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#4492656 - 08/19/17 09:21 AM Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting.
ArtDecoWorld Offline


Registered: 01/02/17
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Yesterday I was changing out on a 1989 Toyota Van. I had it up on ramps. I added about 2-2.2 quarts. I didn't check the level as it was elevated at an angle. I then started it, and back off the ramps to level it on flat ground.

The oil was all the way at the very bottom of the dipstick (i.e not in the cross-hatch area, but down below at the very bottom of the stick.) I had to add another 1.3 - 1.5 quarts to bring it up to 3/4 or so of the cross-hatch area.

Did I risk damage by starting it with the lower amount? Would being on the ramp make it harder to suck up the oil?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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#4492665 - 08/19/17 09:31 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3001
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
As long as you didn't run it for a long time with a low oil level you should be OK.
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#4492667 - 08/19/17 09:31 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9559
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
OIL PRESSURE LIGHT OFF, means the engine was circulating oil so no damage. Ed
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#4492670 - 08/19/17 09:36 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Why didnt you put more in it before backing it off? 90% of the cars on the road take between 4 and 5 qts. 4 would have been safe for sure.


Edited by Chris142 (08/19/17 09:36 AM)
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#4492672 - 08/19/17 09:36 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2553
Loc: MN
No problem, running it for a few minutes that way. Oil might heat up too much if you drive around like that a lot, but short periods of time, no problem.
Oil pickup tubes-screens reach down to the lowest area of the oil sump, so you had plenty in there to grab.
No oil pressure light, no problem, generally, and certainly in your case.


Edited by oil_film_movies (08/19/17 09:36 AM)

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#4492674 - 08/19/17 09:36 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Eddie]
ArtDecoWorld Offline


Registered: 01/02/17
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Eddie
OIL PRESSURE LIGHT OFF, means the engine was circulating oil so no damage. Ed


Oil pressure light is broken, it's a common thing on these.

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#4492675 - 08/19/17 09:37 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Chris142]
ArtDecoWorld Offline


Registered: 01/02/17
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Why didnt you put more in it before backing it off? 90% of the cars on the road take between 4 and 5 qts. 4 would have been safe for sure.


Because I was stupid.

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#4492678 - 08/19/17 09:43 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
bioburner Offline


Registered: 09/19/16
Posts: 1418
Loc: Minnesota
Very Short period no issue. I know of someone that ran low oil level and the internals showed high temps on early rebuild. Oil pressure switch wont show if your pumping lot of air and air won't cool or provide much lubrication.
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#4492681 - 08/19/17 09:45 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2553
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: ArtDecoWorld
Because I was stupid.

No, you weren't. There was plenty of oil to grab and circulate, just to get off the ramps. No damage.

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#4492683 - 08/19/17 09:48 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2553
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: ArtDecoWorld
Would being on the ramp make it harder to suck up the oil?
That part of your original question: Should be fine with 2 to 2.5 quarts added, and remember an engine has about 1/2 to 1 quart you can't drain out completely, so still enough to cover on the ramp, tilted, the oil pickup got it.

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#4492686 - 08/19/17 09:53 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
fdcg27 Online   content


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15693
Loc: OH
If you were doing an oil change, why wouldn't you have just added the recommended fill amount before starting the engine?
In any event, as long as the oil pressure light went out quickly on the start, no harm was done since the oil pump was sucking oil and not air.
In the future, just add what the sump takes before starting the engine.
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#4492687 - 08/19/17 09:54 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7139
Loc: Marshfield , MA
Hey, you remembered to add oil. No harm, no foul. grin2
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#4492714 - 08/19/17 10:31 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Eddie]
SilverFusion2010 Offline


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1657
Loc: Crawfordville FL
Originally Posted By: Eddie
OIL PRESSURE LIGHT OFF, means the engine was circulating oil so no damage. Ed


This. I wouldn't run that low on the road by any means, but you had adequate pressure so the engine was being lubricated.

You've had a scare and now have learned a lesson smile
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#4492760 - 08/19/17 11:44 AM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: SilverFusion2010]
Whimsey Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4047
Loc: The Garden State
Originally Posted By: SilverFusion2010
Originally Posted By: Eddie
OIL PRESSURE LIGHT OFF, means the engine was circulating oil so no damage. Ed


This. I wouldn't run that low on the road by any means, but you had adequate pressure so the engine was being lubricated.

You've had a scare and now have learned a lesson smile


I believe he said his oil pressure light is broken, but he'd be fine to get off the ramps to add the additional oil needed.

Whimsey

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#4492775 - 08/19/17 12:07 PM Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld]
danez_yoda Offline


Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 462
Loc: texas
This is BITOG and no-one asked the obvious question.

Which OIL was it? If it was the magical unicorn tears type, one drop is good for 50K miles.

HOBO oil and a Fram filter, your done for. smile


You're fine, just don't do it again. blush

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