HELP! I Was Driving And My Oil Buzzer Came On!

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Unlike most other cars, part of the oiling system in the RX-7 is external to the engine. That is, in addition to the standard oil pump, filter and passages, the RX-7 also makes use of an oil cooler and oil lines that connect the engine to the cooler. Because it is impossible to bring coolant to the rotors, engine oil is used to cool the rotors internally. Because of this, the oil cooler actually does about 30% of engine cooling. This also puts the oil cooler lines under stress from both high oil pressure, and heat, as well as regular mechanical wear.

With that in mind, if you are ever driving the car and suddenly hear the warning buzzer go off and see the oil warning light turn on, it is highly likely that one of these lines has burst. It is very important that you pull off the road and turn the engine off immediately. Whether it is safe or not, it is very critical that you shut down the engine as soon as possible. If the oil cooler line has burst, then the engine will dump all it's oil in a matter of seconds.

Once you are safely out of traffic, open the hood and look over the engine. Is it possible that you have just let the oil run low? Remember that rotary engines burn oil by design, and will consume a quantity of oil during normal operation. If you are sure you have been keeping the oil topped up, then there is probably a leak.

If the oil cooler or oil cooler hoses have burst, it will be painfully obvious. High pressure oil will have been sprayed all over the engine bay, and it will he a horrendous mess. At this point, there is nothing more to do than have the car towed and the leak repaired. Do not attempt to drive the car in it's current condition, or even start it. If you do, you will cause extreme amounts of damage to the engine due to lack of oil. The oil cooler can be repaired at any good rad shop, and the oil lines can be taken to a hydraulic hose shop to be repaired. It is suggested that stainless steel braided hose be used when repairing oil cooler hoses.

If it is obvious that the oil cooler and hoses are in tact, then you have another leak. A common spot is under the oil filter where the mount meets the engine block. This does not result in a large leak, but a slow steady leak that covers the drivers side of the engine with oil. Another common area for leaks is the oil pan. Odds are that one or more bolt is loose, causing oil to seep out from between the pan and the engine. Removing and reinstalling the oil pan properly will cure this. Also check the rear of the engine where the transmission mounts. Large amounts of oil where the transmission meets the engine can be a sign of a bad rear oil seal. To replace the seal, the transmission, clutch and flywheel must be removed.

If you can find no external oil leaks, and the car uses more oil than normal while trailing blue smoke, it is possible that the side seals on the rotors are worn. This can only be cured by an engine rebuild.

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