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Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. #4492656
08/19/17 08:21 AM
08/19/17 08:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
CA
ArtDecoWorld Offline OP
ArtDecoWorld  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
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.

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492665
08/19/17 08:31 AM
08/19/17 08:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,299
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
JC1 Offline
JC1  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,299
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
As long as you didn't run it for a long time with a low oil level you should be OK.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 Shell Conventional/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492667
08/19/17 08:31 AM
08/19/17 08:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,929
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,929
Florida, Cape Coral
OIL PRESSURE LIGHT OFF, means the engine was circulating oil so no damage. Ed


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492670
08/19/17 08:36 AM
08/19/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,839
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,839
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.

Last edited by Chris142; 08/19/17 08:36 AM.

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Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492672
08/19/17 08:36 AM
08/19/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
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.

Last edited by oil_film_movies; 08/19/17 08:36 AM.
Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Eddie] #4492674
08/19/17 08:36 AM
08/19/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
CA
ArtDecoWorld Offline OP
ArtDecoWorld  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
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.

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Chris142] #4492675
08/19/17 08:37 AM
08/19/17 08:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
CA
ArtDecoWorld Offline OP
ArtDecoWorld  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 23
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.

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492678
08/19/17 08:43 AM
08/19/17 08:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,418
Minnesota
bioburner Offline
bioburner  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,418
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.



97 Ford E350 D,99 F350 dually D
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Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492681
08/19/17 08:45 AM
08/19/17 08:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
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.

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492683
08/19/17 08:48 AM
08/19/17 08:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
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.

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492686
08/19/17 08:53 AM
08/19/17 08:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,192
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,192
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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Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492687
08/19/17 08:54 AM
08/19/17 08:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,833
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,833
Marshfield , MA
Hey, you remembered to add oil. No harm, no foul. grin2


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1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

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Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: Eddie] #4492714
08/19/17 09:31 AM
08/19/17 09:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
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


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 181 miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: SilverFusion2010] #4492760
08/19/17 10:44 AM
08/19/17 10:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,259
The Garden State
Whimsey Offline
Whimsey  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,259
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

Re: Minimum oil level to run? Oil change starting. [Re: ArtDecoWorld] #4492775
08/19/17 11:07 AM
08/19/17 11:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 750
texas
danez_yoda Offline
danez_yoda  Offline
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 750
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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