Missing oil filler cap/damage to engine?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Maz, 18 Jan 2008.

  1. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    Hi people,

    I don't know if this is off-topic, apologies if it is...maybe it's 'know-how' but it's nowt to do with bikes.

    I topped up the oil in my car a few days ago and absent-mindedly must've got distracted and forgot to replace it. I've now lost the cap and it's been driven around the last couple of days (20miles-ish?).

    Simple mistake, now I'm wondering what damage I may have done to the engine. Does anyone know? :laugh:

    Need to get a replacement (Scrapyard? e-bay?).

  2. Crackle

    Crackle ...

    I don't know but can I be the first one to call you a dipstick.......:laugh:

    Did the oil light come on at all? If it just flickered and the engine doesn't sound or feel different you probably got away with it, albeit it might have shortened it's life a bit. More info required?
  3. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK

    I'd say you probably haven't done much damage, but the only car I ever owned was so old and shot it probably wouldn't have hurt to have fed dried peas into the sump... Maybe if you have one of these new fangled cars with computer chips, it's different.

    Scrapyard is a good place to get a replacement, esp if you have a good big one nearby that sort components and have a sales counter... But'd I'd have thought it's the sort of thing you could get from a motor parts store...
  4. gary r

    gary r Veteran

    ive done that before,The engine bay & underside of the bonnet was a bit of a mess !!!but no long term damage done
  5. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    as Gary said, you might end up having to top up more than normal as the oil might or will come out. you might get a little smoke as well as the oil might burn on the hot engine/rad. Best to get a replacment though.
  6. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    If your oil level is still within the range on the dipstick, I'd say no damage but a possible mess from the oil spray under the bonnet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. OP

    Maz Legendary Member

    Thanks for the info.
    I didn't notice the oil pressure light come on (it's a year 2000 mazda 323) - I would definitely have seen it had it been flashing. Only noticed it today as there was a smell of oil. Fingers crossed no long-term damage.
  8. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I'd say the same as Keith, provided the oil level has not dropped below the minimum you have no worries.

    BTW, regarding the oil light when that does come on it is already to late, your engine is stuffed.
  9. Crackle

    Crackle ...

    It'll be OK then; just the mess.
  10. Crackle

    Crackle ...

    It can flash on and off as you go round bends or brake if your oil level gets very low. Depends a bit on the car, the switch and the pump. If it comes on and stay on you're right, you've got less than half a mile before the car dies.
  11. simonali

    simonali Guru

    Same here. Drove from Silverstone back to Windsor with no 710 cap and no harm done. Even drove to the dealer the next day to get the new cap!
  12. simonali

    simonali Guru

    That depends if it's the oil pressure warning lamp or the oil level one. If it's the former you need to turn off the engine as soon as you can, if it's the latter you just need to top the oil up (obviously the sooner the better, but you won't kill your motor driving it home).
  13. OP

    Maz Legendary Member

    Thanks. Got a new cap on order. Couldn't get one off a scrappy for love nor money. Oil spray didn't look too bad so hopefully no lasting damage.
  14. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    if it's been raining A LOT then water might have got in it, but at the end of the day probably won't have, you should be alright.
  15. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    Maz, if you have had liitle spray from the open filler orifice, take heart, it is likely your engine is in good nick. If the piston ring or cylinder bores are worn, then spray is something awesome.
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