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sigtauenus

Red Oil Light On Dash

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I was driving my wife's car today (2000 RX 300) and was feeling out the tires and brakes. I did a heavy braking stop, and in doing so the red oil light came on. This is the first time I've seen it. I was on the way to the store to get a new oil filter as I'm doing a oil and filter change. I did the brake check again on the way home, this time to check the oil and the light came on again. I checked the oil and it was barely on the dipstick, so it is low but not excessively low.

Then I got on here and started reading and see all this stuff about sludge and oil problems with these cars. I do 5000 mile oil changes but bought the car with 125,000 miles, and it is now at 155,000.

I haven't noticed this car burning oil before, so am surprised that it is a little low. I plan on draining the oil and measuring how much comes out, as that would be an indicator as to how much (volume) sludge may be sitting in the oil pan.

Is this something to be excessively worried about, ie, the engine could seize tomorrow, or just something to keep an eye on?

Suggestions?

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File this one in the "I'm an idiot" category.

I topped the oil off, turns out it took 2.5 qts to get it to the top of the line on the dipstick. Wow, lot more than I thought. Wow, lot more than I would think this engine would burn in 5000 miles having never had a history of burning oil.

I drained the oil and pulled off the oil filter. Weird, the oil filter is a 3593 and the one I bought today is a 3614. Hmm. I also have a Honda Civic that I changed the oil on today also, so I happen to know the Honda uses a 3593.

DOH!!!

Turns out they are almost identical dimensionally, but the rubber seal diameter is slightly different and eyeballing it looks like the diameter of the fitting it screws onto is slightly different.

So apparently the Honda filter fit good enough to not cause an obvious gusher of a leak, but bit bad enough to leak 2.5 qts in 5000 miles.

As for the possible sludge, almost exactly 5 qts came out and I put exactly 5 qts back in. Based on eyeballing it, I'd say the quantities are within 1/4-1/3 quart or less, so not bad considering the filter probably still had some in it too.

I'll test drive it here in a little bit to confirm the light doesn't come on under the same conditions, but I think this was a oil quantity issue and not a sludge issue as I first feared.

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File this one in the "I'm an idiot" category.

I topped the oil off, turns out it took 2.5 qts to get it to the top of the line on the dipstick. Wow, lot more than I thought. Wow, lot more than I would think this engine would burn in 5000 miles having never had a history of burning oil.

I drained the oil and pulled off the oil filter. Weird, the oil filter is a 3593 and the one I bought today is a 3614. Hmm. I also have a Honda Civic that I changed the oil on today also, so I happen to know the Honda uses a 3593.

DOH!!!

Turns out they are almost identical dimensionally, but the rubber seal diameter is slightly different and eyeballing it looks like the diameter of the fitting it screws onto is slightly different.

So apparently the Honda filter fit good enough to not cause an obvious gusher of a leak, but bit bad enough to leak 2.5 qts in 5000 miles.

As for the possible sludge, almost exactly 5 qts came out and I put exactly 5 qts back in. Based on eyeballing it, I'd say the quantities are within 1/4-1/3 quart or less, so not bad considering the filter probably still had some in it too.

I'll test drive it here in a little bit to confirm the light doesn't come on under the same conditions, but I think this was a oil quantity issue and not a sludge issue as I first feared.

I guess this is good news! Enjoy the car!

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