Nissan Cube No Oil on Dipstick

Messages
45
Location
lexington nc
Recently came out of Dollar General and a lady parked next to me was lifting the hood on her Nissan Cube. I asked if I could help and she said her red oil light was on. I checked the dipstick, which had dark brown oil burnt on it, and it showed nothing. We added a quart of DG 5-30 SN; still nothing. She went back in and got 2 more quarts which then showed about 1/8 " on tip. Another quart brought it up to about 1/4". Looking down the oil cap hole, it was crusty brown. Obviously this Cube had been run short on oil a long time. I suggested she have it checked for oil leaks, then add more oil, and to frequently check the dipstick, not waiting for the red light to come on. She was appreciative of the help which made me feel good. The motor sounded smooth and quiet when she drove away.
 
Messages
16,050
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
NOBODY** checks their oil - even mechanical designers/engineers where I used to work at leading edge tech stuff.
The used car I just bought had a stack of R.O.'s that I enjoyed reading through. On one it said, "customer stated "oil light flickers now and then" Technician checked Oil level - no oil on dipstick.

What I hear repeatedly is, " Its a new car it doesn't burn oil, why would it?!"

We are in our own little cult I suppose; either that or our kids are NOT teaching their kids about cars. Could easily be the high tech / low maintenance that lead to this; then there was the demise of your local mechanic and full service station in the 90's.
Now, back when you had to use a manual choke and a throttle to start a car - and it was HARD getting started in the Winter - I feel folks knew more about car servicing. Plus there were FULL service stations where the attendant would CHECK the oil and water and belts for you.

** ~90% of drivers
 
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Messages
1,551
Location
Texas, USA
Nobody I know has a maintenance routine that goes past doing what the maintenance minder, or the little oil change sticker tells them to do. Makes me a little crazy when I check out a friend's vehicle and find low oil or low tires. Oil and tire pressure gets checked weekly on all my vehicles. Oil in the Fiero gets checked every few days until I get comfortable with its "habits". There is no excuse for letting an engine run dry, IMO, unless it's burning so much oil that you can't make it across town. You take on certain responsibilities when you buy a car, somewhat like when you have children. Assuming it doesn't use oil, or assuming the tires will hold the same pressure indefinitely is like pleading ignorance when you accidentally underpay your taxes. Neither will fly when the stuff hits the fan.
 
Messages
1,823
Location
SW Ontario Canada
In my '19 QX60 there are a slew of settings for maintenance reminders for the touch screen, oil change, air filter, transmission, tire rotation etc, but this thread made me realize there is nothing to remind the owner to check the oil level. These reminder systems are super easy to include in any car with a screen of some sort, they should come with a oil level check at least every month or 600 miles / 1000 kilometres.
 
Messages
8,501
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
WARNING: This is repeated material. I've greatly shortened it.
1) After adding 3 qt. of oil to SIL's Saturn (takes 4). I politely offered to demonstrate how to check the oil and she snapped, "Don't tell me how to check my car". I could go on about our relationship, but....

2) Years ago a lady in a small GM something clattered to a halt next to me in a parking lot. I offered to check her oil. The dipstick was solidly rusted in the tube. The handle broke off the stick with no force at all. I told her to go to the local gas station for an oil change.
 
nice job ulflyer, good karma for you! that nissan cube engine is certainly robust.

last year i encountered a couple of befuddled young ladies on their way somewhere with their not too old ford mustang hood open at a gas station trying to add a quart of motor oil on a very hot summer day “because the red light was flickering.” i added the grossly overpriced, noname brand x, convenience store oil but showed them that it barely registered on the dipstick, and other fluids were low. an unbusy midas shop across the street was advertising a $20 oil change and fluid top off, quickie service special. i pointed out that $20 once and all done in 20 minutes is a better deal than fiddling around under a blazing sun, midas will put a reminder sticker on the windshield and maybe give you a coupon for next time. to their credit i saw them pull into midas. they were easy on the eyes, i’m sure that the midas techs were attentive. cheap, bulk, conventional oil may not have been ideal but it was sure better than what they didn’t have in their engine.
 
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Messages
3,665
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
I was criticized for being snarky on various Soul boards for people that give their cars cute names but don't know what dipstick or teapot light does. I'm happy with my Hertz car because they apparently pull the dipstick and change the oil occasionally. Stories like this are being reported too often. I may be scared into buying a new car if this keeps up.
 
Messages
17,976
Location
NH
Most vehicles are used as appliances and work about as reliably as most household appliances. And many owners trade often enough that they don't have problems. I'd say that people aren't being brought up knowing how to check oil but I'm not convinced that people in the past were brought up that way either. We might be less of a car culture now but I'm not sure we were ever much of a gearhead culture.
 
Messages
378
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty bad about checking oil on the dipstick. I check it once a month or before/after long trips on both of our vehicles because I know the oil consumption (or lack thereof) of those two engines. Previous cars I didn’t do it at all. It’s hard to read on my truck since the RGT is pale/straw color when new, my wife’s car is on Mobil 1 AFE (will be switching to RGT for that on the next OCI) and that oil gets pretty dark very quickly making it easy to read.
 
Messages
704
Location
Alberta
My daughter (age early twenties) was about to leave on a three day road trip with her friend, and her friend (young lady same age as my daughter) arrived at our house to pick my daughter up. The low profile tires on her VW looked low to me so I asked them to wait a few minutes while I checked the pressures. I think my daughter was a bit embarrassed, but her friend was even more embarrassed when I found all four tires only had about twenty psi in them. Scary to think what might have happened at highway speeds.
When my kids got their first car I gave them each a tire gauge (along with the safe-but-beater car haha), and made sure they new how to read the tire sticker on the door jamb.

I did an oil change on each car too, with them helping. So at least they at knew what was going on when they took it to a quick lube shop.
 
Messages
6,134
Location
Texas Hill Country
I've made a habit of checking oil in cars Sunday morning right after coffee, when everything is stone cold.

Takes literally two minutes to check two cars. The scion uses a little oil every few weeks not much maybe 1/4 quart
 
Messages
3,136
Location
Chicago Area
I was criticized for being snarky on various Soul boards for people that give their cars cute names but don't know what dipstick or teapot light does. I'm happy with my Hertz car because they apparently pull the dipstick and change the oil occasionally. Stories like this are being reported too often. I may be scared into buying a new car if this keeps up.
Usually.

There was this one time in Buffalo where I happened to check the oil level on a rental and it barely registered on the stick. I put in enough to get it above the "add" mark and to their credit, the rental agency refunded the cost of the oil I'd added. But even that isn't a guarantee...
 
Messages
3,665
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
I grew up in the fifties in a small South Dakota town. Most of us were driving long before we were supposed to. Driver's Ed emphasized checking dipsticks, driving a stick and changing tires. That and typing was about all I learned in high school
 
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Messages
10,890
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
I grew up in the fifties in a small South Dakota town. Most of us were driving long before we were supposed to. Driver's Ed emphasized checking dipsticks, driving a stick and changing tires. That and typing was about all I learned in high school
I took 4 years of advanced math (plane geometry, calculus, etc.), but NO auto shop classes. I’ll give you one guess how much of that advanced math I use...
 
Messages
418
Location
CA
NOBODY** checks their oil - even mechanical designers/engineers where I used to work at leading edge tech stuff.

What I hear repeatedly is, " Its a new car it doesn't burn oil, why would it?!"

I've seen a few members here who demand someone "prove why checking oil is important".

Recently came out of Dollar General and a lady parked next to me was lifting the hood on her Nissan Cube. I asked if I could help and she said her red oil light was on. I checked the dipstick, which had dark brown oil burnt on it, and it showed nothing. We added a quart of DG 5-30 SN; still nothing. She went back in and got 2 more quarts which then showed about 1/8 " on tip. Another quart brought it up to about 1/4". Looking down the oil cap hole, it was crusty brown. Obviously this Cube had been run short on oil a long time. I suggested she have it checked for oil leaks, then add more oil, and to frequently check the dipstick, not waiting for the red light to come on. She was appreciative of the help which made me feel good. The motor sounded smooth and quiet when she drove away.

Good on you my man!!
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Messages
6,956
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
Made me think of this:
dipstick.jpg


I was criticized for being snarky on various Soul boards for people that give their cars cute names but don't know what dipstick or teapot light does. I'm happy with my Hertz car because they apparently pull the dipstick and change the oil occasionally. Stories like this are being reported too often. I may be scared into buying a new car if this keeps up.
Oh the infamous teapot light. LOL.
Scion sites were similar, and with the 2.4 having oil burning issues, checking the oil is imperative, but many still don't do it.

Rentals really are not a bad buy these days.
My mom's Soul was a rental and it has not had a single issue so far, and the oil looks great in it.

My oil check interval varies depending on the vehicle.
My truck gets checked every 1000 miles (uses a qt every 1000-1500 miles).
Wife's Santa Fe was every fill up, but has never been low in 2 years, so I am going to once a month.
Daughters xB, she checks it every few weeks (usually only 1/4 qt low in 5,000 miles, when we change the oil).
Mom's Soul is monthly (maybe 200-400 miles), no oil use since she got it last year.
Sisters is every few months, usually 1/2 qt low, I top it off. Same for her husbands truck, done at the same time, may or may not be low depending on how much he has driven it, uses a qt every 3000 miles.
 
Messages
1,551
Location
Texas, USA
1) After adding 3 qt. of oil to SIL's Saturn (takes 4). I politely offered to demonstrate how to check the oil and she snapped, "Don't tell me how to check my car". I could go on about our relationship, but....

I'm not saying you should only help people in order to receive adulation in return, but you should also not expect to receive this type of attitude. Don't touch the woman's car again. Some folks just like learning the hard way, and you should grant her that.
 
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