Driven with no oil - Wife's 2000 Accord

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1,525
Location
Athens, GA
And so begins the likely death of our 330k Accord. I woke up this afternoon (work nights) to a text from the dear wife that her oil light is on. I immediately call her on the phone because I know she's supposed to be out and about running errands. As soon as she answers I tell her to pull over, shut the car off and check the oil. She reports nothing on the dipstick. Tell her to hold tight and I'll be there in a few moments as she's only about 4 miles out from the house. Get there, dump 4qts in the car and it barely gets on the stick. Crank the car, it runs, but its puking oil out from behind the timing cover. Little did I know, there's an issue with the F-Series Honda motors where they will all of a sudden, for not much reason, puke out the balance shaft seal. Several people make a retainer to keep it from doing that. Didn't know that was an issue. Do now. Have the car towed to the house and proceed to tear into it, sure enough, seal is just hanging out nearer to the pulley than its home in the block. Push it back in, Autozone actually stocks the retainer ($10), put everything back together. Car starts and runs, no noises other than ones it already made. Trek to Walmart and pick up two boxes of Havoline 10W30, since I figure we'll go a little thicker now and its actually cheaper than SuperTech. Drain oil. Its sparkly, to be expected. Refill, drive around the block, repeat one more time with a fresh filter as well. Its certainly shedding metal, but no chunks. No idea what the bearings would look like, but they're not making any noise at the moment. I'm under no illusion that the car is ok. I'm sure the other shoe is waiting to drop in some form or fashion, which is why I just put it back together and didn't bother doing any timing belt maintenance. I just hosed everything down with brake cleaner and let it roll. I'll probably be driving it to work for the next little bit and she can drive my ugly 2003 since she's now a little scared of driving the 2000. Later on in the day while running to Advance Auto I notice the trail that starts just past our house that I didn't notice before. Call and ask the wife which way she went earlier, yep, its her oil trail. Can follow it all the way to the 4 lane highway where she said the light came on and she continued on into town and almost all the way back. Total distance of maybe 10-15 miles. So, yay, that's my one day off this week. Didn't really want to, but I guess I'll start looking for the Pilot she wants to replace the Accord with. At least J-Series motors don't tend to spit out seals. mad


IMG_20190726_011416.jpg
 
Messages
13,232
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Yes indeed you were very lucky. Those motors are very robust but with 330K, who knows? Keep an eye on things as you mentioned before giving the car back to your wife. If you did the seal correctly, I think that there is still a ton of life remaining in the vehicle & engine. I'd be inclined to drive the Accord til it didn't run any longer. Again, who knows how long it'll keep going. Best of luck, CB
 
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27,176
Location
PNW
Did you change the oil filter and cut it open to look for metal particles? Obviously there was some metal wear/damage from lack of proper lubrication based on the glitter in the oil. Might be wise to install a new oil filter in case the old one is loaded up.
 

ctechbob

Thread starter
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1,525
Location
Athens, GA
That picture is of the cut open filter. The oil was just changed in the car last week, so the filter that was on it during 'the event' probably only had 100 miles on it. Then I changed it with the first 'flush' change and then again with the last change. I cut them all open. Nothing more than very fine glitter, no chunks. I'm still just floored that the thing even runs, let alone as well as it seems to. The next few days will tell though as I truck back and forth to work all weekend (12 miles one way).
 

ctechbob

Thread starter
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1,525
Location
Athens, GA
Originally Posted by Char Baby
Yes indeed you were very lucky. Those motors are very robust but with 330K, who knows? Keep an eye on things as you mentioned before giving the car back to your wife. If you did the seal correctly, I think that there is still a ton of life remaining in the vehicle & engine. I'd be inclined to drive the Accord til it didn't run any longer. Again, who knows how long it'll keep going. Best of luck, CB
That's the plan. As far as the seal, it now has a retainer on it, so if it comes out again it will be because a rod shot through it and pushed it out. I wasn't going to take that mess of balance shaft belts apart to put a new one on it. Just too much of a PITA not knowing if the engine was even going to hold together for any amount of time.
 
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1,358
Location
south dakota
I have seen demonstration engines at fairs etc run with no oil or coolant and they run a long time before slow dying out. Hopefully you are ok 10 miles isn't too long and 15 miles is 1/3 longer without oil. I would be happy with anything that would go 300,000 miles. I have never owned one that long but you are doing great.
 
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35,624
Location
NY
Nothing you can do now other than monitor the oil level. Any damage done, is done. Hopefully it was minor if any at all. I think most engines can take that type of punishment and survive with less damage than we think.
 
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2,063
Location
America's Dairyland
Originally Posted by demarpaint
Nothing you can do now other than monitor the oil level. Any damage done, is done. Hopefully it was minor if any at all. I think most engines can take that type of punishment and survive with less damage than we think.
The one thing that he can do is look to trade it in ASAP! Age and mileage mean it's not worth a lot, but it still runs great...nope, no major issues wink
 
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4,912
Location
Ohio
I really shouldn't post this lest I jinx it, but my '99 Accord blew out that same seal. My mechanic had to put 4 quarts of oil in to get on the dipstick. That was 2 years ago and the car is still running (fine?).
 
Messages
25,689
Location
Upstate NY
You have gotten your money's worth. Loosing oil is better than starting with none. Some damage was probably done. But probably not a lot. I would doubt the damage will cause engine failure down the road. Probably just burn a tiny bit more oil than it did before. Just drive. But at 330K you should be thinking about a replacement anyway.
 
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14,602
Location
The Old North State
Quote
….. At least J-Series motors don't tend to spit out seals...
…...at ~20 years with 330k miles. Not to be cavalier here, however addendum information included and considered whatever happens now I'd consider it a good useful life for the topic vehicle. Having personally lost an engine/vehicle purchased new at far less miles and years, ~81k miles/8years 03 Nissan Altima 2.5L to engine terminal precat defect/failure difficult for me to get too down on this engine/vehicle life. All relative I suppose. Good Luck.
 
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4,030
Location
WA
Originally Posted by LotI
Originally Posted by demarpaint
Nothing you can do now other than monitor the oil level. Any damage done, is done. Hopefully it was minor if any at all. I think most engines can take that type of punishment and survive with less damage than we think.
The one thing that he can do is look to trade it in ASAP! Age and mileage mean it's not worth a lot, but it still runs great...nope, no major issues wink
👍 That engines [been] on borrowed time. (I'm surprised it didn't sieze)
 
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16,993
Location
...
[quote=LotI The one thing that he can do is look to trade it in ASAP! Age and mileage mean it's not worth a lot, but it still runs great...nope, no major issues wink[/quote] I hope that is sarcasm. I would continue to run it with a couple of short oil changes. That engine might surprise you.
 
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73
Location
New Jersey
This balance shaft seal, is it an O ring that has 2 loops? part number 15114-PT0-003. In my last timing belt change I replace all the seals plus this O ring behind the balance shaft seal and that fixed a MAJOR oil leak by the timing belt cover. It was leaking profusely by the timing belt area. Was your timing belt cover soaked with oil ?
 
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9,096
Location
Marshfield , MA
I'd say that having 300k on the engine probably saved it. Excess clearance in all the right places. Cars should have a low oil level and low coolant level. Consider it a safety issue grin2 PS. I'm curious as to the car's future, It could go either way. I would expect an increase in oil consumption at the least. Is it noisier? I've had a few cars with main bearings that knocked on a cold start. A rod knock is bad news though. Good luck! grin2
 
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Originally Posted by LotI
The one thing that he can do is look to trade it in ASAP! Age and mileage mean it's not worth a lot, but it still runs great...nope, no major issues wink
Speaks well of one's values. Pass a time bomb off to someone else undisclosed. Nice advice. Junkyard or sell to someone with full disclosure for a couple of Bennies.
 
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