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Driven to the bodyshop/Returned on a Flatbed

My accident damage was to the driver side front and left panels. When picking up my car, the bodyshop told me that my oil light went on when they moved the car. His mechanic checked and observed oil levels full. Suggested a sensor problem. Drove car home 2 miles home without the oil light on. Next day, about 10 miles out on the highway, oil light goes on. Soon thereafter, car is dead. I tow it back to the shop. The final determination? I have a disconnected connecting rod, my engine is down. Could this be pure coincidence?? Said this is normal wear and tear. Mention of metal in oil. My accident was a very hard impact. Is there any way this could be from my accident??? Why was metal not mentioned when I had my oil change 1 month prior?? I need some advice. The body is perfect on this car. This is the first of any serious problems. What route should I take to get this repaired?? btw, the insurance company authorized and paid $4,900 work on the 2000 Toyota Avalon with 110,000 miles.

I seriously doubt that there was anything done by the body shop that could have damaged your engine, so if you have suspicions of that nature, I think that they are groundless.

Yes, the accident impact could have led to damage to internal engine components. I have even heard of cars whose crankshaft (a particularly sturdy part) was fractured by a collision that impacted the car just right (or is it wrong?).

Unfortunately, it is going to be difficult or impossible to prove the actual cause of this catastrophic engine failure. I strongly suspect that the accident is the cause, but proving it is something else altogether–especially with an engine that has 110k miles on it.

I agree with everything VDC said, except that at this point I’d suggest getting everything in writing from the body shop and then notifying your insurance immediately and get their cooperation.

It it’s your insurance paying under your collision, you may end up getting a fully documented teardown done to prove it was accident related. If it’s another party’s insurance and they’ve accepted liability, you may have clear sailing.

Find out what your insurance says first.

Sincere best.

The oil light measures oil pressure, not the amount of oil. It was a bad move to assume it was a sensor failure just because there was oil in the engine. It is possible your engine is dead because oil wasn’t being pumped to the appropriate parts of the engine.

There’s not enough info known to be precise here. The engine surely must have been making some noise before the connecting rod came loose for one point. Another could be the amount of oil drained out of the engine and were there any apparent external oil leaks?

It’s quite possible to have an engine or transmission damaged by a collision although insurance people may not buy into that theory because not being mechanics they simply can’t see how engine/transmission internals can be harmed by something that never touched them.

Just theory for moment. What if the oil pressure sending unit was damaged by the collision and this lead to a false red oil lamp warning; even an erratic one.
After driving the car a few miles the oil pressure sender end cap (usually plastic) blew out and since the sender is screwed directly into an oil pressure port this means much of the engine oil would be pumped out very quickly.
If this is the case it should be very noticeable to whomever drained the oil out of the car.

(For what it’s worth, many years ago I was involved in a wreck in my Corvette. The car was a total wreck and I parted it out. The engine, which ran great and did not use any noticeable amount of oil, was sold to a gentleman who installed it into an older Chevy Impala. After installation, this engine burned 1 quart of oil per 5 miles and it was determined that the sheer force of the impact had broken a piston and several piston rings on different cylinders. I’ve also seen several transmissions that were severely damaged by collisions.)