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I just have to vent a little

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Last evening, as I was driving home from work, I get a call from my wife. As soon as I answered the phone and heard her voice, I knew something was wrong. She was on her way down to our friends sanctuary, when she heard a loud "bang" and saw something fly off behind her car. The next thing, she sees the oil light and check engine light come on and the car starts shaking and smoking. She immediately pulls off the side of the road (this was on the interstate) and shuts off the car. I at first thought she may have hit something, but that is not the case. When I arrived on scene, the first thing I did was check the oil. To my surprise, there was no oil. Upon further inspection, I told her that her car was now dead, because there was a nice sized hole in the side of the engine block. Yep, the engine through a rod. How could this happen? Well, just 3 days ago, my wife had her car in the shop for an oil change. When the tow arrived on scene, I inspected the oil pan to see if there was any damage. No damage, but something was missing. The darn OIL DRAIN PLUG!! How it fell out, I have no clue. The shop must not have tightened it. So, now my wife is without a car for a moment until we figure out what to do. The car is back at the shop, but they can't "fix" the damage. They will have to replace the engine. I just hope we don't have to go through a whole lot of garbage to get this fixed. It's not our fault, we keep up with the maintenance on our cars. I am not mad at the shop yet, because mistakes do happen. But I am just waiting for them to say well, what do you want US to do about it?? Then I will get mad. I feel they need to replace the engine in my wife's car.
post #2 of 21
I absolutely positively agree with you. How much actual driving did she do on the car before the rod blew? My husband is BMW mechanic, and I am going to run this story by him as well. He might have some tactics for getting what you deserve to get out of the shop.

Just curious, did you take it to a SHOP or to a Jiffy Lube type place?
post #3 of 21
My advice would be if you get no satisfaction through the garage themseles speak and write to the managing director, as a service advisor myself there is only so much we can authorise but its best to go straight to the top if you get no joy
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
We took it to our local shop, not one of those quick change places. As for the actual distance she drove, it wasn't far. Maybe a mile or two? She saw the oil and check engine light came on. (no oil pressure gauge, just a light). She thought what the heck? I just had the oil changed. (At first she thought it was the change oil light that came on. Sometimes they forget to reset it). Then she heard the noise, saw something fly off behind the car. That is why she thought she had run over something. When I came to pick her up, I could see the oil on the road. That must have been where the plug dropped out. Then a mile or so down the road was her car.
post #5 of 21
Thank goodness she's ok!!

Back in the early 1980's I was in a car when a rod went through the engine while driving down the highway. Very scary!
post #6 of 21
The shop WILL pay for the engine (but it will likely be a rebuilt from the factory), especially if the mileage is on the receipt and on the tow receipt. You'd be surprised how often this happens!

If you think that's bad, a company that changes semi truck oil had a problem with the filter holder being loosened when the filter was removed. It didn't take very many $30,000 engine replacements to get really fussy with that make of engine.
post #7 of 21
What a nightmare. I've heard of similar things happening to others, and sometimes I worry a little right after I've had an oil change (hmmm, makes me wonder if I shouldn't learn how to change it myself). Good luck with the shop.
post #8 of 21
Wow, the are paying for the engine? Thats really great news!

I had my car undercoated last year..and when they were done, I got into it and went to drive away and my brake lines had busted..before I even moved the car.

They did not take responsibility..and I ended up going to the owner, and emailing the head office and they did nothing still. I can't explain how angry I was
post #9 of 21
Ohh wow! That really sucks! So basically it seems as though the oil drain plug was not secure and the engine ran out of oil?! Did you have it towed back to the same shop? My concern would be them trying to cover up any fault. Replacing an engine is not cheap, and I would be shocked if they didn't try to get out of it in some way!
post #10 of 21
More than likely what happened was they did put the drain plug back in, but just finger tightened it. They didn't torque it down. They filled it up with the intention of torquing it down when it was full, but forgot.

The vibrations from driving it loosened the plug and backed it out of the threading. Then the oil pan was free to drop all of it's oil. I am surprised she drove on it for a mile with no oil pressure. Had she noticed the oil pressure light, and known what it was, and stopped immediately, the car would be fine.

The same thing can happen with lug bolts and nuts. If the people who change your wheels and tires just finger tighten it.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarra View Post
More than likely what happened was they did put the drain plug back in, but just finger tightened it. They didn't torque it down. They filled it up with the intention of torquing it down when it was full, but forgot.

The vibrations from driving it loosened the plug and backed it out of the threading. Then the oil pan was free to drop all of it's oil. I am surprised she drove on it for a mile with no oil pressure. Had she noticed the oil pressure light, and known what it was, and stopped immediately, the car would be fine.

The same thing can happen with lug bolts and nuts. If the people who change your wheels and tires just finger tighten it.
Sorry but this doesn't compute! An oil light can go on for more then a mile without the engine burning out especially after an oil change! Sensors need resetting and sometimes to be replaced. Most people will keep driving if a recent oil light appears thinking either it needs to be changed, or possibly more oil, or sensor malfunction and don't end up on the side of a highway with a burnt out engine! Since the car had an oil change 3 days prior, and the engine burnt out from no oil, what else could it be?
I hope they repair the damage they are responsible for.......
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
Sorry but this doesn't compute! An oil light can go on for more then a mile without the engine burning out especially after an oil change! Sensors need resetting and sometimes to be replaced. Most people will keep driving if a recent oil light appears thinking either it needs to be changed, or possibly more oil, or sensor malfunction and don't end up on the side of a highway with a burnt out engine! Since the car had an oil change 3 days prior, and the engine burnt out from no oil, what else could it be?
I hope they repair the damage they are responsible for.......
Oil Pressure Light and oil service light are two completely separate lights. Oil light comes on when you need service. You are correct, this light should be manually reset every time you get an oil change. It is set off by mileage, and often is not reset, no big deal though.

Oil pressure light comes on when you need to pull over and kill the engine, immediately. You are thinking of the oil service light.
post #13 of 21
When I first started reading your story I thought you were going to tell us that it was a cat ejected from the engine that when flying off from the car! *whew*
post #14 of 21
Hmm... interesting that she saw the oil light come on *after* the motor tossed a rod. That makes me think there might have been a problem with the warning light circuit.

Of course, depending on where the oil pressure senders are in relation to the filter, a clogged and bypassing filter *might* starve the bearings while still giving the sensor(s) enough pressure to keep the light off. Just a weird thought. Then again, I only really know weird aircooled flat motors...

However, the missing drain plug makes it a no brainer. It's the shop's fault. Throwing a rod doesn't make your drain plug evaporate, but the reverse is always eventually true... no plug, no oil, no lubrication, *bang*. Their fault.
post #15 of 21
I had a '79 Rabbit a ways back. I was driving down the freeway when all of a sudden...BANG, clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick......

I ease over to the side, get out and look under the hood. Being dark, I couldn't see much, but I did see a trail of oil and shrapnel behind my car. The next day, we get it towed to the family shop to see if it can be fixed. The shop called and said, "You need a new engine". A rod had blown through the front.

Ended up selling it for $200, taking that and buying a brand new 1992 Dodge Ram50 (the last year they made them). I had that truck for almost 6 years and only put about 80,000 miles on it! Or so the odometer said...probably had about 150,000 miles on it. The cable was unhooked for 2 of those years!

Anyhoo....Hope you get your engine replaced! Something like that is always a pain.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjhest View Post
When I first started reading your story I thought you were going to tell us that it was a cat ejected from the engine that when flying off from the car! *whew*
Made me laugh!
It was a cap and a rod...........
post #17 of 21
if you have all the receipts from the oil change, the mileage, towing bill, have your mechanic write a letter stating what was wrong with your car when it was towed in and what the mileage was. Then take everything back to the shop and explain if they dont take care of this you will take them to court. i really think you would have a good chance of winning.

yikes..i dont even know what the oil pressure light looks like, im going to have to ask my bf today.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cats4sky View Post
if you have all the receipts from the oil change, the mileage, towing bill, have your mechanic write a letter stating what was wrong with your car when it was towed in and what the mileage was. Then take everything back to the shop and explain if they dont take care of this you will take them to court. i really think you would have a good chance of winning.

yikes..i don't even know what the oil pressure light looks like, im going to have to ask my bf today.
I think their mechanic and place they got their oil changed are one in the same, if I read correctly.

Your oil pressure light USUALLY looks like a Genie lamp with a drop coming out the front.

Check your car's user manual. It will tell you.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have no update yet. Since it was Friday evening when the car got back to the shop where the oil change took place, they were closing for the day. Saturday they are only open half day. So, tomorrow (Monday) should be the day I hear something. I don't think we should have a problem, but you never know. We are good customers who have been going there since we moved to the area. Keeping my fingers crossed and saying my prayers. What gets me, is since I am a police/fire/911 dispatcher, we get calls all the time of vehicles broken down on the interstate. Here, my wifes car was smoking and there was someone behind her when the rod went. No one called for help, because the police and or fire dept never showed up. Thank God I wasn't that far away. She only had to wait about 15-20 minutes until I got there.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberThe Bobcat View Post
I have no update yet. Since it was Friday evening when the car got back to the shop where the oil change took place, they were closing for the day. Saturday they are only open half day. So, tomorrow (Monday) should be the day I hear something. I don't think we should have a problem, but you never know. We are good customers who have been going there since we moved to the area. Keeping my fingers crossed and saying my prayers. What gets me, is since I am a police/fire/911 dispatcher, we get calls all the time of vehicles broken down on the interstate. Here, my wifes car was smoking and there was someone behind her when the rod went. No one called for help, because the police and or fire dept never showed up. Thank God I wasn't that far away. She only had to wait about 15-20 minutes until I got there.
I am glad she is ok. I am SO glad you are so kind to her about it. My husband would be throwing a fit at me, mad that I didn't pay attention to the lights. (even though I wouldn't have had a CLUE what to look for before I met him)

It's sad that no one called anyone to the scene for her. Here are a ton of good vibes that the shop will not give you guys any hassel!!

post #21 of 21
OMG I am glad your wife is alright. I am always paraniod of shops when they work on our vehicles. We had an incident once when my husband changed oil and something happened with the new oil filter and we didn't know and went to the store. Thank god the store was only a few blocks away because on our way home I noticed a oil trail leading up to our driveway. We almost ran out of oil!

Our corvette has been in the shop for over a couple months now because we had a short in our ignition and put a new battery in the car. It was really weird because when you put the key in the ignition it would turn the key over with out your help! Anyway it turned into an electric nightmare causing other things to fry including the main computer. The Battery started to smoke and it is behind the drivers seat in the car. It was not a fault of anyones but what a nightmare. The reason the car has been gone so long is that the auto parts store keeps sending the wrong computer to the mechanic. It's an 82 corvette and I guess they are all having brain damage on the right part. I am scared to drive it when it comes home for fear the mechanic didn't fix everything right.

I hope the shop makes everything right with you. If they play games keep all your receipts and documents for civil court.
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