Need New Engine After Oil Change!



Can anyone make a connection between my oil change and needing a new engine? My car was running great when I got a routine oil change at Auto Express. When I let and drove 50 yards the oil light went on. I went right back to AE and they checked their work and said everything was fine. I drove to my mechanic’s (yes with the oil light on) about 10 miles and left my car there. The next morning the car would not start and there was metal flecks in the oil and I now need a new engine. Can anyone make a connection between the oil change and oil not circulating through the engine or suggest questions I should ask the mechanic? My car only has 82000 miles, has a 6 month old new timing belt and I needed a new turbo 3 years ago at 48000. It’s a VW Jetta TDI. Or any suggestions on what to ask the mechanic to check for or investigate when putting the new engine in that might reveal the cause of this unfortuneate problem. Still in shock. Julie


I’m afraid it was a very bad decision to drive the car ten miles with the oil light on. The engine probably would have survived otherwise. Even if your mechanic finds that Auto Express did something wrong, they’re now off the hook as far as paying for it.


Yep, you shouldn’t have driven it with the oil light on. Sorry but this ones on you.



Auto Express is NOT off the hook yet. First talk with them…And if that doesn’t work…get a lawyer. The fact that you drove back to the AE and they told you everything was fine it puts a lot of blame back on them too. Yes you probably shouldn’t have driven the vehicle…but AE should have really looked at it. Something is NOT right here. Engines don’t blow up after an oil change unless they didn’t put oil in it (which it looks like they did).


Still not putting oil in and driving 50 yards will not destroy an engine. Driving 10 miles with oil light will. Cannot believe they did not advise her against it.

Tough case and something amiss.

Hopefully we hear the end result.


Here’s my guess. There is a screen on the oil pick up in the bottom of the oil pan. The screen is there to keep large particle of metal from being recirculated with the oil. Your screen is gunked up. When they did the oil change the oil pump is drained of oil too.

When you started your motor after the oil change the gunked screen didn’t allow enough oil to be sucked into the oil pump. It is like any pump that has lost its prime, the pump was spinning but not moving any oil. This is why your oil light was on.

The oil change place should have told you not to drive the car with the oil light on. After an oil change a competent garage will run the motor and make sure the oil light goes off and there is oil circulating. Did this shop do this test or not?

Bottom line is you should never, ever, drive any car at all with the oil light on. As soon as that light comes on shut the motor off, even if you are on an expressway in the middle of a city or middle of nowhere you must shut the motor off as soon as you can get safely on the shoulder of the road.

The oil change shop didn’t help this situation at all, but neither did you by running the motor with the oil light on.


Theorizing here. Maybe they did not add enough or any oil, left a drain plug loose or whatever, and the OP returned.
Discovering their error, the AE added oil, replaced the plug or whatever, pronounced everything fine, and sent them down the road while praying the OP would be out of their hair forever.

This seems like a screwup by the AE. Whether it can be proved or not if push comes to shove is unknown unless the OP knows what transpired during this “checked their work and said everything was fine” business.


How often do you change your oil?? Was the oil light on BEFORE the oil change?


How could AE tell you “all is well” if you had an oil light on?


I change my oil every 3,000 - 4,000 miles. The car was running great beforehand…the oil light has never gone on since I owned the car for 5 year.


The oil light did not go on when the car was idling but only when the RPMs were higher. That’s why it took 50 yards for the light to go on. AE said the oil light wasn’t on when they started the car and drove it into the garage stall. Julie


Dear UT,
Does your guess still hold if I told you that the oil light didn’t go on when the car was first started or just idling but it had to have higher RPMs before it did like driving 50 yards. AE told me that the oil light wasn’t on when they started and drove her into the garage stall. Thanks Julie


Your explaination is contrary to my training. If your engine had bearing damage the oil light would be much more prone to be “ON” when engine RPM’s are low (pump is turning slower).

You left AE with no light on, drove 50 yards,light came on, went back to AE, said “oil light is on” they pulled car into stall (and during this drive into the stall no light was noticed). I conclude they checked oil level and looked for leaks,started car up, listened for engine noise, no problems noticed, sent you on your way, sometime on this drive too your next mechanic light came on, you continued to drive, second mechanic said, “all is kaput”. You needed to stop when light came on during the drive to second mechanic.

I am willing to listen to a circumstance when oil light is out at idle but on at rpm, perhaps related too an oil pressure relief situation.


Sounds like an obstructed oil pump intake screen, but who knows?? Nothing more will be learned until the oil pan is removed and things can be inspected…The “he said, she said, they said” won’t get you anywhere…


This settles it. When I can no longer do my own oil changes I will give up car ownership.


I manage a quick lube and what i’m surprised not to hear on here is where is the documentation that you had the oil changed and you we’re shown the oil on the full mark? Was there any record of AE showing that you returned after the initial oil change with the light on and what fluids we’re added and what was checked by whom to clear you on your way? Basically if you have no documentation that you had to return to AE the only documentation you do have is their oil filter is on that engine then they touched it last and is liable. That’s how the oil change industry works, if my filter is on it than we’re at fault by default. hope this helps, Steve.


U.S. Colleges graduate 300,000 new lawyers a year. USE ONE OF THEM!!! Turn a blown up Rabbit into an International Incident!


I would have the oil filter cut open, it sounds like you have a defective oil filter that isn’t letting oil through. The oil change place probably checked the oil level and that was all they knew to do.


thread bump


The part that was added about the oil light coming on only at elevated RPMs throws a monkey wrench into any opinion I had that the AE may be at fault.

At this point I have no idea what’s going on except that the AE may not be at fault now.
The car should not have been driven 10 yards with the oil light on, much less 10 miles.
A careful inspection, which may mean digging deep, should reveal the cause of this problem.