1992 Protege driven without oil. Won't start!

06-30-2008, 01:52 PM
I have a 1992 Mazda Protege, DUAL overhead cam, with a 1.8 liter 4-cyl. engine. I was driving on the freeway the other day and went to pass a mini-van and my car would not accelerate past 60mph with the pedal to the floor. Luckily I got to my exit and as I came to a stop my car died. I pushed it to a parking lot and popped the hood to look around. I saw that my water AND oil were both bone dry! I know the basics of mechanics enough to know that driving without oil can be very bad news. I had no warnings, no overheating, no steam, no unusual noise and no oil lights. I got it home and immediately began checking the simplest things I could think of, before assuming the worst. All 4 spark plugs looked burnt at the base of the white part, so I replaced those, replaced the plug wires and coil wire, checked the fuses, replaced the distributor cap and rotor, filled up the oil and water and checked and cleaned the battery connections. The engine turns over, but sounds kind of sluggish in it's efforts and will not start. I tried jumping my battery and that didn't work either. I've had 2 people with questionable experience tell me they think my engine is shot and I knew that was a possibility, but this is my only car and I can't get another for a while and need to get back on the road. Any knowledgable ideas or opinions? Thanks in advance!

Doug Tatham
07-01-2008, 11:47 AM
First thing to do is check your compression. If there is any damage it should be low. Check your fuel pressure. The sluggishness sounds to me like your fuel pump may have gone out. Another strong possibility is is that your catalytic converter has croaked and is blocking your exhaust or your exhaust system is blocked somewhere. If the compression is low, try disconnecting your catalytic converter and test the compression again. Don't try to start the engine with it disconnected, but it's a good test. I'm not sure that the engine will spin fast enough during a compression test for a blocked cat to show up.

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