No oil, damaged motor?

So i bought this NEW 2018 chevy cruze rs last may and i got an oil change on it at a chevy dealership 2 months ago and it hasnt even reached 1,000 miles since then and today i started my car and it was making a LOUD clanking noise like metal on metal so i didnt even move the car and i checked the oil and it was completly empty on the dip stick it only had like maybe half an inch of oil. And i really doubt i used that much oil driving because i only use it to get to work twice a week 15 minutes from my house and so i made an appointment at chevy to get it checked and right now i Very stupidly decided to add some oil to it to see if it went away (i have no experience with cars) and i added one of the small bottles of oil and i drove it around the block and it stopped as soon as i parked so i of course got happy but my dad said i was stupid for adding oil and eliminated the chances of proving the dealership didnt add enough oil or even that there is damage to the motor.
So my question is how to i explain this to the service people and convince them to check the motor without the noise being present? And how exactly to i explain this to them and is it something that is covered under warranty or am i bow liable for it since i added the extra oil?

Also ontop of that it also makes a whistle noise when i accelerate and takes for ever to accelerate and i was told by a friend it might be a vacuum leak or boost leak? Any idea?

The first thing to check is if the old oil filter O-ring was left behind on the engine when the new oil filter was installed.


You did not give year of vehicle so warranty question can’t answered . Just adding a little oil was not the thing to do . You should add enough to show full on the dip stick. If not enough oil was not added at the change you could not have gone 2 months . Also you need to check every time you get fuel .

It is a 2018 i bought it new and i was not the one who did the oil change it was the dealership whi did the oil change 2 months ago.
I added a one small bottle tTODAY to see if the noise would go away. Not during the oil change

You did not answer the question , is the oil at the full level now ?

No. Like i said today it was completly empty so today i added one SMALL bottle to it not enough to fill it up. And the noise went away but the damage im assuming is still there just lubricated with the small amount of oil i added today.

OK , it is not full of oil so don’t drive it anymore. Call the dealer and tell them the story and see if they want you to fill the oil and bring it to them or have it towed like it is. If they find a problem with their work you might be all right. But the 2 month factor will not be in your favor because they are going to assume you did not check the oil in that time period.


Couple of things to think about. If you checked the oil right after the engine was running (when you heard the noise), you may have not got an accurate reading. First thing I’d do is check the oil again, after the engine has been off for a while.

1/2” on the dipstick doesn’t sound terribly low. If it wasn’t below the minimum mark, it shouldn’t be an issue.

The good news is the car is under warranty. I’m not sure I’d mention to the dealer that it was low on oil at this point. Just monitor the oil level, and hope for the best. If the engine knocks, smokes, or uses oil, that’s when I’d take it to the dealer. I’m not sure they’d admit to underfilling the oil (if they did) at this point now that the oil level is up, assuming they would’ve admitted to it at all after you left the shop.

It’s best to check the oil level after you let someone change your oil, to prevent problems like this. Not scolding you for not checking it, most people probably don’t. But now you can see why it’s a good idea to double check. Tester has a good idea about checking the oil filter gasket also. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to look under the car for any oil leaks in general, just in case.

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Thaks yeah lesson learned but should i still take the car to get checked because its not making the noise anymore but it was super loud like i could hear it when i remote start it from my apartment to the parking lot it was that loud i have videos of the noise and how loud it was. And i rarely drive it so i know for a fact tthey didnt put enough oil in it or its leaking but i looked and there wasnt oil under the car. And also i checked the oil right when i turned it off after starting it and i checked it after it was sitting for 2 hours. But would they even check the motor honeslty without the noise being there atm would the videos be enough for them to check it?

I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to take it in since you said you have the sound on video. I’m afraid they might claim there’s no proof that the oil level wasn’t full when it left the shop two months ago…and they’re sort of right if they say this. It’s the owners responsibility to check oil levels from time to time. How many miles since that oil change?

Since it’s not making the noise now, I don’t see the dealership doing much about it. If the engine is functioning normally, there’s not much they can do. Even if running the car low on oil may have shortened the engines lifespan, if it ain’t broke, I wouldn’t expect them to fix or replace it.

Kind of a bad situation. I think I’d just fill it up with oil and keep an eye on it. If serious damage was done, it’ll most likely be evident pretty soon. Then use the warranty at that point.

Meh, I see you only put 1k miles on since the oil change and you already have an appointment. Might as well see what they say. Keep the old oil bottle. Tell them you added “this much”. Hopefully that oil meets their specs. If not…I think I might not show them the bottle!

Here’s a suggested approach:

call the dealership and say

  1. it’s been 2 months and less than 1000 miles and you checked the oil and it is way, way low
  2. you are concerned there is a serious oil leak, possibly because something wasn’t correct from the oil change, so you are afraid to start the car (if they ask you about oil on the ground, you can honestly say “none” and add that you have no way to check for signs of an oil leak on the underside of the engine)
  3. what do they want you to do to get the car to them to check out what happened

don’t mention the noise or the oil you added
once the dealership gets the car, AND presuming they find evidence of a leak connected to the oil change on the underside of the engine, then they are on the hook for whatever damage is already present (if adding oil to full still causes a noise) or whatever damage will come up in the future.

(you are using the previous oil change and this dealership visit, along with the short time period and low miles driven, to document that whatever might be wrong is because of something that happened during the oil change)

and yes, I know some might disagree with the above, but I’m going with the idea that there are signs of a leak connected to the oil change – if not, the dealership has a good basis for saying it wasn’t them

I want to make sure you learned the right lessons here. First, always check the oil immediately after an oil change so that you know if it was filled properly or not. Second, check your oil regularly, at least every two or three weeks. By not doing this, you’ve given the dealership a way to get off the hook, even if they might have done something wrong here.

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I think I agree with @Waterbuff It’s a little sticky since if you ran it out of oil, they can say it was abuse and not cover it under warranty. On the other hand, if it was an error in changing the oil, the dealer should be on the hook for damage, but knowingly running it after adding (just a small bottle) of oil-I assume a quart, could have damaged it. It should hold something like four quarts and should not have been run without the oil at least up to the add mark on the dipstick.

So I really don’t know. A few questions though. Did the oil light ever come on? What kind of noise? Valve train or bearing noise? How actually low was the oil to bring it up to the full mark so you know how low it actually was. I really think at this point though, unless some issue with the oil change can be determined, you’ll just have to drive it an hope for the best.

Does GM cars have excessive oil consumption problems? We have recently purchased two used, 2011 Terrain and 2012 Equinox. Recently we did oil change on Terrain (two weeks back) and our son has taken it on road trip, must have put around 800 miles, and called this morning that the engine is stalling. CEL came up with code for cam shaft (forgot the code no.). This is certainly low oil indicator, since same thing happened to my equinox a month back, suddenly it was running rough and when checked for oil level, had to put two quarts for the dip stick to show (less than 3000 miles on it after purchase) the oil back to level. The CEL on Equinox went off the next day oil was added. I have told him to check for oil level and if needed put some oil. Yet to hear from him. when googled for this issue found that there is class action lawsuit filed for 2010-17 models for exact same problem, with similar stories. Never thought we would have to check oil level so frequently and add oil on top of that.

I just thought of an additional consideration for the OP:
even if there is NO evidence of a leak on the underside of the car AND the dipstick currently shows something like 1.5 to 2 quarts low, it is still possible that the oil change did not put in enough oil 2 months ago
(if enough oil was added during the oil change, it would mean the engine burned 1.5 to 2 quarts PLUS the “small bottle” amount the OP added in 1000 miles!)

Soooooo… if the dealership finds nothing on the engine’s underside and tops off the oil and starts the engine to find noise, it is still on them.
If there’s no noise, then at least the OP gets documentation of what has happened so far in case something goes wrong in the future.

OK , you bought 2 used vehicles and really have no idea how they were maintained . This thread is about a new 2018 that apparently the owner never checks the oil level .

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Both cars were purchased from same GM dealer and the car fax showed all the maintenance including oil changes done at the dealer. I too had not checked the oil level after buying the cars (due to winter…:slight_smile:) . Never thought it would be so serious problem, so soon. I would check oil level once in a while on my previous cars and never found oil low any time, so did not think it would fall low so soon. Only my escape started consuming oil recently (after 180K miles) and the mechanic said the engine is no longer compact, so sold and got the equinox. I only posted here, since I was looking for more about it and found this thread.

My Pontiac with 140,000 miles on it uses about 1/4 of a quart between oil changes and I was told I have a slight front seal leak. The only GM car I’ve had with oil usage problems was my diesel Olds.

The only one that changes my oil is me so I know what I put in. However, on the rare times someone else has done it, I either check the oil level in the lot or as soon as I get home. Like I said, yesterday I took my car to the transmission shop for a trans fluid change. When I got home, I discovered that they did an engine oil change instead. Why? Who knows but I immediately checked the oil level. As soon as they do the trans fluid change, I’m going to drain their oil and filter and put my own back in again. I don’t want to make them feel bad by doing it before, but I don’t think they used an OEM filter, maybe got the drain plug too tight or too loose, and used Dutch oil instead of Mobil. Yeah add OCD to the list. Just saying you have to verify the work of others. Top mechanics do not do oil changes usually.

Best if you start your own thread. I posted this a few weeks ago for someone looking for a used 2014 Equinox.

I bought a 2013 Equinox new with the 2.4 DI 4 cyl. The pistons, rings, and a timing chain were replaced at 42k miles 3 years ago due to excessive oil consumption (1 qt/1500 miles) due to premature oil control ring wear. The repair was under warranty so no out of pocket cost. I have not had any problems since the rebuild, but I checked and maintained the oil level religiously once I noticed the oil level dropping. I first noticed a drop in oil level between the 20 and 25k oil changes. At 42k the dealer did an oil consumption and determined the 1qt/1500 miles oil consumption.

Oil changes were done every 4 to 5k miles with Dexos semi-synthetic or full synthetic oils so proper maintenance would not have prevented the oil consumption.

This thread has the details.

Note the oil consumption issue was for 2010 to 2012 models, I bought my 2013 in Nov. 2012 so I may have caught the tail end of it. I believe GM did offer an extended warranty on the 2.4 engine, I’m not sure of the details since I had mine repaired under the factory warranty. I don’t believe there was a recall, it was up to the individual car owners to do the research.

Ed B.

This is for @Barajas. I’m a little confused by your post but I am wondering if your problem might not be oil related. You stated

Your dipstick does not go all the way to the bottom of your oil pan so it cannot tell you that you are out of oil. Your oil capacity is probably 5 quarts, if you are just two quarts down, the dipstick may not have any oil on it at all when you go to check it. Did the dipstick have a half inch of oil on it when you checked it or was it completely dry? Did it have the half inch after adding a quart of oil? Did you check the dipstick after adding the quart of oil?

We need to be clear on this. If you think the oil was completely empty, you add oil one quart at a time and check the dipstick after each addition. If for example the stick was dry on the first check, you add a quart and check again, its still dry so you add another quart, This time the dipstich shows a quart down, you add a third quart and now the dipstick shows full. If your engine capacity is five quarts, then you had two quarts in it at the start.

You can find the engine oil capacity in your owners manual. There will be a chart of all the capacities and the specifications for all the fluids, even the gas tank.

Now about the test drive, from your description, it appears that the engine made this noise during the test drive but stopped when you parked the vehicle. Is that the case? If so, I think you have some serious damage under the hood from a part falling off the engine or something that got kicked up from the road and lodged somewhere near the engine so that as the engine was running, it was rubbing against a pulley.

If this is the case, you need to have your car towed to the dealership and have it inspected. If you have a knowledgeable friend or neighbor, see if they can take a look for anything obvious, if they are competent about cars, they may deem it safe to drive to the dealer.

One more thing about your oil system. You should have two lights on the dash for oil. One will be yellow/orange, the other red. Turn your key to the on position without starting your engine and you will see both of them along with most of the other lights on the dash. If the yellow one comes on after you start the car, for about 30 seconds, it means you are low on oil and should check it.

If the red one comes on, you have no oil pressure. You would have to down to less than one quart left in the pan for this light to come on for low oil. There are other things that can cause this to light such as a clogged oil filter, failed oil pump or extremely worn out bushings. If the red oil light never came on, then I don’t think your noise was due to oil.

The part about the hissing noise and loss of power also indicates to me that you have some foreign object damage that made the noise and is responsible for the vacuum leak and the loss of power.