How far can a car go after it blows an oil filter?

My car,a 2005 Toyota Camrey, stalled and went for a few blocks before stalling again.It would not restart. I had it towed to the dealer. They called and said there was no oil filter on the car and it would need a new engine.

The place where I got the oil changed went out to look, a rural area, and could Find no oil or filter in site.

I went out a drove the route and found a big oil splat a few miles from the place where it first stalled but could not find a filter. This was two days later.

The oil change place thinks the dealer is pulling something and will only pay the labor portion. Having them do the work would affect the dealer warentee.They can’t believe that I heard nothing, felt nothing and smelled nothing.

How far can a car go after blowing an oil filter? It was early morning I was going about 40 mph. I made only one turn soon after the spill. It was at the second turn that the power stearing was out and I realized that I had lost power.

From what you have said it totally sounds like the oil change place is at fault. Why would the dealer take off your filter and say it was the oil change places fault?? What would they have to gain??

The car is under warranty? YES?? Then if it was a toyota fault the dealer would still get paid for the job. They have nothing to gain hear.

Not far. Without a filter there is no oil circulating. I couldn’t say exactly how far…but a few miles would be the MOST.

I’d get a lawyer involved quickly. The sooner the better. The quick lube place is 100% at fault and needs to pay for it.

And hopefully you’ve learned your leason and don’t go there again. Find a good local mechanic and have them do it.

You might get a few miles, as you did, until the oil drains out and the engine ceases to be.

This is one reason why you should never go to a quiklube place… unless you enjoy catastrophic vehicular damage.

My daughter had a similar situation happen in a 91 Corolla. She went three to four miles before the oil light came on. She stopped immediately, got a tow and retraced her route with the tow truck driver. They never found a filter, either, so this situation can happen.

The oil change place took full responsibility, and fortunately there was no damage. The tech swore he put a new, correct filter on, but it was never found. I had a written agreement with the affected insuror that we would reopen the case if I discovered engine damage with the next twelve months. Fortunately there was no damage and we owned the car past 225K miles.

The oil change place should take full responsibility for their actions. There should be no surmising that the dealer has some other axe to grind, and isn’t “playing fair”. What counts are the facts.

You should accept no compromise on an equivalent replacement engine installed at no cost to you. Be firm in your insistence and be prepared to go to court to gain satisfaction if necessary.

You should have noticed the oil light coming on, but that’s beside the point.

An engine will not go very far at all when the oil filter falls off, or blows off. It’s a matter of a few blocks usually; if you’re lucky.

There are a couple of reasons why a filter could have blown off. One is that the oil change facility is using a knock-off bootleg filter of dubious quality; as in lousy threads and the other possibility is that they may have used a one size fits all filter and the threads did not quite match up.

Usually the knock off filters are on the shelves in (usually) white or yellow boxes with few if any markings, so you might think back if that is the case here.
These knock off filters can be purchased from an importer for much less than what they would pay for a name branded filter, so you can see their incentive there.

It’s also possible that someone left the filter loose and it just fell off, although I’m leaning toward the first scenarios.

Sorry, they owe you an engine; both the part and the labor.
Of course they will stall. That is the modus operandi and things like this are somewhat common with the oil change facilities.
They have to pay, but you may have to push.
Hope that helps.

A car cannot go far without its filter. As soon as the pressure in the lubrication system drops, the pressurized film between the crankshaft’s bearing surfaces and their bearings disappears. The surfaces are normally kept apart by a pressurized film of oil, but as soon as the pressure disappears oil is no longer being forced in between the surfaces and the protective film disspates. The surfaces can run dry for only a short time before they begin to self destruct and quickly bind up (seize). That’s the failure mode by which the engine stops turning, and that generally means a new engine (or total rebuild).

I think you need a detailed report from the dealer and a good lawyer. You may have a hard time proving responsibility.

Good answer, ok. I just a day or so ago posted on an oil filter problem where posters insisted a filter could not come off by itself. My son’s g/f indeed had one blow off, one of those from Wal-mart, like ToughGuard. He put it back on and it lasted 1/2 block. I stopped buying Wal-mart filters, and go to Toyota and buy theirs, it’s not worth the savings.

I agree completely, once the majority of the oil is pumped out you will lose all oil pressure (oil light comes on). At that point the engine is running without lubrication and will operate for a very short time (maybe a minute or so). By the time you hear any noise, the damage has been done.

Why are so many oil filters falling off these days? I may have had one in my entire life, but I was right there, running the motor after an oil change, and shut it down right away. I never found the reason for the filter blowing off either, I just bought a new one and installed it without a problem. This is one reason I will always do my own oil changes and stuff . . . easy things can end up going SOOOOO wrong. What’s an engine for this car go for anyway? Whew!

Maybe the manufacturers should hook up the oil light to the buzzer, then drivers would notice it sooner. BTW, once the oil filter “blows off” or gets loose and leaks in anyway, or even gets plugged up, the oil pressure drops to zero, regardless of how much oil is in the pan

I agree, a buzzer would be nice. A very few cars are/were equipped with a buzzer and warning lamp that came on when a gauge went out of acceptable range. Autometer has a nice set up that does this and allows you to set the acceptable range with their aftermarket gauges. I should install one since my oil pressure gauge is really an ?on-off? indicator, my view is blocked with the steering wheel when in the most comfortable position, and there is no light.

In addition to the warnings I’d like to see loss of oil pressure kill the fuel pump. Connecting the two circuits with a relay ain’t that tough.

Thank you all. I got a lawyer and he said. since they are blaming eachother, have it towed to a third party. The third party, who would have loved to blame the dealer, found evidence of oil leaking around the filter, and says the filter blew off. He is taking pictures of everythiny and is doing the work for $l000. less than the dealer wanted.

In addition to the warnings I’d like to see loss of oil pressure kill the fuel pump. Connecting the two circuits with a relay ain’t that tough.

The Chevy Vega had this. The fule pump was connected to the Oil Sending unit. If the sending unit sensed low oil preasure it would kill the circuit to the fuel pump. The only problem with the Vega design was where the sending unit was. It was right next to the filter and was EASY to disconnect.

In addition to the warnings I’d like to see loss of oil pressure kill the fuel pump.

All of my GM vehicles are wired like this from the factory.

We did? Yeah, that’s right. I forgot!

  • mountainbike

The oil change place probaly has liability insurance that covers them for such mishaps. They likely don’t want any bad PR or their premium to go up so they are trying to get out from under any liability.

As much of a pain it can be sometimes, I almost always change my own oil jsut so i don’t have to deal with stupid problems caused by carelessness.

In the end I am sure you will get a new engine provided to you. It is just a question of time.
I wish you the best with it.

Frankly it is not likely to have been the filter.  It is for more likely an iinstallation error.  Leaving a gasket on or not tightening enough or too much.

[i]Why are so many oil filters falling off these days? [i]

Quick oil change places