Greetings Fellow Car Talkers,
Well the mystery of the vanishing oil form the 2014 Chevy Cruze has been solved. Per my earlier post - one day we suddenly had an alarm tone and Low Oil Pressure Warning – Shut Off Engine. We had the car towed to the closest dealer to find out what the problem was. I got a call in about an hour from Jerry the service manager.
The oil pan plug threads were badly damaged - about as bad as they’d ever seen. Jerry said that whoever did this knew what had happened because they tried putting in an after-market plug, and the wrong one at that. He said that there was about 1-1/2 to two threads left on the pan. He said from the look of the plug it appeared as if someone may have had tried to tap/hammer the plug into the pan trying for a better seal.
He said that while they don’t see this issue a lot he said that there are aftermarket plugs made for just that situation. He said the 8 out 10 times they work just fine but in this case the threads were so mutilated that the entire oil pan needed to be replaced. He is going to give us the old pan and plug back when we pick up the car tomorrow. He said if we had a few minutes to spare he wants to explain and show us what happened and why the old pan couldn’t be saved.
We’ve had the car since February of 2014, and aside from the first six months dealer free service program, we have always taken the car to our local Big-O for oil changes. We haven’t taken the car anywhere else as there have been no issues or problems until this. We know most of the guys up there and they’ve been good to us so far. I think very highly of them. I deal with the manager all the time. I plan on going up there in person on Saturday with the pan, plug, and the bill for the repair.
My guess is one of the newer techs ruined the threads and panicked. They grabbed an after-market plug and tried to make it work. When it wouldn’t thread he tried tapping it in until it stuck. I doubt he told the manager and had no conscience about what might happen once the car left the shop. The bill for the repair and tow is right at $575.00 and I think I’m justified in asking that they take care of the bill.
I’m not mad because I understand that stuff happens. I understand that the manager can’t watch over all the techs and that sometimes they’ll hire someone whose ethics fall short. With that in mind if they take care of the bill I’ll consider the matter resolved. A couple of my friends think I’m naïve to think that they’ll take care of it. They think I’ll be asked to leave and that will be the end of it unless I see them again in small claims court.
Just curious as to what you guys think about this and if you’ve have any similar experiences (especially with Big-O) and how they turned out.