I have a 2011 Jeep Liberty and the oil pan rusted out and it was driven for a while without oil. The oil pan was fixed a couple days later. This happened in April 2014, in Oct 2014 the engine started to rap (knock). I brought it to the shop and it was fixed. In March 2015 it started to knock again, brought it back to the shop and I was told it was tappet wear, in July 2015 it started to knock again, so I brought it back to the shop and I was told it might be a lifter causing the noise because one might be bleeding down, in May 2016 the engine started to knock so bad I couldn't drive it. I had it towed to the shop and they told me I need a new engine, and now my warranty is over by 3000 miles and I will have to pay over $5000 for a new engine. My question, was this all caused by the oil pan rusting out and it running out of oil? It only has 78,000 miles.

  • 1
    I'd ask for a better explanation than "needs a new engine". What is wrong? Was the knocking fixed all those other times you took it in?
    – JPhi1618
    May 25, 2016 at 17:07
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    I think @DucatiKiller has exactly the right answer. But before you drop $5k on this car, try junk yards to see if you can get a used engine from a totaled car that only had rear end damage. Or, see ifyou can get a rebuilt engine from one of the many online places that do this. Just make sure you find a well reviewed one, and know what your looking for, exactly. Do some research into this, and I would be willing to bet you can do this for a lot less than $5k. Sadly, driving it with no oil was a huge mistake. But, lesson learned. Ty for posting so that others can learn too.
    – cdunn
    May 25, 2016 at 17:22
  • I would think any engine driven for more than one or two minutes without oil = an engine replacement. Period. Anything else is a poor bandaid. Was the oil leak covered under warranty or the result of an accident or debris on the road? (those last two are not covered by warranty...)
    – zipzit
    May 25, 2016 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


Your oil pan didn't rust

I would just like to point out that your oil pan can't just rust out. It is made of material that doesn't rust. So when you had a hole in your oil pan it more than likely hit a rock or curb or something that penetrated it. Perhaps the other driver of the vehicle.

On the other hand, if your oil pan was replaced with something that does rust then it could have rusted but I doubt you replaced it with one made of iron or steel.

Your Question

My question, was this all caused by the oil pan rusting out and it running out of oil?

More than likely running your engine without oil has contributed to an early failure of your engine. Bearings require lubrication and your crankshaft 'floats' on a thin layer of oil in your crank case. Loss of oil pressure can quickly degrade these types of bearings and increase wear on them dramatically.

It would be a safe assumption to say that a loss of oil pressure to your engine has contributed to it's early demise.

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    I was wondering how a 3 year old oil pan could rust through. That didn't make sense. Now this makes sense. Great answer
    – cdunn
    May 25, 2016 at 17:19

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