I have some leaks and usually top up as it goes low. The car always has endless repairs so I'm just can't get round to the leaks yet am starting to think if I should sell the car.

Anyway at times the car has been sitting for months with no engine oil in it. Is this a problem for the engine or is it ok so long as I top up before driving?

  • 3
    Yes, sell the car... – Solar Mike Jan 22 '19 at 9:02

There is no problem with an engine sitting with an empty sump - after standing for a few days the oil will all have run back down to the sump and so won't be doing anything anyway.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Solar Mike too - one of the first things you learn (usually the hard way!) with car restoration is the need to balance the difficulty of the project with the amount of time, skill and resources available to you. I think you're getting to the point of realising that this car is more than you can handle (I know the feeling, I've been there too...), and it's time to 'cut your losses' and get something that needs less work.

  • I have to agree.. it's always hard and we've all pushed past the point of sensible with cars over the years but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough – motosubatsu Jan 22 '19 at 9:57
  • I had an Astro van that hadn't lost a drop of oil in its entire 25+ year life. But it was about to do a Blues Brothers and disintegrate on the spot, so it was time. <sad face> – Mazura Jan 22 '19 at 12:55

If the pan is totally empty of oil, the pump can possibly lose it's prime and might not get oil moving in time to avoid engine damage if at all. Best to change oil before storing it for a long time and the rules say change it again when you put it back in service.....

  • Depending on the engines, the good old FIat / Lancia twincam does not drain down. I've encountered engine which have been dormant for 10+ years which still have oil in the cam boxes due to the design of the engine. Strangely, on the later engines (FWD era) extra drilling seems to have been added which do allow the cam boxes to drain. No idea why as it seems counter intuitive. – Steve Matthews Jan 24 '19 at 8:07

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