Oil Change Problems

The dealer changed the oil in our 2006 Toyota Camry. We drove approximately 200 miles over the next day. No problems. This morning my wife heard a clunk. Drove approximately 3 1/2 miles and the oil and engine light came on and the car stopped functioning. She opened the hood and oil was all over the place. She checked the oil stick and it was bone dry. The tow truck company and the dealer said the oil filter blew off. Apparently they put a non-Toyota filter on. I asked if they ran a compression test and they said they did not need to. Do I need to be concerned? What do you think?

I think the dealer accepts responsibility and repairs the damage.

On a similar post the dealer was offering an extended warranty on the engine. Is it a Toyota dealer using non Toyota filters, or did you buy the car used and it is another dealer. I doubt the filter actually blew off, either it was not tightened to specs or the rubber gasket from the old filter was still stuck to the frame, and created the problem. I would be concerned, and would ask for a complete engine check, and make sure you document this and any followups such as oil consumption, noises, cooling problems engine failure etc.

Some facts are missing. The dealer who changed the oil doesn’t think a compression test is needed? What actions did he take to verify the soundness of the engine, and what admission of liability has he stated so far? Did they just fill you with oil, new filter and let you go?

Do you have possession of the “bad” oil filter?

The dealership should take full responsibility for the problems, unless it can be shown that the oil filter itself is defective, in which case the complaint and reimbursement for remedial action shifts to the oil filter manufacturer. Under no circumstances should this oil filter in question be disposed of. If it is not currently in your possession, demand it and hold on to it. You may want it inspected by an independent mechanic.

I’ll stop there, right now, but be very careful in your dealings with the dealer, document all conversations on paper after you had them, and don’t let any physical evidence of the issue be disposed of.

Driving 3 1/2 miles without oil will severely damage your engine. The dealer needs to do a thorough test, and is LIABLE to replace your engine if the damage is severe enough. I know a person who had his oil “changed” and the shop forgot to put the new oil in. The car went 7 miles and the engine seized up.

The fact that the car stopped functioning tells you that the engine has seized.

There may be no need to do a compresion test since your engine is likely toast!

I had an oil fliter blow of a Ford years ago. Luckily the oil sprayed on the exhaust and caused severe smoke. I immediately stopped the car, and had 1 quart of oil left. The service station compensated me for a complete oil change and cleanup. No damage was done. This is a unique situation, where the engine was stopped before it ran out of oil.

In your car, I’m afraid the worst has happened.

If you drove all that distance without oil, and that lack of oil caused engine seizure, it should’ve been making some pretty awful knocking/banging noises. Did your wife hear anything like this happening by the time the oil light came on?

I think the engine is damaged goods and there really is no reason to run a compresion test at this point, although it wouldn’t hurt.

The first damage that will occur will be with the crankshaft bearings and crankshaft journals and a compression test won’t reveal any damage there.
It’s also possible that an oil pressure test may not even reveal any damage.

Depending on the extent of the damage noticeable problems may not appear for months or even years. The only real way of knowing would be dropping the oil pan, removing some bearing caps, and visually inspecting the bearings and journals.
There’s a 99%+ chance of engine damage based on what you’ve stated.