I have a 97 Cherokee. It was stolen for a few weeks, then I got it back and left it idle for another two weeks. I knew it had an oil leak, but I didn't realize the extent of the leak until my car failed to start this morning (it cranks, sometimes whimpers and dies). I checked my oil and it was very low, just at the tip of the dipstick. For some reason, I had no indication of this from my warning lights.
I had driven the previous day and noticed some performance problems upon acceleration. I actually sniffed around the hood after parking but didn't smell any burning or anything.
My question is, is my car not starting because of the low oil pressure, or because I have done irrevocable damage to the engine by driving on low oil? Or in other words, if I replaced the oil, should my car work again?