Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

'12 Altima 2 quarts low after oil change

Went to the local franchised oil change place to change oil in my wife’s car. Had oil changed. 1 minute down the road (~1/4 Mile), I get oil press light and rattling noise from engine. U-turned, went back, they checked and said ‘it was 2 quarts low. Sometimes the computer tells us the wrong amount to add…’ WTH! First, I have owned many cars over 45 years and don’t know ANY that only take 3 qts of oil! So learned my lesson about where to get my oil changed. But most important, can my engine survive this? It ran fine, no noises, on the way home. Oil level check at home was right. I drove for maybe 0.6 miles and about 4 minutes. Thanks for any advice! (At least it wasn’t my car!! :wink: )

I can’t even believe someone made that statement. If this is a chain type of place contact corporate with a calm and concise account of this poor service. I doubt if you will have any engine problems .

1 Like

Thanks! That’s a relief to hear. I will call them.

Mail]( for Windows 10

I agree. They should have checked it with the dipstick afterward.
So I guess you drove it 0.6 mile with low oil.
You might have damage, but I am guessing not. Wait
and see. Can you document what they did in case you have to sue?

I suspect there won’t be a problem (if they were honest about the amount needed), but the statement above is correct that you want this documented in writing on your receipts in case something does turn up later.

On another note, in the future, if your oil pressure light comes on, shut the engine off immediately instead of driving a quarter-mile. If you had less oil, that could have been far enough to damage the engine.

1 Like

Two quarts low won’t cause the low oil pressure warning light to illuminate and engine noise, maybe it was 5 quarts low.


Thanks for the feedback all. I did not note it on my receipt, my bad. I did inform corporate. Hope the engine lasts. It sounds fine now, very smooth and no knocks or other noises. Would an engine issue show up immediately, or would its life be greatly shortened? Thanks.

This is why we strongly advise against going to these quickie-lube places. Too many of the people that work there can barely go to the bathroom by themselves let alone do a proper oil change.

Beware, next time they may not put ANY oil in!

1 Like

Not the royal we, wife has done it for 30 years and no problem. A small percentage anywhere of problems is possible.

Yeah I have gone for years with no issues. I usually park it afterwards and let it run for a few minutes and make sure nothing is leaking under the car – but was in a hurry today. It’s just amazing that, when you think about a business whose primary business is oil changes, the ONLY things they MUST get right is adding the correct amount of oil, tighten (the right) filter and tighten oil drain plug. Seems easy to me but…. I think I’ll go back to changing my own.

Mail]( for Windows 10

That happened to my late father in law’s 1966 Buick.

This chain was a department store (name starts with “W”) whose automotive shop had a poor reputation. He raised a big stink and was compensated for his engine loss.

With today’s fussy engines requiring special oil in many cases, these kids barely know what oil is, let alone their ability to read labels. Their bulk oil is usually a common non-synthetic oil with a 5W30 weight.

I did go back and have them make a detailed note on my receipt, thanks. BTW, my original post was flagged by several members as spam. This is my first post on this forum, and for the life of me I can’t see what was offensive. If anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it, thanks.

1 Like

I suspect it was not flagged by members. I think the system did it because of the link at the end of your post . That is why it is best to just log on the site instead of replying by email .

@cdaquila Carolyn, am I correct and can you restore the persons posts.

Three quarts is enough to keep; the oil pressure lamp off so I also suspect it was far more than 2 quarts down and they just won’t 'fess up to that being the case.


I’ve had the low oil light (message) come on only once, in one vehicle. It was only 1 qt low, and holds a total of 4.5 quarts. This is not the low oil pressure light, though, just an oil level message. Maybe that’s what came on? I’m not familiar if an Altima has a low oil level light / warning and the low oil pressure light, or just the oil pressure light.

All good. Your posts got trapped in a certain filter our forum has. I marked them OK. Sorry for the trouble. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

I think if your engine life was going to be significantly shortened, you’d have issues immediately. In other words, if you have no abnormal noises now, your engine is probably fine. I understand your concern, though. Definitely can’t be a good feeling.

As others have commented, and I repeat here only for emphasis…

The oil pressure light does not go on if you are 2 quarts low. I suspect it was much lower and they lied about the amount they added. In which case, there may be engine damage. This is reinforced by the rattling sound you heard.

And you should pull over immediately if that light goes on and have the car towed.


Thanks a lot.

Gotta agree, my low oil light has come on at 1 quart low but the oil pressure light should not have come on with 3 quarts low IMHO anyway.