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#3391725 - 06/07/14 07:49 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 4975
Loc: Marshfield , MA
The Wag's oil pressure gauge would read lower than normal and that was the clue. My Bmws have a low oil level warning light.And low coolant too. The current pair sling off a pint pretty fast, then settle down. The Rat doesn't use much oil either.
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1988 BMW 528e 20w50 dino, STP filter

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#3391729 - 06/07/14 07:54 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
WeenieHutJr Offline


Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 67
Loc: Washington
I did an oil change on a 2011 Forester with the FB engine and 1.5 quarts came out. I think last oil change was 12k miles and 4-5 months ago.

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#3391791 - 06/07/14 09:59 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 14113
Loc: apple valley, ca
My jeep does not use oil between changes so its always full. 6Qt sump so 5 qts is still in it @add.my ford does use some oil.11qt sump.9 left when at the add mark.ill throw in a qt or 2 then. But it does not effect how it runs.
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#3391809 - 06/07/14 10:28 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 9782
Loc: Saskatoon canada
What's a low oil level?

My oil levels in everything i own is either full,or empty because I'm changing it.
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2006 Charger RT
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#3391823 - 06/07/14 10:52 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
01rangerxl Offline


Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 8816
Loc: Birmingham, AL
Nothing I have owned or driven regularly has truly been low on oil. Low on oil for my truck is half way down the safe range on the dipstick. At that point it's usually due for an oil change anyway.

The cars I have seen that were more than a quart low on oil ranged from "running fine" to knocking/valve clatter. Sometimes it went away with a change, sometimes not.

This question varies depending on your definition of low and how long it has been there.
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2002 Ford Ranger XLT | 3.0 V6 / 5-Speed Automatic / 2WD | 188K miles
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#3391826 - 06/07/14 10:53 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
147_Grain Offline


Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 1944
Loc: USA
"How well does your engine handle low oil levels?"

Don't know, as my oil levels are always 1/16" to 1/8" over the full mark.

Perhaps you can intentionally run a few of your vehicles low on oil and educate us on this conundrum. wink

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#3391887 - 06/08/14 12:23 AM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: Turk]
bvance554 Offline


Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 1860
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: Turk
I can hear it in the engine when both the 2000 & 1998 Saturn SL2's are 1/2 quarts low.



That is amazing. Because I've ran Saturns with no oil touching the dipstick and you would never know the difference. You must have a very keen sense of hearing.

How much oil is actually in circulation in an engine? Probably less than a quart. I bet every vehicle would run just fine with no damage on a quart of oil. The sump is a resevoir...

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#3391946 - 06/08/14 05:44 AM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: widman]
Rick in PA Offline


Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 2843
Loc: Southeastern, PA
Originally Posted By: widman
Some cars will drink a lot until the half way mark, then none...


Interesting point. With several others raising the same issue, it got me to thinking. Is it likely that when the oil pan is tippy-top full, the windage from the crank makes more of an aerosol of the oil, which is then drawn off through the PCV system?
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#3391965 - 06/08/14 07:25 AM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: Rick in PA]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 12229
Loc: OH
Originally Posted By: Rick in PA
Originally Posted By: widman
Some cars will drink a lot until the half way mark, then none...


Interesting point. With several others raising the same issue, it got me to thinking. Is it likely that when the oil pan is tippy-top full, the windage from the crank makes more of an aerosol of the oil, which is then drawn off through the PCV system?


Or maybe enough oil gets splashed onto the cylinder walls that it overwhelms the rings' ability to wipe it off?
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#3391977 - 06/08/14 07:45 AM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: RPMster]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 8789
Loc: NH
Haven't ever ran one to lower than "add a quart", which is when I add a quart. But the current fleet does not use oil over there 10k OCI so I have had not had this issue for a long time.

On my Saturn I timed it so that it would be needing an oil change when it got a quart low. Ran just fine.
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#3391997 - 06/08/14 08:24 AM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: bvance554]
Turk Offline


Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 9103
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: bvance554
Originally Posted By: Turk
I can hear it in the engine when both the 2000 & 1998 Saturn SL2's are 1/2 quarts low.



That is amazing. Because I've ran Saturns with no oil touching the dipstick and you would never know the difference. You must have a very keen sense of hearing.



Yea, I pay very close attention.

To be more specific, the engine starts sounding a little "raw".

I check it & sure enough, 1/2 quart low. smile
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03 GMC Sierra 4x4 200k M1 0-40+PU
00 Saturn SL2 89 YO Lady Car 92k, Edge Ext
98 Saturn SC2 Rare "Red Hot" 165k, Edge Ext
97 Camry 245k, Maxlife


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#3392168 - 06/08/14 12:37 PM Re: How well does your engine handle low oil levels? [Re: Turk]
Powerglide Offline


Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 44
Loc: SE Florida
Saturns of that vintage will take an enormous amount of abuse.

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