Low oil pressure and smelly

I have a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 140K + and recently had an oil change. I went on a 8 hr road trip split up between 2 days (there and back). On the way home I noticed my oil pressure gauge acting funny, going up and down but not past 40. Today, I drove home from work (10 miles or so) and the check engine light came on and the oil pressure gauge was very low, almost 0. I made it home but was very nervous and noticed both today and this weekend there was smell, burning or burned type smell. What should I do? I don’t really trust the garage that changed the oil and was skeptical taking it there but was in a pinch. I need some feedback, please!!! Thanks guys :slight_smile:

Ummmm…did you check the oil? I do understand that not having someone you trust to look at the car is a big problem. But when really weird things like this start happening then you can’t just keep driving. That’s especially so with something like engine oil.

So anyway - did you check the oil or what? Coupled with the smell it seems quite possible that your drain plug or oil filter were left loose.

If the check engine light is not blinking at you then you can put that aside for the moment while you make sure that you didn’t just toast your engine.

Think of oil as the blood of your engine. Like a body needs blood pressure to live, an engine needs oil pressure to live. A common cause of low oil pressure is a complete lack of oil, and running an engine without oil is sort of like running your body without blood. Neither will live long in that condition. If you haven’t checked your oil level yet, you should to see if you have any oil left, which you may not. If you ran out of oil, the engine is junk and you need to determine why it ran out of oil. If the shop did something wrong to cause this, and it can be proven, you may get a used engine installed at their expense. If not, you are on your own, and for future reference, low oil pressure is an emergency, and doing nothing about it will ruin your engine in very short order, as in less than a minute.

My fianc?e asked me the same thing but I thought I would take it back to the same garage in the morning. He seemed to think it was a loose cap/plug.

It is too dark for me to check the oil now, but it was actually the check gauges light not the check engine. I miss spoke or miss typed rather. Does it make a difference since it was the gauges and not engine?

You might want to get it back to that garage, but don’t do a thing until you pull the dipstick & check the oil. Like mark said below…don’t run it at all.

If you do find it without oil you might think about a tow truck back to that shop just soit arrives in exactly the condition its in now.

Thanks, I will. I have the garage’s manager name and their phone number. I am going to call them in the morning to have them pay for the tow but if there is oil in it, do you think I can drive it myself?

If the oil level is between the lo/hi marks on the dipstick AND the oil pressure is ok then you can drive it. But you must stop if the oil pressure drops.

If the oil is between the lo/hi marks on the dipstick AND the oil pressure is low then you only want it to go to a shop that you can trust b/c it will need major work and there’s a good chance it isn’t from anything related to the oil change.

If there is little to no oil showing on the dipstick that’s when you probably want it towed there so that they get it exactly as it is right now.

The “check gauges” light, btw, was trying to draw your attention to the low oil pressure.

I think that you have to prepare yourself for the worst and hope, if the shop messed up on the oil change, that they just do the right thing without much ado.

:frowning: thanks for the help. Both my fiancee and I have had trouble with this shop and they are a regional chain at that. Go figure. Either way, if it seems they are the culprit here then I am in for a fight. I am a Products Liability attorney. Not for the defense.

You really need to raise the hood and check the oil level on the dipstick right now. If the stick is dry then you can safely assume the engine is damaged to some degree.

You really need to start doing 2 things.
One is that you should inspect the oil level yourself every few weeks (or more often if you do a lot of driving) and whenever the oil pressure gauge drops or the temperature gauge climbs you MUST stop then and there. This does not mean motor on for the next 2, 5, 10, or 100 miles.

Based on low to no oil pressure and a burnt smell my theory would be that someone left a drain plug loose, oil filter loose or double gasketed, etc. This should not be hard to determine but the bottom line is that you do not start the engine at the current time; although there’s a strong possibility that may be irrelevant at this point.

“It is too dark for me to check the oil now,”…

Apparently you NEVER check the oil…Too bad…

no need to be D&%$Head, just looking for some advice.

I feel your pain. Unfortunately he’s right though. Ignoring a gauge telling you that you have low oil pressure is like ignoring a heart attack. You’ll be lucky to come through this with an undamaged engine.

Based on what you’ve written up to now I believe the problem you are experiencing is most likely a very low oil level.

It appears that you rely on the pressure gauge to let you know when there is already a problem rather than checking the oil level regularly, which would allow you to avoid the problem.

Think of the situation in this way…

Your car is a product that you need to protect from having a liability issue.
One way to avoid the potential liability that can be caused by low oil pressure is to maintain the oil level by checking it and topping it off - rather than waiting for someone or something to make you aware that the problem already exists.