Two-and-a-half years ago, I bought a new 2010 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. It now has just over 45,000 miles on the odometer, and I get the oil changed every three months. In October, I took it to Dealer A, where it was purchased, for routine maintenance. At that time, they told me the oil was 3.5 quarts low. They couldn’t see any reason for this and told me to check the oil in a few days and bring it back if it was low.
The oil never read low after that, and I had the oil changed again in January. Last week, while driving on the highway, the check engine light and the anti-lock brake light flickered & then went off. A few miles later, the lights came on again, the engine began making a clattering noise, and the car lost power. I took the first exit, the engine died, and I was able to coast the car into a local mechanic’s shop.
At the local shop, they told me the oil tank was over-full and smelled of gasoline. They told me the motor would need to be replaced. I have an extended warranty, so I called Subaru and was told to have the car towed to a dealership. The car was towed to Dealer B because it was much closer (a 20 mile tow vs a 60 mile tow to Dealer A). They put it on a rack, presumably checked the oil, told us the oil tank was empty, the motor was ruined, and it would not be covered under warranty because the Jiffy Lube that did the last oil change was to blame.
Jiffy Lube refused to send a rep to look at the car, so my husband watched while the Dealer B mechanic removed the oil filter. He videotaped this and has the oil filter. The round gasket on top of the oil filter is a bit loose. Dealer B says this loose gasket is the cause of the oil loss, so Jiffy Lube is to blame. The mechanics at the local shop say that this loose gasket situation happens all the time and would not cause the oil to leak out. They still swear that the tank was full when they looked at it. We also checked the floor of the garage where the car is parked every night, and there are no oil spots at all.
I would love to have some opinions about what might have caused the problem. It seems as if either the Subaru extended warranty or Jiffy Lube’s insurance should cover this, and both groups are pointing the finger at each other. We’re also concerned that if Dealer B is lying to us about the cause of the problem, they might not be the best people to fix the car.