The Truth About Cars » idiot lights http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » idiot lights http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Karma, Idiot Lights and the 100k Warranty http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/piston-slap-karma-idiot-lights-and-the-100k-warranty/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/piston-slap-karma-idiot-lights-and-the-100k-warranty/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2009 17:36:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=337358 Anonymous writes: I have a 2008 Kia Sorento with the 3.3L, about 11k miles.  The other day, I took it to my local mechanic for an oil change. Drove it all over town during the course of the following couple days.  Then, last night, as I am about 3/4 mile from home, my low oil […]

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Anonymous writes:

I have a 2008 Kia Sorento with the 3.3L, about 11k miles.  The other day, I took it to my local mechanic for an oil change. Drove it all over town during the course of the following couple days.  Then, last night, as I am about 3/4 mile from home, my low oil pressure light goes on.  At that point, I roll down my window to listen to the car and can hear a grinding type noise (valves sticking?) on acceleration.  I limp the rest of the way home and turn off the engine.  This morning, I call the mechanic and they send the service manager right over.  No oil on the dipstick whatsoever.  He adds oil to the engine and drives it down the street to the shop.  They inspect, and tell me it is a bad o-ring on the cone filter that caused all the oil to leak out over the course of 2 days, and that it is possible that they had not tightened it sufficiently when the changed the oil.    They said no other damage had been done, replaced the o-ring, changed the oil and filter and sent me on my way.

So my question is this…what is the possibility that other (long term) damage could have been done?  Should I have the vehicle checked out by another mechanic, or even the Kia dealership?  Should I not even inform the dealership, as they may use it as a way to deny future warranty claims?  The vehicle is no longer making the grinding type noise, and seems to be fine.  I may drive it lightly the next few days just to be sure.

Sajeev replies:

Piston Slap’s mission is to look out for our contributor’s best interests, but Karmic forces may beg to differ this time ‘round.  Put another way: you should see no evil, hear no evil. And hope for the best.

Here’s why: running with low oil pressure is a recipe for top-end engine damage, even more so on top-heavy overhead camshaft designs.  And that’s if you’re lucky, more serious engine component failures is likely.  I suspect that at some point oil consumption, noise, or performance will be a concern. I’d start by monitoring the oil level on your dipstick on a monthly basis, and continue until you’re ready to sell the car.

Then again, you have a properly serviced machine (according to your paperwork) with a 100k warranty, right?  You can stick it to da (Kia) man when the bad news arrives, but feel guilty about it.  When an oil light comes on, a Pistonhead gets off the road and stops dead in their tracks.

There’s no limping home.  Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Consider yourself lucky you have a warranty and the motor isn’t damaged to the point of obvious negligence on your mechanic’s part:  that shop owes you big time, otherwise you’d be suing them while Kia washes their hands of it. Things coulda been much worse.

(Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com)

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