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Old 03-26-2004, 09:09   #1 (permalink)
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Is my engine ruined?

I took my 1997 Mercury Mountaineer (140,000 miles) in for a routine oil change today. The tech called me to say that the oil cap was not in place (it was lodged further back in the engine) and that the dipstick showed that there was no oil present. The last oil change was 5,000 miles ago (January).

The truck has been running fine.

Given that I have no way of knowing how long this situation has been present, is there any way to determine how much this has affected the engine?

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Old 03-26-2004, 09:45   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

Was there a working oil pressure light or a gauge?
Did the tech say how much oil actually came out of the engine??
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

The oil light has never been on (although it does light along with the rest of the warning lights on startup). The tech told me the engine was dry by dipstick; I'm heading over shortly to pick it up so I ask if he was able to get any oil to drain.

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Old 03-27-2004, 03:49   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

When I went to pick up the truck, the tech had already left for the day. The engine is clean--nothing to suggest oil spray in the engine compartment. Again, the oil guage has never been in the low range and the tech was able to provide me an oil sample for analysis (still unclear how much oil was drained out).

I wonder if the tech called me because he misplaced the cap at the outset--and then found it.

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Old 03-27-2004, 11:07   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

Was probably two techs working on it. First one probably took the truck dumped the oil and left. The second came in and took over a few hours later not realising that it was already started.

They may be bright enough to work on a car, but sometimes you have to wonder. If you had NO oil in your truck you definately would have known it. Especially with no spray!
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Old 03-28-2004, 17:43   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

LOL, you gotta love shops that can't keep track of their own work. It would probably take only 5-10 seconds of running it with no oil to completely destroy the crank and rod bearings. Since you've been driving it ever since, your tech is obviously not the brightest bulb out there!

As a precaution, it never hurts to check your oil every once in a while. Doing so will give you peace of mind and will guarantee you're never stuck with a seized engine caused by oil starvation.
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Old 03-28-2004, 18:29   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

Thanks. At least I've learned a lesson--to check my oil periodically.

Somewhat related--assuming good care and normal use, how long might this engine last (5.0 L V8, currently with 140,000 miles)?

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Old 06-20-2004, 21:52   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is my engine ruined?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkester
Thanks. At least I've learned a lesson--to check my oil periodically.
Somewhat related--assuming good care and normal use, how long might this engine last (5.0 L V8, currently with 140,000 miles)?
Kent Kester
Okay, 1st time poster, etc.

Thinking of purchasing a used 1997 Ford Explorer 4x4 XLT 5.0L V8, for under $5,000 US. It's got 135,000 miles. Along the lines of Kurt's question, how long do you think it might last before major $$$ repairs?
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