Loud Knocking

So, Im driving, engine starts to knock, i stop, check oil, there is none… i drive to nearest gas station, put in 4 quarts, still knocks but quieter. Drive back home 75 miles, knocking is incredibly loud. Had oil changed 2500 miles ago, no signs of leaking (Did they put oil in after draining? Hard to prove they didn’t) By the time i got home, new oil was black.

Is this an engine replacement or can it be fixed?

[i] Im driving, engine starts to knock, i stop, check oil, there is none....[/i] 

You should not have continued even for a minute.  Going 75 miles ?..  Sorry but a bad idea.  I doubt if anyone can be certain what happened when now.  However it is almost certain you now have a seriously damaged engine.  Yea, they may have not refilled the oil, or maybe they did not tighten the oil filter or drain plug.  

My guess is it is going to be a new engine.  Hard to say for sure from here.

With the continued “knocking” noise(s) my sense of it is your engine is shot. It will run for a while but don’t depend on it as it could lock up on you any moment.

The only definative answer as to whether they put oil in the car at the last change 2500 miles ago was if you popped the hood, pulled the dipstick and checked the shops work. Then you’d know.

Yes, they did put oil in the motor. You would never have driven 2500 miles without oil in the motor. The oil could have leaked out via a bad seal at the oil filter, a leak in the drain plug, burned off, or perhaps your motor has an internal leak via a bad head gasket. Checking the oil every 2 weeks or so might have alerted you to a problem.

Whereever the oil went, it was gone and now the motor is severly damaged. You are pretty much out of luck. It is up to the owner (driver) to check the oil level. You can’t expect to never need oil between oil changes. A tough lesson to learn but now you know.

“Did they put oil in after draining? Hard to prove they didn’t.”

No, it is impossible to prove that they failed to put oil into the engine after draining it.
How do I know?
Because your engine would have “seized-up” within moments after starting it for the first time after it was drained.
Also, you would have seen a warning light on your dashboard indicating low oil pressure as soon as you started the engine for the first time. There is no way that you could operate an engine without lubricating oil for even 2.5 miles!

This leads to the next point, namely that you made a very grave error by driving to the nearest gas station once you realized that the engine had run out of oil. While it is likely that the engine was already severely damaged by the time that you first heard the knocking, operating the engine for even another couple of minutes at that point was enough to put the final nail into its coffin.

Unfortunately, this is a case of at least “owner ignorance”, and most likely a case of “owner negligence”.
If you never lifted the hood during the period when you drove for 2,500 miles, that was extremely foolish. Even new engines can easily consume oil at a rate of 1 qt per 1,000 miles.

Once your mystery vintage Town & Country has racked up the miles, it could be consuming oil at a far higher rate–particularly if it is chronically run with a low oil level as a result of not checking the oil and replenishing it. (Once the oil level drops, the rate of oil consumption increases because a smaller quantity of oil is being asked to do the job of a full quantity of oil. Then, as you continue to drive, the rate of consumption increases geometrically.)

Personally, I always check for the presence of the low oil pressure warning light as soon as I start my engine following an oil change, and then I check my dipstick (and everything else under the hood) right after I have driven the 2 miles back from the dealership. And, then I do my “normal” underhood check at least once a month.

Many folks in this forum will not leave the oil change emporium until they have checked the dipstick. Your Owner’s Manual likely advises you to check the level of the motor oil every time that you fill the gas tank. You did not check the dipstick for 2,500 miles, and this represents at least naivete, and possibly negligence.

Can this be fixed? Most likely only a new/rebuilt/“used” engine is the only solution to your problem. And, no matter what course of action you choose to take, please remember to check your oil very frequently so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot again.

I’m sorry, but the blame for your trashed engine rests squarely on your shoulders.

i absolutely take responsibility, i always checked the oil numerous times in my vehicle (The van is my wife’s vehicle). No excuse. The mileage was only 48 thousand, i checked everywhere for a leak, nothing is loose and there is no oil spray anywhere in, on or under that vehicle.
New engine equals about 15 overtimes, thanks for your help. Take care and be safe…