Who's responsible for repair cost?

Yes the owner definitely needs to get it checked by a shop that is not affiliated with the dealer to figure out what happened.

North Carolina

Not sure how long the test drive was.

When I brought it in for service the dealership said the ticking noise was from a collapsed lifter

I checked the oil level after purchase and before taking to shop, both times it was good.

I also just found maintenance history on Carfax and the oil and filter were changed 4 times in the last 2 years.

Also this Avalanche looked almost new including everything under the hood. The outside was well cared for which is why it’s hard for me to buy the sludge story.

Pretty tough spot to be in. 5.3 liters of that year, lifter failure was pretty common. Maybe they diagnosed it as lifter noise when it was a rod starting to knock all along. Or, maybe they did forget to put oil back in. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll ever find out for sure. Unless you can get the engine replaced for less elsewhere (and you probably can’t since this shop is eating their previous labor costs), I think you’re kind of stuck…

That means nothing . I have a neighbor whose vehicle always looks clean as new inside and out. He has never done any of the suggested service to it and never checks the oil level .

Every year you read in the news about these ultra-marathon types, in peak physical condition, who drop dead in the middle of a race. Meanwhile, we all know older folks who have smoked and lived hard and die at 90.

Meaning…the condition of the exterior in no way indicates the condition of the interior.


Still it would be useful to take a look inside the engine and check the bearings for indications of no oil. Without evidence, no case but you have to pull the pan and take a look and the engine needs to at least have custody insured. Might be too late now but I would want to know.

Isn’t hydraulic-lifter failure usually the first symptom to occur when the engine oil pressure drops below spec?

I used to buy scrap from a guy who’d recovered from cancer. He drove an old F250 “camper special”. Cool truck, IMO. His bumper sticker read “eat right, exercise, die anyway”. I always found that pretty funny, but to be honest, there are steps you can take to reduce risks. Change your automotive fluids often. Eat right and exercise. Pray often. Have mercy on your brother. Bout all you can do. :laughing:. We all die at the end and all vehicles end up in the scrap heap.


Cam/lifter damage followed by a thrown rod tells me the engine was neglected in the past. It could be that the original owner knew this, dumped some Motor Honey in it, and traded it in with the dealer not being aware of it.

A dealer I worked for took in trade a like new Dodge with 40ish thousand miles. He hated Chrysler products but this one was slick. Sent it back to service for an oil change, filters, and general check over. Car ran and sounded great.
As the oil drained I went over the car underneath and could find nothing wrong with it.

After changing the filter and filling with fresh oil I hit the key and several rod bearings were hammering away. The person who traded it in had doctored the motor oil with “oil stiffeners” which had shut the bearings up
So the boss was now on the hook for another engine and after pulling the pan on the old one for a look see there were very obvious signs of oil neglect. That one was not very far from throwing a rod or two either.

I feel for a mechanic that has to be responsible for a repair he caused. I traded with a service station and the mechanic accidentally put a hole in the radiator when removing the fan to change the water pump on my 1965 Rambler. He took the radiator to a shop where the radiator shop was able to spot weld the problem. I offered to pay for at least part of the cost because the mechanic had always been fair with me. He wouldn’t accept anything for the additional repair. We finally settled the disagreement by me letting him borrow the old pickup truck I owned at the time so he could do some cleanup work at his house.
Several years ago, I had to have a new water pump on the Toyota Sienna I owned. I took the Sienna to my local Toyota dealer. After getting the van back, I opened the hood several days later to check the oil. I found that the technician had left a ratcheting box end wrench under the hood. I immediately took it back to the service department. A couple weeks later, the battery was dead on the 4Runner my wife drives. She had broken her foot and I hadn’t driven the car very much. I charged up the battery and used my voltmeter to check the battery and the alternator. All seemed o.k. but my wife was starting to drive again and the battery was several years old. I decided to have the battery and electrical system checked, so I went to the Toyota dealer. They checked the battery and electrical system and said all was o.k. There was no charge. The service manager appreciated the return of the tool.
The funniest free-be I had was on a 23.year old 1978 Oldsmobile.Cutlass. The left door was sagging and hard to close. I went to an independent body shop and was told I needed a new hinge and the shop would fix the door if I would get the part. When I went to the Oldsmobile dealer to get the part, the woman who ran the dealer’s body shop said that the door hinge was no longer available. I jokingly said that I purchased the car new from the dealer, which I had, and the salesman told me that parts and service would always be available. The body shop.manager then said, “We didn’t expect you to keep the car 23 years and drive it 220,000 miles, but let me see what I can do”. She went back to the shop and came back with a technician who was carrying a big box end wrench, a big drift pin and a sledgehammer. He loosened the bolts on the hinge, put the drift on the bottom of the hinge, pounded with the hammer and tightened the bolts. The door opened and closed perfectly. When I asked about the charge, I was told it was free. The manager said “We guarantee these babies 25 years or 250,000 miles, whichever comes first”. She and the technician just laughed and sent me on my way.
I have found over the years that being a loyal customer of a good shop and working with that shop pays off.


The best example of that phenomenon was Jim Fixx:

Good stories. Reminds me of a story comedian Dana Carvey tells. When he was a kid, he noticed his brother Brad clearly had gift, an interest & ability to understand scientific stuff. One day the mother complained the clothes dryer was on the fritz. Brad, on his own, took the dryer apart, discovered the problem, decided the manufacturer’s design wasn’t robust enough. So Brad invented an improved part, installed, and got the dryer working. Later, at dinner, the mom asked what he was doing with the dryer all day? Brad: “I fixed it for you mom. It will never break again.” … lol …

I used his book in my prior-to-geezerhood running pursuits, still considered one of the best books about running for exercise. As I recall he had an undiscovered heart condition of some kind.

Another anecdote—local dealership, has Dodge, Chevy, Mazda franchises, advertises “home of the 1,000,000 mile warranty”.
Yeah, right.

The local Subaru dealership got a new owner a few years ago, and the new owner advertises “home of the lifetime warranty”. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

While I have bought 3 cars from that dealership in the past, because Subaru doesn’t make a plug-in hybrid that interests me (they only have the Crosstrek hybrid), I won’t be buying my next car from them, so I won’t be able to determine just how of a lie that their “lifetime warranty” amounts to.

I suspect those warranties have holes in them you could drive a line of 18 wheelers three wide through them.


when I fix a work truck, I tell the driver he has a 10,000 mile, 10 minute warranty, that started 8 minutes ago. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


My Corolla came with a “bumper to bumper” warranty, forget for how long. The only problem that developed, around 18 months the interior dome light bulb burned out. The dealership shop honored the warranty, installed a new bulb. That one burned out in 2 months. Again they honored the warranty, this time the dome bulb only lasted one month … lol … Figuring this bumper to bumper warranty stuff, while good in theory, is wasting my time, I purchased a bulb from an auto parts store, lasted 15 years. The dealership must have got a entire shipment of faulty bulbs.