Oil leak

Tiny
JOSHUA D. BRAY
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA CELICA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 170,000 MILES
This car is one of the most enjoyable cars that I have ever had. That being said I have noticed that when I am going faster than sixty five to seventy miles per hour for an extended period of time (thirty minutes) my check engine light comes on, and a noticeable rattle is heard when accelerating. Once I get pulled over I find that there is no oil in the engine. Is this because the oil is leaking out of the headers because of the small engine size or something else?
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 AT 2:05 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Oil level is not involved with the Check Engine light, at least not directly. The Engine Computer has detected a problem, set a diagnostic fault code, and since the problem could adversely affect emissions, it turned on the Check Engine light. The place to start is by having the fault codes read and recorded. The people at many auto parts stores will do that for you for free.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 AT 3:33 PM
Tiny
JOSHUA D. BRAY
  • MEMBER
Okay, will it still be able to read the fault codes if the light is no longer on? I refilled the oil and the light went off within the next ten to fifteen miles of driving.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Are you sure you were not seeing the "Low Oil Pressure" warning light?

You are repeating a common misconception about the Check Engine light, even among many mechanics. They still think fault codes can only be read or are only there while the warning light is on. If that were true, what would be the point of having fault codes? They are instrumental when figuring out which circuit to diagnose for the cause of intermittent problems. How are you going to know where to look for the cause of a problem that acts up once a month for only a minute or two? It is the codes that are stored in memory that provide that information.

Also, be aware there are over 2,000 potential diagnostic fault codes, just for the Engine Computer. Only about half of them refer to things that could adversely affect emissions. Those are the codes that turn on the Check Engine light. The light never turns on for the other codes.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 AT 7:39 PM

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