Engine Failure-Extended Warranty Claim DENIED-Lack of oil culprit yet no dashboard oil indicator

honda
oil
pilot
warranties

#1

Malfunction lamp came on. Checked fuel cap. Lamp stayed on. Next day, VSA light came on. Called Honda, made appt. Got in the car to drive to appt, car wouldn’t start. 2006 Honda Pilot.

Had AAA tow car to dealership. Honda said no oil in the car, yet no “genie-lamp” in the dash, and the Oil Life indicator said 50%. Last oil change 3 months ago.

Honda said loose drain plug-sure enough, puddle of oil in garage. Honda said its not their problem, call the last place who did your oil change, its their fault, they need to pay for it.

Since I had no visual clue the car needed oil, I argued that point.

Honda said, there are two levels to the engine, the bottom level where the oil life/level sensor is was probably lubricated just enough to keep any visual indicators from appearing. But the top half was starving for oil and that’s why the cams seized and the timing belt jumped time.

They figured all this out by pulling the dipstick and reading the Diagnosis Codes?



The repair shop took the car apart, there were no metal shavings, metal filings, bad odor/burnt smell and there WAS puddles of oil on top of head.



So, how can Honda say lack of oil but once the car is torn apart, there’s no evidence of it?


#2

What did YOU see on your dip stick at the last fuel fill up ? ( visual clue )
Puddle on garage floor…visual clue.


#3

There is no way that this is Honda’s fault, and no way that they should have to cover it. You can argue how to split the blame between yourself(for not checking) and the last place that did an oil change. I’d bet that since it was three months ago, they won’t take any of the blame, and this seems reasonable to me. You had plenty of time to catch the leak.


#4

I didn’t see the puddle on garage floor because the car is always on top of it. And, possibly the puddle happened over night? A mechanic said that if there is a loose drain plug, the oil would drain out in days, not 3 months. Last oil change was November 11th. And that’s the last time the dipstick was looked at.

My question is, if the car needed oil, why didn’t the “genie-lamp” light go on?


#5

When my dummy light comes on the oil is already 3 or 4 quarts low ! ( 5 qt capacity, not a Honda. )
When I check the stick I add oil at 1 quart low…no dummy light.

Those low oil indicators are a float type switch that may or may not actually ‘float’ due to gunk and debris.


#6

I guess my only reply to your post Tardis is that since 2006 our maintenance schedule has been like clockwork. We have the oil changed every time the sticker or car says to. If the sticker said change in the next 3k miles, we’ve done it. If the oil life % indicator said its down to 20%, we take it to the shop.

Why would we sabotage the “kid mobile”? What would we benefit from not taking care of our cars?

What’s the point of buying an extended warranty if it won’t cover things like this?

If the repair shop AND Honda’s own inspector submitted a report that said, “There is no rhyme or reason why the car failed”. How can this be our fault?


#7

Ken, that’s the million dollar question, I didn’t get a dummy light at all. The AAA driver who came out to tow the car didn’t see one either.


#8

Sorry, I agree with Tardis. This is a problem between you and the oil change place, not with Honda. Nothing Honda did resulted in this problem.


#9

Ken,
When the repair shop took the car apart (valve train, intake manifold, timing belt covers, valve cover over mis-fired cam), they did not see any evidence of oil starvation. Like my original post said, no metal shavings, no metal filings, no bad odor or burnt smell and there WERE puddles of oil on the head. The Honda inspector confirmed these findings too.

In my opinion, we have done everything we’re supposed to in taking care of the car. We would like the extended warranty to cover the repairs. We’re not trying to scam anyone.


#10

"How can this be our fault? "
You let all or most of the oil leak out. You never even checked the oil level. That’s how it’s your fault.


#11

How does Honda know the engine failed due to lack of oil? They didn’t take it apart. They checked the dipstick and that was it. If you see my post to Ken, the repair shop took it apart, Honda’s own inspector came out and verified there was lubrication in the engine.

How does Honda know the car was driven without any oil in it?


#12

Tardis, why would I check the oil level when the car did not give me any visual clues it needed oil? The oil life indicator was at 50%, and the oil pressure indicator was NOT on.

I would like answers from mechanics please! If the car needed oil, why didn’t it tell me so? Why would it just break down after one day?


#13

They know there was no (or very little) oil in it when you brought it to them. Legally, I think that is enough for them to win their case.
What counter theory to oil starvation is your “shop” proposing?


#14

Tardis,
If you are a car mechanic, please read the following and weigh in…

When the repair shop took the car apart (valve train, intake manifold, timing belt covers, valve cover over mis-fired cam), they did not see any evidence of oil starvation. Like my original post said, no metal shavings, no metal filings, no bad odor or burnt smell and there WERE puddles of oil on the head. The Honda inspector confirmed these findings too.


#15

Apparently, you’ve never read your owner’s manual.


#16

So, why do they propose that your engine stopped running? Having puddles on oil on the head does not in any way establish that pressurized lubrication was going on. Either your engine seized or it didn’t. If it didn’t seize, then you don’t have much of any problem, but why would they do this level of dis-assembly if it hadn’t seized? If it seized, then there is only one reason, no lubrication. The no lubrication could be due to some internal failure, or to lack of oil. We already know it was lack of oil. I’m sorry, but you have to accept responsibility for not keeping tabs on the oil level. Your owner’s manual explains that you must do this.


#17

Oh, and I forgot to mention, when the car first got to Honda, they drained a quart and a half out of the car. I know the dipstick wouldn’t register that, but I just thought I’d mention it.


#18

@tardis: “You let all or most of the oil leak out. You never even checked the oil level. That’s how it’s your fault.”

Yet the PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO PAY HIM say there WAS oil in the engine. THAT’S HOW YOU’RE WRONG.

“If it seized, then there is only one reason, no lubrication.” REALLY? Are you sure of that?


#19

They say /you say, is one of the major sticking points that we posters try to stress when speaking against extended warranties.
That fine print will kill you every time and this is a classic example of why NOT to give them your money for a savings account gamble. They’ll find absolutely every angle to try to get out of it.

Is it a Honda extended warranty or one of the “extended warranty” ( aka insurance policy ) companies ?

As with other insurance denials, appeal, keep digging, keep re-submitting, keep needling them.


#20

could it have been lack of oil because the oil leaked out the night before? what about the lack of metal shavings? If there is no lubrication, wouldn’t that occur?

And shouldn’t the car have a warning system for lack of oil? In all honesty, how many people check their oil once a week?