Did I get taken for a ride?

My 2008 honda civic was losing coolant. I took it to the dealership and they said the block was cracked, but that it was a recalled issue and so I wouldn’t be charged for replacing the engine (yay!).

Incidentally, the oil change warning was on (I was at 15% life).

So they replaced the engine for free, but still charged me for the oil change. Not that it’s all that much money, but shouldn’t new oil and filter have been included with a new engine?

I suppose a better question would be: if I had reset the warning light, would the oil change have been included automatically?

This is either a joke or you do not know when to say Thank You and go about your business.

Or neither of those.

If my car’s oil wasn’t at 15%, would they still have charged me for oil put in the engine? Or do you think they take the oil out of my old engine, put it aside, and put it into the new engine?

You were kept whole. You got a free engine, you needed an oil change. Enjoy.

No mechanic in their right mind would use the oil from a broken engine and pour it into a new one.

But, new engines don’t come with oil and a filter so they’d have to charge you for new oil and a filter, which they did. The engine was free, the oil and filter were not.

I agree with @VOLVO VT70, count your blessings and move on.

Wow, you get a new engine at no cost to you for a vehicle that’s 7 years old and you complain that you had to pay for the oil and filter.

that takes some kahonies !!!


No mechanic in their right mind would use the oil from a broken engine and pour it into a new one.

Well that’s my point tho’. If they would always use new oil, why did I have to pay for it when the next person wouldn’t have to do so?

Wow, you get a new engine at no cost to you for a vehicle that’s 7 years old and you complain that you had to pay for the oil and filter.

An engine with 62,000 miles on it. It was a manufacturer’s defect, not something I did wrong. I don’t see how that takes “kahonies”.

Your car is probably out of warranty, you got a $3,000 or $4,000 free engine and you wince about a $35 oil change? I would have bought this much in dounts or bagles for them doing this for me. Kudos for Honda for being so decent to their customers, I remember cars in the 70’s that had major problems, and if they were days out of warranty consumers were out on a limb.

Ok, ok, I yield. I get it. If there’s a manufacturer’s defect, I should complain if the dealership tacks on a few extra charges for no reason.

You win.

" It was a manufacturer’s defect, not something I did wrong. I don’t see how that takes “kahonies”."

It takes cahones because you can’t seem to see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

You received a free repair that was worth…probably…something on the order of $3k to $4k, and you are questioning the relatively insignificant cost of an oil change that would have been necessary on the old engine in short order anyway. Additionally, as was mentioned, that new engine needed to be filled with oil.

I think that you need to get some perspective on maintenance and on the costs of owing a car.


Did the dealer charge you for “shop supplies”? How about coolant? These are also things that were included in the new engine switch. Shop supplies could include new clamps, and perhaps some hoses, and other stuff. Perhaps if you had just had the oil changed a month before this repair they would have not charged you again.

It seems to me you really did well on this one and your focus is on a few bucks for an oil change. If it were me I’d be very happy I owned a Honda, and very satisfied with the dealer who helped make the whole thing happen. So, No were not taken for a ride. Not even close.

I have a feeling some day in the future you might complain about the floral arrangements in the Garden of Eden.

Here’s Another Way To Look At This. This Vehicle Is 7 (soon to be 8) Model-Years Old…

Often when a product fails prematurely, some of the cost for repair/replacement falls on the product owner. Say a car battery fails after just a few years. When the purchaser replaces the defective battery under warranty, a pro-rate charge applies because that individual did get considerable use from the battery prior to a defect leading to early failure. Now a do-over is delivered. Fair enough.

Although 62,000 miles is low mileage for your vehicle, it was available to use for approximately 7 years!

Additionally, at some point in the future, should you consider selling this car, I would have to believe that a factory installed engine with 62,000 fewer miles than the original would actually enhance the resale value of the vehicle. This is especially true if the original engine was considered defective and not replaced because of an abusive, negligent owner.

I’ve got a couple of vehicles in which I would accept installation of a factory engine for the cost of an oil change & filter. I’d even show up with a box of doughnuts for the Service Department!


You have a point for sure! However I’d let it go.

Some of the replies here seem rather harsh. The issue is not whether OP should ignore a few extra dollars added to a “free” warranty repair. How would you look at it if a brand new car had a catastrophic engine failure as it was being driven off the lot? Would we not expect the mfr to provide a new engine, installed, with all new fluids?

In the actual case, the issue is whether the oil in the dead engine should be replaced for free. You could reasonably argue, “No, because even the dead engine needed new oil.” If, however, the oil in the dead engine had been changed just before the failure, then “Yes” would be reasonable.

$xx for the oil change is $xx. It’s funny how we’ll shop around to save $10 on a $60 item, but not on a $10,000 item.

(I’m a little biased here. I just stayed one night in a hotel for over $100 in room rate … and I see a $3.50 “Marketing Fee” on my bill, in add’n to the taxes. I plan to ask them what that is about.)


Was this a recall or a goodwill repair? I think it matters.

@texases this is an extended 8yr/100k or 150k warranty on the engine for this particular defect. Not a free out of the sky item but engineering/manufacture blunder on this vintage civic motor.

It is a bit strange they charged IMHO for oil change. Although my wife’s Civic 96 had serious issues leading to replacement of cat converter and two O2 sensors under similar type deal. My wife honestly ignored the check engine light led to stalling on highway. The dealer charged for clamps on cat convertor.

Do they normally tranfser the oil filter across engines and reuse?