Did I get duped?

Hi All - I just purchased a used car from a dealership last month. They did an oil change before I took delivery of the vehicle, I’ve driven the car a little over 1000 miles since I purchased it but recently started to hear a lite rattling sound when in idle. On my way home about day 2 of the rattling sound, it got really loud, so I parked it and sought the advice of a mechanic friend. So we checked the oil and there was nothing visible on the dipstick at all! We put 3 qrts of oil in the car and started it up after letting it settle for about 10 mins… The car didn’t rattle anymore and sounded a lot better. The next day I got in the car and drove for about 5 miles and the very loud rattling was back and my car died out. I was able to start it and get to my destination but I don’t think my car is driveable anymore because I’m sure the engine is probably damaged now… SO this car has never leaked oil when I bought it, it doesn’t blow smoke when I drive it, where would the oil have gone since the oil change or did the dealership jip me on quarts of oil??? WTH??? I know I bought the car AS IS but to only get 1000 mi out of it doesn’t seem right… I believe the engine was in good condition when I bought it but the service shop messed it up by not putting oil in it! This car had one owner and was maintained regularly… I CHECKED THE CARFAX

I really empathize with you, and can only hope that the dealership comes to your assistance in some way–even though that isn’t too likely. What is more realistic is for you to take this as a learning experience, because everything in life–even if it was negative–has the potential to become a learning experience that gives you new strengths and knowledge for the future.

Here is what I suggest you do in the future:

Have a mechanic of your choosing inspect a car prior to purchase. If the seller balks, walk away, as this probably means they are trying to conceal some type of problem.
Immediately after an oil change, check the dipstick yourself.
When you are not familiar with a newish vehicle, make sure that you check the fluids every couple of days, just so that you become aware of consumption or leakage problems before they cause major damage.
Whenever you hear a new sound, have the vehicle checked-out immediately. Whether the noise is from the engine, or the brakes, or…whatever…checking it sooner, rather than later, is likely to help reduce the repair costs.

Incidentally, newer cars have Catalytic Converters as a part of the exhaust system, and the CC will essentially “eat” the smoke from oil burning, so the absence of smoke from the exhaust is not a guarantee of anything.

Good luck, amigo!

I appreciate your advice and I’m not optimistic at all about the dealer helping in anyway, although I do believe they caused the engine damage… GRRR… I will definitely take this as a learning lesson and use your advice for future purchases!

With owning the car for less than a month and the few miles that you had put on the odometer…I’d go back to the dealer.
Though you did buy it “:As is” some dealers will help a person, because they don’t want word to spread that they sold a car that lasted such a short period.

Go back, be nice and ask the general manager if there is any way that they can help you.
Mention the four kids and any thing else that might pull on their heartstrings. What do you have to lose…an hour of time.


Just curious: What is the year, and how many miles on it?

I doubt that the dealer “caused” the engine damage. It was likely caused by the prior owner (or plural) who discovered a problem and unloaded the car; possibly after doctoring the engine.

The dealer likely took it in trade or bought it at auction totally unaware of the problem. The dealer knowledge of the car probably extends no further than a few miles at most accrued during moving the car, sending it to detail, out for tires, etc, etc.

There was a thread on this forum the other day about a grunged up engine and one of the bits of advice was clean it up and trade it in.
The dealer takes that trade, the car seems to sound and run fine, and off it goes to a new home.
When the engine dies later the dealer gets the blame.

If three quarts were added and the next day it was low on oil again, it is unlikely the proper amount of oil was not put in at the dealer oil change. Possible though that the oil filter or drain plug was not tightened or is leaking but really need to get it up on the lift to see if there is any evidence of leaking or not. Otherwise the engine was using vast quantities of oil right from the start and maybe the dealer will help after selling a car with a bum engine.

I know it’s rare, but I’ve heard a few good stories about dealers helping out in circumstances like this.
They want good publicity and don’t need people spreading the word that they sold a lemon.

A bad alternator, battery, or starter and they may say ,“you bought it as is”, but with an entire engine they may be willing to help as a good will gesture and hoping that you will spread the word that they went out of their way for her.


We really don’t know what has happened with your car because the oil wasn’t checked when you bought it after the oil change. We know it was 3 quarts or more low after it started making noise.
We know it started making noise 5 miles later but we don’t know if the oil is low again.
With only one oil check we just don’t have enough information to help you.

If the dealer had drained the oil, but not put any fresh oil in, the car wouldn’t have made it 1000 miles, in my opinion

I think OP bought a dud

Whether the dealer knew it or not is another matter


The conspiracy theory from the OP is a bit much. It would be interesting to know what kind of car and how many miles on it.

The word “dealer” is used also. That could mean a new car dealer or some BHPH lot on the corner selling shaky wholesale units.

Not that it would have made any difference with what is a flawed engine, but continuing to drive it while rattling and not even checking the oil until it got “really loud” and having a mechanic friend come over to check the oil certainly did not it any favors.

The mechanic friend should have been able to explain all of this.

That’s the thing about as is condition; you don’t know what you are getting. Since they changed the oil, part of “as is” may not be all on you. They did the work and you may be able to get the dealer to offer some sort of compensation. If I sold a car as is, I would not have my people do any work before the sale or after it. I would orphan the thing without admitting to putting any work on it. It’s a shaky deal all around.


BHPH=Buy here, pay here.

Those are the used car lots that cater to folks who can’t qualify for financing through “normal” routes, and do the financing (usually at astronomical rates) themselves. The buyer has to visit the used car lot monthly, and makes cash payments directly to them.

You should have been checking the oil frequently on a new-to-you car and you should have checked the oil after the oil change regardless. Without that information, it’s harder to say what’s going on here. I suppose you should bring the car to a good mechanic for a diagnosis of if the car is burning or leaking oil before you can really figure out your next step.

If the dealer did somehow make a mistake during the oil change, there’s a chance that they’d cover the repair. However, I suspect that technically the oil change was done on “their” car (before the sale), so that the “as-is” clause still applies here.

If the car is just burning oil, the best you can do is to tell the dealership very nicely that you’re disappointed that this situation happened and that you were hoping to have a better experience that you could tell your family and friends about. Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll offer to cover at least part of the cost.

The next time you buy a used car, make sure to have your mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. Something like this might have been discovered before you bought the car.

Please dont depend on CARFAUX,I’ll be glad when the day comes when trusting Non mechanically inclined people can safely buy a used car,maybe they will swap you another car.

"maybe they will swap you another car. "

If that happens, good for OP

However . . . believe me, that first car is going to be resold. They’re going to get their money for that one, no doubt about it

Carfax data should be taken with a grain of salt, and then be skeptical.

Many here, have said that repairs to their own car were reported on carfax, but yet they never had that work done. Then others have found that few independent shops take the time and effort to report any repairs to carfax.
What would be the incentive for a shop to pay a monthly fee to report their work so carfax can put the data on your cars records.
Unless you have every oil change and all maintenance done at a dealer that reports to carfax, you can never be sure that any work was done. One poster even found that his car was reported stolen, yet he’s owned it since new and the car was never reported stolen.


So the car is a 2000 Toyota Corolla, it had 154800 miles when I bought it… I’ve contacted the dealer (Auto Nation Hyundai - which is a pretty big dealer here in Colorado) and they would like for me to bring it in so they can see what the problem is. I would just like to know where all the oil went, when there is no visible leak and absolutely no trace of oil when I checked the oil… yes I realize now that I should have checked the oil after I brought it home, but trusted that the service shop did their job…lesson learned… and I will definitely keep this in mind with every oil change in the future… it just not something I thought to do before… Not every one has the mind of a mechanic unfortunately… I either got shorted on how much oil they put into the car during the oil change or they completely forgot to put the oil in… what other explanation is there?

I plan tow the car the dealer this weekend and hope they will work with me…

Wow… didn’t realize that about Carfax either… why does it have to be so difficult to purchase a decent car… this really sucks… I have to say I did this same process a year earlier… went in to a reputable dealer not a BHPH and made a cash deal on a great used car… it was a fair deal, no major mechanical problems within the last year and half and very pleased with the outcome…