72 votes
Accepted

What actually happens when there is not enough oil in a car engine?

Engine oil does much more for an engine than lubricate. It provides cooling, cleaning, and a bunch of other chores. You already know engine function is degraded when you run out of oil. Let's see if ...
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43 votes

Leaving car for 3 weeks, change oil before or after?

There is no correct answer to this. It is only a matter of preference that will give you peace of mind. Since the car is not being driven, the oil change can happen at either point. You will see no ...
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  • 9,035
38 votes

Leaving car for 3 weeks, change oil before or after?

Change it after, especially if you are having the oil filter changed at the same time (which is often recommended.) It is always possible that the mechanic will carry out the job incorrectly, and ...
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35 votes
Accepted

Should I perform my first oil change at 1000 miles, or when the manual says?

The 1000 mile oil change is a holdover from days of yore. It falls into the "my grandfather /father (add appropriate generation) said you should always"... Add what ever urban myth was part of the ...
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  • 19.7k
29 votes

Garage tech drained oil and forgot to refill. I drove off - what damage could this have caused?

I personally dropped all the oil and coolant from a Rover K-series engine (in a scrap car) and the engine took a good twenty minutes of very hard abuse (redlining / rev limiter / dumping the clutch in ...
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28 votes
Accepted

Everytime I go to change my oil filter it's extremely hard to remove. Any way I can make this easier for me in the future?

... and screw it in by hand, maybe a couple of twists with an oil filter strap wrench. Don't over-tighten it. Tighten it by hand then at most about a quarter turn with a strap wrench or by hand (...
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  • 4,900
24 votes
Accepted

What happens if I change the oil when the engine is cold?

The benefits of changing it hot are the that oil is less viscous, so it flows better, allowing more of the old oil to drain. It will also drain more quickly. I know when I do mine, I let the engine ...
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  • 9,276
23 votes
Accepted

How to understand different engine oils?

If you want to know what to use for your car, follow what your vehicle manufacturer has stated. If you would like to better understand what all the gobble-de-gook means, continue reading --- Oil ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Using gasoline to clean crank case?

Gasoline flushes the oil out of the very spots where you need lubrication, so the next time you start it, the bearing surfaces are "dry" until the oil pressure builds up enough to relubricate them. ...
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  • 8,474
19 votes

What actually happens when there is not enough oil in a car engine?

In most engines, when you fill the oil, it drains into a reservoir on the bottom of the engine known as the oil pan. The tube for the dipstick goes right down into this reservoir to measure the level ...
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  • 13.1k
19 votes

Garage tech drained oil and forgot to refill. I drove off - what damage could this have caused?

First, document everything as accurately as possible. Write down every step and keep every single piece of correspondence with V-Oil and their employees. Write down exactly the steps you took from ...
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18 votes
Accepted

What actually happens when there is way too much oil in a car engine?

With way too much engine oil in the engine, the problem is that the crankshaft can hit the oil in the bottom of the crankcase when the engine is running. Since the crankshaft is spinning fast, even ...
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  • 2,827
18 votes

Should I perform my first oil change at 1000 miles, or when the manual says?

Do what it says in the owner's manual. FWIW the manual said the first oil change from new on my current car was at 18,000 miles, not 1,000. I queried that with the dealer and the reply was "yes, that'...
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  • 2,919
16 votes

Is topping up the oil enough of an oil change?

In a word: No. To add more to it: Absolutely Not. There is one huge thing which you have not taken into account. That being carbon which deposits from the air/fuel mixture burning process. Where ...
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16 votes

Running Harley for 100 miles with no oil

It sounds like the engine has suffered severe internal damage. You would only get away with running a vehicle with no oil for a few minutes assuming there is a residual amount left in the sump and ...
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  • 5,032
15 votes

Everytime I go to change my oil filter it's extremely hard to remove. Any way I can make this easier for me in the future?

Oil filter strap wrenches are made to remove filters, not put them on. Oil filters should be made finger-tight, not hand-tight and certainly not wrench-tight. The filter will go through expansion-...
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  • 12.1k
14 votes

Engine oil change and getting rid of old oil completely

Simple answer - no, you can never get rid of ALL of the old oil - and you wouldn't want to, as you need to keep a film of oil over all the moving parts all the time. The small amount of residual oil ...
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  • 28.6k
14 votes

How do I tell if I screwed up my oil change?

Here's a "tip to make sure I got everything right" for the future. One that I use myself, and taught my Auto Tech students as well: The very first thing is to take off the oil cap, and place it over ...
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  • 12.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Should I use open engine oil that was left over from previous oil change

If the oil is unused, and unopened, there is nothing wrong with using it. ExxonMobil recommends a five-year maximum shelf life for engine oils, including Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oil. Opened ...
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  • 9,035
13 votes
Accepted

Does engine oil get old and go bad?

Short answer .... NO !! Now this is one of those seriously contentious topics that people will chime in from all walks of life, experience, and voodoo. I will speak [yell] my piece, and put on my ...
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  • 12.2k
13 votes

How can I get this broken oil drain cover off?

There’s an outside chance you could get it started with a hammer and chisel but a safer bet would be to drill a couple of holes and use a peg spanner - the sort of thing you’d use to change an angle ...
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  • 360
12 votes
Accepted

What can I do with used motor oil?

Recycle it. Don't use it for anything, it's an environmental hazard. Just get rid of it in the least impactful way. Used motor oil has a plethora of bad chemicals and compounds in it that eliminate ...
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  • 32.7k
12 votes
Accepted

Did the mechanic damage our car?

I think Meineke was taking you for a ride (pun intended). Here is my reasoning: If it was leaking as bad as they say (or showed you) it was, you wouldn't have had any oil in your vehicle when you got ...
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12 votes

How can I get this broken oil drain cover off?

I would try using a hammer and centre punch to tap around the circumference of the plug in the direction that will undo the plug. Example video of how to do it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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  • 19.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Okay to add new oil to old?

Mixing new with the old will cause you absolutely no issues. As long as you are using the same weight oil, it will mix up and you'd never know it. Continue to change your oil at the specified interval ...
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11 votes

Should I use open engine oil that was left over from previous oil change

Yes, as Charlie says, as long as it has been stored correctly it should be fine. I generally use the leftovers from one change when I do the next so that it's not sitting around for too long - e.g. if ...
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  • 28.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to reuse oil that was drained for a repair?

As @dodgethesteamroller stated, there is nothing wrong with reusing the engine oil. There are two caveats and one concern I'd like to mention with this. First, use a clean container to store the oil ...
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10 votes

What happens if I change the oil when the engine is cold?

No problem doing it cold, but better to do it hot so the oil flows easier. Proper tools will help, and so will experience. I've been burned a lot too, but that's because I'm not very adept, and have ...
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  • 12.2k
10 votes
Accepted

How do I tell if I screwed up my oil change?

I believe you just dripped some oil on your exhaust when drained it, don't worry, and your "paranoid" stuff is good - it means you care. Good job Snake! ;)
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10 votes
Accepted

How important it is to drain all the oil when doing an oil change?

Old oil isn't poison to your engine or to the new motor oil you are putting in. When you are doing an oil change, whatever old oil is left behind (along with the particulates floating around) will get ...
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  • 12.1k

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