Oil light

My car is over due for an oil change, well my oil light for my car came on. Well when I checked the oil dipstick it showed i needed to add oil, i did this just so i wouldn’t lock my motor down trying to get it to the car shop to have the oil changed. Well after adding about 4 quarts of oil to my car it still shows i need to add oil but im below the add level…and my car isn’t leaking oil and i know im putting the oil in the right spot so what is wrong with it…

Well, the engine is damaged goods now so don’t stray far from home and start planning.

Should I ask how often you raise the hood to check the oil level?

not often, my dad usually does that, and its not knocking or making any sounds. question is could sludge build up just be blocking the flow…? it has sat over night and when checked earlier this evening it shows some oil not completely to the full but that could be just because we didnt put the full amount of quarts that my car needs…

not often, my dad usually does that, and its not knocking or making any sounds. question is could sludge build up just be blocking the flow…? it has sat over night and when checked earlier this evening it shows some oil not completely to the full but that could be just because we didnt put the full amount of quarts that my car needs…

Do you mean that the oil light is still coming on despite your having filled it with oil?

The oil light doesn’t mean to add oil. It means that the engine has very little oil pressure–there is a pump that circulates oil in the engine. If there is barely any oil to circulate, the engine will be internally damaged. If the light is still coming on despite the engine now being filled with oil, it likely means that you have severe engine damage due to the oil level not being checked often enough and running extremely low.

The oil level isn’t like washer fluid where you can just wait and add some when you run out. You need to keep an eye on it. If it gets more than a quart low, the remaining oil works harder. If it gets lower than that, you’re risking engine damage.

This may be an expensive lesson, but if the oil light is now coming on with oil in the engine, it’s likely you’ve damaged the engine.

I hope you’ve gotten lucky and the engine is OK. This is a very basic car ownership skill that every driver needs to know how to do–check the oil at every other fill-up and make sure that it doesn’t get more than a quart low. It is equally if not more important than getting the oil changed regularly.

Here we go again.
Where do we begin?

  1. Going for extended periods of time between oil changes will lead to a build-up of oil sludge in an engine. This oil sludge causes lubrication problems, because it impedes the flow of oil to the areas of the engine that need to be constantly lubricated. This results in increased engine wear, and the increased engine wear leads to faster oil consumption. All-in-all, going for extended intervals between oil changes is one of the surest ways to ruin an engine.

  2. For an engine to need more than 4 qts of oil, that indicates that the dipstick has not been checked for a very long time, and/or that the engine is consuming oil at a truly staggering rate. Not checking the dipstick for an extended period of time is one of the surest ways to ruin an engine.

All I can say is that the OP should try look on the bright side and realize that this aged vehicle was probably nearing the end of its lifespan anyway. You did not tell us the model year of this vehicle, but since it was marketed from 1994-2002, it is–at a minimum–9 years old.

As a result, the probable age of this Isuzu-designed Honda Passport makes it unlikely that it is worth spending the money for a rebuilt engine, and I suggest that the OP begin shopping for a replacement vehicle.

She should look for a vehicle that comes with full maintenance records, and she should make sure that a candidate for purchase is inspected by her mechanic prior to purchase. Otherwise, she might wind up with a vehicle that has been abused/neglected the same way that her present vehicle has been.

I think that the OP should change her screen name to EX-Hondagirl21, as the engine in this vehicle is now toast. Hopefully, she will not neglect her next vehicle

Good luck!

it is possible that the motor is ruined. it is also possible that the oil pressure switch is bad. you really need to get it to a good auto tech and have it looked at. hopefully this is a lesson you will not forget.

good luck

Yes, it is possible that the oil pressure sensor is defective.
However, the need to add at least 4 qts of oil to this engine cannot be considered in any way other than negative.

Either way, this engine is either at, or nearly at, the end of its lifespan.

Honda Girl 21, I’m Not Sure What A Honda Passport Is (Were They Sold In The U.S. And Are They Still Being Made ?), But What Model - Year Is It And How Many Miles On It ?

This car probably was leaking oil or burning it prior to this “oil change”.


Mr Obvious Here . . . Circumstantial Evidence (No Lubrication) Points To The Idea That The Oil Pressure Switch Isn’t The Culprit, But Sometimes They Melt When The Engine Seizes. Then They’re Bad, But It Doesn’t Matter.


You have an oil reading on the dipstick. You just still need to add a bit more oil to bring it up to the full mark. You ran the motor out of oil so it is going to require more than 4 quarts.

Basically you have done an oil change, but without changing the filter. The engine was likely damaged, but it was a good move to add oil and not run the motor until you had done so.

At this point run the car for a couple of weeks, then get an oil change. Check the oil level daily for the next week or so. See if the oil level holds steady. Hopefully the damage to the motor wasn’t fatal and you’ll get some more miles from this car.


The Honda Passport was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo (i.e.–a mediocre vehicle under either badge).
Back in the 1994-2002 era, Honda had not yet developed a “heavy” 4WD vehicle, so they simply had Isuzu assemble some extra Rodeos and had them rebadged as the Passport.

In exchange, Honda allowed Isuzu to sell rebadged Odysseys (the first model Odyssey, before it became so massive) as Isuzu Oasis minivans.

Keep adding one more quart.

One note the oil light does not come on until it is virtually no oil. It measure oil pressure not oil level.

Something is really wrong if this motor went through 5 qts.

Out of curiosity what does overdue mean in miles and/or time?

VDCD, Thanks. I Guess I Don’t Know What An Isuzu Rodeo Is, Either, But Either Way I Guess We’re Talking Relics.

Pardon my ignorance of these “vehicles,” but I’m not even sure which direction one would have to drive or how far they’d have to go to get to a Honda or Isuzu (Sold in U.S. ? Still in business ?) dealer from here. I know it would be a several hour trip (one way).

You just don’t see many Asian car makes running the roads here, unless you drive over to the interstate and see the ones passing through.


I remember the Honda Passport. Didn’t know about the Izuzu connection, but saw a good number of Passports on the road. Not many left so I guess this won’t go down as one of Honda’s best models.

“I guess this won’t go down as one of Honda’s best models”

That’s because it wasn’t really a Honda!
The Passport was built by Isuzu, to Isuzu standards–which were never exactly the best in comparison with most of their Japanese competitors

Actually my gf has a '98 Passport, and it’s held up fairly well. It’s peppy for its size, drives OK for an SUV, and the 4WD works well. She has over 240K on it. It has had a few more problems than my domestic vehicle, but nothing that’s a deal-breaker. It’s actually on its original transmission (made by GM I think!) Although currently it’s languishing in a dealer’s lot waiting for repair parts for the recent suspension recall. It’s been there for 3 weeks now! Apparently Honda issued a recall without the kit being widely available to fix the problem… But she does have a very nice loaner car :slight_smile:

When my daughter did stuff like this, I called it pointing. Driving is somewhat different. So, I told her she was climbing in the car and pointing it in the direction she wanted. Then, when it blew, wonder why. Driving involves a bit more knowledge of what is involved in the running of a car.

The problem with running an engine way low on oil is that most oil pressure lights are turned off with a minimal amount of oil pressure; say 3-5 PSI.
An aged and weakened sender may turn the light off at 1 or 2 PSI even.

While that pressure will kill the light it’s not nearly enough to provide a solid cushion of pressurized oil so as to prevent excess wear on crankshaft bearings. Those are under a huge amount of pressure on a running engine not to mention camshaft journals, etc.