No oil in my new car after oil change

I lease a 2010 Toyota Camry with 4,000 miles on it. I had the oil changed at the dealership I leased it from last week. Tonight I was driving it home from work. The oil light came on and the engine sounded like a popsicle stick being placed against a the blades of metal fan when it’s turned on. It made the fan sound when I accelerated or pressed the break to slow down. I pulled in the dealership and they told me I had no oil in the car. My engine has been damaged if it’s making noise, right? They must not have put oil back in the car during my oil change, right?

To be clear, I started my lease 4 months ago. I had my oil changed (or so they said!), last week.

The engine is damaged goods and based on what you’ve stated they screwed up. Lack of oil, drain plug fell out, double gasketed oil filter or whatever, it shouldn’t be hard to determine what happened.

This should be on them.

If this is a V6, then there is a silent recall on one of the oil tubes, but most likely they forgot to put oil in it. Given the current problems, they better give you a new engine without much hassle.

Thanks, 4450 and galant.

It’s a 2.5L 4Cyl DOHC 16V w/Dual VVT-i.

There is fresh oil in my regular parking space. So the drain plug must have fell out?

I wonder if I should call a lawyer. I’ve never called a lawyer for anything but I don’t want to get stuck with bad engine.

That fresh oil could point to a drain plug or an oil filter problem although I’m leaning towards the latter. The oil filter on the 4 cylinder should be a spin on type.

Sometimes the original factory filters are installed with dry seals. After a few miles engine heat can cause the seals to stick. When the filter is removed during the first oil change the gasket remains stuck to the engine. When the new filter is installed this means a double-gasket and this will often blow out at some point.

What you are likely going to hear is something along the line of “we changed the oil, everything will be fine, yada, yada, yada”. No it is not fine. It only takes seconds to cause engine damage when oil pressure is lost and even if oil is added and it sounds fine to you there is still some degree of engine damage. How long it takes to go from not noticeable or tolerable to knocking is anybody’s guess.

Just my opinion, but a 2010 with only 4k miles should be taken back and they should put you behind the wheel of another one.
Hope some of that helps and good luck. (and it’s a fairly safe bet that you will hear some BS from them about this problem. Keep us informed of what this BS is.)

It sounds like you drove from wherever the light came on to the dealership. That’s going to be a complication in resolving this, as you were supposed to stop immediately when the light came on (unless it’s unsafe to do so).

Make sure they document lack of engine oil and if it continues to make noise have it fixed either by warranty claim or dealer’s pocket. You have documentation oil was changed by the dealership likely anyway so this is nothing to worry about.

Given this is a lease I would not fret much.

Start taking pictures for your own file. Pictures of the oil puddle, under the vehicle if possible, all angles to show what had happened.

Retain them until you find out what the dealer says.

“I wonder if I should call a lawyer. I’ve never called a lawyer for anything but I don’t want to get stuck with bad engine.”

No. Give the dealer the chance to do the right thing before starting a war. This assumes that you leased the car from the dealer that changed the oil. You should still give them the chance to make things right, but it is cleaner if only one dealer/repair shop is involved. I agree with OK4450 that you should get a new car, and you will have one at least until this one is fixed. Oh, remember to ask for another car while this one is fixed. They owe it to you. Read the lease carefully to see what, if anything, is written about something like this.

It just occurred to me that you can get the accelerator fixed while it’s in the shop! :wink:

They may correct the leak, fill it back up with oil and tell you no damage was done. Fine…Have them put that in writing, in a a letter that states THEY are responsible for any engine damage that might manifest itself at a later date… After all, it is their car, you are just renting it, so it’s not your problem…

I checked my parking spot this morning and there was a fresh oil. I took a picture of it.

I was given a service car to drive last night when I brought the clanking car in. I still have it.

I received a note from the dealership (they did the oil change) a little while ago:

“We?ve finished inspecting your Camry and have determined the reason for the low oil level and noise concern. When the oil and oil filter were changed on the 29th the o-ring for the oil filter canister was kinked which caused the vehicle?s engine oil to leak out. We?ve subsequently changed the engine oil and oil filter again to assure the service has been done correctly. I have had the car fully inspected as well as driven to verify there are no issues resultant from the vehicle running low on engine oil. I?ve had the oil leakage cleaned up and I do not expect any smell or other issues due to the oil leakage.”

After reading the note, I called them. The gentleman said that the noise was due to the lack of oil but was not evidence of damage to the engine. To be safe, he asked if I would drive it for a week and then bring it back so they could look at the oil. I told him that they could put some mileage on it and then check the oil because I didn’t want to drive a car that might be unsafe. They agreed. He then said that if there is damage they still might not find it after a long drive. He said it might not show up for a long time. I said that Toyota should have the car that might have damage that shows up in a “long time”, not me. I should have a new car that doesn’t have engine problems that might show up down the line. He said that that makes sense but that he couldn’t make that decision. The GM is going to call me back.

I think this jives with the advice I’ve been given. Sound right to you?

If I don’t get a new car, I can just give them the car back in 32 months. I can have them document that the fault is theirs if engine damage shows up before then or during my return inspection. But, won’t I be driving a potentially dangerous car?

I am so grateful for the helpful posts on here. I can’t thank you enough.

I think this jives with the advice I’ve been given.

The word you want is “jibes”, not jives.

Did you know “jive” is a pre-WWII slang for marijuana?

I’ve got cabin fever here in snow-bound Wash. DC.

You the customer will be dealing with someone at the dealership who quite likely has no clue. These people are service writers and service managers. Only one in a million has any idea how an engine works so anything they say should be taken with a bucket of salt.

What you are hearing is just what I told you previously that you would hear; a whitewash story.
The engine may run fine with no apparent problems but it’s damaged goods no matter what they say.

Ask them to define “fully inspected”. What the hxxx does that mean? Nothing.
Ask if they ran a compression test.
Ask if they performed an oil pressure test?
Ask if they dropped the oil pan and inspected a few of the bearing caps.

If they did not do this then what has happened is that they have added oil (with the possibility of an additive to thicken that oil), knelt on bended knees, and prayed for no knocking sounds. However, no knocking does not mean no problem.

I wouldn’t necessarily call this car dangerous but it could be a problematic one. It would only be dangerous if the engine let go while you’re trying to beat a train through the railroad crossing.
Let me put it this way. If you were looking to buy a 4k miles, 2010 Camry and discovered an incident like this had happened would you still want to buy the car?

usually, if the engine is making noise, and no oil is present, then damage is occurring. However, they seem willing to take the blame for what happened, and asked for a return visit after you had it for a week so they could check things out.
Be thankful, an unscrupulous dealership would have said it’s ok, just added some oil, and sent you off. Then you still have problems and they’ll tell you “You’ve got a Toyota, they’re the best car company around, there are never any problems with Toyota.”

OK. OP, here. The service guy called back and said the car drives well with no noises. I asked and he said he would run a compression test and drop the oil pan to inspect the bearing caps tomorrow. He said that my oil pressure is low and that that test wouldn’t show anything.

They said they’d be willing to extend my power train warranty to 100,000 miles. But, I’m not going to be sure that the warranty covers everything. I won’t understand the fine print.

Also, it sounds like I have a greater likelihood of the car breaking down, right? I often drive 3 hours to visit family members. What if I’m stuck halfway? I don’t want to inconvenience my family. What if I’m on my way to an important meeting for work? I can’t break down.

I think I should fight for the new car. What do you think?

Good God. They owe you a brand new (not rebuilt) Engine. Period! They have insurance to cover this stuff.

This kind of damage won’t likely cause sudden failure. What’s more likely is it will become an oil burner or knocker before its time.

Whenever anyone, including myself, works on my car I do an immediate visual inspection, including looking underneath for any drips while the engine is running.

They don’t owe Martinque ANYTHING!! It’s not her car! She is just leasing it. She has the letter where they accept responsibility for any future problems. End of story…

Martinque, if you are worried about it, ask that you be released from the lease for safety reasons. If that engine seizes up when you are driving it, that could be a problem, and if there IS engine damage, that COULD happen…

If it runs OK for 2 weeks, chances are it will make it to the end of the lease without any problems…