How low can I let the oil get before there is a mechanical problem? I am not talking crazy low like you see on youtube where guys try to run on 1/2 a quart. I am talking 1 or so qt low, normal dips you might see between changes. On a 4QT sump my camry calls to add oil when it gets a qt low but would 1/2qt or so lower hurt? I am guessing the thing to avoid is the pump running dry when the oil is being pumped through the system. Maybe the problem would be not enough oil to distribute contaminants. When I drain the oil showning 3 quarts it looks like a lot and the car would be just fine a little lower but what do I know, answer, not much. In my case it gets to about 1 qt low at the end of the change interval and I am always wondering if I should add 1 quart with 500 mi to go or would it even make any difference to the engine.