No oil reading on dipstick?

  #1  
Old 03-10-2014, 09:50 PM
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Default No oil reading on dipstick?

I randomly checked the oil on my 2001 Chrysler cirrus LXI today and was shocked not to see any oil on the dipstick reading. I know I have a very minor oil leak but never had this happen. No oil light warning was appearing on dashboard, so I drove to gas station to check. They also got no reading, and after adding 2.5 quarts of oil, a reading appeared right in the middle of dipstick. Any idea why I could have lost this much oil? Why didn't my "check oil" light come on? The car is slightly overdue for oil change service. Feeling very lucky that I did not blow the engine...but there must have been some oil in there if we only added 2.5 quarts to reach correct level on dipstick? I believe it only takes 4 quarts total.

As I said, I've seen minor drop here and there of oil on driveway, nothing major like a puddle. Is the engine "burning oil"?
 
  #2  
Old 03-10-2014, 10:48 PM
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Chrysler didn't make the Cirrus for the 2001 model year. They started building the Sebring sedan that year to replace the Cirrus.
You didn't state which engine this is but if it's a Cirrus, it may have a 4 quart capacity, which means you were down to 2 quarts. The "oil" light comes on when the oil pressure fails. It is not an indicator for the amount of oil in the system, but rather the pressure. Apparently, the system was able to maintain pressure even though it was down 2 quarts. The oil pump wasn't yet sucking air.
You stated that your were a little overdue for an oil change. That could mean that you had driven several thousand miles since the oil level was last checked. You also admit of some drips on the driveway. So there is a leak, which is probably greater when the engine is running and the oil is under pressure.
Yes, you are lucky that you didn't blow the engine. You are either going to need to get that oil leak fixed (which could be expensive) or you are going to need to check the oil level much more frequently.
Keep a quart or 2 in the trunk so you don't get stranded.
 
  #3  
Old 03-11-2014, 06:25 AM
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My bad, it is a 2000 not 2001. Thanks for the response and advice, will get it looked at with oil change, and be more diligent about checking the oil level.
 
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