Damage to engine?

My son has a ford focus that is pretty low, anyway he was driving and hit something in the road. The oil pan got a big hole in it and all the oil came out, he continued to drive the car to work. the engine light came on while he was driving, of course now the car won’t start. How long can you drive a car with a broken oil pan and no oil before you seize the engine?

A few feet.

Almost no distance. Time to get a new motor.

It depends on how far it will coast after you turn the engine off (Note, you can loose power steering and brakes with the engine off.

It is remotely possible that it may not be too damaged, but my money is on a new engine.

It’s junk.

Agree with above posters. In another post I referred to a guy who had his oil changed at Woolco, and they forgot to put the oil in. It was a Buick V8 and it actually traveled 7 miles before the engine completely seized up. So, yes the Focus engine is junk; get a good used one from a wreck; there should be plenty arpound.

Toast. Start looking for a used engine and have a talk with Sonny. Rocketman

He’s lucky he made it to work. Time to find a new engine or new car.

Insurance Claim?

By does not start do you mean the engine cranks or turns over? If it turns and does not start, your engine is not seized, and that would be good news. can’t hep but remember the oil commercials at the racetrack with no oil in the engine.

You really should contact your insurer, as common sense answer suggested. This is going to cost a couple thousand or so.

I agree that it’s toast. When that red oil light comes on, you need to stop AT ONCE! unless you need to pull over to prevent an accident.

Nothing but BS posted so far… How FAR did he drive with no oil pressure?? “he drove it to work” tells us NOTHING. Most engines can survive a mile or two, after all the bearings were “wet” when this happened and they will stay wet for a while…But anything over a mile and there are likely to be problems…

Someone mentioned 7 miles in a Buick… I know of a 302 Ford van that went 5 miles “dry”. No oil at all and a dry filter too. After it cooled down, 5 quarts of oil were added and it started and quieted down and ran fine for a week, then it scattered, breaking the block…

He got to work and it started when he left work, turns out he drove 3 to 4 miles and then it sputtered and died. He did not realize there was no oil in it until he stopped. So I figure it is done, called insurance.

Thanks for all the replies

How do you submit this case for an insurance claim? “I knew that my car had low ground clearance, hit something in the road, heard a large bang, oil light came on, I continued to drive . . . now the engine is seized?” Sounds like a tough sell to me. Rocketman

Read some of the OP’s responses, the car was driven the rest of the way to work, sat while he was at work, restarted and drove 3-4 miles home with no oil and then sputtered and died.

you didn’t specify what year. some newer cars will have a program that will shut down to avoid damage. i don’t think ford went that high end route. I take it you don’t use additives in your oil? I won’t name drop on brands but my dad made me a believer when his ford truck showed no oil on dipstick and didn’t know. he went 30 mi. he checked the oil and added more. Tom and Ray might agree whole-heartedly but if it was me, I would try to get a new pan or talk to a ford dealer and ask if it’s possible that the engine shut itself off. You also didn’t specify that it locked up on your son. It’s VERY VERY obvious when an engine locks up. I’d say call ford and see about a new pan before you drop 2-$3,000 on a new engine.