After I changed my oil, I came back 10 hours later to find my car had somehow dumped all of it. Now, dipstick always reads empty.

I have a Toyota Camry 2000. I changed my oil earlier today. Placed tray under pan, removed plug from pan, let drain, removed oil filter, applied oil to new oil filter, and put new filter on. Emptied old oil into (and all over) old motor oil jug. All seemed fairly normal.

I came back 10 hours later and started up my car, just to see the oil light on. I looked at it for about 5 seconds, glanced out my window, and saw a nice oil sheen spreading out from my car. I immediately turned off my engine and started looking under my car.

I can’t tell where the leak is coming from though. I had both the plug and filter on quite tight. I was able to force the plug a bit tighter with a longer wrench, but it’s at the point where I’m afraid of stripping it out.

I placed the tray back under the oil pan and under the pipe where oil was also dripping from and added half a quart of oil. No dripping. So I added another quart. No dripping. I took out the dipstick, and it showed no oil. But there’s still no dripping. So I added a second quart. Took out the dipstick, and it still shows no oil.

I cannot see any visible drips or streams coming out of my car at the moment. But I added two full quarts of oil to the engine. Shouldn’t the dipstick be reading something? Where is the oil going? I’m afraid to engage my engine again, just in case the oil isn’t working or is going somewhere where it’s not supposed to be. I’ve never had this issue before, and I was hoping someone on reddit might have an idea. Anyone?

OK, either you left off the drain plug gasket so the oil is draining out. OR you left ON the old oil filter gasket so you have TWO oil filter gaskets and they have blown out. The 2 gaskets is most likely.

To prove this… Unscrew the filter and see if there are 2 rubber gaskets. If you don’t see 2 gaskets, look carefully at the drain plug… look for leaks, look for a gasket between the plug and the oil pan. If you see an lean\k and don’t see a gasket, remove the plug (with a drain pan) replace the gasket, reinstall the plug and add a quart. DON’T start the car!! Check for leaks.

OK, back to the oil filter. If there are 2 gaskets, throw one away, reinstall filter, refill oil. Start car and look for leaks.


when you took the old oil filter off did you check to make sure the gasket was with it and not stuck to the housing? you need to put more than 2 quarts to get a reading on the stick.


sorry mustangman did not see what you posted until after I hit my reply.

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Simultaneous typing!

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I agree. Probably double gasket the oil filter. Did you cross thread the filter or plug? Did you use a torque wrench to properly torque down the oil drain plug to the specified torque? Did you remember to use a crush washer on the oil drain plug? With the proper amount of oil in there, try starting it with cardboard or paper towels and check for leaks, if any leaks immediately turn off car. Check the spots on cardboard or paper towels and look up to see were leak is coming from.

I guess it wouldn’t be the first time either that there is a leaky new filter. Still hard to figure out how a filter just sitting there could dump all the oil. Let’s hope you didn’t crack the pan or something by over-tightening it. But yeah, two quarts is not enough to show on the dipstick. If it were me, I’d start over with a new filter and drain the oil checking work along the way. I always have spare filters and oil in case of failure of either product or workmanship.


Another vote for “defective or improperly installed oil filter”. It doesn’t leak while the engine is off, because there is no oil pressure, and the oil filter is higher than the level of the oil pan. Once the engine is started, it rapidly pumps out all of the oil. I would start over with a new oil filter, and don’t start the engine again until you do that.

Edit to add: I assume you are tightening the new filter by hand, not using a wrench or oil filter pliers. If using a wrench, it is hand-tight plus no more than 1/2 turn. If the oil filter is in an accessible location, I tighten it as much as I can by hand (no tools).

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Did you not check the oil level on the dipstick immediately after adding the new oil?

There’s a lot of speculation going on here . . .

I think the only reasonable thing to do is put the car on jack stands and get under there for a visual inspection

I’m saying that because op didn’t specifically say he actually crawled under the car after this whole mess started

As others have noted, the filter or the plug are logical culprits. I would drain the oil again, take them both out/off, check for old gaskets stuck on, and start from scratch again. From your description of things you may be trying to make things too tight, so avoid doing that. I think the others are right that this is a gasket problem somewhere, in which case not removing the drain plug and the filter is going to leave the problem in place rather than allowing you to correct it. The oil capacity for a 4-cylinder is around 4 quarts, so just adding 2 quarts isn’t enough for it to register on the dipstick.


One bit of quick advice, tightening the drain plug and oil filter is probably going to cause more trouble than help. If they aren’t tightened quite enough, and neither needs to be super-tight usually, the problem will be drips, not large volumes of oil leaking. Suggest to discontinue that approach. Worse case you’ll just have to start over again with a new filter and new oil. I’ve had a similar experience before, caused b/c I forgot to install the drain plug. I poured the oil in, and it just drained out the bottom … lol … after this job is thought to be complete the next step is to check the oil level, if ok then start the engine, and peer under the car , checking for leaks. I cut the tops off of plastic bottles to make one-time-use funnels for pouring the old oil into the jug. Listerine bottles and like. Best of luck.

Not sure it could be the plug gasket. If it was the plug or plug gasket the oil would be leaking when the engine was off. Probably the filter…double filter gasket is very likely.

Another note could be the filter itself. I had a problem with proper fit Purolator filters on my wife’s 96 Accord. The Accords have this grove on the engine block the gasket fits into so the filter has to be and EXACT FIT. Purolator used the same filter for the Accord and the Mazda. Other companies (Wix, Fram) had different filters for each vehicle. The difference was about 1/32" difference in the overall dimension of the gasket. Fram and Wix filters fit perfectly. The Purolator filter wouldn’t and then leak when engine is running.