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  • avatar zaken 12/13/13 4:18 am PST

    The two different explanations you received may simply be guessing by 2 different techs about why the vehicle would have suddenly run out of oil. If one of them actually saw that the oil filter was gone; that would clearly be the cause of the problem. If the other tech actually saw a hole in the oil pan; that would clearly be the cause of the problem. It is highly unlikely that both of these things happened on the same day. More likely that one of the techs did not see what he supposed happened; but was just guessing.

    The critical thing to find out at this time is whether the oil filter was securely in place and was not loose or leaking when the car was towed in to the shop. Also find out whether there really is a hole in the oil pan. If there is a hole; then it must be determined whether the hole was caused by a foreign object striking the pan (which typically would cause a jagged edge on the hole); or whrther it was a neat, round opening; such as would be there if the oil drain plug had come out. It is shockingly common to find that careless or inexperienced techs do not properly tighten the oil filter when they install it; and it then vibrates loose and falls off some time later. The same thing can happen if the oil drain plug is not properly tightened. Either of those mishaps will cause an engine in good condition to suddenly lose its oil and self destruct. But I have also purchased a brand new oil filter, installed it properly; and soon found that there was a small hole in the filter from a manufacturing defect; which would have caused all the oil to leak out onto the motor.when the engine ran.

    I understand that you did not previously see signs of any oil leaking under the car. But this does not mean that some part connected to the oil supply system did not suddenly come off on the day the engine failed.

    If the oil filter came off; there now would be huge amounts of oil on the engine. If the oil drain plug came out; there would also be oil on the engine; but it mostly would be low on the engine and rearwards of the location of the drain plug. However; when driving at freeway speed; wind can blow oil all over; so it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the source of a leak in those situations.

    Regardless; if either the oil drain plug or the oil filter had come off; the shop would typicallly be held liable; as there is little else which could cause these parts to come off, if they were properly installed.

    If there really was a jagged hole in the oil pan; it could have been caused by a sharp metal object which was lying on the road; that got caught up by a tire and thrown at the engine. Such things do happen. In that case; an investigator from your insurance company should be called in to inspect and evaluate the damage.

    If it is still unclear what caused this; it may be valuable to hire a competent, independent mechanic to inspect the car. This would particularly be useful if the shop was trying to cover up what happened.

Answers

  • zaken 12/13/13 4:18 am PST

    The two different explanations you received may simply be guessing by 2 different techs about why the vehicle would have suddenly run out of oil. If one of them actually saw that the oil filter was gone; that would clearly be the cause of the problem. If the other tech actually saw a hole in the oil pan; that would clearly be the cause of the problem. It is highly unlikely that both of these things happened on the same day. More likely that one of the techs did not see what he supposed happened; but was just guessing.

    The critical thing to find out at this time is whether the oil filter was securely in place and was not loose or leaking when the car was towed in to the shop. Also find out whether there really is a hole in the oil pan. If there is a hole; then it must be determined whether the hole was caused by a foreign object striking the pan (which typically would cause a jagged edge on the hole); or whrther it was a neat, round opening; such as would be there if the oil drain plug had come out. It is shockingly common to find that careless or inexperienced techs do not properly tighten the oil filter when they install it; and it then vibrates loose and falls off some time later. The same thing can happen if the oil drain plug is not properly tightened. Either of those mishaps will cause an engine in good condition to suddenly lose its oil and self destruct. But I have also purchased a brand new oil filter, installed it properly; and soon found that there was a small hole in the filter from a manufacturing defect; which would have caused all the oil to leak out onto the motor.when the engine ran.

    I understand that you did not previously see signs of any oil leaking under the car. But this does not mean that some part connected to the oil supply system did not suddenly come off on the day the engine failed.

    If the oil filter came off; there now would be huge amounts of oil on the engine. If the oil drain plug came out; there would also be oil on the engine; but it mostly would be low on the engine and rearwards of the location of the drain plug. However; when driving at freeway speed; wind can blow oil all over; so it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the source of a leak in those situations.

    Regardless; if either the oil drain plug or the oil filter had come off; the shop would typicallly be held liable; as there is little else which could cause these parts to come off, if they were properly installed.

    If there really was a jagged hole in the oil pan; it could have been caused by a sharp metal object which was lying on the road; that got caught up by a tire and thrown at the engine. Such things do happen. In that case; an investigator from your insurance company should be called in to inspect and evaluate the damage.

    If it is still unclear what caused this; it may be valuable to hire a competent, independent mechanic to inspect the car. This would particularly be useful if the shop was trying to cover up what happened.

  • soundslikelife 12/13/13 11:16 am PST

    Thank you so much for your detailed response. This really helps me, and I am going to the shop today to see what happened in person and hear their explanation.

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