Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Truck was started with NO oil in it

So I took my 2010 Toyota Tacoma into get an oil change today at western slope auto here in Gj Colorado. It has about 7k miles on it. I was standing there with the tech when he started my truck up and let it run for a min then shut it off to check the oil, well he pulled the dip-stick out and it was bone dry! He placed it back in and checked it again, oops he says! " I forgot to put the oil in!!" ya BIG oops!! Do you think my motor is ok since it only ran for a min and did not get drivin?
«1

Comments

  • edited April 2011
    It's very likely that there is no damage. An idling engine has almost no compression because there is a strong vacuum in the cylinders at bottom dead center and just because the oil pump isn't pumping oil, it doesn't mean that the engine parts are dry. Capillary effect (surface tension) keeps oil in the main and rod bearing clearences even when the engine is shut off.
  • edited April 2011
    I'd ask for some sort of documentation from the oil change place acknowledging their error. Just in case.

    There was probably no damage done, but you won't really know for years.

    Did the engine make any unusual noises while it was running?
  • edited April 2011
    A few seconds and then shutting it off can mean no damage exists. If this engine ran for a "minute" as described then there is damage to the crankshaft bearings. That few thousandths of an inch oil film on the crankshaft journals will scrub off in a few seconds and the bearing overlay will start disappearing.

    Filling the engine with oil after the fact only covers the problem up for a varying amount of miles to time. The only way to get a handle on this would be to drop the oil pan and remove a few bearing caps; preferably caps that are fartherest away from the oil pump as they are the last in the chain and the ones most likely to suffer first.
  • edited April 2011
    As OK has stated, and I agree if it has ran for more than a few seconds without oil, damage is highly likely. It's probably too late, but with a vehicle with this low of miles I would suggest a tow to the dealer so an actual Toyota engine tech could peruse the bearings for damage. Of course this would be on the oil changing places dime. I say dealer because this is a fairly new vehicle that not a lot of mechanics have seen and you can bet the dealer tech has more than likely already seen twenty of them engines this year.
  • edited April 2011
    No. Because 85% of engine wear occurs during a cold start. And that's when there's oil in the oil pan. Now start an engine with no oil in the oil pan and run it for a minute and there's going to be engine damage.

    I agree that the pan should be dropped and the bearings inspected for damage. And if there's damage to the bearings there's also damage to the upper end of the engine and probably the oil pump.

    Tester
  • edited April 2011
    When I started engines before installing the lubrication option I would shut it off if the OIL PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT did not shut off after five seconds. Your engine is probably OK but somebody needs more training.
  • edited April 2011
    I agree with this, get documentation that they knew what happened, in case something DOES happen to it because of their mistake.
  • edited April 2011
    I did get them to write down they made the big goof and iv only driven it home since then and I can't hear anything different so we"ll see..
  • edited April 2011
    Thanks everyone for giving me sum great feed back, it was much needed. Finally got to talk to the shop GM at the dealer and he swears up and down the truck is fine ( of course he would) and that there will never be any problems with the truck so I suggested looking into it more like you guys said and he didn't want anything to do with it!.. So I feel I deserve an extended warranty or sumthing and he was like ya right. Guess all just hope for the best :)
  • edited April 2011
    The fact that the engine was running and warmed up a half hour earlier means the engine was well lubed even though there was no oil pressure for a "minute"...Since there was no load to speak of on the bearings, and they were wet with oil from having just been under pressure, chances are there will be no damage...
This discussion has been closed.