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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks.

We've a 2012 ST3 Estate.

It got run around for a while with "oil service due" flagged. Not knowing these can eat through a little bit of oil I didn't panic about it when it came up, had planned to get it done later this month.

Then my wife said she was getting it home and noticed smoke from up front. She was literally 2 corners from home so got it home. I checked the dipstick and probably half a cm below the min line.

I got 2 litres of oil in it, it's now up to two thirds ish maybe three quarters of max.

Started it up turned over let it warm up, revved to about 3500 twice and it then flagged 'engine malfunction service now'.

Getting it checked out by a specialist next week but my question is, how worried do you reckon I should be about driving it there? It felt OK at idle, sounded ok, but it's not a nice light.

I've not got a code reader at present but just about to buy this: Black USB Modified ELM 327 Elmconfig Forscan Fits Ford Focus Mondeo ELMCONFIG | eBay (unless someone recommends something else) to see what's really up...

I know it's quite a generic code, but given the circumstances - what do you reckon? Do these grenade if you run them a bit low or should I just drive it there and stop worrying ...

sigh

Ta
Dave
 

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2019 AMG C43
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If you've topped the oil up to where it should be (bear in mind it sounds like you topped it up when it was warm, so not all of the oil was in the sump) then driving it to the garage isn't going to do any more damage than may already have been done - you either need work doing or you don't at this point.

I don't know about the 'can eat through a little bit of oil' - that sounds like more than a little bit! I never needed to top up any of my Mk3's between services, the oil level pretty much stayed at max. I'm wondering if you have a bigger issue if that much oil has disappeared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you've topped the oil up to where it should be (bear in mind it sounds like you topped it up when it was warm, so not all of the oil was in the sump) then driving it to the garage isn't going to do any more damage than may already have been done - you either need work doing or you don't at this point.

I don't know about the 'can eat through a little bit of oil' - that sounds like more than a little bit! I never needed to top up any of my Mk3's between services, the oil level pretty much stayed at max. I'm wondering if you have a bigger issue if that much oil has disappeared.
Thanks pal. No, I topped up the next day when it was cold - and checked again the next day.

I must say, it'd be the first oil service since we got it and I didn't check where the levels were at collection, so may have been very close to min already, and in that case just needed about a litre after say 8k miles. Might not be unreasonable. It's worse cause we ignored it. Assumed it was just a service interval thing...

Nonetheless, I was also kind of thinking - no harm in driving it over there at this point. Or at least, no further harm.

Reckon the reader I linked above is worth a look though?
 

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2019 AMG C43
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Yes that's kinda what I meant - not going to make it any worse by driving it to a garage :)

I used to do about 6k miles a year in my Mk3s and whilst I checked the oil, with the tyres, every week or so, I never needed to top it up. So I'd still be a bit suspicious about that.

I'm not sure about the reader - I know it's what you'd want if you had a Mk2, but I'm not sure if it's the same for the Mk3, I never had a code reader for mine. I think a normal OBD2 code reader without a modified ELM cable would do fine but I can't be 100% on that. I'm sure somebody who knows will chip in shortly :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a little update.

looks head gasketty, BUT - there's no water in the oil at all, only t'other way around. so it's not the gasket... I'd say.

This seems to give me two options:

oil cooler...
piston liners :(

obviously I'm hoping the former. I've just had the cooler bypassed, so we're going to keep an eye on the expansion tank for a few days after a good scrub, and see if we're getting more oil in the system again.

IF we are, then well - who knows where I can source a second hand mk3 engine?

FML...

NB. I'd say with some confidence this was a pre-existing issue as per what we discussed above. It just lost too much too quickly. So I've been sold a dud. **** happens.
 

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Tangerine Scream ST3 2013, with some stuff done.
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Don’t understand why you would ignore a low oil reading, after all, oil is cheap, metal isn’t, personally I’d never go more than 5k between oil changes, especially as it gets older and miles climb, usually if you’ve had an engine oil warning light or message, it’s too late, check your oil every week, it will save you a lot of problems and money, there are a few engines available on gumtree and eBay, but be warned, you’ll be lucky to get one for less than £2k. Also, definitely don’t bypass the oil cooler, even if it is for a short while.
 
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