Overdue Oil Change and Sludge, safe to drive after oil change?

@deborahl79_177961 or her son needs to determine if the oil is draining back into the pan correctly and this is one way to check. A more expensive way would be to remove the valve cover and visually inspect the oil drain back holes. Then they would need a new valve cover gasket set, which on this model ain’t cheap.

If the oil is draining back properly, then it is highly unlikely that there is much sludge build up in the engine. This is one of the first areas to clog up in my experience.

“A loose article of clothing could catch in the fan or serpentine belt…”

Yeah I hate when that happens…or the car just spontaneously explodes.

Have to have the engine running to check some fluid levels anyway. Like most if not all automatic transmissions.

Couple of things.
Why would one ever check engine oil with it running? Transmission, yes. Engine, no. With oil splashing all over, it is not possible to get any kind of accurate reading on the dipstick. Checking the level IMMEDIATELY after shut off, and again after five minutes will tell you if the oil is flowing back to the pan properly.

The oil light is NOT necessarily an indicator of oil level. It is an indicator of LOW oil PRESSURE. Yes, if the level is low, the pump can’t pick it up. Then the pressure will be critically low. Think of it like blood pressure. Without oil pressure, your engine dies. Low oil pressure can be caused by low oil level, a weak oil pump, thinned oil due to contamination with gasoline or water, or loose main and/or rod bearings. (That’s the expensive one.)

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Why would one ever check engine oil with it running?

just so you know there are vehicles that you need to check the oil while the engine is running. like the new C8 corvette.

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How To Check Fluid Levels In The 2020 Corvette: Video | GM Authority

But the op was discussing a Nissan Altima. I’m sure one doesn’t check the Altima’s oil with the engine running, or I’ve been doing mine wrong.

How many here have a C8 Corvette? Shoot, I’ve only SEEN two or three, and one of those belongs to a neighbor. Moot point.

I was making the point that there are vehicles that you need to check the oil while the vehicles are running. I was not talking about OP’s car or most vehicles out there. that is why you need to read your owners manual. things are changing all the time and you can not go by what was done in the past.
just because you don’t see a lot of C8’s now does not mean someone wont come here for info in the future. until I read about the new C8 I did not know you had to check the oil while it was running for a few minutes.

Not related to the OP, or the C8s, my car along with other brands, says to drive the car until fully warmed up. Then, wait 15 minutes then check the oil level. I have done that, get exactly the same reading as I get after letting the engine sitting overnight.

Several years ago someone posted that their dipstick had different levels on the opposing sides. I could not believe that. Now I too have discovered that, the reason (I think) is residual oil in the dipstick tube. Now I remove the dipstick, then wait 5-10 minutes for any oil in the tube to drain back, then reinsert the dipstick and take my reading.

I traded in my car at 140, 000 miles, oil changes at 5,000, oil never got darker than honey color.

Volvo-V70 is correct in his statement that a loose article of clothing especially on someone inexperienced could lead to it getting caught on something that is turning. I always wore short sleeve uniform shirts for this reason. I do the same thing when I’m working with a metal lathe as that did happen to me one time when a long sleeve got caught in a part I was making. Fault was mine as I got a fraction too careless after being at the lathe a long time. Ruined a shirt and got a 3 inch cut for my carelessness. Short sleeve, no issue.

A mechanic back in the late 80s lost a ring finger over this. Apparently there was nasty nick on an up top mounted, engine running alternator pulley. He slipped a bit, his ring caught that nick, and off came part of the finger…

At a dealer where I worked 2 detail guys got into a pretend sword fight with 2 long screwdrivers. The blade came out of one and hit the other guy in the temple. Down he went. By the time EMS arrived he was already dead.