Ran 3 quarts low 50-100 miles


Old 07-19-03, 12:23 PM
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Ran 3 quarts low 50-100 miles

All i know about the car is it's a 2000 dodge intrepid with 97000 miles on the engine. The lady at work ran it about 50-100 miles she says on 3 quarts low of oil. Supposedly she checked the oil just before she made the trip, and it was full. Anyways, the engine started a noticeable ticking noise when she was driving. She said it wasnt loud, you could just hear it. She checked the oil then added 3 quarts of oil to fill it up. She brought the car to work and the ticking noise isnt very quiet you can definatly hear it. When you rev the engine, it gets loud. I drove the car and it seems to have full power. She took the car to a dodge dealer and they wont look at it because it is state law to fix the problem after they know what it is. It would cost her 5000 dollars for a new engine, and she is considering it. I told her that if it was my car that i would run the engine untill it dies. Then she asked how long i think it would last. I told her i dont know. SO, HOW LONG does anyone think the engine will last??????? Remember, 97,000 miles on the car. She has the car payed off. The car is in mint condition. SHOULD she run it til it dies or save the hassle, when it breaks down, and get a new engine??????? OH YEAH, one last thing that i forgot to mention, the drain plug was in tight and the filter on tight, no signs of a leak. MY QUESTION, is how does a car go 3 quarts low in 50-100 miles, with no leak??????? It would have to be smokin' quite a bit.
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Old 07-19-03, 01:25 PM
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noises can come from anywhere, any internal part starved from oil will wear rapidly and then make noise usually forever. most times however, low oil results in oil getting mixed with air and the hydraulic lifters make a pretty good tapping noise, but that will 'usually' go away after a few miles of driving, as the air bleeds out.

3 quarts in 50 miles---it's going somewhere, if it isn't leaking or burning it(you absolutely would see either!) maybe she isn't checking it right, i had a van come in to work, customer said it was two quarts low---i checked it and i had to drain two quarts out to bring it to the full mark, who knows what he was looking at?

you really need someone with experience to listen to the noise, if the engine is a 2.7L and it spins a rod bearing, it will tap at idle, but the clearances are so tight in the engine, that as you rev it, the piston will be smacking the cylinder head---a very loud noise! she can drive it one mile or a thousand miles like this, but when it goes, it usually is catastrophic, like large holes in the block and 2 gallons of antifreeze on the ground. while she might be able to control the car skidding in her own antifreeze, think about the guy on his motorcycle behind her, it is possible.

she might have scuffed a piston, that would make a noise very similiar to a spun rod bearing AND would burn oil like crazy, maybe partially seized an overhead cam bearing(noisy), broke a timing chain guide or like i said before, just a bled down lifter.

the bottom line is to get it to someone who knows the difference before the damage gets much worse, maybe pull the pan down and look for metal or inspect the bearings. i never heard of a law like that, she might want to try a 'different' more friendly dealer, i don't even see how a statement like that is even legal!
Old 07-19-03, 01:36 PM
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did the oil light ever come on??
Old 07-19-03, 03:06 PM
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Original poster:

Have the vehicle looked at by a competent shop or dealer. Have them do an oil pressure check with a mechanical gauge first. If it fails that, internal failure of the engine internals---rebuild time.

Someone's confusing the story, I agree with Mike. If that's your state law, tell me which state---I'll make sure never to move there.
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