Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • dilby
    • By dilby 15th Jan 20, 10:00 PM
    • 80Posts
    • 6Thanks
    dilby
    No oil after service questionable?
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:00 PM
    No oil after service questionable? 15th Jan 20 at 10:00 PM
    Hi all -

    My car was serviced 9 months ago (including an oil change) and now my car's engine oil is completely empty. I can't see any clear signs of a mechanical fault and the car is only 2 years old, so providing no fault is changed can I assume that the mechanics didn't actually change the oil as advertised? I'm no car expert but that seems like a lot of oil to go through in 9 months for quite a new car (I also work from home so don't do a lot of miles).

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • loskie
    • By loskie 15th Jan 20, 10:02 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 1,064 Thanks
    loskie
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:02 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:02 PM
    really!

    You do know that you should check your oil more frequently don't you?
    • dilby
    • By dilby 15th Jan 20, 10:12 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    dilby
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:12 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:12 PM
    Yes. But like I assume many others I relied on the dashboard telling me when more oil is needed; light came on today and here I am. If anyone else wants to unhelpfully point that out, don't worry I'm aware how incompetent I am.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    • 27,610 Posts
    • 27,793 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    Nine months, and how many miles?

    A typical car contains about 4 litres of oil.
    Acceptable use varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but can be as high as a litre per 1,000km - 620 miles. So you could have used all the oil within less than 3,000 miles and still be within normal limits.

    This is why your owner's handbook tells you to check the oil level regularly.

    But like I assume many others I relied on the dashboard telling me when more oil is needed; light came on today and here I am.
    Originally posted by dilby
    Most cars don't have oil level warnings on the dash.
    They have a light warning you of low oil pressure. Very low.

    When that light comes on, oil is not circulating around the engine. It's pumping air around.
    • couriervanman
    • By couriervanman 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    • 873 Posts
    • 1,579 Thanks
    couriervanman
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:13 PM
    If they hadn't put oil in the car would have packed in straight away.......how do you know the oil is empty if by checking dipstick there will will still be a little left in.


    As per previous post check your oil and other fluids at least every month if not weekly/biweekly
    • dilby
    • By dilby 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    dilby
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    Nine months, and how many miles?

    A typical car contains about 4 litres of oil.
    Acceptable use varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but can be as high as a litre per 1,000km - 620 miles. So you could have used all the oil within less than 3,000 miles and still be within normal limits.

    This is why your owner's handbook tells you to check the oil level regularly.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Thanks that's helpful. I'd say about 4k miles, so yup I guess that makes sense. Just first time that's happened to me, it normally barely changes, so perhaps in the past I've just been lucky! Thanks again, good info.
    • couriervanman
    • By couriervanman 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    • 873 Posts
    • 1,579 Thanks
    couriervanman
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:14 PM
    Yes. But like I assume many others I relied on the dashboard telling me when more oil is needed; light came on today and here I am. If anyone else wants to unhelpfully point that out, don't worry I'm aware how incompetent I am.
    Originally posted by dilby
    "I'm aware how incompetent I am"
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Jan 20, 10:16 PM
    • 27,610 Posts
    • 27,793 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:16 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:16 PM
    Thanks that's helpful. I'd say about 4k miles, so yup I guess that makes sense. Just first time that's happened to me, it normally barely changes, so perhaps in the past I've just been lucky! Thanks again, good info.
    Originally posted by dilby
    Perhaps something's gone awry. Perhaps there's an oil cooler which has been pierced by a stone. Perhaps a hose or seal has developed a leak.

    Regular checks will tell you of that before any damage is done.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 15th Jan 20, 10:21 PM
    • 8,750 Posts
    • 12,225 Thanks
    waamo
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:21 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:21 PM
    What car is it? Some guzzle oil.
    This space for hire.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Jan 20, 10:31 PM
    • 14,360 Posts
    • 11,489 Thanks
    unholyangel
    I've had a leak before when a well known national chain changed the oil but didn't fit the filter right.

    If you're testing for leaks put a container under it and then put some oil in and leave it overnight then check the basin. If no leaks, then its likely your engine burning it off. If leaks then its identifying the source.

    Of course given you're on the forum asking the question rather than doing any of the above already....you might just want to take it to a trusted garage and ask them to diagnose

    ETA: Also, I typically change mine every 6 months. Thought that was standard tbh
    Last edited by unholyangel; 15-01-2020 at 10:34 PM.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Jan 20, 10:44 PM
    • 27,610 Posts
    • 27,793 Thanks
    AdrianC
    ETA: Also, I typically change mine every 6 months. Thought that was standard tbh
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    The 1970s called, they'd like their rule-of-thumb back.

    10k miles or 12mo has been pretty much the shortest interval you're going to have seen on anything built since the 90s. except for unusually fragile stuff. Manufacturer recommended intervals can go longer - 18k/24mo is not unknown.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 15th Jan 20, 10:58 PM
    • 12,348 Posts
    • 7,009 Thanks
    DUTR
    Hi all -

    My car was serviced 9 months ago (including an oil change) and now my car's engine oil is completely empty. I can't see any clear signs of a mechanical fault and the car is only 2 years old, so providing no fault is changed can I assume that the mechanics didn't actually change the oil as advertised? I'm no car expert but that seems like a lot of oil to go through in 9 months for quite a new car (I also work from home so don't do a lot of miles).

    Thanks!
    Originally posted by dilby
    It's not completely empty as the engine would soon pack up, the warning comes on when the car has used around a litre, a top up within 9 months is not unusual, always keep a litre of oil after a service to top up when necessary.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Jan 20, 11:02 PM
    • 14,360 Posts
    • 11,489 Thanks
    unholyangel
    The 1970s called, they'd like their rule-of-thumb back.

    10k miles or 12mo has been pretty much the shortest interval you're going to have seen on anything built since the 90s. except for unusually fragile stuff. Manufacturer recommended intervals can go longer - 18k/24mo is not unknown.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    12months on my last car (well 2nd last, just got another new one) would've ran it bone dry.

    As for the 1970s, I don't know....did people take better care of their cars back then than they do now? I also service regularly, inspect tyres, top up windscreen/coolant regularly, get things dealt with as soon as they crop up....did they do that in the 1970s too?
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Jan 20, 11:05 PM
    • 27,610 Posts
    • 27,793 Thanks
    AdrianC
    12months on my last car (well 2nd last, just got another new one) would've ran it bone dry.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Top-ups may well be required more frequently. Oil and filter change... nope.

    As for the 1970s, I don't know....did people take better care of their cars back then than they do now? I also service regularly, inspect tyres, top up windscreen/coolant regularly, get things dealt with as soon as they crop up....did they do that in the 1970s too?
    Increased reliability has brought complacency.
    • twhitehousescat
    • By twhitehousescat 15th Jan 20, 11:05 PM
    • 4,553 Posts
    • 5,604 Thanks
    twhitehousescat
    Yes. But like I assume many others I relied on the dashboard telling me when more oil is needed; light came on today and here I am. If anyone else wants to unhelpfully point that out, don't worry I'm aware how incompetent I am.
    Originally posted by dilby
    us there a light that actually records oil level , or is it an oil PRESSURE warning light , the sort that goes out when you start the engine

    and comes on when there is no oil pressure
    Time pretending I was asleep whilst under his desk , has given me insight to this sordid world
    • mchale
    • By mchale 15th Jan 20, 11:29 PM
    • 1,856 Posts
    • 1,067 Thanks
    mchale
    I relied on the dashboard telling me when more oil is needed; light came on today and here I am.
    Originally posted by dilby
    That's when the damage will be done.
    ANURADHA KOIRALA ??? go on throw it in google.
    • fred246
    • By fred246 15th Jan 20, 11:45 PM
    • 1,986 Posts
    • 1,305 Thanks
    fred246
    It's always worth taking a photo of the dipstick before a service so you can compare it with the same photo afterwards. If you find they haven't changed it you can contact trading standards. Will the mechanic get sacked and the garage fined? Of course not. They will tell you to go back to the garage and ask them to change the oil. It's one of the reasons garage servicing standards are so bad. The ONLY way to know that a car has been serviced properly is to DO IT YOURSELF.
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 16th Jan 20, 1:31 AM
    • 3,042 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    It's always worth taking a photo of the dipstick before a service so you can compare it with the same photo afterwards. If you find they haven't changed it you can contact trading standards. Will the mechanic get sacked and the garage fined? Of course not. They will tell you to go back to the garage and ask them to change the oil. It's one of the reasons garage servicing standards are so bad. The ONLY way to know that a car has been serviced properly is to DO IT YOURSELF.
    Originally posted by fred246
    Ah the Freds.

    So you are suggesting to someone who has admitted they don't check their oil, and acknowledge they lack mechanic skills just go ahead and do their own oil and filter changes. I've asked before and you never seem to answer. Will you pay for repair/replacement of engine if it all goes wrong?
    • mcpitman
    • By mcpitman 16th Jan 20, 7:31 AM
    • 657 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    mcpitman
    It's always worth taking a photo of the dipstick before a service so you can compare it with the same photo afterwards. If you find they haven't changed it you can contact trading standards. Will the mechanic get sacked and the garage fined? Of course not. They will tell you to go back to the garage and ask them to change the oil. It's one of the reasons garage servicing standards are so bad. The ONLY way to know that a car has been serviced properly is to DO IT YOURSELF.
    Originally posted by fred246
    Wow is that a chip on your shoulder or a whole potato field?

    "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing".
    Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away. Like choking....
    • Goudy
    • By Goudy 16th Jan 20, 7:40 AM
    • 243 Posts
    • 170 Thanks
    Goudy
    There can be different warning lights for "oil".

    The obvious one is the low oil pressure light.
    You'll find one on every model and it's as it says, there's not enough oil in the engine to create enough pressure to feed all the areas that need oil in the engine with enough of the stuff.

    You should see this light up when the ignition is switched on as a check that the light is working, but you don't want to see this while the engine is running. The light should go out as soon as the engine is running.

    It's a last resort warning, you really need to stop running the engine and top up immediately as the damage can be catastrophic for the engine, not only does it lubricate the parts in the engine, but engine oil accounts for around 20% or more of a modern engine's cooling.

    Some manufacturers use an "oil change light" to warn the vehicle requires a service.
    The on board computer works date, time and trips traveled and suggests it's time for a service.

    SWMBO's Suzuki Vitara has just popped up one of these "Oil Change" warnings, it's oil is bang on the level and clean enough to lick, but it's "worked out" it requires a change.
    My knock about Dacia just has a service count down, this counts mileage down from 12,000 miles, but the harder it works (lot's of stop start trips) - the quicker it counts down.

    Manufacturers say they use these systems to extend the service intervals, yet write in the owners hand book the model requires a service at X miles OR X months, whichever comes first.

    I tend to look at these on board service warnings as an environmental poly.
    It's not really environmentally friendly servicing a vehicle, it's so they can all say, look at our models, they'll do millions of miles between services, when in fact they won't and they don't want them to.

    Increased reliability has brought complacency.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I think the above quote is spot on, we've become so used to modern vehicles being so reliable we forget they still need regular checks that on board computers and sensors just can't quite do sufficiently, if at all.
    Get on with the regular checks and you'll never have to write a similar post again!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

53Posts Today

3,664Users online

Martin's Twitter