MR2 SpyderChat banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I was driving my car and as I got off the freeway, I broke for a turn and my low oil light flashed on briefly. I then drove to work and I got additional oil to put in my car. I had to fill up 2.5 quarts for it to be at the full line again. This is ridiculously low since the car doesn't have that much oil capacity to begin with.

So my question is, is there potentially a lot of damage done already? Aside from monitoring the oil consumption going forward, is there anything I can do?

Just some notes on my car. I have removed the precats long ago. I haven't noticed any smoke or burning smell. I park in a garage and I haven't noticed any leaking oil spots.

I'm a little perplexed and alarmed that this happened because of that fact that it is so low and my car has never burned oil before. Any advice?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
Oil problems seem to be the cause of most failed 1zz's. You probably won't smell anything burning or see any smoke because your catalytic converter (if working properly) will clean it all up before it comes out of your exhaust.

If you aren't hearing any unusual sounds from the engine bay (rod knock, ect.) then do a compression check to ease your mind. And watch your oil consumption very closely!

To be honest, I'm really just regurgitating information I have gotten from SC and other sites. I haven't had any of these problems myself, but there are plenty of people on here who have. There is a lot of good info about oil consumption here if you search.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,629 Posts
I would find a friend that can do 'Surgery' on the Engine.. and replace the Rod bearings now.. ( bearings have to be Selected from a list )

They have been Hurt.. and will fail on you sooner than they should.. So if you do a 'Premeptive Strike' on them.. the Car should live a lot longer..

I replaced my Rod Bearings at 100K, because I was Nervious about all the Other Failures..

Cap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
ksk246, Yeah. I saw a lot of the issues with oil problems but then I thought it was mostly people that had pre-cats. I just glossed over them because I took them out so long ago. (I bought the car when it was at 21k and now it is at 85k). No weird noises but I will definitely keep an eye out on my levels at least for a while.

Cap, Thanks for the advice. Do you know around how much it would cost to get that replaced?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,629 Posts
HOWEVER.. that will do nothing for the Rod bearings you Damaged.. so this is a Two Step Treatment..

Cap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,987 Posts
And upon how long the drive to work was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
Today I was driving my car and as I got off the freeway, I broke for a turn and my low oil light flashed on briefly. I then drove to work and I got additional oil to put in my car. I had to fill up 2.5 quarts for it to be at the full line again. This is ridiculously low since the car doesn't have that much oil capacity to begin with.

So my question is, is there potentially a lot of damage done already? Aside from monitoring the oil consumption going forward, is there anything I can do?

Just some notes on my car. I have removed the precats long ago. I haven't noticed any smoke or burning smell. I park in a garage and I haven't noticed any leaking oil spots.

I'm a little perplexed and alarmed that this happened because of that fact that it is so low and my car has never burned oil before. Any advice?

Thanks!
First, the "low oil" light is the oil pressure light. It usually comes on a very low pressure which is often after the engine is hurt. When the oil pressure light comes on STOP THE CAR AND SHUT THE ENGINE OFF. Do not drive to work.

If you ran it 2.5 qt low, there is a high probability of engine damage. Some of the damage may not show up so awhile, but Cap is right, your bearings - all of them not just the rods - may be damaged.

How much damage depends on how hard you ran the engine while it was very low on oil. I have seen engines pretty much destroyed by the time the light comes on, and others run for miles with the light shining brightly and still look ok.

The next step depends on your budget and aversion to risk. If you are a gambler, fill the oil, check it every day, and look for a metallic sheen to the oil. If you find that, it is probably rebuild or new engine time. It is a bit after the fact, but take an oil sample and have it analyzed. If there is bearing damage, it should show on the oil analysis.

If you aren't a gambler or can't afford to take the risk that the engine may grenade from bad bearings, you will need someone to drop the oil pan and visually check all of the bearings (rods and mains) - Very soon.

Even if you are very lucky and there isn't damage, find out where the oil went. How often did you check the oil?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
Just something that I once read, can't verify it, but suspect that it is not too far off.

Most factory oil lights are set to come on at 2 to 6 psi of oil pressure.



I think I can pee with more force than that! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,707 Posts
Just something that I once read, can't verify it, but suspect that it is not too far off.

Most factory oil lights are set to come on at 2 to 6 psi of oil pressure.



I think I can pee with more force than that! :lol:
So the Flomax is really helping?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
So the Flomax is really helping?
Yes it is, the Viagra too!

You know us old people stumble sometimes while walking, that third leg helps me keep my balance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I am going to try to ask around the Los Angeles area to see who can replace rod bearings.

I did a lot more reading on spyderchat and the other mr2 forums on the oil consumption issue (and will continue to do more). I am not sure how I skipped it after being a member here for so many years.

I am going to monitor my oil consumption, get an analysis done by blackstone labs, try using seafoam, and if that doesn't work use Yamaha Free Ring.

Just for informational purposes, the light came on for only around a second or less. It really only blipped on it when I did a harder brake after coming off of freeway speeds. I then drove on side streets around a mile to work.

I haven't ever monitored my oil levels. I guess none of my cars have really burned oil in the past but I think this is pretty foolish based off of everyone else's experience. After reading a lot on the internet it seems like it is definitely a good thing to do to check every 2-3 gas fillups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
If you were cornering hard with low oil level, the oil pump pickup likely became momentarily uncovered, causing the oil pressure 'idiot light' to flicker on.

With such a short drop in oil pressure, there is no risk of damaging the pistons, rings, bores, valvetrain and the like, but the rod bearings are another story...

Like Cap says, the first thing to get ruined is the rod bearings. I know this first hand from my race engine experience, and having chased a tough oiling problem some years ago with one particular race engines.

If, and I mean IF the rod bearings overheated (from momentarily) running dry, at high rpm and under a heavy load, there is no cure other than to replace them. Now better than latter.

Rod bearing failure explained: Rod bearings are essentially a steel backing that has been electroplated with several layers of softer bearing material. Lead, lead-tin, lead-tin-indium, lead-tin-copper, they all use proprietary recipes to build up the steel substrate by several thousandths of an inch. Steel crankshaft on steel inserts (or the steel backing) simply will not work. The myth that automotive bearings never touch the crank is wrong, automotive bearings are new truely hydrostatic. Anyhow, once the layers get hot from lack of cooling and lubricating oil, they smear, displacing the top layer(s) exposing the lower layers. Hotter still, and the plating blisters. The blisters come loose, and put what looks to be tiny flecks of glitter into the engine oil. As the bearing material smears, blisters, and gets displaced, the steel packing gets exposed, and is when things turn real ugly, quick! Steel-on-steel with micro-weld itself together in short order.

You could cut your filter apart with a filter cutter (works like an old fashioned pipe cutter) and look for this glitter over a black plastic drain pan under sunlight, like panning for gold. But that won't catch where the top layer of bearing material has only been smeared.

The good news is replacing rod bearings while the engine is still in the car looks to me to be very doable in an MR2. Most people will never do this, because they don't know they have a problem until they get the dreaded 'death knock' from a spun rod bearing, necessitating rebuilding the crankshaft and at least 1 rod (read: engine out, rebuild the lower end).
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top