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Botched oil change. A few questions.

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Feb 27, 2016, 3:43 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1993 views)
Botched oil change. A few questions. Sign In

This is about a 2015 Honda Fit. 24,000 miles.


I got an oil change on Tuesday, and when I left work Wednesday my engine started making noises and my oil pressure light came on. I pulled over. Called the oil change place and they said I needed to get it towed to them (they would not cover the towing cost) and be there by 7pm. Keep in mind it was about 6pm, and I was over 20 miles away and would have to deal with Detroit traffic and didn't know the closest towing company. I happened to be in front of a mechanic who was closed. However, the owner came out and looked at my car. Told me my oil was leaking and looked at it in his shop. He said the filter was loose due to not being properly tightened and all my oil had leaked. He fixed it for $100 since he had to reopen his shop, move cars out of the bay, etc. He spent over an hour to help me, I was thankful for the help, despite him making a few bucks on me. He even told me the oil look recycled which it shouldn't be, since it wouldn't be that dirty after being in my car for a day. He was professional and informative.

To make a long story short I wanted the oil shop to cover the original oil change and the cost to repair it ($160 total) since this was all due to their incompetence. I had receipts for both. The manager fought me for a bit, but refunded me for the original oil change ($60) but would only give me $50 of the $100 cost to fix it saying he was doing me a favor. I refused that. The owner was very defensive and rude, the mechanic at fault thought I was trying to scam them. They were not very professional about it.

So my questions are:

1. If this place was using recycled oil do they have to disclose this whether in person or on the receipt? I had all three of my oil changes done there, and am not a "car guy" so they could have used recycled oil in all my changes and charged me the premium price without me knowing any better. Is this something they can do?

2. My main concern is possible engine damage done to the car that could manifest itself over time. Say 1 or 2 years down the road. Since I drove the car for a day while oil leaked out only pulling over when I heard noise and saw the oil pressure light come on. This is a pretty new car, and I plan to keep the engine in good condition. Is this a legitimate concern despite the car seemingly running smoothly since being fixed?

3. If I was to pursue small claims court for the full damages, plus possible future damage done by their incompetence. What would I need to prepare, and do I have any standing? I have documented everything and have all receipts. My main concern is the recycled oil and the damage that could have happened to the engine when driving it with a loose filter. I'm not as concerned about the $100, just concerned about the possible damage done to the engine that could cost me down the road.

Sorry if this was a bit long, just wanted to be thorough. Thanks for your time.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Feb 27, 2016, 4:10 PM

Post #2 of 4 (1982 views)
Re: Botched oil change. A few questions. Sign In

Is this a chain company? Do they have a corporate office? If so you need to contact them ASAP. This is a big mistake and could have easily cost you a motor. It sounds like you shut it off fast enough to prevent any damage.

I can't believe this guy's attitude. You're probably way off base on the recycled oil thing though. Nobody really does that. I don't even know where is could be purchased. Any oil will get dark almost immediately when put into a dirty engine. The other guy was wrong to suggest that.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Feb 27, 2016, 4:21 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1979 views)
Re: Botched oil change. A few questions. Sign In

This site is mostly for automotive repair questions, not really much on legal advice.

For question one, did you ask the manager if they used recycled oil? What technology is used to recycle the oil they provide their customers if they use recycled oil? The technology they use today to recycle oil has vastly improved from the past. The newer rerefined oils meet or exceed the API standards.

Question two: There is a possibility of engine damage from lack of oil pressure.
Question three: You really should sit down with a lawyer and see what your options are if the other shop doesn't want to work with you.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Feb 27, 2016, 4:29 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 28, 2016, 1:23 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1962 views)
Re: Botched oil change. A few questions. Sign In

Long thread already. It's not about "re-refined" oil but rather lack of oil at all with it leaking out. That you can chase down especially if well documented and the speedy lube places are famous since the get go for that stuff so why are you going there?
Note: Said in part watched YouTube on oil is true. Oil itself doesn't break down it gets polluted and can be "re-refined" as they do and have in other countries mostly for ages.
Oil out of the ground is useless as "crude oil" so it's refined into assorted products actually harder than using, used oil.
Point is that's not the point and the product used however made is marked for it's qualities - whether you believe it you can do the research on oil ratings and what the #s and letters mean.
I suggest people in general seek out professional oil changes not how fast they are. Real mechanics not quickly trained people not necessarily techs at all performing such a critical but seemingly silly and easy task of changing oil - it's a great time to note other real problem not just your wiper blades and constantly selling new air filters needed or not.
Chase this down with management of the shop or above that. With proper documentation you should be satisfied but warn you that you may not know what damage was done running low as it did right away but it wasn't good for it!


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