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Oil change nightmare?

Joined
22 May 2003
Messages
26
Location
Rancho Murieta, CA
OK, it only happens to other people, right? I got my oil changed(not the dealer, but not by fly-by-night place either) Apparently they forgot to tighten the plug...and you guessed it...I ended up on the side of the road. The minute the oil light came on I pulled to the side of the road & shut the engine off. I get out and sure enough, no plug. I had my NSX towed to the nearest Acura dealer. I am not sure what I am more afraid of, them telling me I need a new engine, or them telling me I don't. So, here's my question? Is there anything I should be concerned about if Acura tells me everything is OK? If I have a problem 10k miles from now, I will always wonder. If you haven't already guessed I don't work on my car and know very little about it's inner workings.

Any advice will be appreciated. :confused:
 
All I can say is good luck. You are going to need it.

You are probably OK. There isn't much you can do but drive it like it never happened.

but...typically problems from something like this show up a year or two later and many thousands of miles later. The culprit dealer will deny coverage at that point.

Might have been better to have just run it into the ground and made slag out of the engine...thereby forcing them to put in a new engine. Then again they might deny based on "driver negligence"

What is best: do your own work, that is if you want it done right.

Drew
/professional means they do it for a living, not that they know what they are doing.
 
Similar thing happened to the owner of a car stereo shop I used to go to with his BMW M6. The offending shop eventually paid for a new BMW race motor for this car. However, it was in court for a while with his car down for that long as well.
 
The chance of no damage at all is very unlikely. The oil light comes on at 3 to 5 psi!! In my business, we call it a 'too late light'. That is why you have a guage, but honestly who looks at it all the time. That is why guages like SPA and others have min setting alarms. I digress-

If the dealer you use is competant, I would have them remove the valve covers, V-Tech oil distributor, and cam bearing #3 on all four cams and check for any signs of oil starvation. If you were in 'agressive' mode when the light came on, you are probabally in trouble. If you were not, this area will be the least oiled and always shows trouble. I would also remove the oil pan and look at it in the bright sun. If you have any bearing damage, or small end bore damage, there will be gold sparkle visible in the oil that did not drain.
ANY sparkle, make your demand for a new motor.

Make sure the repair order from the dealer indicates, 'Car towed in, crankcase had no oil, drain plug missing'
You may need it.

Good Luck,
MB
 
I had my buddy who had a 95 civic had same experience with Jiffy lube. Seems like the Honda engine still going strong at 150k!!! But it's no NSX, the 127hp civic engine is cheap enough to ignore. The $7000 nsx motor is in diff. league. I would make this a big deal, and talk to your lawyer if it's needed to get some money off from them. In case they don't want to get your engine replace, they should still give you a big fat check to cover rebuilt in case of failure in the future. IMO. I'm no expert since I don't have any serious problem with dealers myself (cross my finger, but I don't take my cars to them for anywork I can perform anyway.) I would say talk to them, stay clam and polite, but make sure they KNOW that you are upset. Be reasonable and get any promise from them in writing, I'll say, if things will happen as Drew mentioned
but...typically problems from something like this show up a year or two later and many thousands of miles later. The culprit dealer will deny coverage at that point.
Ask them for next 6000 miles, if anything happened to the engine that related to shortage of oil supply, they are going to be responsible for the repairing performed by certified Acura nsx tech. (somebody correct me the technical on the oil supply part, please... :) )
 
NSXDreamer2 said:
The $7000 nsx motor is in diff. league.
The list price of a new NSX motor is around $23,000, as I recall, although such a large dollar parts purchase is often discounted. You can buy used ones for widely varying prices.

Perhaps you mentioned $7,000 because you were recalling the price of a new transmission...
 
Have you called this place to inform them of your findings? If so, what did they say?

Like others have already mentioned in this thread, recommend changing your oil as a DIY.
 
NSX Prime is awsome. I want to thank all of you, and please keep the advice coming, especially from any professional mechanics. This happened to me at 6:00 PM PST Thurs. night. It took 3 hours to do the tow truck thing getting my car to Acura then home. The first thing I did was post my problem on NSX Prime. By 11:00 I had two responses. This morning I wake up and check...there are eight. The NSX is an awesome car and its' owners/fans are equally as awesome. A Ferarri may turn more heads but an NSX will turn more miles. That's why I bought it!

The Acura repair slip says:
Comments: Towed in
customer states had oil changed and drove about 30 miles and oil pressure dropped to none...discovered no oil pan drain bolt. Oil light came on.
check and report.

The dealer said a new engine would be $35k ouch. Im sure that would come down.

I'll keep you posted.

PS I don't know if it matters, the car has 56k miles on it.
 
Re:

"If the dealer you use is competant, I would have them remove the valve covers, V-Tech oil distributor, and cam bearing #3 on all four cams and check for any signs of oil starvation. If you were in 'agressive' mode when the light came on, you are probabally in trouble. If you were not, this area will be the least oiled and always shows trouble. I would also remove the oil pan and look at it in the bright sun. If you have any bearing damage, or small end bore damage, there will be gold sparkle visible in the oil that did not drain.
ANY sparkle, make your demand for a new motor."


The dealer said they were going to put oil in it first and start the engine. Will that change the condition of the oil starvation signs?
 
Darn it, treat your engine like a crime scene!!!

If you are going to press a case then Don't F with it.

Take off the valve covers, document and photograph. Maybe even take samples. You are going to need evidence to press your case.

Blame can be shifted once the dealer starts trying to fix things. Get down there and DOCUMENT THE CRAP OUT OF IT.

Drew
 
So did you leave the car at the dealership or drive it home???


Stiddy said:
NSX Prime is awsome. I want to thank all of you, and please keep the advice coming, especially from any professional mechanics. This happened to me at 6:00 PM PST Thurs. night. It took 3 hours to do the tow truck thing getting my car to Acura then home. The first thing I did was post my problem on NSX Prime. By 11:00 I had two responses. This morning I wake up and check...there are eight. The NSX is an awesome car and its' owners/fans are equally as awesome. A Ferarri may turn more heads but an NSX will turn more miles. That's why I bought it!

The Acura repair slip says:
Comments: Towed in
customer states had oil changed and drove about 30 miles and oil pressure dropped to none...discovered no oil pan drain bolt. Oil light came on.
check and report.

The dealer said a new engine would be $35k ouch. Im sure that would come down.

I'll keep you posted.

PS I don't know if it matters, the car has 56k miles on it.
 
drew said:
Darn it, treat your engine like a crime scene!!!

If you are going to press a case then Don't F with it.

Take off the valve covers, document and photograph. Maybe even take samples. You are going to need evidence to press your case.

Blame can be shifted once the dealer starts trying to fix things. Get down there and DOCUMENT THE CRAP OUT OF IT.

Drew


Agreed!!!

Be sure to have the service manager back up the finding with service documents. Get EVERYTHING in writing and stay in constant contact with the oil change place so as nothing gets "forgotten". Did you ever get a responce or comment from them? What are they saying as far as the liability factor? Keep us posted.
 
update:

Left the car at the dealership.

They put oil in it and started the engine. Said "sounds fine" recommended inspecting top end.

Contacted oil change place... they have accepted responsibility... for now. Have offered to pay top end inspection, but mentioned if engine needs work investigation will have to be done.

The car is at Elk Grove Acura. I don't know how competent they are with NSX's. I will go down to photograph,(video if necessary). Isn't it ironic, I own a motion picture/commercial company. I used my NSX in a spot once before. If anyone is interested check it out at www.stiddystudios.com ... click the Stiddy Studios logo then proceed to the film section...samples..."Bucktooth Beauties"

I feel like I have a friend in the hospital. Does that sound crazy or what?

I do not want to be paranoid, but I want my friend healthy again.

I'll keep you posted.
 
NsXMas said:
Never ever use Jiffy Lube unless your car is a POS.
I'd take it one step further and say to never, ever use Jiffy Lube unless you don't care if your car lives or dies.

Inexperience + Quantity over Quality = Luck of the draw.
 
So was oil still dripping out of the oil pan, or was it complete drained? I'm no expert, but it's my understanding that when the engine is running, it pumps the oil from the pan into the internals. Granted, you would loose oil pressure while the engine is running (the light turns on), but wouldn't there still be oil in the engine until it's shut off?

And what about those commercials where they show the oil attaching itself to the engine components so even when there's not oil, it's still providing lubrication? :biggrin:

Would I be extremely worried...no. Pissed off, HELL YEAH!! But that's why I do every bit of maintance (I can do) myself. I don't trust anyone.

How far did you drive before the light came on? Was there an oil trail behind you when you stopped (meaning there was still some left)?

Good luck, keep us posted
 
CDX_NSX said:
I'd take it one step further and say to never, ever use Jiffy Lube unless you don't care if your car lives or dies.

Inexperience + Quantity over Quality = Luck of the draw.
I completely agree. In fact I personally know someone here who had a pick up screwed by a Jiffy lube oil change (forgot drain plug).

You'd figure Jiffy Lube would have a huge sign that says "REPLACE the PLUG!!!" and have 2 or 3 other people check it and sign to the fact that the plug was replaced.

Ah well...
 
It wasn't jiffy lube!

It was a locally owned well respected jiffy lube competitor. I go there to support the locals, etc, etc, etc. I can't say I wouldn't go again. This is truly an unfortunate situation.

Oil was coming out of the pan after I stopped. Nut sure how much found the pavement after I stopped. I got to sit and watch the blood flow to the pavement... under the Michelin Pilots... to my feet.... by the curb I was sitting on. Not an experience I would like to repeat. I would guess 1/4 to 1/2 a quart came out.

Am I worried?

I'll put it to you this way.

If Acura gave it a clean bill of health would you buy the car today?

If you would all say yes. I am not worried.

They begin operating in a couple of hours....I'll be there.
 
Stiddy said:
It wasn't jiffy lube!

It was a locally owned well respected jiffy lube competitor. I go there to support the locals, etc, etc, etc. I can't say I wouldn't go again. This is truly an unfortunate situation...

Unfortunate; maybe for you. But a total lack of competence is what I would call it. Even if the drain pan bolt was hand tightened, I think it should have lasted for at least a 30 mile drive, probably not too much longer though. It doesn't matter what shop did the oil change, whoever did it was was not careful and probably caused thousands of dollars of damage to the engine. Oil is the blood of the engine. Without it, the engine will die or be severely damaged. The smallest amount of oil starvation can cause a great amount of damage. The first thing that I would have checked out are the crankshaft bearings. They are probably shot.

I learned the hard way what happens when driving for even two minutes with low/no oil pressure can do to an engine. Fortunately it wasn't with my NSX, but it still cost me $8,000.

Good luck and please don't let them off the hook by going back there for future oil changes. I would tell ten people how they screwed up your beautiful, exotic and rare NSX. :mad:
 
One more thing. Do not let the dealer add more oil and run the engine. Have them take off the oil filter and put it in a sealed plastic baggie. Then find out who should cut open the oil filter to look for metal shavings. If there is any damage it will show up in the oil filter.

-Good luck.
 
DocL said:
If there is any damage it will show up in the oil filter.

-Good luck.

I agree with a lot of the comments here, but you might not find much in the oil filter if the oil was gushing out onto the road instead. Your problem may be serious, or it may be minor. The problem is that you won't know until a significant amount of time and money is spent dropping the motor and opening it up. I wouldn't look at a clean oil filter as a sign that your motor is not damaged. The oil filter MAY give you an indication if there's something wrong, but it may not.

Depending on the conditions of the roads in your area, you may also backtrack the same route you took to see if there is a spot on the road where a telltale line of oil began on the pavement.

Take lots of pictures, and document everything including any phone conversations you have with the shop you took your car to.

:frown:

I'll be honest with you. One of the reasons why I learned how to do most minor (and a lot of major) maintenance on my car is to avoid nightmarish stories such as this one. Changing your oil is a very simple process, and I guarantee that the person who screwed this up would never have done this if it were his own car. People get paid to work on your car, and (for the most part) they really don't have the emotional attachment to pay attention to details sometimes. Unfortunately, this is a very sad story on how easily a small, routine procedure can completely ruin your day when it's not done right.

I really hope that this all works out for you. I'd be :mad: LIVID :mad: if this type of negligence were done to my car. Keep us posted on how it goes!

Chuck
 
I'd be a little concerned, but don't stress yourself out too much. I'd say you have a 90% chance that it is fine. You did exactly what you should. If you pulled over as soon as the light came on, then I think you're probably fine. What kind of oil do you run?

This is one reason I run Mobile 1. In my race car, it has been known to flash the oil light at me in a high G turn. As long as the pan is full, I don't really sweat it with Mobile 1 in there.
 
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