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Unread 10-20-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Oil levels in engine

Let's say you have a typical V8 with a deep oil pan, and a deep sump.

If the motor oil goes low enough that it doesn't even touch the dipstick.. would that be bad for the engine even over a short amount of time?

In other words, if the oil pump is still picking up oil and lubricating the engine.. is there anything that isn't lubricated due to a low oil level? If not would a low oil level make heat more of a problem than lubrication?

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Unread 10-20-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Well, the engineers set the oil level where it was for a reason. Probably what would happen is when you take a corner the oil will all go to one side of the pan, possibly the opposite side of the pickup and you run with no oil briefly. But yes, it's bad, engines need oil.

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Unread 10-20-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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You'd be down to about three quarts. It's enough to not harm it but that doesn't mean pack up and go cross country, either. That oil had to go somewhere. Also, at that level, it might suck air into the system during cornering/stopping.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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The oil level opff is determined by how much oil needs to be floting in the motor while running so if it's low while think about how low it is with 2-3 quarts flowing through the motor.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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It shouldnt do any harm as long as its still got over about 2-2.5 quarts in the engine, no it wont register on the dipstick, but it will still allow the oil pump to flow the oil through out the engine, which is really what matters. I wouldnt drive around long like this, as you will wear the oil out much quicker.

Heat may be a small problem, but on most standard, non high performance engines, this is rarely an issue.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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I don't know I've seen a lot a torn down motors with some serious crankbearing wear do to low oil.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbasil1 View Post
It shouldnt do any harm as long as its still got over about 2-2.5 quarts in the engine, no it wont register on the dipstick, but it will still allow the oil pump to flow the oil through out the engine, which is really what matters. I wouldnt drive around long like this, as you will wear the oil out much quicker.

Heat may be a small problem, but on most standard, non high performance engines, this is rarely an issue.
you guys just got me relieved. lol it really wont register on the dipstick and it really worries me because i am not seeing any oil leaks on my car. thankfully ive read this thread carefully so no more worries. lol.

Last edited by andreasue; 04-14-2011 at 04:12 AM.

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Unread 04-12-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
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It doesn't have to leak, it can burn. And if it doesn't register on the dipstick how do you know you have oil? You should be worried

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