Is the Mechanic at fault

My guy took his car to a local mechanic to get it tuned up . Had the oil changed 2 thousand miles ago, so it didn’t need to be changed. The mechanic removed and replaced gas filter. Claimed battery was bad, but yet car started up, so I didn’t get that done. Changed ignition wire, spark plugs and air filter looked good. Replaced broken vacuum line and an alignment. Paid $318.00 for that work. This was on 1/11/11. A couple days after picking it up, the car acted like it wanted to die when it got up to 50mph. No big deal, it’s an old car. Today stopped to get gas, tried to start, nothing. Tried to jump car and when that happened it threw a rod, literally, through the oil pan. All oil came pouring out. Is the guy who tuned up the car at fault for this? Could he have done something to cause this to happen.

I don’t see how the mechanic caused any damage. As to throwing a rod, the events leading up to that don’t seem related to any work done by the shop.

It’s unlikely the mechanic had anything to do with this. Now for the rest of the story.
Who changed the oil?

Just based on what you’ve related here, it sounds like the engine did not have enough oil for some reason or started leaking oil.
The sluggish running could have been the engine trying to seize up and this was a warning sign.

No noises during this sluggish running, no oil lamp flashing on, no rattling or nothing?

The guy who tuned up car is the same guy who changed the oil. We told them to change the oil if needed, but the lady called back and said that we didn’t need it yet because we had it done a couple months ago. No oil light flashing, noises only happened when it got up to 50mph. As soon as he would take foot off gas, the noise would stop. Today the mechanic guy at gas station, said the oil was real black.

This will be near impossible to determine from my standpoint. The noise as described sounds like a rod bearing problem and this is usually fatal to an engine.

The black oil as described could be due to either an engine sludge problem or someone not changing the oil previously. The latter could be an oversight rather than a deliberate act.

Engine sludge can ruin an engine and removal of the oil pan to check both pan and oil pump pickup screen would reveal if sludging was behind this problem. If the pan and screen are reaonably clean then it could point to the oil not being changed, or even checked.

Rod bearing noise can also be due to high miles. One big sticky issue here would be this. You state the oil was changed 2000 miles back. Has the oil level been checked on a regular basis during that 2000 miles? If not, this could fall back on you for allowing the oil level to drop too low.

What year Escort and how many miles were on it?

No big deal, it’s an old car.

You answered your own question why it happened…not the mechanic…

Car is a 1998 with 160k miles…

Also, We’ve had the car since 2005 and had the oil changed on a regular basis.

What is regular? How many miles between oil changes and what viscosity oil was used?

Every 3000 miles, I believe the oil is SAE 30.

Well, that could be the problem, unless you really mean 5W30.

An engine does not break a rod and push it through the oil pan unless something seizes during opertion. In this case I’d guess it was a connecting rod bearing.

The problem is that it’s impossible to guess what the “root cause” was without analyzing the parts. It could, and probably is, from simple wear. The rod bearing typically rides apart from the crankshaft surface on a pressurized oil barrier. But it’s not perfect, and the surfaces do wear. If they wear enough such that that space becomes too large and the oil flows through and out too readily, it can lose the pressurization of the fluid film, the surfaces rub together, and seizure can happen.

I seriously doubt of the mechanic caused it. If you’d said "the rod went literally through the pan and NO oil poured out, then, perhaps, I’d be suspect, but it sounds like he did, in fact, refill it with oil.

There’s about a dozen questions that need to be answered before the finger could be pointed at the mechanic.
Starting with the one I asked earlier about whether or not the hood was raised to check the oil level between the time of the oil change and the rod exiting the motor.

Not unintentionally. Who knows? You can add metal filings into the engine via the oil cap and the engine will destroy itself soon thereafter.
The battery obviously was bad. You had to jump the car to get it start before it blew up. So the mechanic was right about the battery, but you were sure he was just trying to rip you off. Did you get into it with the mechanic? Did he have the car to himself for awhile after you did?

To answer your question, no it was not checked in between the oil change and today.

We did purchase another battery, it’s still here. Car has been starting fine until today, so we haven’t put it in yet. We dropped the car off on 1/6 at night so he could get to it first thing the next morning. All we wanted was oil change, if needed, an alignment, and a tune up, balance and rotate tires. That day was a Friday, @ 5pm I called said is car ready, no. Ok fine, left it there all weekend, Monday came, not done yet, alignment had to get done. Tues came was ready, which was the 11th. The car was driven about 30 miles for 2 days. Sat in driveway this past weekend, drove it yesterday 30 miles, and then this morning about 2 miles, and it threw the rod. Someone else took their car there about a yr ago, and ended up needing a new transmission the next week. It went in for an oil change. It seems so suspicious to me.

It could be 5w30, not sure.

The mechanic at the gas station, where it happened, stated it was a connecting rod.

So you put 2000 miles on it and didn’t check it once in a while? Sorry, it’s your own sweet fault. You can’t blame the guy who changed the oil.