Engine Blew- where did the oil go?

Bought a used 05 Escape Ford hybrid and the regular engine went - it was completely out of oil. I really like the car and am trying to decide if I should put another engine in it or just buy another car. Somewhat leaning towards putting a new engine in it but I do not want to go through this same problem again . Any feedback would be appreciated.

Well, it had to have either leaked or burned, but we don’t know how many miles it took. When did anyone last check the oil before the engine blew?

13 year old car… New engine would cost maybe $4500… You can buy an entire replacement Escape Hybrid for that same $4500. Sell it for scrap.

Look at the option of installing a used engine from an auto recycler.


It was time for the oil change and was going to happen in the next couple of days. So oil hadn’t been checked since it had recently been changed. Car had been bought used in February. That is a lot to spend on a car to drive for a few months and then the engine go out unexoectedly - no warning, no light. After the engine blew I read a review that someone else had the same problem with that car.

I am leaning toward replacing the engine but am afraid I will have the same problem. Can get used engine w install for $2,200. What is an auto recycler and how to locate?

Whenever you buy a used car–whose maintenance record is frequently an unknown–the dipstick should be checked VERY frequently, until you get a good idea of the car’s rate of oil consumption.

If the oil was changed “recently” (although we have no exact idea of what “recently” means…), there are a few possibilities:
The oil drain plug was not properly tightened at the last oil change.
The engine was not completely filled with oil at the last oil change.
The engine consumed oil at a very rapid rate.

No matter which of those possibilities was the actual reality, checking the dipstick immediately after that recent oil change–and at least once per week thereafter–could probably have averted the destruction of that engine.
Lesson learned, I hope…

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The problem you had was because the oil level wasn’t checked on a regular basis.

You have to get in the habit of checking the oil level between oil changes.

An auto recycler is an establishment that sells used parts from vehicles that were either in an accident, or had a major component failure.

Here’ an example.



Known usually as a “Junkyard” but auto recycler is the PC version. You are on the internet, search "auto recycler on any search engine. Or better yet, talk to you mechanic as he likely has a local one he likes to deal with.

Your regular mechanic can take care of getting a used engine from a recycler for you.

If the oil burned you would see black smoke in the exhaust; if it leaked, you’d see the oil it leaked on the ground, probably smell some of it burning on the engine.

Black smoke = Engine running very rich.

Blue smoke = Engine burning oil.

White smoke = Engine vaporizing coolant.



With this vehicle or the next one you buy you MUST get into the habit of checking fluids on a regular basis. This means about every few tankfuls of gas
You must never assume that fluid levels will remain constant.

Say you decided to junk your Escape. Whoever it is who comes and takes your car from your driveway in order to junk it, that’s the auto recycler, or is associated with one. They’ll remove all the valuable parts that are still working and can be resold, and send the rest of the car to the crusher. Since they might be able to sell the engine from a wrecked car to somebody like you who needs one for $2500, you can see this might be a pretty lucrative business.

A used engine for an 05 Escape in my area is $500-$800.

Depending on the mileage.


I believe “junkyard” was a more accurate moniker for the boneyards of my youth, but would not be a good fit for today’s recyclers. Modern recyclers, after removing all the fluids for recycling per EPA regulations, remove and “grade” the major components and systems, then “inventory” them and, in the case of engines, tranny, wheels and tires, even fenders, and store them protected from the weather. In my youth you could walk into the junkyard, climb the pile of cars, pull a carb, and agree to a price on the way out of the yard. Nothing was graded, nothing was stored, and the “inventory” was only a list of what cars were in the yard. Today you can’t walk into most yards, and cannot remove a throttle body or other engine peripheral component. Recyclers long since recognized that a complete used engine becomes unsalable if the TB, the manifolds, the alternator, or other peripheral components have been removed. Modern “boneyards” have become much more sophisticated.

As regards the OP’s’ problem, even if he did choose to replace the original engine with a boneyard or a rebuilt engine, there’s a better-than-even-odds chance that the car has other serious problems. People who neglect and/or abuse cars to that extent generally do so to the car all over. I go along with those who suggest writing this one off as a mistake (or, to me, a learning experience), selling it by the pound, and moving on. I suspect that putting in another motor would be a mistake.

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Mountainbike has a very good point about other components on the car being abused and in my experience anyway, boneyard components have a disturbingly high percentage rate of problems from minor to major.

Considering that the majority of people never raise the hood to check anything the odds are high that a boneyard motor will have issues to some degree.

Some shops will install a used engine and guarantee it. But the guarantee is only as good as the shop doing the job. Some may likely have a tendency to refuse to replace the engine again for free and it becomes a “Don’t like it? Sue us” situation.