Daughter's car

This Sunday I had my daughters oil changed at a quick lube right before she left to return to college across state. I drove it .5 miles home from the oil change place. She and her two classmates made it not quite out of our subdivision before the car stopped. I noticed a spot of oil in the driveway (after it sitting for 90 min after the oil was changed) the size of a large dinner plate and a steady drip as she pulled out and away. When I got to the car 2-3 minutes after she broke down there was a steady stream of oil down the backside of the engine. It also was slow dripping oil out of the tailpipe. Within an hour there was. My guess is at least 3 quarts dumped out within minutes. I called the lube place and let them know about it. They went and looked at it while i drove the girls to catch another ride back to school. They called back and said there were no issues on their end. When i checked the dipstick after i got back to the car it read right at the full mark. The manager said i probably had broken the timing belt . The car will not start. Thank you for any amount of advice with this you can give me on what you think happened.
2000 Toyota Solara 190 k ran good. Minor oil leaks but not dripping

I would just about guarantee that the “quickie lube” place over-filled the oil in the car. Have a good independent shop check out the cause of the no start condition since a quickie lube place has no mechanics working there. In the future…let an independent mechanic shop do your oil changes.

A car leaking that big a spot so quickly and with a noticeable drip should not be driven. What the problem is I cannot say as there is not enough info known.

Assume for the sake of discussion the Jiffy Lube screwed up the oil change. They were allowed to visit the car without your presence and proclaim things were fine with a timing belt being the cause. Whose to say they did not catch a screwup, fix it, fill the now damaged engine with oil, and say that it’s your baby now.
That’s the only way the FULL oil level can be explained based on the amount being puked out of the engine.

If they did cover their tracks the evidence showing a mistake is now gone.

I concur with ok4450.

Another vote for it being overfilled. Most likely the quick lube shop corrected the oil level to cover their butt. Take it to a local shop for a estimate. A broken timing belt will not have oil dripping from the exhaust or out from under the car. Take pictures of everything you can, where it left the puddle, the exhaust pipe and under the hood. It can be a battle at time to get quick lube places to pay for their mistakes.

If overfilling was the cause I wonder if the engine could have hydrolocked on motor oil. That could lead to a sudden stop of the engine and explain oil out the tailpipe and massive leaks.

If that is the case then one has to wonder if a sudden hydrolock could have broken a timing belt, bent a rod or busted a piston, etc and especially so with a car moving at speed.

The cause of the engine dying should not be too difficult to figure out. First thing I would do is make sure the timing belt hasn’t snapped and pull the plugs to see if they’re smothered in oil.
Depending upon the reason you may have to go after the JL.

Overfilling oil does not usually cause a problem, and if you are in the business putting in more oil than needed you are wasting money. I would think it more probable the oil filter was leaking due to a leftover old filter gasket or improperly tightened filter. All does not add up, You lost some fluid, but if the dipstick reads full it was not oil. Maybe trans fluid?

Have it towed to an independently owned and operated garage for a written evaluation.

Oil dripping from the tailpipe is a real good sign that the crankcase was badly overfilled. The oil in the oilpan is connected to the space under that valvecover(s) by open drain channels through which the oil that lubricates the valvetrain drains back to the pan. The crankcase fumes are then ingested back into the engine through the Posivtive Crankcase Ventilation system for burning.

If it’s badly overfilled, the crankshaft can whip the oil into a foam, creating excess volume and pushing the oil up the drain channels and into the space under the valvecover, where it can be ingested into the engine. Too much wets the sparkplugs, preventing them from firing, and gets pushed out the exhaust.

This foaming can cause damage to the engine’s critical sleeve bearings. And passing oil into the exhaust will absolutely destroy the catalytic converter(s) (4- banger or V6?) and both oxygen sensors. I’ll bet it won’t start because your spark plugs are wet with oil.

NOTE: quickie lube places are known for these types of problems. You’d do yourself and your daughters a favor by developing a good relationship with a independently owned and operated shop.

Good luck with this. Document all your evidence and go after the quickie lube for all the costs, including the new cat converter(s) and oxygen sensors. Hopefully, the guys that visited the car after it broke down will be honest when put under oath in a small claims court.

Any inde shop could quickly determine if the timing belt was broken or not. That’s probably the first thing. Don’t try to start the car again until that’s been done.

I expect you already know this, but problems after oil and filter change-outs are a common thing reported here. In the future suggest to always check the dipstick while the car is still at the oil change place, before starting the engine. Then check it again once you get back home. And again the next morning. It’s an inconvenience to have the check the work of the folks you are paying to do a job for you, but if you can accept this is a needed task, it’s just 3 quick looks at the dip stick.

Along these lines, I was the shop foreman at a multi-line dealer and while I did not do any actual hiring or firing I did do interviews and make recommendations on whether someone should be given a job or the axe. One guy I gave thumbs down to was hired by the service manager anyway.
The SM asked why I was hesitant and I just said a gut feeling that something was wrong and which later proved to be correct.

A month later and a few minutes before lunch the guy came up to me and said he had just gotten done with a head gasket on a VW, test drove it, and it was making a funny noise before dying at the door. I told him I’d take a look at it after lunch when I had time.

The guy never came back to work that afternoon; or ever again. Looking the engine over I found it way overfilled with motor oil and the engine had finally hydrolocked after 10 minutes of run time.
I drained some oil out, removed the fuel injectors, and blew the oil out of the cylinders after which it seemed to run fine. That engine could not even be budged with a breakover and cheater bar.

The followup was that almost 2 months later the guy’s brother showed up to pick up the toolbox and stated the guy was in a rehab facility for alcohol. We discovered that the big drawer in the bottom of the tool box was full of liquor bottles; mostly vodka and gin. Guess that explained why he kept to himself all the time and was always sipping on coffee and soda.

Point here being that this engine ran fine for a short time before slugging the cylinders full of oil and locking up. We were also lucky that with the diesel high compression that rods and pistons did not give up or we would have been buying a very expensive long block for the customer.

Definitely do exactly what the same mountainbike said above. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to take some time and effort on your end to get this all settled properly.

As others have mentioned, go to a real mechanic from now on. This type of mistake is far less likely there. (They generally don’t have undertrained people working in a big hurry.)

The OP can count this as one more vote for Quicky Lube having screwed-up by overfilling the crankcase.

After the fact, since they “examined” the engine without you being present, it will be more difficult to determine the cause of the problem, but it won’t be impossible for a qualified mechanic to figure things out–especially since oil was coming out of the tailpipe!

Just bear in mind that you may have a hard time collecting money for a new (used) engine, as the nationwide chains of quicky lube shops have their own army of lawyers to fight the many, many lawsuits filed annually as a result of the engines and transmissions that these guys destroy on a regular basis. Hopefully you will learn from this experience that a quick lube shop is NOT a good or safe place to take your car for service.

As was said, the first thing to do is to have the timing belt checked. More than likely, it will still be intact, but while we are on this topic…How many miles/years has the current timing belt been in use?

A friend told his son to check his oil at every fillup. Instead he added oil at every fillup. The car would not start at the station. He pulled the dipstick and found the oil was to the top. Drained it to the proper level and the car was fine.

Sorry about your woes. I’d suggest getting it to an indy shop(non dealer) and hopefully it can get restarted again fine. Remember this car is 15 years old and worth about $2500ish likely. So if motor replacements etc start getting talked consider that. I would pursue the quick lube but it may end up in small claims court for the value of car(no more).

The manager of lube shop is just that. Likely not a mechanic just guessing.

Lessons I hope the OP learns:

  1. Don’t go to quickie lube places.
  2. Do a quick double check (as best one can) of any work done before leaving the shop lot.
    (At the shop I go to the owner comes out and double checks the mechanic’s work)
  3. Don’t get work done immediately before a long trip. Do at least a day of local driving to make sure things are OK.
  4. If there is an issue don’t let the suspect party investigate unattended: trust but verify.

Maybe the shop “double filled” the crankcase with oil and by the time they inspected it, the level was back to normal. Oil coming out the exhaust pipe is a key clue.

‘Maybe the shop “double filled” the crankcase with oil’

…and it is possible that they drained the transmission by mistake.
If that happened, it wouldn’t be the first time that one of the untrained kiddies at a quick lube place drained the trans and filled the already-full crankcase.

A hydrolocked engine and a dry transmission.
It just doesn’t get much better than that!

My money is on their having added four quarts without ever having removed the old four quarts… and never checking the level during the entire process.

Hopefully the OP will stay on top of this and keep us up to date. With luck and knocking on wood, maybe it will boil down to overfilling, slugging the cylinders with oil, and killing the engine after fouling the plugs.

Of course this brings up the previously mentioned issues of catalytic converter and O2 sensor damage, the possibility of subtle vibration due to bent connecting rods if hydrolocked, and along the lines of draining some transmission fluid; a looming transmission issue from running low.

A decent mechanic should be able to sort this out quickly with the one snag being that the JL was given the opportunity to cover their tracks. If there are problems with the engine/trans it would be interesting to see how the JL deals with it and what they do if push comes to shove.