2018 Honda CR-V - Worried about engine repair

My mom has a 2018 Honda CRV. It has 7500 miles on it. The car is less than a year old -maybe 10 months…
She brought it in for a regular oil change. Five days later she is driving, luckily not on the highway - because all of a sudden the car made an awful noise and stopped. Many lights in the car went on. When it was brought into service for this problem it took them a week to figure it out and the service agent said they had never seen. Anything like this before.

Turns out plastic wrap was left on some piece of the parts needed when changing the oil which prevented oil from reaching the top part of the engine. We were told the whole top cylinder of the engine had to be replaced.
We have not yet picked up the car. I am uncomfortable taking the car back when the engine had to be taken apart like this and put back together. This was negligence on their part. I only found out the real reason because I got in touch with corporate. The local dealer has still not admitted that the car stopping was due to their mistake. If my mom had been on the highway who knows how’any would be injured.
So my questions are what re purse do I have? Should I be worried about the stability of this car now with half the engine replaced? Is it more likely to have future problems? Does this repair devalue the car more than normal?
The service agent said for our inconvenience they will give us the next couple oil changes for free. He doesn’t know yet we know the real reason for this repair and I don’t believe free oil changes in anyway compensates for this mistake. Honestly I would like them to give us a new CRV.
Corporate said it was up to the dealer now since it was faulty workmanship and not a problem from the factory (first service agent said might be a faulty mold from factory when built).
Please advise.

If repaired correctly the car will be exactly the same as it was before the error. Keep all your records of the event and if you have any problems in the next year or 2 they should be covered under warranty as well as the repair.

Beyond that, you need to speak to a lawyer. Since you have a loaner car and the car will be fixed, you ultimately have no losses and won’t be due anything additional, like a new car.


Sounds like corporate has no idea what was wrong and dealer won’t tell you. Plastic part on top of motor? You unscrew oil fill cap and pour in oil. Maybe they forgot to take off bottle top when they poured the oil?

I would want to know exactly what happened. If oil flow was interrupted, that affects the top (valve train) and bottom (crankshaft, etc.) of the engine. Did your mom look under the hood when this happened?

Some plastic wrap??? Honda filters come shrink wrapped in plastic. The only thing the kid could have done is not unwrap the plastic, but that means that the oil was blocked going from the pan to the filter. They really need to replace the engine. The whole thing was starved for oil, not just the top end. Sure it is kind of an extra step to unwrap the filter but gee whiz???


Yeah, the plastic wrap is a bit made up. Did they not take the foil sealing the new oil gallon?!
Either way it seems like the engine was starved from oil to the point that it shot down. The top end would not fix the problem. If they only do this, then the engine would still probably have a rod knock and burn a lot of oil.
My guess is they are going to put another engine in and call it a day. You got to make sure you check the oil regularly, listen for noises and go back immediately to have them fix it-again.
It is funny how they are always willing to throw in a few free oil changes for good measure. Yes a $25 solution for a $5000 problem.

Neither you nor your mother seem capable of getting to the bottom of this. Mom needs to hire a lawyer if she can afford it. She should probably get a new engine for this error. It seems like the dealer is trying to do something, anything, to just keep the car running and get your mom out the door. She needs someone to sort it out and get access to the paperwork associated with the problem. A lawyer may be able to use legal means to obtain internal paperwork from the dealer. They have insurance to take care of this and Mom needs access to the dealer’s interaction with their insurer.

Maybe an inexpensive way is to contact your auto insurer and explain the situation. They may help figure out how to approach the problem. They probably can’t take an active part in your investigation, but maybe they can provide some coaching.

I doubt you’ll get a new car out of them since they’re repairing or replacing the damaged engine. But they might give you an extended warranty on the engine. At least then you’d be covered if you had future problems. Doesn’t seem like an out of the way request if you can verify the dealer is the one who caused the damage.

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Before folks here can provide much in the way of guidance, and given the unusual circumstances involved, suggest that OP address these 5 questions:

  1. Did your mom purchase the CRV new from a Honda dealership?

  2. Was the oil change and this subsequent work all done at the same Honda dealership? If not, was it done at a different Honda dealership?

  3. Other than the oil change, has everything else associated with this problem been done under your new car warranty at no cost to you?

  1. Explain more clearly what it was that contained the plastic wrap that wasn’t properly removed by the shop tech?
  1. There’s no part in a car engine called the “top cylinder”. The upper part of the engine is called the “cylinder head”. It can be removed from the lower part, but is a time consuming job Is the “cylinder head” what they say needs to be replaced?

I think @bing nailed it . . .

I’ve seen quite a few filters . . . not just Honda . . . that come wrapped in plastic

I could easily see an inexperienced, careless, incompetent, etc. guy install that filter blindly, and thus create a problem

If somebody is ham-fisted enough, they’ll screw that filter on, even though they should be able to feel that something isn’t right

I guess anything’s possible, but to me seems very unlikely-- almost to the point of inconceivable — that someone who actually worked in a car repair shop would install an oil filter without first removing the plastic wrapping. Also I don’t understand how doing that would prevent oil flow only to the cylinder head. It seems like it would prevent oil flow to the entire engine, cylinder head and lower lump. I wonder, would it be possible to block the flow of oil only to the cylinder head by accidentally putting a piece of plastic wrap into the oil fill hole? That sort of thing seems more likely.


I agree with Bing and no way is the top end only affected. The entire engine will be damaged.
Since it’s a dealer screwup they are solely responsible for this; not Honda corporate.

JMHO, but a 2018 with onoy 7500 miles on it should get a new from Honda long block on the dealer’s dime. Of course they will stonewall while trying to get off as cheaply as possible.


It’s possible a careless grease monkey didn’t remove all of the plastic filter wrap and a little piece of it traveled through the oil galleys and got stuck in a small passage to the top of the engine.

The dealership screwed up an oil change and trashed the engine. The want to repair it as cheaply as possible. I doubt Honda would honor a factory warranty on a previously damaged engine. Honda is aware of the situation, as “corporate” was contacted. The opened a file referenced to the VIN.

This is could be 2018 CRV with no factory warranty on the engine. The dealer will want to provide a 12 month parts and labor warranty. They will claim “you still have a Honda 5 year drive train warranty”. Why would Honda honor a warranty on a damaged engine?

Time to lawyer up. As an alternative, the dealer could offer a new car at a killer deal. I bet they don’t.

You haven’t hung around rapid oil change bays much have you? They’re not putting real mechanics in there. They’re filling it with high school kids who are more interested in their phones and their vape pens than cars, paying them minimum wage, and wishing them best of luck.

There’s no functional difference between Jiffy Lube and the quick-lane at the dealership in most cases as far as employee experience goes.

If the filter was installed with plastic wrap, would there be no oil pressure? Or just less oil pressure? I thought I read somewhere that oil could bypass the filter if it was clogged. Maybe I dreamed that. Not that I intend to find out for myself.

On can filters the bypass valve is part of the filter. I don’t know about cartridge filters like this.

My thinking is you’ll puncture the plastic wrap installing a “can” filter. Cartridge filter…I dunno. Wife’s Highlander has a cartridge filter, but they come in a cellophane bag of sorts. Similar to a bag of tater chips. The gaskets and the cartridge filter are both in the bag, so I see nooo way you could mess it up on hers. However, if the cartridge was wrapped separately, I do not know if you’d puncture the center by installing it.

I’ve seen some very experienced guys do some very stupid things

It’s usually when they’re hurrying up . . . or when the boss keeps distracting them, instead of letting them concentrate on doing the job correctly

So if very experienced guys make these kind of mistakes . . . just imagine some young guy with almost no experience in the business

A guy I worked with one time almost made a serious screwup due to a distraction. Back then OK had a vehicle inspection program that was a money loser, total distraction, and a joke to the nth degree.

He had done a top end on a Subaru and got distracted with a state inspection.Going back to finish up and install the engine he found a wrist pin circlip on the bench. He thought I was pranking him and I swore on the Bible I was not.
He was torn about what to do. I suggested that he go back in and find out for sure or the engine would get trashed if the clip was missing. Sure enough, he had missed a circlip due to the state inspection garbage. At least this was doable without yanking the heads or splitting the block.

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