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Mazda Tribute This low-priced SUV allows the driver the versatility of an SUV without the big fuel bill of many of the vehicles in the SUV class.

No oil on dipstick

Old 02-08-2018, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Mckinney Texas
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Default No oil on dipstick

I have a 2005 tribute with 120,000 miles on it, and last had the oil changed at 115,500. I usually get it changed at every 5,000 miles, so i took it in a little early. The manual says every 6 months or 7,500 miles, and i had driven 4500 in about 71/2 months, so i figured i would change it at a shop. I checked the oil level 4 weeks prior to this oil change and it was fine. When i took it in the mechanic said there was no oil on the dipstick, and it needed 2 1/2 quarts to get to safe level, and i believe it holds 5 to 5 1/2 quarts.The mechanic told me to drive it 500 miles and bring it back for an oil change. I am just wanting some opinions on this advice to drive it 500 miles. Did it do any damage driving it with no oil on the dipstick? The oil pressure light never came on, and it drove just fine. Their are no apparent leaks, and no signs of burning oil. I am just wanting some opinions about this. Thanks for any feedback.
Old 02-08-2018, 11:17 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: southern New Hampshire
Posts: 2,238

There is no real way to know if any damage was done. That said, the oil was probably fully exhausted so at least some additional wear and/or internal sludging of the engine took place.

Best advice, check your oil every thousand or so miles and fill as needed. Just because an engine is consuming oil doesn't in any way mean said engine won't last another hundred-thousand or more miles.
Old 02-08-2018, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Auckland
Posts: 163

Well if it isn't leaking or burning I'd suspect that the oil was low when you checked it, did you check straight after the engine running? If so splash from the crank turning may have given a false high reading.

If the oil pressure light wasn't coming on then damage should have been avoided, especially as the temp would have been controlled by the cooler.

I would do what the mechanic says but check the oil level very often during the 500miles (say every 50-100 miles but equal intervals), to make sure it isn't disappearing quickly.

Once the oil is changed again if no level drop and no issues I would say the engine is good for further service and revert to normal checking (weekly!) and change intervals.
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