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Can using the wrong oil in a car cause the engine to blow up?

.Last week the oil light came on in my car. I drove it for about 4km before I could get to a petrol station to get some oil. As I was unsure what oil to use I asked the guy at the register and he suggested an oil for my car. I checked the oil and it was just below the lower marker. I immediately topped up the oil so it was sitting at about the middle of the two markers. I drove the car back home which was about 5km. The car was running as usual. About an hour later I drove 40 km. Everything was normal. Later that day I drove a further 20 km. A car suddenly pulled out in front of me and I braked to avoid it. That's when the car suddenly started to shake/tremble and it cut out. I started it up again to move it off the road and it did the same thing again. I had it looked at by a roadside service mechanic who told me it was one of the coils. I had the car towed to a mechanic and the next day I was told all 4 coils were fine and that the engine needed to be replaced. I think he said that one of the cylinders had no pressure when he tested it but he couldn't really tell if it was repairable until he pulled it apart. He said it would cost around $6500 for a reconditioned engine. Is it possible to have blown the engine by using the wrong oil in the car? The car is a 2000 Toyota Tarago which has done around 350000km. Around 3 1/2 months ago I had some extensive work done on the car as I wanted to keep it for at least a few more years. I have had the car since new. The repairs cost me $3000. The work I had done was: 1. A full transmission service which included replacing the filter and pan gasket, refilled with new fluid, cleared and reset the system, road tested the car and reset level. 2. Replaced rocker cover gasket. (oil leak) Stripped down the engine, cleaned the area as required and replaced the rocker cover gasket. 3. Replace top engine mount, replaced the (cracked) top engine mount. 4. Replaced water pump,, flushed out the cooling system, refilled with the correct type of coolant. 5. Power steering pump replaced due to leaking, refilled the fluid to the correct level. Checked the operation. 6. Had the engine tuned and spark plugs replaced, checked the operation. 7. Replaced the rear shock absorbers. 8. Replaced the front brake pads and machined discs. Removed and refitted wheels and calipers. 9. Replaced rear brake pads and machined discs. Replaced the hand brake shoes and set up. Removed and refitted calipers. I thought having all this work done would more or less guarantee that something like this could not possibly happen. As I know absolutely nothing about cars I am wondering if its worth going back to the mechanic who did all this work and lodging a claim against him as he pretty much led me to believe that the car was as good as new and would require no major work for a while, as long as it was serviced as required. Since these repairs I had not clocked up enough Kms to require a service for the car. So the last time the car was at the mechanic was on the 25th January 2013 when all this work was done. So basically I'm wanting to know 2 things. Was the damage to the engine caused by using the wrong oil? Do I go back o the mechanic and lodge a claim for faulty workmanship and/or parts? I was told I had a 12 month warranty on the mechanical repairs including parts and labour.


  1. Using the "wrong" oil will not damage an engine, such as using 10-30 instead of 5-30, etc., in spite of what some might say. Running an engine WITHOUT oil will definitely damage it quickly. Without inspecting the car it's impossible to know what the problem was, or if there was a problem at all. If you had oil on the stick, the engine should have been fine. What you saw was probably a level warning, not a pressure warning, which is more serious. You should keep the oil topped up and check it periodically, not drive till you get warning lights. ...
  2. Oil light came on, the level was just below the lower line. You put oil in to bring the level up. Did the oil light turn off? I ask because being just below the lower line should not have put the oil light on but an oil pump going bad could. Hope this isn't the same mechanic who charged you $3,000 for that work you listed, because that work was overpriced by a lot. Also this mechanic, if it's a new one, is trying to overcharge you for a new engine at $6,500. You need to find batter mechanics. But to answer your question, the wrong oil cannot do extensive damage.
  3. There IS such a thing as BAD or WRONG oil that can clog up your OIL CONTROL RINGS on the pistons and CAUSE a loss of compression! This is WHY they make SYNTHETIC engine oil! PENNZOIL ULTRA has oil that is good for 15 years, or 500k miles! Use MOBI LONE 0W-30 oil and change it ONCE a year or TWICE tops! NEVER use CHEAPER oil change centers with BARGAIN oil changes! OIL is CRUCIAL for your engine like BLOOD is crucial to YOU! and MANY oil change centers us a very CHEAP GENERIC oil that WILL make sludge and varnish and even COKE inside the engine! chances are that your RINGS are just very dirty inside and are STICKING a bit! GET A FULL MOTOR FLUSH and switch over to TOTAL ENERGY OIL or other REAL SYNTEHTIC oil that carries teh TOYOTA approval codes on it ONLY! STAY AWAY from those CHEAP oil change bargain specials!>> I have a TECHNIQUE for restoring compression to older engines, but you will need a can of AMSOIL POWER FOAM to do it! Keep in touch!
  4. There are a few things to say here. First off is why do you, who knows nothing about cars want to lodge a complaint because the mechanic told you your car was as good as new? It wasn't the mechanic that ran the car low on oil. And the oil thing, it's got nothing to do with what is wrong with your car, you just wanted someone to say it was the wrong oil and then you would lodge a complaint about the guy who recommended the oil. And then we come to the sudden stop that lead to this, A sudden stop will not make the compression go away, could knock the wire off the coil though. And you fell for it and had the car towed, now they have another story, no pressure and they have your car. See what that will cost you just to get it out of there. You might want to start the complaint now, take a tap recorder with you so you get the story straight.
  5. No, the wrong oil will not cause an engine to blow up. It could cause an engine to deteriorate more quickly though. The point of oil is to properly lubricate the moving parts within the engine. The wrong type of oil can cause improper lubrication, but is still better than running on no oil. I would go back to the mechanic and tell him what has been going and see if he has any suggestions. You could even go to an auto parts store or another mechanic and ask their opinions.