TOTAL Oil Loss....Have I Ruined My Engine?

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It's almost always better to be lucky than to be good ;-)
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:19:18 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

A true statement, Mike. And to think I was going to try bleeding my own brakes! Not any more. Maybe I could do it, maybe not, but I'm not going to find out...not with it being such a major safety issue. I am planning to flush out my radiator today, no problem. Along with changing a PCV valve and an air filter. But the brakes? No way.
- Paul
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This is the indirect result of running the car out of oil. Because you ran it out of oil you are now opening the hood and putting your ear next to the engine and anxiously listening for any sign of trouble. I think you are probably OK, but do keep an eye on the oil level. Good luck.
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:36:53 -0500, Gordon McGrew

Thanks....you're probably right. - Paul
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 15:15:28 -0400, Paul S wrote:

I really don't believe 15 seconds will have done any damage. I can't blame you for worrying, but consider this: after draining and filling the engine and filter, it takes a LOT longer than 15 seconds for pressure to build sufficiently to circulate, anyway! And, area that may have been damaged by non-circulating oil probably held some oil, anyway. I wouldn't fret about it!
I ran (actually, my stepfather, driving my car) a Corolla 1200 with about 1 qt of oil for a couple weeks! The rings needed replacing at 160,000 miles.
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wrote:

Hi - Thank you for the encouraging post. I really have gotten a lot of reassurance on this page that I didn't screw my car up, for which I'm quite grateful. I also think that I had a bit of luck here, as was pointed out by another poster. I guess the real luck is that it was just a minor thing and not (a) a major expense, or worse (b) a serious safety issue. So I'm happy. - Paul
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wrote:

At least that tells me it's not just a Canadian thing...the one size is now apparently standard throughout N. America for many Hondas. I now hear that some folks actually prefer to use an over-size filter on their vehicles (with the proper fitting, of course). Wonder if that would make any difference long term in terms of significantly cleaner oil. Six an one half dozen ther other as I'm not going to try it..... enough misadventures lately to last me the whole summer. Paul.
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As for the engine's future, the noise is the part that worries me. A minute of idling without oil pressure is not a good thing but not normally a catastrophe.
There are two main areas that you need to be concerned about: cam bearings and crank bearings. Dunno about Hondas for sure, but the cam bearings I've seen were just polished steel. I'm thinking that is where the noise came from. They may survive, but I haven't had any experience with cam bearings and oil starvation.
The second area, the crank bearings, are the part I've had experience with :-( Crank bearings are normally indium plated, producing a pink surface that is vital to proper operation. If the indium is stripped away by oil loss the crank journal and the exposed base metal of the bearing will chew at each other. Within a day of normal use you will be able to hear a soft brushing sound; within a week it will become a rhythmic tap. In theory, I suppose you could drop the pan and examine the accessible halves of the crank bearings. It will be obvious whether the indium was ruined or not, and the accessible halves of the journal bearings are the ones that receive the pressure. On the rod ends, the upper halves receive the pressure but at least those are accessible without removing the crank. The problem is: what will you do if you find damage? You could replace the rod bearings and the lower halves of the journal bearings, then hope for the best with the upper halves of the journal bearings. It's a devil's choice.
Here's the thing: either there is damage or there is not. If there is damage it will become apparent within a week - a month at the very outside - by the sound. Trying to head off progressive damage to the crank bearings isn't the same as fixing everything if they are damaged. Or... you dodged the bullet and there is no bottom end damage. Cam damage is no fun, but can be repaired for a semi-affordable amount without pulling the engine.
Best wishes.
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Another thought comes to mind - it took some time for the oil pump to pump all that oil out at idle. If there was any back-pressure where it was leaking out, there was probably some oil making it to the bearings for part of that time. That supports the choice to wait and see.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

idea to replace them.
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jim beam wrote:

Yea, that was my 'best case' choice.
Did the screeching continue after you added oil?
Did it continue for a few seconds after restart, then stop? That might be a bad thing, implying that oil starved surfaces suddenly recieved lubrication as the oil system represurized.
-Greg
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Greg Campbell wrote:

theoretically yes, but i've seen motors run dry, and they rarely squeal - they just seize up. or they clatter if the bearings melt. squealing is usually belts or clutch bearings.
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That's been my experience. Unless they have hydraulic lifters (which clatter like crazy without oil) there is usually little warning :-( A sister-in-law asked me to look at her Buick, which died when she came to a red light. She asked if it could be related to the banging noise she had heard, and I felt cold. Sure enough, a socket on the crankshaft felt like I had hooked up to a solid piece of metal. Seems the oil warning light had burnt out and she never checked the oil or had it changed.
Mike
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

...and still, "they" ask what the difference is between wimin 'n men...
<G>
JT
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about the fram oil filter. they are good oil filters. probably the best for the money they cost. you were probably turning the filter the wrong way with your wrench and over tightened it. look for the old oil filter gasket still stuck on the engine. i've never had that happen with a fram oil filter where it would leave the old gasket on the engine but if it was over tightened that much it's possible it got stuck on there. avoid cheapy purolator filters because their gaskets do pop right off and will cause that problem for you again. i highly doubt you did damage to your engine i just wouldn't let it happen again. i do use an filter wrench to tighten my oil filters on but not super tight just snugged up good. let us know what you find is causing the leak.

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On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 14:06:44 +0000, Jeff wrote:

But...but...you're only supposed to go hand tight then 1/4 turn.
And, it's been a while since I changed a filter on a Honda, but on my Toyotas they seem to tighten as they go along.
I'm sure there's a torque spec somewhere...

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Jeff wrote:

Oh really? What information do you base this on? The construction quality of Fram filters compared to others is hardly inspiring of confidence.
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John Horner wrote:

Yep, Fram which at one time manufactured a quality product back in the old days in East Providence, RI has long relegated quality for a quick buck by selling virtual junk.
No Frams on any of my "babies," even though I'm a RI native!
JT
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You'd be surprised how long a car will run with no oil. I speak from experience.
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That's good to hear....I sure hope it's applicable in this case. Paul.
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