They didn't put oil in when they did an oil change

Oops. Oh well, back to the drawing board… :blush:

OP. Whatever the solution, going forward I think you’ve discovered the hard way that it’s a good idea to check the oil level on the dipstick before getting into the car and driving away from the shop after every future oil change.

As far as I know GM is the only one that used an oil pressure sensor in the fuel pump circuit.

Had one on my Vega. The electric fuel pump circuit went through the oil sending unit.

Now that I think about it, my generator set has a Honda engine that has the low oil pressure cut off. But that really has nothing to do with this thread.

I just took a look at my Acura service manual and they have the oil pressure switch to turn the light on but that’s it. Another $5 and they could wire in a shut off for low oil pressure. I just don’t understand why this isn’t done. Although it doesn’t happen very often the results of low oil pressure are catastrophic and it could be so cheaply prevented.

They are probably worried about the liabilities of turning the engine off when the car could be moving at 70 MPH. You lose power steering and power brakes. Car crashes and you could be killed. Lawsuits, as they could be held liable because they installed the cut-off.

The engine seizing at 70 MPH could be even worse, but that is due to other reasons… such as the driver’s negligence.

At least that is my guess at how the lawyers would think, always a chancy thing to do.

GeorgeSanJose: I have always checked oil level after a change even if I changed it myself. Every place I worked even while self employed that performed oil and filter changes used a revenue generation sorry! Safety inspection checklist which included “add appropriate amount of engine oil”. Also " check engine oil for correct level". Both prior to “start engine and inspect for leaks”. I can’t imagine a dealership not having a similar checklist.

Well happens to the best of us. I change oil on the cabin mowers and snow blower every year. Last year my BIL was in a hurry and I got rushed. I turned the push mower over to him and he started mowing. Then I looked and saw the oil container marked push mower. Flagged him down, shut it down and put the oil in. No harm no foul but I haven’t told anyone so keep it quiet. Still going strong.

“No harm no fowl”

Yes, it is fortunate that he didn’t hit any chickens or other fowl with the mower!


You guys are preaching to the choir…The OP is long gone…

"No harm no fowl but I haven’t told anyone so keep it quiet. Still going strong. "

Your secret that no chickens were harmed by the push mower is safe with me… and VDCdriver too.

“Yes, it is fortunate that he didn’t hit any chickens or other fowl with the mower!”

OK, you got me. Dang computers.

We may be preaching to the chior, but it is a good subject.

How to use a low oil pressure sensor, yet give the operator time to get off the road…would be a great advancement that would save many engines, yet protact the maker from liability.

But it would be easier to set the low oil pressure switch to not only show the pressure on the gauge, but a loud warning chime.
Instead of a chime, how about…Pink Floyd’s “Time” with all the alarm clocks going off and make it so loud you can’t ignore it. It could be a sound chip embedded in the ECM.


@Yosemite … your invocation of Pink Floyd into the discussion reminds me of an incident in high school. A group of us in study hall were listing to PF on the radio, instead of studying our books. So the instructor yells at us to knock it off and get back to studying. But we complain, saying this is pretty good music so we intend to take a break from the studying and listen to a few tunes from PF’s “Dark Side of the Moon” instead. So he says "Hey, you kids won’t be listening to that crap when you grow up! Once you know better about music, you’ll be listening to nothing but big band tunes and classical music. " .

Of course, such a thing never happened. I’m still listening to PF. Not all the time of course, like last night I was listening to Jimi Hendrix. I only listen to classical music and big band if I’m watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

That instructor guy, he also said if we wear our hair too long we’ll go bald as adults … hmm , maybe he had something there … lol …

Do you have any documentation that they had no oil or just their word?

You are not owed a new engine but used engine.

The problem with a used engine to replace a 54k miles engine is that no one knows what condition that comparable mileage engine is in.

It’s been my experience that roughly 35-40% of salvage yard engines, transmissions, rear axles, etc, have problems ranging from comparatively minor to outright junk.

The key is to not end up as a pawn in a wrestling match over a problematic engine and who is going to be responsible for it.
There’s also an arguable point about certain other things being replaced at the same time and whether or not the dealer considers those necessary. That could include a rear main seal, front pump seal for the transmission, timing belt kit/water pump if applicable, and so on.

My family Pontiacs (Bonneville and Grand Prix) And Chevrolets (2 Impalas) Have Oil Level Sensors Screwed into the oil pan and will relay a message to the driver when down more than a quart or so.

These are level sensors that alert a driver long before a low pressure situation and warning would occur.

My question is, “Why not just rig that sensor up so that if oil level is too low then the car will fail to start?” It doesn’t necessarily have to shut down an already running engine if that’s a problem for some.

Wouldn’t that help with the endless parade of folks who get screwed over by careless oil change incompetents? Also, it would save the bacon of some of the perpetrators.


Interesting idea with the loud music. “Eve of Destruction” comes to mind as an alternate tune. Then, how about dispensing a spritz of some rather awful smelling odor from a dashboard capsule that would make one want to pull over and evacuate the vehicle? It would send a hint to the driver that a very “stinky” situation is about to arrive.


Yeah my Buicks had that too. The message would come up on the screen if it was more than a quart low. Forgot about that. The only time it ever came on is when I had a pan gasket leak.

I think GM discontinued oil level sensors around '08. Wonder why. Cost? Liability?

When My Son Picked Up His 2013 Subaru Outback Recently, I Was A Passenger And Thumbed Through The Owner’s Manual. If I’m Not Mistaken, I Believe It Described A Low Oil Level Warning Feature On That Vehicle.