No oil but crank still turns

mguy04mguy04 Member Posts: 3
edited June 2014 in Subaru
I have a 2000 Outback with ~210,000 miles. Today I changed the oil but forgot to add new oil! While idling to check the coolant, the engine suddenly made a loud CLUNK and then stopped.

Now, when I try to start it, the engine still turns but doen not even fire; it also makes a new whining sound. My neighbor who works on large trucks thought the hydraulic valve lifters are the problem. Any thoughts on how to get the lifters working again, or other thoughts on the problem? (I have added oil, by the way....)


  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    Ouch. I always worry that someday I'll get distracted and do something like that!

    If you had driven it a few miles without oil, then likely the engine is toast. But if all you did is shut it off warm (and thus well lubed), and then just started and let it idle for a few minutes, it probably didn't throw a rod or something horrific. It could have... but maybe you got lucky.

    I'd start with a cylinder compression tester to see if the pistons are pumping, the cylinder bore and rings are still whole, and if the valve train is still intact. IIIRC, valve lash is mechanical on the EJ25 series 2, so it's not hydraulic lifter failure. If everything checks out mechanically with good pumping and solid readings, then you still have a chance.
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