
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Old 01-29-2004, 01:15 PM   #9
Subie Gal
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have you looked under your car for oil spillage?
signs of leakage?

and yes, perhaps an oil change would be a good idea
put your mind at ease anyway.

Jamie
www.subiegal.com
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Old 01-29-2004, 03:57 PM   #10
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Taking the exhaust off is overkill. I would fill it to the normal range, drive for a few days and check the oil level frequently to see if it is changing. Check before you start off to see if it is seeping out.
It is problably that the service centre that did your last change didn't fill it fully or did not tighten the filter or plug properly.
Also check the plug and filter for seepage before you go anywhere.
Reno_bk. There is no way that he is only down one quart if his light came on and the dipstick is dry. He is likely down more like 3 quarts.
Next time you get your oil changed, make sure to inspect the fill level on the dipstick before leaving the shop. Allow the engine to run a few seconds before checking as that circulates the oil and gives a true reading.
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Old 01-29-2004, 07:28 PM   #11
WS6toWRX
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you know oil changes are such a simple process, yet they are so critical. Well, it goes up on the lift tonight, if not tomorrow. I'll post whats going on ... if the engine ran with little oil, what damage -might- occur? Woe is me.

thx for the info.

chris
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:23 PM   #12
WS6toWRX
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ok, there was 1.4 qts of oil in the engine ... there was a small leak on the side of the oil filter, must of been damaged and oil pressure broke through ...
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:47 PM   #13
Charlie-III
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Hmmmm....wasn't there a recall on OEM Subaru Purolator oil filters since they were known to leak??

That was a couple of years ago. I would save the filter and see if it has the same date codes, you may have a case there.
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