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Anyone know how damaged my engine is likely to be after running on low/no oil.


Shampsie
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Hi, any helpful opinions appreciated.

Long story short..... A rock busted my sump :/ .. would have been running low on oil by the time I arrived at destination, (I noticed it sounding a little noisy.)

2 days later I start the car to leave and it's noisy... a few minutes later it goes back to normal, but I turn it off realising it's got no oil in it :/

Gets towed and is sitting in workshop.

There is some dmg of course, but the mechanic said it 'might' still run ok... So now I have a choice of getting a cash settlement for the amount quoted to replace the engine with a second hand one, or I can just pay the excess and anything needing doing now and in future will be at the cost of the insurance agency.

I'm thinking of taking the cash settlement and hope for the best but I'm not sure if it's gonna be wise in the long run.. what do you think?

Note; The engine is sounding relatively quiet again after patching the sump and refilling with oil.

Thanks.

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Depends on how long you plan on keeping it. If you're gonna sell it in 12 months, take the money and run. If you're gonna keep it for 10 years, you're better off paying the excess and be covered by your insurance policy. At the end of the day, it's not a good thing to run it without oil but depending on your engine temperature (among other things), you may have done very little actual damage. The fact that it is still running as normal makes me think you got lucky. Perhaps a bit of premature wear making your (example) 100k engine feel 150k old but still good enough to motivate the car and do its duty. As I said, depends on what you want out of it. Perhaps look at taking the insurance payout, throwing a bit extra yourself and having it rebuilt.

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**** really??????

It doesn't matter whether it ran for 1 sec or 30secs without oil, the damage is done. And settling for the life to drop from 150k to 100k is NOT alright. Mate pay the excess and get the engine fixed.

If in the near future the Lifters (hydraulic lash adjusters) stay noisy and need replacement, well theres an easy $1000 if not more, not to mention the Main & big end bearings, engine out, crank grind, timing chain, bearings etc etc, Christ $4000-$5000 easy.

That's what you pay insurance for. Don't think of the money in your pocket now, think of the money spent in the near future and not to mention whether you trade it in or sell it privately, a good dealer and/or private buyer will pick issues with the engine.

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thanks for the replies. I'm thinking I'll take my chances with it and keep the money saved so I can fix it if needed.

If it continues to run well for 6months+ I'll sell it cheap I guess.

I'd like to upgrade to a TRD later this year :)

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It's things like this that make me wish karma will bite you in the rear. Such a dodgy move to consider pocketing the money and selling the car as is.

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It's things like this that make me wish karma will bite you in the rear. Such a dodgy move to consider pocketing the money and selling the car as is.

You're very judgemental assuming I would sell it to someone if it was showing any signs of dmg.

I would tell them and sell it cheap if that was the case. Or I would simply fix it.

At the moment the mechanic has said it's quiet and might be fine. So if I drive it without problems until I've saved for the upgrade and then sell it off, good for me.

I wouldn't do what you're accusing me of, so you should watch your mouth!

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You're very judgemental assuming I would sell it to someone if it was showing any signs of dmg.

I would tell them and sell it cheap if that was the case. Or I would simply fix it.

At the moment the mechanic has said it's quiet and might be fine. So if I drive it without problems until I've saved for the upgrade and then sell it off, good for me.

I wouldn't do what you're accusing me of, so you should watch your mouth!

I wasn't judging you on selling it to "someone if it was showing any signs of dmg". I'm judging you on selling it without getting it repaired first, regardless of whether you sell it for cheap. What's to say that just because it isn't showing signs of damage that it is still in good running order. It can still have some serious issues that will then become the buyer's issue. If it is apparently "running fine" when you sell it, are you going to explain the history of it to the buyer? Because I would imagine that explaining that to a buyer is certainly going to make the car more difficult to sell, even if it is cheap. The way I would see it is that despite how you took car of the care, hearing that you could have had it fixed (for peace of mind) for the cost of the excess but chose not to gives a good impression that you didn't care much for the car.

It's like any person selling their previously thrashed car. These details are rarely ever relayed to the buyer simply because it's going to deter them from buying it. People take this into consideration when purchasing a used car and accept it as a risk. Only difference here is having an engine run without oil is potentially going to be worse than a car that has been thrashed however maintained.

There is a reason why there are two options. Cash settlement to replace the engine, or paying the excess to have it fixed. Both situations would result in repairs being carried out so the car can then be sold knowing that any damage from running it without oil is rectified. Both these options weren't intended to leave you with extra money in your pocket.

Edited by Tard
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Tard and the dream both have very valid points. However, unless you bought the car new ( and this goes for anyone who has bought a used car), you don't really know the history of it. If there is any major damage to the engine, then by all means, get it repaired/replaced. If there are no obvious signs of damage and your mechanic thinks it will be fine, keep driving it. What I was trying to piont out in my original post is that if it's not broken, why fix it? Keep in mind that you will be risking the chance of something happening in the future but if there is really nothing wrong you are the winner in this situation. Tard and the dream, have you never owned a used car? Whenever buying used we take a chance that the car has been treated right. Are you really gonna condemn this person for getting what they can for their used car? Did you tell the buyer about all the unseen faults the last time you sold a car?

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I understand where you're coming from. I don't know what I'll end up saying to a buyer. If it sounds fine after thousands of km's driving from now I'm not gonna say, "oh by the way, I ran it without oil for a couple of minutes about a year ago." No one would then buy it regardless of dmg being there or not.

I'll probably sell it off fairly cheap when the time comes anyway.... not a whole engine replacement cheaper, but 1000+ of market price.

Thanks for the posts.

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Prodigy 07, yes I have owned second hands vehicles. And as a qualified mechanic who's been in the industry for 20 years and has been running workshops for the last 10 years, I have seen all sorts of dodgy stuff and customers who refuse to fix their cars to a roadworthy/safe manner and then theres those who don't care what they sell to unsuspecting buyers. I fortunately am not one of those people who will sell a wreck or buy a wreck.

I guess it's the old saying, "buyer beware".

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  • 2 weeks later...

The best way if you want to get money for it and don't want to sell to an "unsuspecting buyer" is sell the car to a wreakers. They are pretty highly trained at spotting issues and will buy the car for what they think its worth. This way you get money and no one gets hurt as the car will be pulled apart and sold as individual items.

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