Will running a car without result in a engine cylinder failure

My husband was driving my car last summer and when he returned it to me there was no oil in the engine ore coolant. Now 3 months later one of the cylinders had no compression and the cylinder block needs to be replaced. The car is 1998 GMC Surburband and only has 80,000 miles. I contend that the fact that he ran the car without oil and coolant caused this problem. Am I right?

Probably. Maybe a 99.986% chance . . .

Yes, very likely.

99.986% probability sounds about right to me. I’m surprised he made it home. I’m surprised he made it ANYWHERE!

You are right about the car.  Now the question is how are you going to handle it.  The "it" in this case is your relationship with your not too bright (car wise) husband.

It is too late for you to teach him anything.  He has taught himself (I hope)  Get it fixed, it will be expensive but IMO it would be well worth the cost.  Don't ever remind him of this event.  He may never say it, but he will be relieved that you are not nagging him about it and if you did it would do no good.  Consider it a way to improve your relationship.  That is more important than any car.

My not too bright (car wise or anything mechanical) husband and I have separated. He just wanted me to pay for the new engine. I contend it was his fault ergo he should pay for the engine.

Is the seperation a “legal” one? Who got the 'burban in the seperation?

We’ve answered the car component of the question. The “who pays” component needs to be answered by your lawyer.

I seem to recall such ‘accidents’ being common for people with passive aggressive personalities.

It scares me to remember the things my ex tried to hold me responsible for paying. Thank God those years have passed.

But there’s no way for us to know what’s really going on here. We can only answer the question of whether lack of bodily fluids can kill an engine. Perhaps it’s just as well we not know.

For ten years, I supplied counseling for divorced men. I am going to tell OP the same thing I would tell a man. Do not spend a fortune in legal fees and extending already great amounts of hostility fighting about something IF it is small in the overall picture. House; car; kids; financial assets are big things. Should he pay for it? I’d tell him to if he asked me. But, if he refuses look at the overall picture and decide if it is worth the fight. To spend $10,000 on lawyers fighting over a motor is not a good deal. Divorce is never fun. Move on with your life.

The vehicle would not have gone 3 miles without ANY oil and or coolant…Where did the oil and coolant go?? In it’s 80,000 mile lifespan, was the oil EVER changed?? When was the last time it was changed??

Fortunately, a replacement engine should be easy enough to find…

There’s some missing info.
Explain returned it to you. Drove it back and you met him at the drive, he dropped it off at 3 in the morning and threw the keys in the mailbox, or what?

How long did he have the vehicle last summer and how many miles did he put on it?

Do you EVER raise the hood and check the fluid levels?

Fast forward 3 months. Did you ever inspect the engine oil and coolant in those 3 months?
Was the vehicle running fine after he returned it and at what point did this problem surface?

There’s a lot of unknown going on here for what appears to be a loaded question pronouncing you in the right. I might agree with you but it all depends on the details.

Yes the engine oil was replaced regularly with the synthetic engine oil. Where did it go? I have no clue. Maybe there was a huge oil spot on the driveway my non-car sense husband failed to notice. The car was only driven about 5,000 miles per year. Coolant had been a previous problem but we thought we had that fixed. He had seen no dash board lights so he thought all was well. I suggested he should have looked at the oil pressure gauge. Then he would have seen it was at 0.

We exchanged cars, he needed the '04 Surburban because it has a tow hook. I drove the car approximately 5 miles then all the check engine lights flashed on. I checked the gauges and saw the oil pressure was 0 so I knew not to move the car until I put in oil. When I opened the hood, I saw there was no coolant. Refilled that before I moved the car again.

Since the car is driven less than 5000 to 7000 miles per year. the engine oil is only changed 2 times a year. With synthetic engine oil, I’m sure that is fine.

Just so you know, I was brought up with a Dad who taught me how to rebuild carboratorers.

I have a sister that went through $70,000 in lawyers fees (and who knows what else) over this kind of stuff after a divorce. The issue is compounded by the fact the money was not hers but my fathers and she could sign on the account. It is safe to say this incident has pretty much cost me a sister

This question was already asked, but you didn’t answer it, so I’ll ask again: how many miles did your husband put on the truck while he had it? If it was only a couple hundred miles, I’m not sure it would be reasonable to expect him to check the oil, or to blame him for a bone dry engine.

And I’ll add another question; when was the last time you looked at the oil dipstick before you lent the truck to your husband? Is it possible it was low before you gave it to him?

From the information you provided, it isn’t clear that the no oil situation is your husband’s fault. Also, there’s probably no way to prove it was. If he refuses to pay, save yourself a potentially expensive fight and take care of it on your own. Think of it as a lesson learned. On the other hand, you lent your car to someone you can no longer tolerate living with, so maybe this kind of lesson doesn’t come easy to you. Either way, I hope it works out for you. Good luck.

The murkiness continues, along with my questions.

How long did your husband have the car and how many miles did he put on it?

You “exchanged” cars. What does this mean? In the driveway with both present?
In the Wal Mart parking lot or what?

You drove 5 miles before noticing zero oil pressure. This means that:
A. There was no oil pressure when you first started the engine.
B. There was oil pressure and something happened during that 5 miles. (drain plug fell out, who knows)

How often do YOU personally raise the hood to check the oil and coolant levels?

You now mention a prior loss of coolant problem that you “thought was fixed”.
Again, getting simple details should not rank up there with pulling wisdom teeth and at this point I can’t offer verification that your hubby did the vehicle in. At all.

So you drove the car for three months with no oil or coolant? How far did he drive it to you with no oil or coolant? I contend you should get your story straight.

What the heck are you talking about? Is that trying to be a joke?

Did you look at the oil pressure gauge before you drove it those final 5 miles? Was it low when you started driving, or did you not notice? And if you didn’t notice, why would you expect your husband to notice?

These questions are sort of moot because the Check Engine light on this car will come on if the oil pressure gets too low. If the damage had occurred while your husband had driven the car, that light would have been on when he gave it back to you. The fact that you didn’t notice it suggests that a) the Check Engine light doesn’t work and your husband can’t be blamed for not noticing it, or b) it actually did come on and you drove it anyway.

Again, we need more information. On the basis of what we know so far, you can’t blame your husband.