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Trying to start a car with no oil

I have a 2004 Cadillac CTS. I got into my car this morning and it wouldnt start. i tried a few times and it didnt work. I checked my oil and found out I had none. I did nothing after that. I never drove it but now there may be metal pieces in the oil. Is my engine junk now?

Not necessarily. When the engine runs, it rotates at a rate of thousands or RPMs. When the starter turns the engine, it rotates at hundreds of RPMs.

Hopefully, the lack of oil wasn’t what kept your car from starting. Maybe what kept the engine from starting has saved the engine.

If there are metal pieces in the oil, they should end up in the oil filter.

Is it now “junk”? Possibly.

While having no oil showing on the dipstick is certainly a very bad situation, you may be looking at more than one situation here. Please describe “wouldn’t start”, as that can mean a few different things. Does the starter turn the engine over, or not? If the starter does not turn the engine over, do you hear any clicking noises when you turn the key?

I suspect that this car has been poorly maintained, or at least that nobody has checked the oil dipstick in a very long time. There could well be some oil remaining in the crankcase, even if nothing is showing on the dipstick, but the bulk of that engine’s oil probably took an extended period of time to burn off or leak.

Much more detail is needed regarding the no-start condition, the current odometer mileage, and whether the car has been maintained in accordance with the mfr’s maintenance schedule. Once you provide some vital details, then we can venture a guess as to the extent of the problem(s).

By no starting I mean it turned over and attempted to start. I thought it was going to start at one point and it almost turned over then quit. this car has been maintained and it wasnt up for an oil change for a while but the change in commute may have been the problem. I put oil in the car and now it starts. I still havent driven it though. Its got about 88000 miles on it. It was running perfectly fine with no indication (light or oil rating) showing at all. I took the oil filter out and the metal shavings were in it.

If it starts and runs fine now, I think you may not have wasted the engine.

You really should check the oil more often. Start by checking it every day for the next few weeks. If nothing is wrong, you can then check it every time you fill up with gas or once a week, whichever comes first.

KingCadi04, don’t take this personally, but I am beginning to notice a trend. People seem to be having problems that, although they are not the owner’s fault, could be easily prevented by checking the oil on a routine basis. Please get in the habit of checking your oil before the engine shows problems.

Of course, you now have to wonder why there was no oil in the engine. The car would not start because an oil sensor for either quantity or pressure must have told the computer to shut the engine off. Maybe. I’m happy to hear that it runs now.

“the change in commute may have been the problem”

No matter what change takes place in the car’s driving pattern, YOU are still the one responsible for checking the oil. You may have gotten off easily this time–although only time will tell the full story–but you should take this as a perfect example of why you need to check the oil on a very regular basis.

When was the last time you checked the oil and found it to be full?

KingCadi04 wrote:

I took the oil filter out and the metal shavings were in it.

Ouch! Can you provide a little more detail about what you saw? There should be no metal shavings.

I’m wondering if the last time you drove your car it was sufficiently low on oil such that the oil pump was occasionally sucking air.

How much oil does the engine hold and how much did you need to put into it to bring the level up to the “full” mark"

btw, not registering on the dipstick is NOT the same as no oil. i had a friend who saw no oil on his dipstick, and so figured he had no oil, so added the full capacity of oil that the car takes (in this case, the capacity of the car is 4 qts, so he added 4) and ruined his engine because it had too much oil (probably 2 quarts over).
to remedy your situation, first add 1 quart. then let idle for 5 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes. check again. it will probably now register on the stick, the lower line indicates 1 quart low, the top line indicates stop adding.
using your readings on the dipstick, add and check accordingly.

BS alert…How much oil did he put in? Was it “out” of oil or just low on oil? You need X-ray vision to see inside an oil filter. You can’t see anything by removing it. The starting sequence doesn’t care if there is oil in the engine or not, although some Caddy’s might have an oil level sensor that kills the engine when the oil gets too low. But that should have happened when he was driving it, not trying to start it…Nothing adds up here…

I want to make another BS alert but I will restrain myself and let you define “ruined”. Many engines get the 1 qt overfill treatment from the attendant selling oil,are they just 1 qt away from disaster?

Have you printed out your “remedy” and given a copy to your friend?

He checked his oil,saw it was “empty” added known capacity didn’t recheck and just motored on?