Here is the deal.I took my car in for a oil change last monday,well yesterday my car broke down and oil was pouring out under the car. I took it back to the place that changed the oil and the oil plug was gone!! They cant understand how it would take almost a week for the plug to come out. They say they have to have their insurance guy come look at it before anything can be done. So do you guys think I'm screwed or do you think their insurance will do the right thing and put a new engine back in my car fix everything thats wrong????
Way OT: I need some advice on a car problem
I don't suppose you were able to find the plug, were you? Shouldn't have been all that far from where the car broke down.
Insurance companies aren't nice and care about nothing except making money. It does sound strange that it would take a week for the oil to leak out of your car if they forgot to put the plug back in your car.
It would usually take a few minutes for the oil to drain out once the plug was pulled. Was an oil change all you had done or did they do other work? If it was just the oil change the olny thing they could have done to cause this would be not putting the plug back and as I said already, that doesn't seem to be the case given the time it took for your engine to give out.
I guess the other question is how much did you drive it during the week? There is still some oil in the engine even when the reservoir is empty that would last for a short period of time.
the only thing I had done was a oil change.
If they don't tighten the plug it can vibrate loose over time. That is my biggest fear from the quick oil change places (but not enough fear to get greasy doing it myself). I once notice my plug about 1/2 way out and slightly leaking after going to the quick oil place.
This is true. It can actually be compounded by the fact that most (all?) oil plugs these days are aluminum. This is because oil pans are now super thin, and steel nuts can easily be overtightened and strip out the threads. Anyway, the plugs need to be replaced from time to time - if yours was worn badly and they didn't replace it (and/or undertorqued it, which is unlikely yet possible), it's possible that the thread engagement was insufficient to keep the plug in place.
If you've got a receipt and the plug is gone, they should be fairly compliant with paying for it. Don't let them try and negotiate and get you to pay for the parts while they provide the labor. They're liable for the whole thing when it's an area they were specifically working on. I have to wonder if they cross threaded the plug when they put it back in. That would allow pressure to build and put undue strain on the threads - check the threads on your oil pan too and see if there's damage.
I said the plug must have been cross threaded for it to take a week to come out. I could not find the oil plug because it was on a major highway (52 east near Ironton Ohio),and about 5 miles back from where the car finally stopped.
could go ether way. have known ppl who got screwed and who were well taken care of when the garage screwed up. when u go in there, be prepared just in case they want to corn hole u. have already contacted the bbb and know what steps u can take if they don't make it right. i would post many many online reviews describing what happened...end them with a to be continued. if they take of the problem, sing their praise, if they don't, expose them. google maps review, yelp, i think yahoo has biz reviews...if the garage is a chain, go up the ladder. find the territory manager. point is, next communication with the garage, they need to know u aren't a pussy. that u aren't going to sit around and let them get one over on u
50/50. If it's a chain definitely go up the ladder. The higher you get the less averse they are to helping you out. The local franchise will not be thrilled about replacing your engine, higher up the bottom line is different. It all hinges on whether they are willing to do the right thing. I would recommend that you continue to hammer them long after you're ready to quit. That is about the time they will just relent and fix it.
Remember that their insurance company works for them. You shouldn't let them look at it and work someething out without you being involved. I would be taking lots of pictures , demanding to be there when their insurance company's inspector is there to look at it, and I might even get my insurance company or lawyer involved right now. Otherwise, they might come back with some report about how you monkeyed with it and it is your fault.
Dad's advice is so good he posted it twice! He's right on.
If the engine seized up, yes, you are in trouble.
Edit: trouble as in there was definitely damage done to critical engine components.
How hot did your engine get? You may not need a new engine if it didn't get too hot.
It seems like a long time removed from the oil change for the breakdown to occur (unless you didn't drive it since the oil change...) I doubt that they will see this as their problem. [Believe me, I'm not trying to ruin your day...I just had a similar problem with my car, and I had to sell it.]
the hood was so hot I couldnt raise it for about 30 minutes lol
Does your car not have a low oil pressure alert? I know it should at least have a temp gauge.
never showed it was running hot and about a minute after the oil pressure light came on the car died.
Heat will kill the engine...perhaps cracking the engine block. But without oil, I think that the engine can sieze without getting too hot. I just hope you don't have a giant rock instead of an engine anymore.
I guess I am the pessimist regarding whether the company that did your oil change will pay for the repair or not. It just seems like too long of an intervening period for them to think that it is "their problem" in my mind. But if they do, more power to you! I certainly hope they take care of this for you.
I found that a new engine (properly installed) can run you $3-4k. And you can get a good used car for double that...you can never be quite sure how your car will run with a new engine...
Things that can determine how they handle this.
What kind of car is it. Make, model, year?
a 2005 suzuki xl-7
You should have a black plastic cover, that covers your oil pan.
If there is any gouges that looks like your oil pan hit something, them you may have problems. They may say you ran over something which is not there fault. . Just a heads up.
Also the oil drain plug for that car should be tightened to 29 foot pounds. If they did not do that. That is their fault.
Also that car also calls for a new drain plug washer. Normally its a copper crush washer that is compressed when 29 foot pounds is applied to it, This is what seals it. If they did not replace this...this is their fault.
I can see how a screw can come out if the did not tighten it correctly or put on an old washer...there is nothing to really hold it in and the vibration from the engine can unthread this screw.
I dont however see how the screw can come out if it is cross threaded. A cross threaded screw when there is fluid on the otherside would allow the fluid to come out but not the screw itself.
Im no mechanic...just my two cents.
If it's a name brand chain, they have provisions in the budget for situations like this. The lawyer is there to cover the best interests of the company. Just playing devil’s advocate, but who's to say you didn't loosen the plug beforehand? That's what they will try to figure out. Most likely they will pay for whatever damages just to keep it out of the news. If they try to strong arm you, I would contact the TV stations
the owner bought it from her dad.her family has owned the place for about 20 years.They have been really nice but i was getting a bad vibe when she kept talking about why it would take a week for a oilplug to come out.
were there any noticeable drips in your driveway prior to the highway issue?
when they changed my oil the guy said i will notice some oil because when he changed it he said some oil went onto the plate that covers the under side of the engine. So i will notice some oil leak but its just the oil that leaked down onto that plate.
where i go, they make sure all excess oil is wiped off before i leave.
I hope you get taken care of by them.
Sorry for your trouble with this situation. But yeah, basicly do what others have said, contact BBB, stay on this Mom and Pop shop. Let them know you mean business. And if they or their insurance company continues to give you the run around. Call one of those Local News TV stations and see if you can get one of the invetigative reporter news hounds who like to expose local bad business practices and scandals. They usually go after bad businesses pretty hard and try to embarrass them on TV. No Mom and Pop shop would want to go through that stuff.
I had a similar situation once but did not lose all the oil. Here is what can happen, and it sounds possible in this case. When the plug is removed for the oil change the little rubber washer gets stuck on the plug flange. The service person may not realize it and they "replace" it with another, effectively doubling the depth of the washer. I had a situation where I found three washers on the plug, which of course reduces the amount of threading holding the plug on. If it is reduced enough it will not be tight and can work its way off after a few days. You may not see any oil leak until it comes completely loose and falls off.
In my case the guy putting the plug on got frustrated, not realizing what was happening, and tried to force it, ending up stripping the threads. They admitted it before I picked up the car. Fortunately it was a dealer and they only had to eat the cost of replacing the pan.
I had something similar happen (though it didn't ruin my engine). The oil change place left the old oil filter gasket on and put a new filter and gasket on top of it. It never sealed correctly and a week later finally leaked out from all the pressure. As soon as the oil light came on I shut the engine off and coasted to the side of the road. I had the car towed to the nearest dealership and they found what caused the problem. When I contacted the oil change place, we had a conference call with the dealership. The oil change place was great about it and sent me a check for the tow and paid the dealership expenses.
Hopefully if you'll have similar luck!
Remember, their initial response is to not pay. It's just business...."tell the guy 'no' and see what happens." If you go away accepting no, they win.
The squeaky wheel gets the oil (hahaha---sorry). Regardless if it took an hour or a week, the oil pan plug isn't there anymore. The last person to touch it was the oil change tech. YOU know how it happened. Don't let them tell you no if you are certain they are liable.
(10years of car dealership experience including owning my own used car business).