Alarming low oil reading
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This is a discussion on Alarming low oil reading within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Yesterday i checked my oil level and it looked ridiculously low..... last oil change was at 90k and im currently ...

  1. #1
    Registered User JDMsoul's Avatar
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    Alarming low oil reading

    Yesterday i checked my oil level and it looked ridiculously low..... last oil change was at 90k and im currently at 93.5.... put in some oil, about a quart and a half, and after measuring later, its still reading dangerously low.... anyone experience this? ground was flat, no incline and no lights have ever come on....
    Chris
    238 whp on stock turbo - Stage 2
    05 l WRB l WRX

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Check level at every fuel stop as stated in manual; report back.
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    Registered User NitroNate's Avatar
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    i'm pretty sure the oil light is just a dummy light that will come one when the oil pressure drops below a certain point. you can be a few quarts low and if you aren't driving hard the oil pressure will still be high enough. i've had mine 2 quarts low and just below the dipstick and the light didn't go on. filled 'er up and made sure i checked more often since then.

    that being said, the oil (if leaking or burning off) has to be going somewhere. i'd check for leaks and any indication of oil burn in the exhaust.
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    Registered User JDMsoul's Avatar
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    whats worrying me is that when i checked, the dip stick was dry... a quart and a half after... the dip stick was still dry.... i'll check again later or when i re fuel and report back.

    i havent seen any spots under me when i park for an extended period of time, and what color smoke would it be if i were burning through it???
    Chris
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    Registered User NitroNate's Avatar
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    oil burning should be blueish gray, here's a good link that explains it nicely: Exhaust Color Diagnosis | White Smoke Blue Black
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMsoul View Post
    whats worrying me is that when i checked, the dip stick was dry... a quart and a half after... the dip stick was still dry.... i'll check again later or when i re fuel and report back.
    If the stick was dry the second time you checked, didn't you add more oil? You didn't continue driving with a seemingly dry reading, right?

    How frequently do you check your oil?
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    I'd honestly take the time to do an oil change now. May as well check and see how much comes out of your oil pan.
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    Registered User JDMsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    If the stick was dry the second time you checked, didn't you add more oil? You didn't continue driving with a seemingly dry reading, right?


    How frequently do you check your oil?

    sadly, i did.. i had no other way to get to work, but yes, i did add oil.... its weird.... i think i might just go ahead and get that oil change...
    not as often as i should be im thinking...
    Chris
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    05 l WRB l WRX

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    OK let's back up.

    If your car does not show correct oil level RIGHT NOW, PARK IT. Fix the oil level first.

    If/when you fix the oil level, check it routinely. Let's say once a week, stone cold in the morning.

    Go from there. From the info you've given there is no way to know if anything is actually wrong.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    I do a cold check every Saturday morning, all fluids, along with a visual of belts, wires, etc. It's a routine I've been doing for many years.
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    Registered User JDMsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    OK let's back up.

    If your car does not show correct oil level RIGHT NOW, PARK IT. Fix the oil level first.

    If/when you fix the oil level, check it routinely. Let's say once a week, stone cold in the morning.

    Go from there. From the info you've given there is no way to know if anything is actually wrong.

    After work I went straight to an oil change place and had them do an oil change. The guy couldn't spot a leak and all I had in there when it was drained was about a quart. I'm going to recheck tomorrow morning and from there on religiously. Sat mornings sounds good for inspections. I'll repost tomorrow and report levels.
    Chris
    238 whp on stock turbo - Stage 2
    05 l WRB l WRX

  13. #12
    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    Again: there's nothing worse than NO oil. ANY oil, no matter how old, is better than none. Running out of oil will kill any engine dead. THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED! How long do you plan on having this engine?
    What did they do at the "oil change place"? Jiffy Lube/Quick Lube? Did you check the level right then and there? after it's right, keep an eye on it religiously. Once you have a feel for the amounts the engine uses you can back off checking and reduce to one a week, once a month... I personally check every 2 or 3 weeks, there is literally no consumption. But this varies, depending on conditions, oil brand and viscosity, age and condition of engine and so on. Some engine will run from oil change to oil change without needing any oil added, some will use a quart every 1k miles and it's still considered normal.
    You can't have everything - where would you put it?

  14. #13
    Registered User JDMsoul's Avatar
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    what we're speculating is that the last time i got an oil change, they didnt top it off... whats sad is that i only got oil changes at the Subaru dealership. i checked this morning and it was as it should be.. full. im going to check again when i get out of work. i haven't noticed any leaks either. my car is parked int he same spot for 8 hours a day m - f, and there is nothing on the floor to indicate i have a leak. never the less, im still going to keep checking every other day, and like you said, once i see the amount it uses, i can start backing off.. but this has me on my toes right now....
    Chris
    238 whp on stock turbo - Stage 2
    05 l WRB l WRX

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Cool...hopefully (and sadly) that it may have only been a mistake. But good on you for checking it out and keeping up with it.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Registered User NitroNate's Avatar
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    yeah sounds like they didn't fill it up properly. man, that is one of those mistakes that can be COSTLY. oil change is one of those jobs you should do yourself, or check the dipstick at the dealer when you pick it up.
    2004 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0L
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