1991 Toyota Corolla damages caused by low oil

Tiny
PAT725
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
I had my oil changed a few days ago. The mechanic did not replace the oil cap. Last night the car starting making clanking noises under the hood and there was some smoke from under the hood. A couple of minutes later the car died. A man stopped to help. The man said that perhaps the car had thrown a rod. I had a container with a little oil and put that in the car.I was able to restart the car and pull it into a nearby parking lot.

I just called the place that did the oil change. Their position seems to be (1) that if low oil caused the car to die, then the engine would have seized and I could not have restarted it, (2) that if low oil had caused the car to throw a rod, I could not have restarted it. Basically, that their failing to replace the oil cap could not and did not cause the problem.

Could the failure to replace the oil cap and the consequent low oil have caused the clanking, the smoke and the car to die? What else could have caused it?
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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 11:57 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Hello
Thanks for the donation.

Most certainly the low oil level is what caused your issues. With no lubrication, the internal parts of the engine were banging together causing a large amount of friction between the parts. This will cause very loud noises along with internal damage to engine. Once the oil was refilled completely did the engine make any noises and did it restart fine? If so then you should be okay. If it threw a rod then the engine may or may not start but if it does start it wouldn't sound good at all.

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 12:11 PM
Tiny
PAT725
  • MEMBER
Last night I was able to restart it easily but it still made a clanking noise. I had put maybe 1/2 quart of oil left from the oil change into it before trying to restart it. I just drove it a very short distance into a parking lot and left it. This afternoon, I stopped by and tried to start it and it started easily again. This time no clanks but sounded dry. I just started it, didn't let it run, didn't try to drive it anywhere. Was afraid to. In the daylight, I could see where the oil had sputtered onto the engine.

Should I try putting 4 qts or so of oil into it, getting a new fuel cap and see if it's ok. Or should I get it towed and have a mechanic look at it. (Suggestions for mechanic in Lexington?) Or should I do something else? I am very, very poor. I am hoping you tell me to try putting oil in and see if it's ok.

I hate so much sounding like a helpless female. But I'm totally out of my element. Thanks so much for your help.
-pat
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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Yes, fill it up with clean oil and start the engine. If it starts up fine, idles fine, and has no noises then test drive it. If it drives fine with no vibrations, loss of power or noises then you may have gotten lucky. I do not know mechanics in the Lexington area, sorry. Let me know what happens during start up and test drive and I will follow up.

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 11:28 PM

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