Check engine light

I have a 1997 Mitsubishi Galant with 134400 miles. Filled up the gas tank, driving home and the check engine light is on. Checked the fluids and found out that the engine oil is empty. Due for an oil change soon. Last mechanic used an expensive oil and charged me $38 for an oil change. Do expensive oils burn quickly? Mechanic said that cheaper oil change uses cheap oil…Please advice. Thanks

The only oil that might burn off quicker is a lighter than recommended oil, such as 5W20 or 0W20, and that is still no guarantee as to the oil being at fault for your 15 year old car using oil between oil changes. It is the operator’s responsibility, not a warning light, to check the engine oil and other fluids periodically. Skipping out on this responsibility can lead to some fantastically expensive repairs, so the best thing to do from here on out is to get into the habit of checking your oil (and other underhood fluids) on a regular basis, at least once every 500 miles or bi-weekly. As far as oil consumption, more than a quart disappearing every 1000 miles is cause for concern. Less than that is not unusual and, even for a brand new car, will not be considered a warrantable issue.


Yet another case of a negligent car owner who fails to lift the hood and check the oil as often as he should. Unless there was a sudden leak of motor oil from the crankcase, the level of oil in the crankcase did not go from full to “empty” overnight or even in the space of a few weeks.

You need to get into the habit of checking your oil at least once a week on this older car. Once you allow the oil level to fall as low as you did, the chance of engine damage and greatly accelerated oil consumption is significant. This engine could now be damaged goods.

Good to know that, I am aware of the fact that the car is “old”. Will make it a habit to check the fluids every two weeks. Had the timing belt, water pump, transmission fluid changed this Summer. Thanks for your input. Have a nice day!!

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Thanks, went for an oil change and to the Auto zone, the code was P0171, it is the Oxygen sensor. Had this issue 5 years ago and had the valve changed. The chilly weather has something to do with it. Mechanic suggested using expensive gas, and gunk out liquid in the fuel tank. Check engine light is still on and the car drives fine???

"Filled up the gas tank, driving home and the check engine light is on. Checked the fluids and found out that the engine oil is empty, "

And now you want us to help you? You need a qualified mechanic.

P0171 doesn’t mean that you need an O2 sensor. It means that you are running lean. The O2 sensor is responsible for reporting the lean condition. So there is some possibility that the sensor is faulty - but the possibility is just as high that the sensor is doing its job. Why shoot the messenger?

No matter. Take the thing to a good local mechanic and find out if you have completely cooked it by running it low on oil. If not, find out where the oil is going. After that have them worry about the P0171 code - but it doesn’t mean “replace the O2 sensor”

Thanks for your suggestions and guidance. I know that some of you got pissed at me for being irresponsible. I know the value and importance of my car. The check engine light is off now…the mechanic who worked on it will take a look at it tomorrow…promise to check the oil every weekend!Thanks