Dealer pulling one over on me?


#1

I bought a new Mazda CX-5 several years back. I have taken it back to the dealer religiously for all maintenance including oil changes. The car has run perfectly, no issues. I have 55,000 miles on it.
Two weeks ago I took it to the dealer for an oil change. It was supposed to be done in an hour. 90 minutes later, the Service Adviser apologized and told me I could go pay and pick up my car. They told me no charge due to it taking so long. I waited for my car, but after 15 minutes went to find someone. I was told that they were sorry, they had spilled oil all over the engine. I could have a loaner, but it would take a couple of hours to clean it up.
The next day they finally called to tell me that the oil had ruined the catalytic converter and that it would have to be replaced (at their cost-no charge to me).
Two days later when it was scheduled to be completed, they told me that the engine was ruined, but that it had nothing to do with the oil spill. They wanted to know when I had first noticed the engine making odd sounds when idling. I told them I had never heard anything wrong and that engine had performed perfectly up to then.
They said it must have been something prior to the oil change. They would replace it at no charge as the engine was still under warranty.
Questions:

  1. Does anyone believe that the oil spill had no bearing on the engine failure?
  2. How much resale value am I losing in my car with a new engine?
  3. Do I have any recourse?
    Thanks!

#2

While it’s impossible to know from here, it sounds like the oil change person left off the cap, or filter, or drain plug, or something, and ran the engine dry. Just a guess. If you get a new engine and cat you should be OK, but it’s hard to know. I’d ask for a guarantee on the ‘new’ engine.


#3

“Does anyone believe that the oil spill had no bearing on the engine failure?”

You’re assuming that there really was an oil spill, when that tale could simply have been their first attempt at a delaying tactic while they figured out how badly the engine had been damaged by whatever screw-up was committed by their oil change person.

If the dealership is really giving you a new engine, then essentially they are making you whole, and I don’t believe that they owe you anything else, other than a loaner car or reimbursement for a rental car if you are temporarily renting a replacement vehicle.


#4

No effect on resale if new motor installed.


#5

As long as you don’t have to pay for it, but I’d be very concerned about this “new” engine. They ruined a perfectly good engine and they need to make it whole again. That means they could replace the engine with a used engine with 55k miles and a documented history of maintenance as good as yours, but what are the odds of finding an engine like that.

They could put in a remanufactured engine and some of those are very good, some not so good. A Jasper or Mazda factory reman would be OK. Factory remans are rare but they are usually new engines off the assembly line that had some sort of defect and had to be disassembled and reassembled, or they were low miles failures that were sent back to the factory for investigation and repair.

They could overhaul or rebuild your engine if they have a mechanic qualified for that.

Get a clear definition of exactly what kind of replacement engine they are planning on putting in, replacing does not mean new and I would not accept a used engine. Get a reman with a warrantee or let them rebuild if they will give you a guarantee, at least 2 years/30k miles.


#6

+1 to texases post.


#7

I suspect what happened is that they have a relatively inexperienced lube tech doing oil changes and he left the drain plug loose or “forgot” to add the oil after draining the old oil out.
They just don’t want to face you, the customer, and tell you they botched a simple oil change.

You need to clarify the term “new” as it relates to a replacement engine. New does not mean a worn out engine with 100k miles on it. In a situation like that it only means that it’s new to the car; not a new engine unit. Trust me; that word is abused quite often.

There’s also something else very odiferous about this and that is the reference to warranty. Warranty is for the repair or replacement of a failure due to materials or workmanship by the car manufacturer.

A botched oil change by the dealer is not a warrantable issue that should be laid at the financial feet of corporate Mazda. If they’re going to install a new (meaning just that…) engine and file a claim against Mazda then that should tell you right there that their morals are a little loose.

If by warranty they mean they’re self-insuring this on their dime without corporate Mazda involvement then that’s another matter.


#8

Ask the dealer if the replacement engine is brand new with no miles on it. You should get a receipt with all repairs made and a description of the replacement parts, including the engine. There should be a price for all parts and labor that is zeroed out at the end. Insist on an itemized receipt. It is your leverage in case the work they do is unsatisfactory.


#9

They are doing all they can by fixing it without you suing them. You’re getting the recourse without paying for a court case. You can’t do better than that.


#10

Yes, they are trying to fix it but I wouldn’t be happy about it either. I would make sure you get some warranty on the engine, check for oil residue every where you can. Ask them to put the car on a lift and look. New cars are a complicated machine with mechanical and electronic parts. One tiny wire being crimped somewhere could make your life miserable.


#11

Yes…or they are trying to anyway. Their story belongs in a book of fairy-tales.