Dealership Forgot to Place Oil in Engine

My mom went to her Toyota dealership for an oil change on her 2007 Avalon. They told her the car was ready so she paid for the services. She started the car and as she was driving out of the lot her car stopped and the engine locked up. She walked back to the service dept and had someone come help her. The gentlemen tried to start the car and he was not able to start it so the car was rolled back to the service dept. My mom had to ask what was going on with her car and they finally told her that someone forgot to put oil in the car. At this point they have placed a new engine in the car but my mom is concerned about the depreciation because of the new engine and is also concerned about the workmanship or knowledge of the people who placed the engine in the car. She does not want to drive the car off of the lot and would like a new car. What should she do if they refuse to work with her?

She’s NOT going to get a new car…They admitted they were at fault…They replaced the engine with a new one…Sounds like the dealership is doing the right thing. This is NOT a collectors car. She doesn’t have to worry about matching serial numbers…thus there will be 0 depreciation.

Why is she concerned about the workmanship?? Is there a problem with the new engine??

The dealer backed up the warranty and fixed his mistake.

There is a new engine in the car now with no mileage and another full warranty on it.

Everyone makes a mistake now and then but I do agree not checking the engine oil is a no-no.

If a problem turns up take it back to the dealer.

Correction-They did not place a new engine in the car, they explained to her that there was minimal damage to the engine, so they are just replacing a part that was damaged or burnt out. She is afraid that there will be problems in the future.

You can’t post like this. First its a new engine then you don’t like the answer and it changes into a part replacement. No one explains a locked up oil starved engine as “minimaly damaged”. Something is not right.

Nothing about this thread is right…Mom would have gone about 5 miles before the engine “locked up”, looking at that red “OIL” light…

So get your story straight and try it again…But FORGET a new car, that’s NEVER going to happen…

We owners are partially at fault for not noticing warning lights. We all do it, especially in bright sunlight. We are the backup for the lights and buzzers but we are only human. The car is still under warranty, so if the engine quits working, the warranty or the dealer are responsible to fix it. Maybe if your mom gets a printed report stating that the dealer made the error of leaving the engine with no oil, she will be covered even better. Forgetting to put oil in the engine is a common mistake, especially when the workers have so many rules about scheduled breaks where they worry about missing them. (OK, that was weak.)

Wow. I came to this website for help. I spoke with my mom again after I posted the first statement. I had not spoken with her since the initial incident and she corrected me about what happened thereafter. Thanks for nothing. Don’t worry about me posting here ever again. God Bless you anyways.

No need to be so sensitive, the folks here would like to help, but you need to get your story straight and provide as much detail as possible. Otherwise it’s just guessing. So what is this “damaged part”?

Ed B.

Talk to an attorney. First visit is always free! While she decides what to do…they in all good conscience should supply her with a rental (especially considering todays economic climate) They want to keep her as a customer!

I would be seriously worried about that idea that there was no damage.  Most likely they are really saying that they hope she will not notice and when the engine does croak maybe the manager will be somewhere else or the agency will be out of business or best she will not remember. 

This one needs to be followed up on.  If the dealer is not going to go better then it is time to seek legal help.  I new engine would satisfy me and that is what I would want.  Case law in your state will determine what she is legally untitled to.

Rodent80, You Say, “Thanks for nothing. Don’t worry about me posting here ever again.”

You’re welcome for nothing. Don’t worry about my not responding ever again to your posts that never get posted ever again. Oh, and thanks for the little blessing. Go in peace.


If you are still reading the responses, I’d advise mom to tell the dealer that repair of the current motor is not acceptable. Other parts were affected by the heat. So the motor is damaged goods now and they are at fault. Her instinct is spot on.

As per resolution, she can ask for a new motor to be installed. Or, she can buy another car from the dealer. She should ask for full retail price via KBB or Edmunds for her car as a trade in on another car. The normal trade in value is not enough.

I think a new car deal allows the dealer to get out of this and the damaged car will likely end up at an auction.

Why the attitude? Is this a community? Isn’t the concept for this to be a safe place to ask a question about cars? On the show they answer dumb questions and have fun with it all the time. Perhaps a bit more of that spirit would be good on this site too. Posters aren’t car experts and are looking for help and support. They don’t expect to get blasted.

Wow, Why The Attitude? I Was Just Joking. Notice That My Words Are Taken From The Original Poster.

Here was what Rodent80 said,Wow. I came to this website for help. I spoke with my mom again after I posted the first statement. I had not spoken with her since the initial incident and she corrected me about what happened thereafter. Thanks for nothing. Don’t worry about me posting here ever again. God Bless you anyways.

Even with his/her attitude, I would be more than happy to cheerfully assist, even with “dumb” questions, but it doesn’t look like I’ll get a chance according to the poster. You’re preaching to the wrong choir.


Yes it is a safe for the uninformed to come and ask but don’t disparage or incite unless your ducks are in a row,even then you may wish to take a different course.