Girlfriend ran her car 2k past 3k....very little oil

Ok folks apparently my girlfriend thinks that you just run the car til the next oil change. She went past the 3k mark 2k ago. I checked her oil and there was barely any on the stick. After chewing her out I topped the oil and turned the engine over. It was sluggish as hell but it started. The Car runs but it the engine is now very loud. I did not hear any grinding or rubbing. My plan? Change the oil with high mileage slick 50 Q-state.And let her keep praying the car outlasts her loan. Should I do more? ie a compression test to make sure the rings pistons and liners are still in good shape?

How much oil did you have to add? That’s pretty important in figuring out how much damage might have occurred.

Had to put in three quarts…about probably closer to 2 3/4 had to scrounge the spare oil from my trunk. Only one was a full qt.

The engine is likely damaged because the remaining oil that was in there was in suspension; meaning that it was filling oil galleys, pooling, and generally saturing everything in sight.
This will then point to an engine sucking air out of the oil pan and the oil light either flashing or staying on. If the oil pressure light has been on then it’s pretty much doomed. The only question is how far it could be coaxed along.

A compression test may tell you something about the top end but won’t about the lower end. An oil pressure test could possibly shed some light on crankshaft bearing condition.

The sluggishness you mention is usually a sign of rough crank bearings and/or scored cylinders/pistons. There is no way around that except an engine rebuild or replacement.

Change the oil now and change it again in about 2K miles. As far as permenant damage? Not much you can do now, just get fresh oil in there and the 2nd change in 2K is to get out any sludge the 1st oil change picks up.

The motor maybe fine, or it might be damaged. Drive it and see what happens.


Just change the oil and oil filter with normal oil and oil filter, and go about life as usual. Make sure you change the oil again at 3k miles.

If you want to do anything right now, take 4 ounces of the oil from the engine, and send it to Blackstone Labs to see if there are any particles in the oil that would be from excessive engine wear. Then you can stop worrying, or know that it’s time to have some repairs done to the engine.

But for Pete’s sake, don’t ruin the engine by putting Slick 50 in it.
I can’t believe anyone still thinks that stuff actually has any benefits after so much negative stuff has come out about it over the past 20 years.


No slick 50 for any reason in any car.

What kind of of car, make model year and miles?

The problem I see is not going 2K past 3K, but not checking the oil level on a regular bases. Every driver needs to know to check the oil far more often than that.

Why did you say “past 3K?” I don’t know of any modern car that calls for changing the oil at 3K. Modern oils and cars are far different than the cars of old. Generally they are more likely to use more oil, but they also don’t need oil changes as often as cars 40 years ago needed. That oil usage is due to changes in design and does not mean poor quality. Nor should you be concerned if it does not use oil.

My response would be to change the oil AND FILTER, now and again in about 2-3K miles.  with a lot of luck little damage may have been done.  Time will tell. 

At worse, she will have learned an expensive, but important lesson about cars.  

Final note:  She is not likely to blame.  I doubt if anyone has explained this stuff to her, so if you really care, be tactful.

Slick-50…Do people still believe in this snake oil.

Slick-50 is one of the worse products you can use. It does NOTHING to protect the engine…In fact it’s WORSE then just using regular dyno oil. There isn’t an oil additive that can do anywhere near what companies like Slick-50 claim…not even close.

You say, “…the engine is, now, very loud.” SHE need a mechanic to evaluate this. A sound HAS to be heard, to have any idea of what it means (or, portends).

Many years ago, while I was talking with my mechanic, I asked his opinion of Slick- 50.

He told me that, about a year previously, he had been working on an old Lincoln in order to fix it up and sell it. The Lincoln had a lot of miles on it, but the engine was in top-notch shape. He only needed to do some maintenance, replace the tires, and fix things like the power seat motor and a window motor.

As part of the oil change, he used a qt of Slick-50, using the directions on the can. About 2 days later, the engine seized. While he was not able to prove that it was the Slick-50 that was to blame, he could not come up with any other reason for the sudden self-destruction of the engine.

As soon as I got home from his shop, I threw away the can of Slick-50 that I had been planning to use in the near future.

Update: Changed the oil and filter along with BG oil additive. Thats what the service manager recommended. He explained that the loud engine was the result of insufficient oil getting to the hydraulic lifters. The engine does run smoothly now. Still sluggish getting going. Hoping a jump will prove the the problem is NOT mechanical… at least not internal to the engine.

Has your girlfriend learned anything from the experience?

The price of a rebuilt engine for sure. She says she’ll check the oil at every fill up…we’ll see.

Don’t assume permanent damage. Also don’t assume that the word Slick50 is what it used to be. Check the MSDS on the oil and you probably won’t find any Teflon listed.

I suggest considering Auto-Rx at some point (google it). She’s probably got coked rings and deposits that are causing some consumption and the noises. It’s not cheap, but it works very well over a couple of 3000 mile oil changes.

Keep in mind that many here are older (50+). When we give advice it’s always more severe due to so many decades of life experience. We end up saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid” way too often.

Your girlfriend’s engine is not going to have a happy ending. It’s damaged goods.

Some points to consider.
Only one service manager in a blue moon has any mechanical apititude.
This guy recommended an oil change with a BG additive and this should say something because BG is not going to prevent or even hint at a cure of anything.

He says that the lifters were rattling due to insufficient oil reaching the liftes. True enough, but lifters don’t start rattling instantly upon loss of oil pressure. It take a while. In the meantime, the critical crankshaft bearings, which will not survive minutes of no oil pressure without damage, are running with no oil pressure.

It’s entirely plausible that a damaged engine may appear to run fine; up to a point.