Forgot to replace Engine Oil cap

Messages
32
Location
Detroit, MI
Thread starter
I have a confession to make. Last summer, one weekend, I was checking the oil level on the dipstick. Thought it was a bit low, so I opened the oil oil cap, placed it on the engine cover and added about 1/2 qt of oil. Then one thing lead to another, got called away to do something else and closed the hood. Two days later I open the hood for something quite unrelated and I realized that the oil cap is still sitting on the engine cover and obviously I had forgotten to replace it back. So I guess I must have driven about 60 miles with the engine oil cap opening open to the air! The van ran well during the time and six months later, it is still running fine. I didn't see any debris deep in the opening and with regular city driving it is not a dusty driving environment. I don't detect any change in engine sound and a oil change done two months later last fall was uneventful too. So now, I am allowing myself think about what could have happened during the time the cap was off and if I should do anything different and watch out for anything, after this silly oversight. Any thoughts, suggestions, advice is most appreciated. Thanks. BTW: Van is a 2002 Honda Odyssey with 207,000 miles on it.
 

JC1

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4,735
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Did you get oil splashing all over the engine bay? If that were me, I'd do an oil change ASAP on it to get any contaminants out of the engine. I'm guessing your motor didn't die, so you are ok.
 
I'd say your van is fine, and your late but still guilty conscience is hereby absolved of your crime. Considering your Odyssey is on the far side of 200k, it will live as long as it is intended to. Any sizable particulate would have been caught by the oil filter in short order during usage.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,389
Location
Iowegia - USA
Replace the cap and maybe do an early oil change but that has happened to us all at one time or another so I don't think any damage has occurred over that short a mileage. The only internal situation that may have changed is the PVC metering since there was no partial vacuum. You may want to wash down the engine compartment since oil spray may have wetted the outside of the intake system or block. Don't ask me how I know this! LOL
 
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Messages
4,112
Location
WA
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Replace the cap and maybe do an early oil change but that has happened to us all at one time or another so i don't think any damage has occurred over that short a mileage.
Gulty as charged.....‚
 
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Messages
12,022
Location
OH
It could have been worse where you drove the van through dusty/dirty areas, oil sprayed all over the engine bay, you forgot to add oil to the crankcase, forgot to install the drain plug, etc.... So in the scheme of things pretty minor. Rest easy. Probably barely a hiccup in the van's existence. For all we put vehicles through they're durable for the most part. Cars get run low on oil all the time so at least that didn't happen. Plus if it were more serious you would have posted about it right away.
 
Messages
10,000
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by Virtus_Probi
Ummmm….there's supposed to be a cap where you add the oil??? shocked2 LOL
Eons ago, had a lady walk into autozone and wanted 4 quarts of oil for her 1988 Town Car (5.0 HO engine)... Through casual visiting, she had NO IDEA the old oil gets drained out..... she just added 4 quarts every 5,000 miles. crzy
 
Messages
4,103
Location
SW Ohio
Originally Posted by samiamz
The van ran well during the time and six months later, it is still running fine.
I think this answers your question(s).... Nothing to see here, move along. Your car is fine.
 
Messages
2,961
Location
Western S.C.
I did that once for about 3 miles on my Mazda, which tossed out a lot of oil, because the cam sprocket was right under the fill opening. I don't think it could've gone 60 miles like you did. As long as you didn't have that problem, probably no harm was done except a little extra dust sucked into the engine.
 
Messages
4,583
Location
Lima, Ohio, USA
yep... we've all done it... https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...100-mi-drive-sans-filler-cap#Post3155022 btw, my buddy/his little Bro still driving that neon. it's the little bro's car, but he's off making big booms in the Army (Artillery SPC, stationed @ Camp Casey, Korea), and buddy's car has non working A/C...so the Neon has been his Summer car... His Contract is up this may, and not planning on re-upping. looks like Big bro is gonna have to buy a better ride.
 
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Messages
472
Location
CA
Originally Posted by walterjay
I did it years ago and drove on the interstate for a few hundred miles. Everything was ok.
Way back when my wife got her oil changed at a quick lube place - then went on a ~500 mile trip. When she got back I was checking everything out and noticed the cap had been left off. It was sitting pinched between the hood and intake.... Carstill runs fine 100,000 miles later!
 
Messages
32
Location
Detroit, MI
Thread starter
Thanks for the replies and the reassurances. I kinda figured that if it had sucked in any particulate matter, there was nothing much I could do after the fact. There was no oil splash visible anywhere under the hood that I could see. Oil cap got replaced and a couple of weeks later the regularly due oil change was done. So far so good. It's given good service the last 18 yrs. Kids are off to college, our minivan days a probably winding down. Now it is just a question of seeing how far it goes - whether it will reach 250k! Thanks again for your input.
 
Messages
5,989
Location
Connecticut
I had an uncle who did this years ago with a 1980s Honda Accord, except he drove a few hours afterward to meet my parents. He smelled oil when he arrived and opened the hood. My dad told me everything under the hood was covered in oil.
 
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