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Generation III Internal Engine
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default Any Damage Running engine 15/20 Seconds Without Oil???

I put my Vette on the lift, drained the oil, and changed the filter. I got a call I had to take and my kid said he'd lower the car and put in the oil. Well it didn't happen. I go out to my shop to back the car out and move the car maybe 40/50 feet before I notice the low oil light. The car only ran maybe 15/20 seconds. Did I do any damage? Oil pressure is fantastic, no noises or anything. I'm hoping the residual oil in the oil cooler and oil pump helped lube a little. Comments please.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
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If you didn't grab a bearing, then you definitely put some premature wear on them. Either way, if oil pressure is good and there's no noises then I wouldn't worry about it. Damage from an oil-out is definitely apparent, so you'd know real quick if you hurt something.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:49 PM   #3
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It is possible that you may of done some scarring. I would put oil in it. Run it for awhile. then drain it and see if you see any shavings
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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That might be a question for Jiffy lube Sorry, I agree with Damian.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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you're fine if it truly was only 15-20sec and you didnt do any wannabe racer revving or anything.

as a small engine tech in college i saw this happen once in a 17 horse engine (lol, not sure if this helps) but the thing was run for 5 minutes without oil by accident (stupid kid) and upon teardown there was literally no evidence. it was crazy. at the very least i expected scoring on the cylinder walls but there was none. so. for 15 seconds, i think you're A ok.

consider how long all these engines these days run without oil everytime they are started up after sitting over night, with an oil filter that doesnt have an anti drainback valve.

my theory = relax, if it was really that short and you arent just being optimistic. its all good.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Doesn't take long to destroy babbit. You could run it for a while and pull some oil for a tribology analysis.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Guys thanks for your input, I just talked a friend of mine who is a GM master tech and he says not to worry, no problem. He told me a guy in his shop, some years ago, had the same thing happen with a Northstar or 4100 engine and the guy drove it for like 5 miles and zero issues, and the Caddy agency serviced it for like 5 years after that, with no problems.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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pretty sure it wouldnt have hurt anything, definately woulndt do it any good tho. keep an ear open for any strange noises but should be ok. When all is well ground your kid for a month! j/k
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:48 PM   #9
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There was a vid on youtube of dumb guys killing a no-oil engine

They had to run it and rev it for almost 15 minuts until it stopped working

That doesn't probably help you but just to tell it takes a lot to seriously damage an engine
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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I remember that video. It took a long time to kill an engine with no oil in it. I wouldn't worry about it. If you think about all the people that never check their oil and run it extremely low all the time with no ill effects, i think you'll be okay.

Let us know if we were wrong...
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:35 AM   #11
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I used to work at a jiffy lube type shop, an I have seen at least 4 or 5 cars get started W/O oil and taken out to the parking lot they where all fine. I'm sure yours is too. If you figure with no oil in the sump, there is no new oil being pushed through the engine, so any oil laying in the bearings, on the cam and basically anywhere it needs to be just sits there so you are protected for a short while, not really a problem until the existing oil cooks off or is slung away which will happen quickly but not immediately.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:09 PM   #12
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Try ask the guys how much oil pressure they have after a heads cam swap and how long it takes to come up, sometimes it takes a couple of minutes. You should be fine.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #13
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There shouldn't be too much damage if the engine was only idled or under light load. Good thing you noticed it before you collapsed a lifter or something. I'd say fill it with oil, if you haven't aready, and run the engine to operating temps. Drain it and cut open the filter, and look for any obvious damage.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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listen to your buddy who's the GM master tech and tell your kid if he does that again your kickin him out and he's not included in your will lol
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:47 PM   #15
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is ur kid still alive after doing that? did u ask him y he didn't put the oil in, when he said he would??
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:47 PM
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