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So I own 2005 Mazda 3 2.3, Hatchback, with automatic gearbox. About 3 years ago, I was very busy with school and stuff and I missed couple of oil changed! (It never happened again and it will never happen again, I love my car!)
As I was driving home, my check engine light came on. I first thought that maybe I didn't close the gas filler cap properly and apparently it can trigger the check engine light. When I drove home, I checked the engine’s oil level and it was almost of the stick.

Again, don’t judge me but the next morning I had to drive the car to school. It went smoothly. The morning after that, I drove the car to the local Canadian Tire which was about a 10 minute drive. When I was at a stop light, I noticed a small vibration coming and going but the car made it to the store. I told the guy about the check engine light and the oil level and he said if the engine light came on then I have damaged the engine. He said he is going to charge x dollars to see how bad it has been damaged and I refused. I just ordered an oil change.

Couple of hours after doing the oil change, the check engine light disappeared and I haven’t had any problem with the engine for the past 3 year despite driving it for long distances between provinces.

My question is whether I will have any problem with the engine in the future and is there any way to check to see if the engine is damaged.
 

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ALWAYS check the code when you get one. ALWAYS. Normal places will check codes for free... Without knowing the code we've no idea why it threw one.

Also, if you knew it was low on oil why didn't you get a quart and put some in?

I guess I just don't understand if you knew all of these signs and didn't do a thing about it.. Why.. Didn't you do anything?

By the sound of it you got out lucky but.. It's like grilling food, you're sitting there watching it blacken and kind of freak out and walk away, just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

At this point I assume its safe but.. I wouldn't push it.
 

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1. If you have a code, get it read.

2. If your oil is low, add a quart. I used to always keep a quart of oil and a gallon of antifreeze in the trunk of my van, because I knew it was prone to spontaneously... doing bad things. Go to the store and by a single quart of 5w20 and put it in the trunk.

3. It sounds like you're safe, and maybe there was no permanent damage. you got lucky.

4. See no. 1. No excuses. :p
 
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