Horrible Experience dealing with Chrysler, any suggestions?

I’m getting the runaround by Chrysler Case management regarding my Town & Country with only 60,000 miles. I’ve had the rod bearings go on the vehicle TWICE in 3 months. They are saying I’ve neglected the vehicle (I went 4,000 miles w/o an oil change) so they won’t cover the repair. There is obviously something very wrong with this engine. The oil was down to only 1 quart after 4,000 miles - this is not normal.

Much more of the story is needed as per the usual.

Buy the vehicle brand new, as in 4 or 5 miles on it?

If you bought it brand new how often were the oil changes performed both as to mileage and time from Day One?

How often do you raise the hood to inspect the oil level?

Do your own oil changes or is it someone else and you rely on them?

Who changed the rod bearings?

Help to clear up the murkiness to some degree.

If you have had the rod bearing go out twice in three months, I would suspect that you have a defective crankshaft. Your owners manual should list the oil change interval that you are required to follow. Most recommended intervals are well above 4000 miles, but you will need to check your owners manual.

Chrysler probably doesn’t recommend oil changes more often than 4.000 miles, so this can’t be an important detail. We don’t have enough of the background to know what really happened between you and Chrysler. You’ve given us a small portion of the whole story.

“The oil was down to only 1 quart after 4,000 miles”

So you drove 4000 miles without checking the oil level? That’s neglect!

agree with curcuitsmith. They aren’t denying your claim because of the 4000 mile interval on its own. The fact that you drove it so long with so little oil gives you no basis for a claim.


Anyone who allows his crankcase to get down to the level of only one quart is negligent, pure and simple.
And, whenever owner negligence is involved, car companies do–and should–deny warranty claims that can be linked to that negligence.

While there may well be a defect in the engine, by ignoring the basic, simple task of checking the dipstick every few weeks, the OP has undoubtedly exacerbated whatever underlying problems existed in the engine to begin with. Or, in other words, he shot himself in the foot.

Hopefully the OP will learn some valuable lessons to apply with his next car.

Check The Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual. I’d Be Willing To Bet That It Admonishes Owners To Check Engine Oil (And Correct Level) At Every Gasoline Fill-Up.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Most car manufacturers say it’s normal for their vehicles to consume a quart of oil every 1,000 miles and recently here somebody said one manufacturer claims 750 miles is normal consumption.

Another reason (it’s the one I live by) is to try and catch a minor oil problem, should one occur, before it becomes a major one. No need for a little leak at a valve cover or oil filter, etcetera, to blow an engine or ruin rod bearings.


The oil was down to only 1 quart after 4,000 miles - this is not normal

You’re right! It’s one thing to come in with a sad story about excessive oil consumption and quite another to admit you let it get that low. That’s what roasted the bearings. If you had kept an eye on it and gone to them complaining about excessive consumption, they may have covered the root problem. Once you let it do consequential damage from negligence…off the hook!

I really hope that you meant to say that the engine was only down 1 quart.
Not that there was actually only 1 quart left in it after 4k miles.

Please tell me you wrote that wrong.


Could you give us some more details about this story? What caused the bottom end of the engine to go out each time? What was the totality of the work done the first time? Who has been doing the work? What year is this Chrysler minivan and which engine are we dealing with? From what few details we have so far, from a mechanic’s point of view, all the blame for both failures rests on you and none of it rests on Chrysler or their engine designs (if this is one of their 60 degree V6’s, it’s a tough motor and very hard to kill unless it is murdered). It’s one thing to go 4k miles between oil changes, which normally will not damage or even shorten the life of an engine, it is quite another to go that far without checking the oil, and if it ran out of or nearly out of oil in that time, you were not doing your job as a vehicle operator and checking and filling the oil as necessary. A quart of oil consumption every 1k miles is acceptable and fairly normal. It is not a defect because every internal combustion engine will burn some amount of oil. If the story really goes the way you make it sound, it really is a case of negligence and Chrysler owes you nothing. If you are extraordinarily nice to them, and are profoundly lucky, they may help you out on this on a good will basis, but they certainly are not obligated to. Your best bet right now for fixing this van affordably and effectively is to install a used engine in it and to check the oil regularly from here on out, adding as necessary. I suggest installing a used engine because your present one, having been run low enough on oil enough times to destroy two sets of rod bearings, will definitely have damage other places and probably leave you with a blue cloud following you everywhere you drive. Sorry, but unless there is further, less incriminating evidence you are leaving out, Chrysler is off the hook and it is indeed owner negligence.

jokma wrote:
The oil was down to only 1 quart after 4,000 miles - this is not normal.

Unless something failed catastrophically and let all the oil out at once, they’re right that this is neglect. When did you check the oil last before this point and what was the level at that time?

If the oil level is not being checked by the OP and they were having someone else do the oil changes it’s possible that this vehicle could have been in a number of times for oil changes with the oil level being down who knows how many quarts.

It could be that the OP never knew it was down 1, 2, 3, or even 4 quarts and whoever was doing the oil changes may never have noticed it either. Loosen the drain plug, roll the drain under it, and then meander off to get a new filter while the oil drains out with no one being the wiser.

The odds of this being a Chrysler caused problem are about zero IMO.

The OP asked for advice, and that advice is get a lawyer.

It seems to me the motor was toast due to running on little to no oil at 4,000 mark. I wonder what noises or symptoms lead up to the discovery of no oil in the motor? It seems the OP didn’t check oil level so something happened, but just what isn’t in the post.

So, rod bearings were replaced twice, but still there is a problem. Is it engine noise? Is it buring oil? Is there blue smoke out the tailpipe? If replacing the bearings didn’t fix the problem, then the crank is likely damaged in some way and the only real fix is a new motor. Is this what the OP expects from Chrysler?

I haven’t picked up a new car in years, so I wonder just what folks are told about checking the oil level when they pick up a car. I remember part of the delivery process was showing the new owner how to check basic stuff, like oil levels and how often to do so. Since many drivers seem to go oil change to oil change without ever checking the oil level themselves I’ll guess this point isn’t being communicated effectively anymore.

The OP doesn’t want to hear that it could be his or her fault for not checking the oil level. And Chrysler doesn’t want to cough up the expense of replacing a motor that was damaged due to lack of lubrication from no oil in the oil pan. The OP is going to have to get a lawyer and the lawyer is going to have to find an expert to state the bearings were faulty out of the factory and that running the motor with only 1 qt of oil in the oil pan had absolutely no ill effects on the bearings. Not likely since bearings are the most critical parts of the motor and lubricating them is critical to a motor functioning properly for a long time.

UncleTurbo, Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. Telling the OP to get a lawyer is only going to make him pay more money for naught. He’s not going to win any sort of lawsuit as from what he’s told us, he’s been negligent. I’m sorry, but posting that he needs to get a lawyer is foolish. Frankly, and we all want others to be frank with us (it saves us from our own stupidity at times), he’s at fault for not checking the oil. He’s unfortunately not going to win any litigation as they will point out his negligence in a courtroom and with any luck at all he won’t be found guilty of a frivilous lawsuit. That’s exactly what it would be.

That said, Jokma, I am sorry, but from what you have said, there is deffinately something wrong with that motor, and 10:1 it’s not repairable. Again, unfortunately, the blame lays on you for not checking the oil and keeping the oil within the tolerance level. Waiting 4000 miles between dipstick checks is not good. If you were checking it only to wait to see how far down it would go in 4k miles, then shame on you.

As far as Chrystler is concerned, they owe you nothing, and can literally void your entire warranty for this one incident. Legally. I also wouldn’t blame them. I’m sorry, and I hate to put it so bluntly, but it’s the truth. I’d rather you be blunt with me if this were my post, than to have it sugarcoated and be told something like “get a lawyer.”

That said, I hope you are able to get a good used motor or even a new one, you’ll have to save. I hope it teaches you to check the oil regularly. Atleast once a week. The older the car, the more often. Good luck!

I have to agree with Beninsd, regarding the wasted expense in hiring a lawyer in this instance. The chances of winning any settlement from Chrysler is somewhere between unlikely and impossible, and hiring a lawyer is just going to add to his expenses, unnecessarily.

I think Uncle Turbo’s post was tongue-in-cheek. A lawyer could no sooner prove what Turbo describes than could he or she travel back in time and top off the oil.

I suspect the OP won’t be surfacing in this thread again.

Thanks mleich for reading my post completely and yes it was “tongue-in-cheek” to suggest a lawyer. Perhaps too subtle for some.

“I’d rather you be blunt with me if this were my post”

OK @beninsd, Turbo’s humor went right over your head. All work and no play?