What are the odds the engine was not damaged

My daughter recently got her oil changed at Jiffy Lube. Turns out they did not tighten the oil filter. She brought it in to her mechanic as soon as it started running poorly and he told her there was no oil filter. He later found it in the street in front of his shop. Jiffy Lube sent someone over to install a filter and oil. Jiffy Lube said they would refund the cost of the oil change. I would think the oil must have leaked out before the filter fell off. Obviously this can be far more serious than the cost of an oil change.

What is the likelyhood that the engine is damaged?

The odds of engine damage are glued to 100%. JL is starting the process of stonewalling and the issue may have to be pushed but she should be able to prevail.

JL is just reverting to the normal denial mode.

Ditto to what OK4450 said. How much damage was actually done is tough to guess without pulling the cap off of one of the crank bearings. Even then it’ll be tough to assess.

Start looking for a lawyer NOW. JL is notorious for NOT honoring claims after they screwed up…or stonewalling and hoping the complainant will give up.

Was there any oil left in the engine?

If the filter is backed off 2 turns from seated there will be virtually no oil pressure. If the lack of oil pressure caused the engine to run poorly there is most certainly a great deal of damage. Certainly, a lawyer should be the next person you contact.

Did the oil pressure light go on during this event? Was the car driven with the light on?

If one immediately notices the loss of oil either through the oil light or smoke from oil on the exhaust manifold, there probably is no damage. However the young lady drove until the oil was virtually all gone, and then engine damage is extremely likely. JL likely owes you a rebuilt engine.

I had my car, a straight 6 Ford, serviced, and the oil filter was not on tight, it got looser, and sprayed oil all over the exhaust manifold, causing an underhood fire, which I quickly extinguished. Had the car towed, and they told me there was one quart at least left. I paid the bill and drove back to the city, and got a full refund on the original oil change. The car ran well, and used no oil until it was traded.

This was a unique situation, where the oil filter is located directly below the exhaust manifold, and the smoke started even before the oil light came on.

JEEZUZ…the boys are probably correct here… That engine would have pumped out any and all the oil that it could in seconds! How long did we drive here? The moment you heard engine noise took a little while to happen…and during that time is when the damage was occuring.

THEY WILL PAY FOR THE OIL CHANGE??? WHAAAAT? They did this…it is their fault and no amount of oil will fix it now. The guys are correct Chances of easily reparable engine damage are almost NIL… It would need a full rebuild to remedy this type of damage. Those IDIOTS! I wonder how many X this happens out there?

If you fill up the engine with oil and tighten everything.see how it runs…but the liklihood of severe damage is present…almost definite. This sucks.

HOw long did she drive it like this?

My daughter drove 36 miles from time the oil was changed until she brought it to her mechanic and he saw that the oil filter was missing. She noticed the problem this morning and drove immediately to her mechanic a few blocks away.

Thanks for all the comments. They have been very helpful.

Oh GOD…thats not good at all. WHat kind of “noises” are we talking about? Did it sound like a bunch of loose nuts and bolts flying around inside your engine? From what you told us the engine doesnt really stand a chance Esp since the oil rapidly flew out of that engine the second it lost its filter…I mean ALL of the Oil Psi is directed into that filter and would very very rapidly shoot out a gallon of oil…we are talking about 10-15 seconds here. After that you essentially had no lubrication going to all the essential engine components. Didnt you see a ton of SMOKE behind the car as some of this oil should have found its way onto the hot exhaust pipe… No matter…we are still talking about an entire engine rebuild or a new “used” engine to fix this issue… Believe me…JOKEY LUBE…already has their ducks in a row to thwart any of your engine damage claims…eventhough they definitely caused this engines demise…no one else is at fault here… They need to step up to the plate…but I know that is the last thing they intend to do for you.


Wasn’t the oil light lit? While I don’t want to minimize what JL did, if she drove the car with the oil light on, then she is contributed to the destruction of the engine. If it started running poorly, it won’t get better.

YOu can BET that the Oil light was lit up an screaming…shut me off, shut me off…NOW…PLEASE!!! That oil light would have illuminated near IMMEDIATELY upon the loss of the oil filter.

I STILL to this day want the oil light to force the engine to shut down and the driving to STOP…I have been thinking of this system for a long time now…and have several ideas on how to accomplish this… People should not be allowed to continue driving when the oil light illuminates…that is the ONE AND ONLY…NON IGNORABLE…“Idiot Light”

The most complex system that I have has in mind for years would LOUDLY announce over the speakers… " Vehicle SHUTDOWN will occur in x seconds" " Pull over…vehicle shutdown in x seconds " LOL… I have other ideas too…but always wanted this to be in practice… I even made one of these systems for a Honda Powered Go Kart…It worked…and worked well. lol


On vehicles with a distributor, the coil (-) wire can be jumpered to the oil pressure switch and there will be no ignition when the light is on. I have wired portable welders and air compressors with gasoline engines to shut down. Portable welders, air compressors, water pumps, etc., take a heck of a beating and get no attention unless and until they fail. If the unit had a gauge there are T fittings to add a warning light switch. Most close and turn on the light at about 10 to 13 psi. The engine will not start until the oil pressure opens the switch. I would not recommend that in a car driven on the highway.

I have a Troybuild generator with an 8 hp Briggs and Stratton engine. It has an automatic low oil shut off. I’ve never tested it, but I have seen the wires running from the oil sump to the ignition.

My 1975 Civic had the oil light/sensor circuit and electric fuel pump tied together with a relay.
How far could the car go on a float bowl of fuel?
Thankfully I never found out.

My Chevy Vega had an electric fuel pump that ran off the oil sending unit. If the sending detected low oil it would shut off the fuel pump.

Well you might get some argument from those who say that it might shut down the engine in a dangerous place, but then continued running of the engine without oil will shut it down eventually.

The oil light does not get enough attention though. I have seen it in places where it is blocked by the steering wheel if you are the right (or wrong) height. It is small and could go unnoticed by a driver paying attention to a potentially dangerous situation on the road.

At the very least, the light should flash and it should be hooked up to the chime that warns you of headlights on after shutdown or the parking brake on when moving. A chime to warn you of damaging a $60 battery, but silence for potential damage to a $6000 engine? That does not make sense.

A light and chime, then a gradual drop in throttle response to idle, then shutoff.
This would be possible in a modern vehicle.

I agree with all of you…the meager little oil light doesnt really represent the EXTREME damage that is about to occur…I agree that it should shut you down…hell that was sort of my idea, wasnt it? LOL… Other than that…which could be dangerous…it should be wired to the speakers to make an annoying chime that cannot be ignored or shut down…

Keith is right…if we had an oil light shutdown mechanism…which is very easy to rig up…it would shut the engine down on you a bit unexpectedly and possibly put you in harms way…Keith is correct in saying that the engine grinding to a halt due to oil starvation.isnt going to stop at any convenient time I’m sure…so I say we go with an annoying chime or alarm…