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After oil change issue

Had the oil changed as recommended (15% life). Afterwards drove 3 miles, no acceleration, oil light turns on, EPS light turns on and check engine light turns on. Able to get off to the side of the road. Car is dead. Tried starting one time, same lights came on and stayed on, motor would turn and quit. waited for the tow truck to take us back to where we had the oil changed (Honda Dealer). They are now telling us it is an electrical issue and not something they did. I find that to be too coincidental considering we bought the car brand new (19 miles on it), maintained regular maintenance, never had any issue/questions/concerns, and suddenly there’s an electrical issue where the car won’t even turn on. I think they drained the oil, got distracted and just put the filter and caps back on and said it was good to go - with no oil. I mean, could this really be an electrical issue? Car is back at the dealer’s with no word from them what is going on. I live in a small town and the dealership is 1-1/2 hours away, so to keep going back down there isn’t feasible unless there’s a solution. Confused. Any thoughts/suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Did you check the oil level? Could be a low oil pressure kill switch, lost a plug, forgot to put in oil, filled trans instead of cranckcase, heard these stories on this board way to often.

I know what the electrical issue is!

The starter motor is unable to rotate the engine because it’s seized up from the lack of oil!

To verify this, go back to the dealer and demand that a starter amp draw test be performed and you want to be present for this. If the amp draw goes thru the roof and the battery cable starts smoking, the engine is seized.

Remember. You don’t have to prove that they damaged the engine, they have to prove that they didn’t.


“Did you check the oil level?”


I am fairly confident that the OP’s thesis (“I think they drained the oil, got distracted and just put the filter and caps back on and said it was good to go - with no oil.”) is correct, but she didn’t do herself any favors if she didn’t pull the dipstick in order to verify her theory. Hopefully, there are some honest people at that dealership who will admit their screw-up, even without confirming evidence.

I wish the OP the best of luck in getting satisfaction from the dealership, and I ask that she check back in with us to let us know how this was resolved.

+2. If they continue to deny responsibility, document everything and call a lawyer.

I’ve seen some guys start engines without oil, and then the engine stalled

At that moment, they realized their mistake, filled engine oil, and when it started, they didn’t tell anybody about it

Seen it more than a few times, actually :frowning:

It wasn’t me that screwed up, and I didn’t rat them out

Hard as this may be to believe, it would have been hazardous to my physical well-being, if I had ratted them out. And I might have even been fired, because in at least one instance, it was the shop’s so-called “golden boy who can do no wrong” who screwed up. And that shop was known for firing the messenger(s) of bad news, rather than the actual guy(s) who screwed up

There were more than a few physical altercations at that shop, and more often than not, it wasn’t the instigator who was fired, but the other guy, because the instigator was deemed to be “more valuable” to the shop

“more often than not, it wasn’t the instigator who was fired, but the other guy, because the instigator was deemed to be “more valuable” to the shop.”

At my old place of employment, the term for the outcome of that type of situation was:

No good deed goes unpunished

The smog technician was once caught RED-HANDED

His locker was overflowing with new Benz parts, with the plastic wrapping and tape uncut. By going over his previous repair orders . . . which obviously listed all the part numbers which were charged out . . . they were able to determine 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, that this loser had charged for all sorts of work which was never performed

Easy to flag 8 hours on a headgasket, if you didn’t even replace it, for example

His scheme was to claim to have seen a leak, upsell the repair, then wipe off the engine oil which HE had sprayed on.

He wasn’t fired on the spot, because the shop decided they needed him, more than looking for another smog guy. If they fired him, that would have left them “out of compliance” . . . that was their reasoning for essentially not doing a darn thing about it

That guy eventually left, on good terms, and I believe he might have opened his own gas station with an attached repair shop. Undoubtedly, he continued his thieving ways there

If you do the oil change yourself check the level once. If someone else does the oil change check the level twice. If you’re my age doing the oil change yourself check everything three times!

One of the Subaru dealers I worked for was a small town dealer and the lead tech there was like the smog tech you’re referring to db4690.

For some reason they let him get away with murder. Come in whenever he wanted. leave whenever he wanted, pirating service work to be done at home by his son, and pretty much halfaxxing or not doing anything he was given.

What torqued me to no end was that while I had to fight with them every week over my paycheck which always came up short due to “an honest mistake”, they actually called me in several times on a Saturday to sort out a problem he barely even threw a guess at.
It was done on the weekend so “he would not know and get his feelings hurt”.

Who cares about his feelings? He was an A-One Crook. The saddest part of all was that everyone including the customers he was screwing over thought he was just a good ole boy who was a mechanical whiz to boot.

Yeah plus 4 on the checking oil level. Likely there was no oil in it but might be late now.

I did that once on the cabin lawn mower. I service two mowers and a blower once a year so do them all at once. My BIL was in a hurry to start mowing and turned the mower over to him. Started mowing and discovered the oil bottle still full. Shut it off right away and put the oil in and so far no harm no foul and didn’t tell anyone.


There was another “golden boy” who performed some kind of repair . . . I forget exactly what it was . . . and screwed up

A few days later the car came back and I got it for some unknown reason

I quickly checked out the car, then looked up past repair history, and determined that the “golden boy” had just worked on it last week, and obviously screwed up

I brought this to the service manager’s attention. I was told to “just do it” because the “golden boy” was too involved in something else

yet when I made a mistake, it always came back to me, or I got backflagged, and I suppose that’s fair

You’ll get a kick out of this next one . . .

There was a guy referred to as “Boomerang boy” . . . seemingly everything he did came back

But he was kind of smart

He would work on something, and pretty much know his “repair” wouldn’t hold up.

then he would quickly schedule a few days off, because he knew the car would come back soon . . . while he was at home, drinking beer

Then some other poor guy would get his come-back, and “boomerang boy” wouldn’t come back to work, until the car was properly repaired :wink:

It’s possible it’s just a coincidence, unrelated to the oil change. I wouldn’t be casting blame until the cause of the problem is actually determined. Recommendations offered-up here in regard to oil change procedure are that the vehicle owner should always check the oil level on the dipstick before starting the engine, before leaving the oil change shop. Then to visually monitor the oil warning dash light during the first drive after the oil change, and check the dipstick again the next morning.

+1 @GeorgeSanJose +5 everyone else. It’s super important to check the oil level before leaving the dealer or your driveway. No exceptions. Hope it turns out to be relatively minor.

Tell that to my uncle Gary.

He’s in a wheel chair. So for him to check the oil after the vehicle is serviced is a little difficult.

That’s why he pays the so-called EXPERTS for this service.


Whoops. Guess there could be exceptions. If he lives near you, Tester, I know he’s in good hands. You’ve helped me and countless other folks more than once. I would say if it’s feasible check it or have someone help because everyone makes mistakes.

Tester: I can’t imagine any service center from “Iffy Lube” to the Mercedes dealer refusing your wheelchair bound Uncle Gary the courtesy of double checking the oil level for him and showing him the dipstick. Oil change techs like the rest of us are human and are quite capable of making mistakes.

“There was a guy referred to as “Boomerang boy” . . . seemingly everything he did came back”

One of the electricians on the Board of Ed’s payroll was totally incompetent. If you were lucky, whatever he “fixed” wasn’t actually fixed when he left. If you weren’t lucky, this guy managed to make something else inoperative in the course of not fixing the first problem.

After “Ernie” second failed attempt at repairing the intercom in the classroom of one of my colleagues, I scrounged a screwdriver, a razor blade, and some tape, and I fixed it myself in ~4 minutes.

The Board of Ed had two electricians on the payroll, and we used to pray that we would get the competent guy instead of Ernie, but we didn’t always have our prayers answered. There were rumors that he was related to one of the Board members, and that is the only possible explanation for how he managed to retain his job.