Cheap oil change Issues

So a few hundred miles after getting my oil changed at Jiffy Lube, I am driving along and hear a sound like I ran over something. Then I notice a huge plume of white smoke out my back window. I pull over as safely as I can and notice the oil light has come on. Instinct lead me straight to the oil filter, sure enough it was missing. With the help of a friend I was able to buy a new filter and oil, the filter threaded on without issue, so I know it did not get knocked/ripped off. It seems to be running fine. However I have complained Jiffy Lube and am waiting to hear back. If I take it to the dealership are they going to be able to actually determine if anything is wrong or will go wrong? Thanks

The type of damage (if any) that this type of problem will not be able to be definitively confirmed by any shop. It’ll come in the form of reduced engine life.

Expect nothing from JL. The onus will be on you to prove damage, and you won’t be able to.

Find a reputable owner-operated shop for your future servicing. JL’s business model greatly increases the chance of things like this happening.

They are called “Iffy Lube” for a reason. Never use them!

There’s damage; there always is. The only questions are the degree and how much engine life is left. The fact that it may sound fine means nothing.

Jiffy Lube will say they “checked it out and all is well”. That’s normal. Ask HOW they checked it and the stumbling around will begin…

The only real way of getting a handle on this is to drop the oil pan and remove some crankshaft bearing caps located the fartherest away from the oil pump.
If the bearings are worn into the copper underlay and the crankshaft journals are even slightly rough the engine’s days are numbered.

Crankshaft bearing shells are usually the first victims in a no oil pressure situation so that’s why some of those are looked at.

OK4450 offered excellent advice, as he always does, and I bow to his level of expertise, but this level of evaluation isn’t cheap, and I’m sorry to say that you’ll play hell trying to get JL to pay for it.

But… I might be totally wrong. Perhaps JL would pay for this level of evaluation. It can’t hurt to demand it of them and see how they react. As long as you realize that they should ABSOLUTELY NOT be the ones to do it.

I really do wish there was an easy way to evaluate damage, and I really do wish you well with this, but I fear you’ll need to ask yourself how much of your own cash you’re willing to risk to determine and long-term damage. You also need to think about what you hope to get from this pursuit… a new motor? A rebuild? A rebuilt replacement motor? If it seems to be running fine right now, what are the risks of the various possible resolutions?

It might also help us if you’d tell us the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicle.

If it ran 200 miles before the symptom occurred, it seems like the oil filter must have been installed, but maybe not tightened down fully. So it fell off. But if that happened, it would have to come unscrewed partially first, so that should have caused the oil pressure to plummet and the oil light to come on. Just curious why the oil filter wasn’t there, as it seems like it should be there, just loose.

It’s probably on the road, a few hundred feet back

Maybe that big sound was the oil filter falling off, banging on the subframe, then falling on the pavement

Perhaps it has the oil filter hanging down with the mounting screw up top, like my car does and my daughter’s Honda did. The pressure wouldn’t plummet until the oil ran out, and perhaps with the weight of the oil in the filter and considering how well lubricated the threads were, once it loosened past the gasket it just screwed itself right off.

Bd is probably right.

You might consider going back to where the bang happened and walk the area a little; using care of course. An oil blotch on the road might lead to the recovery of the filter. An examination of the filter could point to why it came loose.

Other than the possibility of being left loose there’s also the possibility of some ham-fisted lube tech overtightening it and pulling the threads which then weakens them. At some point oil pressure will overcome what thread is left and off she goes. :frowning:

It might provide some extra ammunition in discussions with JL.

Wow! You actually drove a few hundred miles after a JL oil change? Most of their problems crop up shortly after the “maintenance” is done. I would say…“Consider yourself lucky” but we all know that’s not true. Stay away from JL…don’t even stop there for directions.

Over ten years ago, my son’s g/f phoned him that her car’s oil light was on. He took some oil and drove to where she was. The oil filter was lying in the various metal parts under the motor. He assumed it had been improperly tightened when she changed the oil.

So, he put it back on and tightened it correctly. He added oil and she started the car. A few hundred feet down the street it blew off again. He went out and bought a new filter and more oil. This time it was okay.

Didn’t we have a posting in recent months that had something to do with a pressure relief valve in the filters that could cause this somehow?

Thank you all for you responses. After playing phone tag with the Jiffy Lube DM, he looked it over, underside was still coated in oil, also he verified that the filter had been changed. He will reimburse me for oil and filter and a thorough car wash to get the undercarriage clean, and a free oil change(that will go unused). I wish I could do the maintenance myself but where I live not really possible, and have always felt uneasy about using a quick lube place but for convenience’s sake have had to. From now on I will pay a bit extra and wait a bit longer and take it to a real mechanic’s shop.
I have driven the area and lane where it occurred and no oil filter and no oil stain, good or bad it didn’t hit someone behind me. Too dangerous to walk it and sure it would of been crushed or flung way off the road within a hour. I am sure it just came unscrewed, new one threaded on now issue and had remained tight.

You know actually, a lot of the dealers now have gotten into providing quick, no appointment oil changes at not too bad a price. I do my own myself and maybe the staffing isn’t any better than JL but at least they have competent mechanics not far away. Maybe worth a donut to one to double check the kid’s work on the lube rack.

It’s possible that the oil filter was a cheap one. That’s not an answer but It’s the only thing that I thought of. No matter the skill level of the technician, maybe a cheap lube place is always bad.

“It’s possible that the oil filter was a cheap one.”

Unless Iffy-Lube was successful in “upselling” the OP to a better filter, the filter is almost surely one of those “white box” filters from China. Those filters define CHEAP, and I wouldn’t trust that the attachment threads were properly machined in the first place.

What disturbs me about this is the apparent acceptance that things are going to be just fine now and the vast benevolence of the JL manager who is reimbursing the cost of the oil change while throwing in a cleaning and future freebie oil change.
A cynic might think the JL manager is sucking up… :wink:

While not being privy to the conversation I would strongly suspect there was a proclamation to the effect of, “We checked things out and all is well”.

A Subaru dealer I used to work for started getting flyers in the mail one time for “white box” filters along with a plethora of other cheaper than dirt auto maintenance parts. We did not use those parts in the shop but we did discover later that the dealer was keeping all of the empty OEM Subaru boxes from the shop and stuffing them with the no-name junk which was then sold across the counter at full Subaru prices.

The dealer cost on any kind of no-name filter was about 1.50. Compare that to the dealer cost of the OEM item along with the over the counter retail price and one can easily see the much wider profit margin.

And to the obvious point, I was disgusted by this but had no say over what goes on at the counter.
That was all over my pay grade… :frowning:

I kept hoping they would get caught but for some unexplicable reason they discontinued this practice after a while for reasons unknown. It could have been that a customer started asking questions about why there was no Subaru logo on the part or a surge of conscience to do the right thing. I’d suspect the former…

‘I would strongly suspect there was a proclamation to the effect of, “We checked things out and all is well”.’

The Iffy Lube manager is trying to razzle-dazzle the OP with BS and sucking-up just long enough for them to claim that other factors took place when the OP’s engine self-destructs a few weeks from now. But…It’s fine right now!

Note to OP: You need to take your car a.s.a.p. to an independent mechanic, have the oil pan dropped, and have at least one of the main bearing caps removed for inspection. That is the only way to determine if engine damage has taken place. Yes, this will cost you a few bucks, but it is well worth it in the long run.

Kind of a lame response, I like what vdc says, their failure rate is probably within norms by percentage. Wifey a 30 year customer of quicky lubes never an issue.
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