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Engine Seized after Oil Change by Precision Tune

My girlfriend just purchased a new car, so I took over the payments on her 2000 Isuzu Rodeo. It had issues, but drove fine. A week before I got it, she had the oil changed by Precision Tune Auto.

Since the oil was changed, the oil light on the dashboard has been lit.

It has probably been drive about 50 miles (or less) since it was changed.

The other day, on my way to work, the engine started clacking and knocking loudly no matter if the gas was pressed or not. On the exit ramp, the car died and failed to restart.

I got to work and during my break went back out to the car. She had successfully started it and driven it 100 yards until it died again in the meantime.

I checked the oil and nothing registered on the dipstick. I proceeded to put in 5 full quarts of oil until the dipstick finally read “Full”

At that point, I took the battery out and had it checked by AutoZone. It read good. The battery was in perfect working order.

I returned to the car and reinstalled the battery (45 minutes or so later). I checked under the car and there was NO oil leaking. Also, the oil filter was completely clean and white.

The car still doesn’t start and doesn’t turn over at all. No starter clicking, no nothing. No response when I turn the key.

Is it possible that the mechanic at Precision Tune auto forgot to replace the oil after draining it and now they owe me an engine?

I’ve had it towed there and they are supposed to be inspecting it tomorrow.

It seems vary likely that the new oil was never added.

I have no idea whether or not its as simple as “they owe me an engine” however. You drove the thing for 50 miles with the oil light on. Did it ever occur to you to check the oil? I’m surprised you made it 50 miles. You shouldn’t drive 10 feet with the oil light on. This is partly on you now.

If the car was driven for 50 miles with the oil light on they can probably claim that it was owner negligence and get away with simply refunding the oil change. I am surprised it made it 50 miles with no oil however, is it possible that this car is an extreme oil burner? I’ve seen Isuzu Rodeo’s that needed 2-3 quarts of oil added at every fuel stop.

I hate to say this but, They owe you nothing. You and your girlfriend knew the oil light was on and continued to drive it. Sorry you just bought a very large paperweight and have know one to blame but yourselves.

I should clarify, the oil light wasn’t completely lit. It flickered and went on and off. I SHOULD have checked the oil, yes. I didn’t even think to. I figured it was a sensor issue since the oil had JUST been changed.

I don’t understand how they can forget to replace the oil after draining it, and it be owner negligence? Sure, the oil light was flickering, but I trusted that the oil had been changed by a reputable company. And I only had driven it for an hour at the most with the oil light flickering.

As far as it being an extreme oil burner, no issue like this had presented itself before. This would be the first instance of it burning oil at all. Much less 2-3 quarts between fuel stops.

What they’d claim is that yes not refilling the oil was their fault, but the engine seizing was your fault since the car was indicating a problem. I don’t really agree with that reasoning but that’s what i’ve seen happen in the past in situations like this.

I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I can trust the “advice” of someone who mistakes “know” for “no”.

That said, IF they neglected to put ANY oil in, as soon as it had been driven at ALL, damage would have occurred. And therefore repairs for any damage done would be warranted.

Also, shops have insurance to cover mistakes like this, right? And don’t all cars come with warning lights?

I’m Willing To Listen. When You Observed, “Since the oil was changed, the oil light on the dashboard has been lit.” . . . You Must Have Had A Reason To Not Be Overly Concerned About That.

Please explain your thinking.


Speaking to the manager on the phone, he said that any damage done as a result of them not putting oil in (if that were the case) would be their fault. I would think that’s accurate.

Speaking to the owner of another shop affirmed that. IF they indeed forgot to replace the oil after draining it, then damage done as a result of that would be their fault… regardless of the oil light being lit.

Sound like they’re willing to take responsibility then. I’m just speaking from what i’ve seen with shops taken to court and the reasoning for why courts will not assign 100% blame to the shop for the reasons I’ve stated above.

The car had a Check Engine light for quite some time. As long as I can remember. The codes it has thrown have been related to fuel sensors and things that don’t need to be replaced in order for the car to remain running. They were things I was intending to repair, but hadn’t until that point.

I thought it would be something related, especially since the oil had just been changed… or so I thought. I should have checked the oil, absolutely, but that doesn’t make it my fault.

Any distance driven without oil would have caused damage to the engine… right? Damage that should be covered by the shop that failed to replace the oil.

Thanks, and that’s definitely what I’m looking for… and idea for what I’m dealing with.

It’s possible the oil light was flickering before. And therefore it flickering anymore would be the norm.

“Any distance driven without oil would have caused damage to the engine… right?”

Essentially, yes.
That is why you should have immediately shut down the engine as soon as you observed the low oil pressure warning light, and had the truck towed back to the shop.

Think about it.
You refilled the crankcase.
How will you prove that you added 5 qts of oil if the shop claims that they correctly filled the crankcase?

If you had immediately shut down the engine, you might have avoided trashing it, but even if it was already trashed, at least the evidence of a dry crankcase would have been obvious if the truck was towed back right away.

If the shop takes full responsibility for this situation, then they are extraordinarily righteous.
Many (perhaps most) shops would claim that driving a car with a glowing oil pressure light was the proximate cause of any resulting engine problems.

Good luck with this situation.
And, may I suggest that you not ignore any dashboard warning lights in the future?

UPDATE! OP here, I just stopped by the shop where the truck was towed (they were closed today). It’s been sitting in the same spot for 48 hours and oil is dripping from the drain plug. Not only is it still dripping, but the ground below the truck is COVERED with oil, almost all the way to the rear axle. I took some pictures and a couple videos. So it isn’t that they completely forgot to put oil in it, it’s that they failed to tighten the oil drain bolt down.

This is clearly the problem, right? I haven’t touched the oil plug, only put oil in.

I have a receipt that shows I purchased oil. Not that it matters, but I do.

It’s more likely that they overtightened the plug and stripped the threads on the oil pan.

Are You Planning On Being Present When They Open Up Tomorrow ? Let Us Know What Happens, Please.


Yeah, and it’s your fault. Whether they didn’t tighten the drain plug like you suggested, or they overtightened and stripped it like Tardis suggested, it was a leak. This means that had you stopped when the oil light came on and had the oil level looked at, its extremely likely that the problem could have been caught and fixed before enough oil had drained out to leave the engine vulnerable to damage. Because you failed to do that, the engine got destroyed when it didn’t have to be. I don’t think they’re responsible for the destruction of the engine. At most they owe you a new oil pan.

I know the difference between “know” and “no” and their usage. While grammatical errors irritate me too, I’d have to say that PvtPublic’s advice was sound. You hopefully have learned that if the oil light comes on for any reason while the engine is running, you should investigate the issue instead of ignoring it. You were a fool for not taking the 3 minutes of your time that it would’ve taken to check the oil when the light first illuminated.

I hope you can get some recourse from the lube place, since the problem was caused by them, but they may be able to effectively fight it due to your negligence.

Good luck.

You drove 50 miles with a flickering oil light but the oil changer still agrees to fix the engine? I don’t get it,what problem are you having? you should go buy a lottery ticket with this kind of luck.If you were my customer you would be pushing that thing off my lot,sue me.