Low on Oil

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GregLA2013

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My 1989 3.0L SHO has been sitting in the garage for years. I start it occasionally to keep the juices flowing. This last time it wouldn’t turn over. Seems that the engine oil had dropped too low. I don’t see a puddle under the car so I guess it’s been mostly worn away. I’ll add synthetic and try it. Before I do that I wanted advice about what I should know about this issue. Thanks.
 

luigisho

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Worn away? You mean burned during combustion? If it's not leaking I find it hard to see how it would go that low unless it was that low when it started sitting. That being said, there is an amount of oil loss while running on most of the SHOs I've owned. Check every thousand miles or so and adjust checking frequency based on what is observed over time.

I would not use full synthetic on these cars just based on the large tolerances and propensity of gasket/seal leaks. That is just my personal preference. I am sure, like most things, someone will chime in with the opposing opinion and their own experience.
 

GregLA2013

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Thanks. That’s why I’m asking before doing. Synthetic is easier to find and not much more expensive. Maybe I’ll add enough to get the car started and then take it for a full oil change. It’s been many many years!
 

luigisho

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That's pretty low. I have been there when one of my cars started consuming more oil than normal. A little concerning. That is why you have to check and adjust when the reading isn't close to what you normally see. Just add whatever and get a full change. I would start using the car a little just to keep the fluids circulating and rubber hose seems to rot a little quicker without use.
 

Irish Pride

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Oil doesn't evaporate so it was low to begin with or there is a leak. If no leak and you know it was full at one point then it burns oil. One of my cars goes thru about a quart every 1000 miles. One of my other cars doesn't burn a drop and I do 5k mile oil changes. You just have to keep you eye on it and learn your car.

I would not use Synthetic oil. You will get more oil leaks by switching to synthetic oil and unless it's always had synthetic oil from day one then the benefits of using synthetic oil have already been lost.

-Chad
 

BaySHO Performance

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It could be that rust built up on the cylinder walls, destroying compression and allowing oil blow by. I hear what you say about synthetic oil, but I'm a big fan of it because it doesn't leave orange or black deposits all over the place and keeps the internals squeaky clean.

IMG 20180810 120215937 640x389like organic oil.
 

GregLA2013

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The engine block is still clean. I has sat in the garage for years. I start it occasionally. But I haven’t checked the oil until just recently. I’ll be picking up 2 quarts of standard today. Hopefully that’ll do it. Then I’ll get a full oil change. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

GregLA2013

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I put in a quart of 10W-30 regular oil and it showed up on the dipstick. But even tho the battery had been charged recently and the starter turned over fast it just didn’t catch. I don’t see any oil puddle under the car so it must be retained. This car has been incredibly self-reliant over the years. Seems to maintain itself well with only the usual care. I’m stumped! Maybe time for a shop tow.
 

BaySHO Performance

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no, it sounds competent - just not starting the engine.
If you didn't disconnect the battery when you charged it, any stored 2 digit codes should still be there:


By all means use a paper clip, but one of these makes it easier:


If no codes, next up is to check for spark. These make it easy:


If no codes and no spark, check the DIS:

DIS Test P1DIS Test P2
 
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