Dealership mechanic tightened the oil pan plug with hand and it came out

hi. i bought a brand new 2022 Hyundai Kona last June. In October, I took my car into the local hyundai dealership for an oil change. two weeks later, i was driving and heard a noise under my car. i thought i had run over something so i kept driving. when i got on the freeway and started up a high incline grade, my car started sputtering and i got an error message on my display. i was on a part of the freeway where i couldnt pull over so i had to wait until the next available exit to get off. it ended up that the noise i heard under the car earlier was my oil pan plug popping off, my car had completely emptied of the motor oil. when i called the dealership who did my oil change, they said the mechanic who did my oil change screwed in my oil pan plug with his hand instead of using a torque or other tool to tighten it. so they picked it up and took it in, called me later and said they tested it out and there was nothing wrong with my car. Two weeks ago, I was driving on the freeway in the early morning (3am) when all of a sudden i get an error/warning message on my instrument cluster display saying my car was overheating. i turned on my heater and the temp went back down to the halfway point. when i looked under my hood, there was pink liquid sprayed all over the place. i took it back to the dealership and they said i needed a new radiator. they ordered one and installed it. my car was brand new when i bought it, only had 10 miles on it when i bought it one year ago last month! i dont want to be making payments on a damaged car. any opinions on what i should do?

well, that was a mistake. you should have stopped and took a look. but that’s in the past and a lessoned learned.
I am surprised the engine did not seize with no oil in it and you still driving to the next exit. internal damage was definitely done. if it was me with a brand-new vehicle and these problems that was caused by the dealer, I would want them to order me a new vehicle to replace this one. I would keep all your receipts and have everything documented. unfortunately, I do not think your problems are over with. sorry this happened to you and with you the best of luck.


… and they are lying, pure and simple.
Running an engine out of oil WILL damage it, even if the worst of the damage won’t show up until later–perhaps after the warranty has expired.

Rather than dealing with the liars at the dealership, you should be dealing with Hyundai–at the corporate level. Contact info can be found in your Owner’s Manual. If you choose to phone them, keep it civil but make it clear that you are very dissatisfied with the dealer’s actions, and that you expect to have a conversation with the Regional Service Supervisor. Send a follow-up communication in writing, noting the date and time of the earlier phone call.

Good luck with your quest for fair treatment regarding your damaged engine.


Seems unlikely you’d hear the sound of the oil plug falling out onto the ground. Such a small item. Could bounce around after falling and bang into the underside of the car I guess, maybe that is what you heard.

I can’t imagine a pro mechanic would install the oil plug hand tight and leave it that way on purpose. And hard to understand if they did, that they’d later admit it. I expect they installed it hand-tight, intending to finish the job with a ratchet, but got a phone call and forgot. If they later admitted to making this mistake I’d consider that a good thing b/c indicates they are honest. everyone makes mistakes, admitting to them is where the problem is …lol … Since Honda agrees it’s their fault, I expect you are covered if some adverse oil-related event happens later.

The radiator failure seems unlikely related to the oil problem , unless the oil problem caused the engine to overheat. That could happen, oil is part of the engine cooling system, but if that happened you’d usually see or hear some sort of dashboard warning for engine overheating. Do you see anything like that? My guess is the oil problem didn’t cause any major damage, and the radiator failure is unrelated. Suggest to fully document all this, keep all the records, notes from conversations, but otherwise go with that theory for now.

I’m frequent bicyclist, pedestrian, find stuff on roads that has dropped from vehicles all the time. Brake caliper bolts somewhat common. Wheel weights the most common. Never found an oil drain plug .


Is stopping on part of the freeway that has no area for stopping really worse than $2000 in damage?

I think it is.

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You’re doing 70 mph in the center lane, There’s a Greyhound bus passing on your left, you’re passing a Semi truck with triple trailers to your right, and a loaded dump truck tailgating right behind you, you think you hear something fall off your car, What do you do?


Radiator had leak? Or hose?

I do anything I can to avoid stopping right there and then. Apparently some think it’s ok to just stop. So yes I believe 2000 in engine damage is better than stopping in traffic.


From what I am reading OP heard the noise before OP got on the freeway.


That’s easy, slow down in the center lane. Since the dump truck can’t change lanes either, it will take care of the traffic behind it.

If the authorities and users think it’s okay to have a section of freeway with no breakdown lane and then allow speeding tail gating reckless drivers to use it all the time with nearly zero law enforcement then it’s not your problem you have to stop and there is some big accident.

I read right over that. New rule for me coffee first, always coffee first then read.


The lack of oil is far more serious than the mild overheating incident if you were wondering. It could have damaged the rings. There might be mild scoring on the cylinders. A boroscope camera could inspect the cylinders. If it consumes more oil than normal it could be damaged rings. If it was out of oil for 20 seconds it should be okay. If it was 2 minutes there is probably some damage.

Lack of oil will damage the crankshaft and rod bearings before causing damage to the cylinders. Ten months later and the engine still runs.

Conversation w/police officer, questioning me on why I was riding my bicycle through a public parking lot adjacent to a busy urban street.

Officer: This is parking lot. Why are you riding your bike here?
Me: It’s safer than riding in the street.
Officer: If street is unsafe, why don’t you ride on the sidewalk then?
Me: B/c it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk.
Officer: It’s better pay the fine for riding a bike on the sidewalk riding than get run over in the street.
Me: ?

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Even if someone was stupid enough to do that, the damage is already done to the engine.

Actually it would be your fault.


Next time roar the engine until it quits. That way there is no question


More of the SNOWMAN’s BS> :upside_down_face:

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Do you have a legal source or case law to back this up? And I don’t want to see some youtube slam on the brakes in the middle of traffic brake check thing.

The dealer was crossing their fingers when they said there was no damage from the loss of oil. Between that and the coolant leak, there is probably great engine damage. They have insurance for this kind of thing. Hyundai corporate has no responsibility here, but you should notify them. They may have some influence over the dealer. A new engine or at least a short block is the likely remedy here.