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On oil change no new oil was added...drove and knocking sounds

Wife had oil change on car. Place this was done didn’t put oil back in. Drove away and knocking/panging started and light came on…turned around to place where oil change was done. They put oil in. Knocking/panging went away. Nevertheless po’ed and talked to store manager and he said needed to have compression test before anything else could be done. I required oil pressure and oil sample test…Despite this everyone I talked to (some experienced mechanics) said these tests won’t show some damage…pretty much have to pull engine apart to rule out any damage…some stated if knocking/panging occurred, damage had been done.

Had tests done and tests came back OK…I mentioned my wife and I had been hearing weird sounds that weren’t made before. Tech said pretty much have to tear engine apart to be assured damage isn’t done. So what can we do now? Just feel that there was damage and even if the engine doesn’t blow in near future, it has severely decreased life of engine.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

I would quickly find the most vicious attorney in town and ask him/her to sue the shop. You’ll likely not get satisfaction otherwise.

Year, make, model and mileage on car would be helpful.

I’d insist the oil change place provide documentation of what happened. Get it in writing, both their admission of leaving the oil out, and whatever their policy is on making it right.

If this is a newer car… you may have cause for concern, in terms of shorting your engine life.

If this is an older car… you may not have much of a case.

Either way… avoid going to any “quick lube” places in the future.

That’s a waste of time and money if damages have yet to be proven.

Lawyers don’t work for free.


2013 Dodge Avenger - about 65K miles.

Wife wrote on back of paperwork that they did not put oil in. She had the person that worked on car and another person sign it. Not sure if how good that is but that is what we got now.

The shortening of engine life is my concern…at ‘least’ 90% of miles (and planned future miles) are highway miles…I drive it 70 miles 5 days a week for work. Thinking I could get 200K + miles out of this car without a wink…now that is likely not the case.

Planning on talking with the place (technically not quick-lube place, by name) after holiday. They messed up and tests performed do not rule out damage from what many I talked to.

Mail a certified letter stating your version of what happened to the oil change place, and ask them to respond in writing if they disagree. Then at least you’ll have an up to date set of documentation should the engine fail at a later date. I expect it won’t fail and the problem is resolved. If that happened to me, instead of a compression test, first thing I’d do is drain out the oil and sieve it through an old t-shirt or something, checking for an unusual amount of metal debris. If little or none found, probably good to go.

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Wife had written on back of paperwork we got from oil change when it happened and had the mechanic and other sign. Went back to oil change place after tests were done and talked to manager. He eventually gave us a 35k warranty right away after what my wife had mentioned…if there is any engine failure during that time related to the botched oil change, they would take care of ( this was on paperwork that had test reimbursement & and refund on oil change). Wish we would have went for more than the 35k. We’re hearing some weird sounds now…despite being ‘very’ subtle (not loud), still there after oil change that I didn’t notice before.

So even though mechanics have said if any engine failure would occur because of this, it would do so in next 5k/10k and longest 20K…I feel the life of engine had been decreased. Wife and I had talked earlier about trading in but now amount we would get would be impacted.

Just seem all over, not good. I was thinking of getting another oil change near future at respected mechanic place and see if they see anything out of ordinary (i.e. metal debris)

You are correct. The life of the engine has been decreased. The only question is at what point will it become undriveable? It may be 6 months or 6 years. Who knows.

A compression test will tell you absolutely nothing about the knocking noise. The compression test is for the engine top end; not the lower end where the bearing knock is at.
The only real way of knowing that is to drop the oil pan and remove a few main and rod bearing caps the fartherest away from the oil pump to see if the crank journals are scored and how much of the bearing overlay has been rubbed away.