How do you think this damage occurred on filter

Engine blew! See link! Trying to understand how this damage may have occurred. Insurance says a mechanic would have done this damage, therefor they are not obligated to pay for car. I’m in a pickle. Thanks!!!

As a consumer and not a mechanic, it looks like whoever installed it used a plier type tool and punctured it. Still you always have to watch for oil leaks on the ground, check the oil level regularly and pay attention to any warning lights. Insurance is off the hook but whoever changed oil last may not be. A long hard road though getting them to pay for it.

Lots of questions in the meantime though. Who did it, how long ago, how often oil was checked to mitigate your loss. Then need to contact them to give them a chance to correct the problem. After that you can have it fixed and go to court to try and recover the costs. Save the video.

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How much time passed between the oil change and when the engine damage occurred?


This is the complicated question. Last oil change was completed in November by jiffy lube. I went to jiffy lube on 6/25 to have registration, emissions test, and oil change completed. They told me my oil was full and not burnt. The next day I drove an hour out of the city and my engine blew due to no oil in vehicle.

What does that mean?


That was a big mistake going to IFFYLUBE.


Sorry. That was unclear. When I went in on June 25th, I asked for them to check oil as I thought I needed an oil change. They let me know I didn’t need one, it was full and not burnt. Oil change was not completed.

I couldn’t agree more! I will never go to them again.


In as much as 8+ months have passed since the oil change, I doubt Jiffy Lube will accept any responsibility. I don’t know about your state, but emission testing should not involve any under vehicle work.
Expensive lesson:
1). Only use a well rated independent shop or dealership.
2). Read how to check your oil according to directions in your owners manual.
3). Any warning lights on your instrument panel must be understood, again owners manual will explain.


I think you pulled in over the drain pit at Jiffy Lube. The guy working in the pit sees a car over his head and goes to pull off the filter and screw a new one on, just like he does all day long. But the guy working “topside” says you don’t need an oil change yet.

By this time the guy in the pit has already pulled off your filter with his filter pliers or strap wrench, damaging it in the process. Which is no big deal, since nobody cares what happens to a used oil filter. But now he’s told to cancel the oil change, so he just screws that oil filter back on, unknown to him that his pliers have punctured the shell. So off you drive with a new oil leak, and a few hundred miles later the engine is empty.

I have seen this exact thing happen.


Then that damage to the oil filter was caused by being struck by road debris after the June visit.

Because the oil would have been low at the June visit if the damage was done at the November oil/filter change.

It sounds to me that the insurance company is trying to get out of paying a claim.


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I did pull over the drain pin at jiffy lube. This is what I suspected as well.

Can damage like that occur from road debris?

Road debris.

Stuff laying on the road or that falls off a vehicle that you run over that goes under the vehicle causing damage.

Here’s an example


What is this insurance that you are referring to ?

I am not sure about the road debris. this vehicle should have a plastic belly pan that would deflect most road debris.

USAA is the insurance company

I was told there is no damage to the plastic belly, hence that is why insurance determined it was mechanic

Seems pretty likely whatever caused the oil loss occurred on the June visit. My guess is the same as asemaster above, some sort of mis-communication among the shop staff.

Miscommunication pretty common when talking about car stuff. I asked a parts store staff for a auto-adjusting parts kit for drum brakes, the little gadget w/the rotating toothed wheel, cable, adjusting lever, etc, instead they gave me the brake-spring kit.

I recommend when folks get an oil change they check the oil in the shop parking lot before leaving, looking for leaks under car as well, then do the same before the first start the next morning. But in this case, no reason for you to do that, b/c the shop told you they didn’t change the oil. Suggest you schedule a chat with the shop manager, ask for an investigation, who on staff was working that day, any known problems with their work, etc.

As mentioned above, good idea to use a well-recommended inde shop for this car repair and maintenance work, rather than a chain. Ask friends, relatives, co-workers who they use.

For future reference, this isn’t how oil changes work. You need to change it as instructed by your owner’s manual. It doesn’t matter if it’s full or not and you really can’t judge if it’s “burnt” or not by looking at it.