My husband was just returning from a long car trip in our 1996 Honda Civic when the engine seemed to downshift, start revving, there was a clicking sound, and so he put it in neutral and pulled off to the side of the road. As he was pulling off, there was a loud popping sound, clicking continued, and the car died. He could restart it, still clicking, seemed like it was running in a really low gear. Had it towed to a CarTalk recommended auto repair shop which put him about 2.5 hours from home. The garage called us and said that the car had almost no oil in it and it was likely that the engine was starting to seize and pretty much done for.
So regarding the low oil…we got an oil change right before the trip, so we were not quite 1500 miles, and three days into the oil change. The oil light never came on (until the car stalled and ALL the lights came on.) or my husband obviously would have stopped sooner. The garage is now putting the car up and trying to figure out where all the oil went. They put in over three quarts to fill it up.
My question…could the car have gone for 1500 miles with the old oil drained and no new oil added? We’re talking pretty intense freeway driving here. Why didn’t the oil light go on? Could the oil change place have done or neglected to do something that precipitated the demise of our Civic’s engine?
I’ll update this post when I hear back from the garage. Thanks to everyone for their feedback…