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Today my oil warning came on in my beloved newly owned alfa 147, and so phoned hubby who said put in the oil from shed - 'It'll be fine' he says - it was 15-40w a mineral oil...when he got home realised it should have been synthetic, he then had to drain it and put in semi synthetic - will this cause any damage ?? should I get it flushed and oil change done? very worried new alfa owner:(
 

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i would,nt have thought you have caused any damage in such a short time what you have to remember is you need to check the oil and water levels weekly and also be carefull not to put too much oil in this will be harmfull also
 

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thanks for speedy response...oil was in the engine for 3 hours b4 he drained it out, but I hadn't driven anywhere. When it had been refilled and hubby turned it on, it made funny knocking noise (previously not there) do you think that it's just where it was emptied and oil was going round engine? also do you use semi synthetic or fully synthetic? cheers for advice:thumbs:
 

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that knocking noise is when he drained all the oil completely and there were part that had no oil. I don't think it would have done any harm but best to run about 1-2 litres through then drain that then top up again with fresh oil and it should be ok. Since its not been driven then no harm done.
 

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The oil warning is for low pressure rather than low level. Of course no oil in the engine will mean that there is no pressure either! However there are many other things that can cause low oil pressure (non of which are cured by adding more oil). Thing is if the pressure is low enough for the warning to come on then its quite possible that damage has occoured.

The noise doesn't sound good although they can often sound a bit funny when the oil has been drained and refilled.

Mineral oil will be fine (in my opinion - just wont last as long as synth or semi), if you need oil then any kind is better than non!

What did the dipstick show when the light first came on? You did check it? Did you drive far when the light came on? Next time, stop ASAP when it comes on and don't run the engine again till you find out why the light came on.
 

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It was actually a message that bleeped at me on the display where time is shown, 'low oil level' drove another 2 miles and then when got home checked dipstick and it was just below min, but hubby said oil was very black when drained out with bits in...he only put in 2.5 litres of the new oil and it later said max on dipstick? do you think I should wait till morning and then check dipstick again and top it up as manual says 4.4ltrs? I really appreciate your help!!! emma
 

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It was actually a message that bleeped at me on the display where time is shown, 'low oil level' drove another 2 miles and then when got home checked dipstick and it was just below min, but hubby said oil was very black when drained out with bits in
What kind of bits were there in the oil? Also the knocking you mention doesn't sound good.

Bit late perhaps to offer 'routine advice' now but do not rely on the oil warnings from your computer before checking oil level. This is a deadly thing to do on these cars. Hopefully you will be ok but imho in future I'd follow these points religiously, without fail, in all weathers and in all places:

1) check oil level once or week, or after every long journey.
2) Change your oil/oil filter every 6,000 miles or 6 months (which
ever comes first).
3) Use a good semi-synthetic or synthetic oil.

Good luck.
 
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I agree with what's been said. The mineral oil is not a problem at all. Running the level so low with already dirty oil is a problem. There should never be any visible bits or debris in engine oil even if it is jet black. Were the bits silvery or gold coloured? If so it indicates worn bearings(big ends or main bearings) which would also account for the knock on start up. It doesn't sound good to me, sorry, I hope I'm totally wrong.:(
 

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If it sounds fine on start up now then i would forget about it. If not then i would trade it in as it could be very expensive in the long run. You have not damaged the engine if the level was only just below min then you never did run out of oil as it was always present in the sump for the pump. Wouldnt worry about flushing the engine or anything it wont matter.
 

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It seems to me your car is a Twinspark. Unfortunetely, the Alfa block is derived from Fiat so this is a bit of a weak point. As it was only your oil level warning which came on, and not the pressure light, then you will probably be ok. If the pressure light came on even briefly, then my suggestion would be to drop the sump and inspect the lower engine bearing shells and journals. I think prompt action could save the cost of a full engine rebuild.

My advice is to check the oil level when the engine has not been running for at least 2 minutes, and when it is on level ground. If the oil was really that dirty, and contained some particulate matter, I would carry out a further oil and filter change. Particles should not be present in the oil, if they are, the filter is clogged and the by-pass valve has opened. I flushed and changed my oil 1000 miles ago. I'm using 5W/40 Shell Helix Ultra fully synthetic. There is still no discernable colour change of the oil yet. A decent 10W/40 semi synthetic would also be a good choice. Something such as Castrol Magnatec or Shell Helix Plus. The recommended oil is Selenia (Fiat Lubrificanti). You can by it here and they supply many other service parts if you feel up to tackling it yourself. You are aware about the revised 36K interval for cam belts and timing gear, aren't you?

All engines make a knocking sound after changing engine oil and especially filter. Always fill up the new filter with new oil to minimise the time before the engine oil pressure is built up and starts to protect the engine.
 

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It seems to me your car is a Twinspark. Unfortunetely, the Alfa block is derived from Fiat so this is a bit of a weak point.
Don't agree with this. The Twin Spark engine is an excellent engine, if you look after it correctly. Certainly changing the timing gear every 36,000 miles/3 years is important, together with regular oil changes. It is, after all, a fairly sophisticated engine, and needs looking after more than, say, a GM or Ford engine. It is, after all, an Alfa Romeo.

If the oil was really that dirty, and contained some particulate matter, I would carry out a further oil and filter change. Particles should not be present in the oil, if they are, they filter is clogged and the by-pass valve has opened
I agree with this. If there are particles in the oil, then change oil/filter now. If the particles are metal then I strongly recommend (as suggested before) an inspection of the main bearings.

[QUOTEAll engines make a knocking sound after changing engine oil and especially filter][/QUOTE]

Well my engine never knocks when I change my oil/filter.

Good luck.
 

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The knocking could be the variator before it refilled with oil as it sound like a tractor when they are broke or empty. If it was more of a tap noise than it could just be a weak hydraulic lifter. How many miles has it done?
 

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It seems to me your car is a Twinspark. As it was only your oil level warning which came on, and now the pressure light, then you will probably be ok.
I don't think there is a "oil level" warning.
I'm sure only the JTD engines got that.
 

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Don't agree with this. The Twin Spark engine is an excellent engine, if you look after it correctly. Certainly changing the timing gear every 36,000 miles/3 years is important, together with regular oil changes. It is, after all, a fairly sophisticated engine, and needs looking after more than, say, a GM or Ford engine. It is, after all, an Alfa Romeo.
It's certainly worse than the Alfa engine it replaced.
 

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It shouldn't cause any problems, especially as you didn't drive anywhere. After all oil is just a lubricant. You have nothing to worry about - Using the correct specific oil has more to do with performance (in terms of which oil suits the engine the best at varying temperatures) and also which oil suits the engine best in terms of protection/longevity. You would have to use the wrong oil for a long period before you saw any negative effects.
 

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Don't agree with this. The Twin Spark engine is an excellent engine, if you look after it correctly. Certainly changing the timing gear every 36,000 miles/3 years is important, together with regular oil changes. It is, after all, a fairly sophisticated engine, and needs looking after more than, say, a GM or Ford engine. It is, after all, an Alfa Romeo.



I agree with this. If there are particles in the oil, then change oil/filter now. If the particles are metal then I strongly recommend (as suggested before) an inspection of the main bearings.

All engines make a knocking sound after changing engine oil and especially filter
Well my engine never knocks when I change my oil/filter.

Good luck.
ALL engines knock after changing the oil and filter. It takes a few seconds for the oil to be picked up and fill the passageways and gallery before reaching the bearings. This is exacerbated by the variator in the Alfa engine. That's why it's not uncommon for Subaru owners to complain of poor performance after a service. The knock sensor picks up the extra vibration and retards the ignition. It will reset after 1-2 hundred miles though.

The 16V Twinspark is not really a very sophisticated engine, and as BN points out, a backwards step after the bombproof 8V Twinspark. The only 'advancements' the 16V had were:
A special cylinder coating to reduce friction- the cause of high oil consumption, I think.
Oil pump in engine front housing to allow a direct drive and packaging improvements- common nowadays.
Balance shafts on the 2 litre- like Honda and Mitsubishi, but 10 years later.
Oil/coolant heat exchanger to allow fast warmup of engine oil.
Stretch head bolts to allow constant clamping force irrespective of engine temperature.

The cast iron block damps engine noise and vibration better, but the cast lump is hardly an advancement.
Extra electronics are not really part of the engine.

The older all alloy unit was lighter and virtually as powerfull (148BHP). It used 8 less valves, still had variable valve timing, a nitrided steel crankshaft which was bombproof, cam bearings in the cylinder head (from 1954- most British engines were 25 years behind) due to Italy having such advanced foundaries and casting processes, a virtually unbreakable timing chain for the cam gear and oil pump, long life shim tappets.

The older engine doesn't lunch crankshafts, break cam belts, drop valves, drink oil, stip sump threads, wear variators worth a mention. Note however, that all these problem areas were created by the Fiat engineers, and not the Alfa engineers who were only really responsible for the cylinder head. It is also worth mentioning that in as many cases as not, it is the 16V Twinspark engine which is responsible for someone having a really bad and costly ownership experience which puts them right off the brand.

The new engine was an advancement only to compete in the emissions BS governed world. It did not keep Alfa ahead of the opposition, only enough to keep up. The fact the old alloy block had a life of 41 years is testimony it was right frist time. If the 16V unit was a horse, I'd shoot it. The only favour it has done Alfa is to remain in business. I do know it has good performance and fans, but it really is nowhere as good as it's charasmatic predocessor. You may not agree with my opinion, but it is backed up with facts.:rolleyes:
 

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ALL engines knock after changing the oil and filter. It takes a few seconds for the oil to be picked up and fill the passageways and gallery before reaching the bearings
Yes but if there is any knocking at all it is only very transient - I think the problem with the original poster of this thread may be a little more serious than this, if the knock is continuous. But let's hope they don't have this problem!

For the rest of your diatribe, of course the old 8v engine in twinspark form was an excellent engine. Having owned three of them myself I can certainly testify to that. But time moves relentlessly on and you simply cannot stand still. The 16v TS engine is in my opinion an excellent engine also, albeit with rather different delivery characteristics. You also need to look after it, but then you also needed to look after the old 8v engine as well, certainly with regard to oil/filter changes.

If you're going to 'do down' the the 16v TS engine, you may as well 'do down' the current successor, the GM-based JTS engine as well. But I don't think, within the context of this current thread, this would be very helpful at all, would it.
 

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Although I do not care for the changed angle of your debate, we do agree that degenerating the thread into bickering is not helpful. I have no desire to upset anyone on this forum.

After David C's post, I have to agree that I cannot remember an oil level sensor in the Twinspark. That being the case, the points about the Twinspark which I originally raised are not relevant here.:lol:

I think the noises from the engine were normal until oil pressure had built up. Perhaps the oil was only partially drained because it was on an unfavourable angle and needed much less because of this. If the filter alone was not changed, due to the capacity of the filter and passages, that alone could account for 3/4litre.
 
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