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Why a car with low oil won't start

Updated July 19, 2017

Oil plays an important part in a properly running car. The wrong amount of oil, or improper care and maintenance, can adversely impact your car's performance. Your car's oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.

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Car engines, when running, generate heat. With the friction created by so many moving pieces, the aluminium and cast iron of your engine can melt. Oil is an important component in lubricating your engine to protect it from the intense heat. If the oil level falls below the "fill" level, the engine won't be able to take it up.

Seized Engine

Low oil levels can cause the engine to seize, or not turn over. An engine seizing because of no oil often results in the engine being taken apart. Not only can low only levels cause a car to not start, but it can also damage the engine.

Low Pressure

Most cars have a warning light on the dashboard indicating the oil level. If the low oil pressure warning light is on while the engine is running, stop it immediately. A running engine with no, or low, oil, can damage the engine. Low oil pressure, under any circumstances, is often an indicator of a more serious problem.

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About the Author

Shannon Miller started writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared online at American Soccer News and in "The Maneater" newspaper. She currently freelances while applying to Master of Fine Arts programs. Miller has her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri.

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