Dealer screwed up oil change - Now what?

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
I have a 2015 golf TDI Sportswagon with 110000 miles on it and took it to the dealer to have the oil changed. Two days late I am driving and my oil pressure light comes on. I could not pull over for a few miles. Turns out the mechanic at the dealer folded the oil filter gasket and basically all the oil blew out of the engine. The engine still runs. I have requested an oil test and the car is still at the dealer. Any suggestions on what action to take or what I should do. There was no overheating but what is the likelihood that my engine was damaged.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
I'd tell the dealer to find a comparable car that you could trade even for. They'd probably respond better to that request than if you told them you want a new long block.
 

ticaf

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Location
US Mid-Atlantic
TDI
Stock 2015 Golf SW S Manual TDI
Depending on how long and how hard you drove the car after the oil pressure light came on you might be OK. (My guess is 20 secs of idling is OK, which is enough time to move to emergency lane)
Dealer Basically broke my oil filter cap from over tightening. They also dont put the right oil in. Sad they can't even do an oil change properly.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The block may be OK, but if oil pressure was low for a while (which it is if the light is on and the alarm sounds) the turbo may fail soon.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
The turbo would go before the engine would. And it would probably go quickly. If it is OK, it is probably fine, and the engine is certainly OK.

I've worked at a dealer, and often the "lube techs", which are not actual real certified technicians, are the ones tasked with oil changes, and they screw things up repeatedly. It happens.

The lube goon at Volkswagen didn't know where ALH oil filters were, so he just stashed them in a bottom drawer of his toolbox. When they finally fired him, after what had to be the fifth or sixth drain plug fell out or wheel fell off, they discovered the unused filter elements in the box.

We had porters at Lexus jump in cars thinking they were done and drive them away with no oil in the crankcase. It happened weekly.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Well, it is under a cover.... and, back in the late '90s, it was the only VAG product to be like that. All the rest were underneath screw on type, except the VR6, which was a cartridge but still underneath. The idea of a top side oil filter was not as common as it is today.

Still, no excuse for not ASKING where it is.
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
Well, it is under a cover.... and, back in the late '90s, it was the only VAG product to be like that. All the rest were underneath screw on type, except the VR6, which was a cartridge but still underneath. The idea of a top side oil filter was not as common as it is today.

Still, no excuse for not ASKING where it is.
How many oil coolers did he loosen up? ;)
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
I'd tell the dealer to find a comparable car that you could trade even for. They'd probably respond better to that request than if you told them you want a new long block.
Problem is there is no comparable
trade.
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
The turbo would go before the engine would. And it would probably go quickly. If it is OK, it is probably fine, and the engine is certainly OK.

I've worked at a dealer, and often the "lube techs", which are not actual real certified technicians, are the ones tasked with oil changes, and they screw things up repeatedly. It happens.

The lube goon at Volkswagen didn't know where ALH oil filters were, so he just stashed them in a bottom drawer of his toolbox. When they finally fired him, after what had to be the fifth or sixth drain plug fell out or wheel fell off, they discovered the unused filter elements in the box.

We had porters at Lexus jump in cars thinking they were done and drive them away with no oil in the crankcase. It happened weekly.
Unbelievable. I took it to the dealer because I thought at least they would know what they are doing. Never again.
 

TDeanI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Location
Bremerton WA
TDI
'97 Passat TDI Wagon w/ 286K mi.
I would ask/demand from the dealer,:

1. a rebuilt long block, or
2. a full engine extended warranty to cover any failures for at least two years or 30k miles.
3. Or I would make them pull the oil pan and allow yourself (or your own mechanic) to visually inspect the rod and mains bearings to verify that no engine damage was done. If there is any wear or abnormality, they replace the bearings. All of them, and fix any other bad components found.

The cam or lifters may have overheated and scored the cam or degraded the surface hardening. The oil pump may be scored. Many things can fail with loss of oil. And since there was no oil circulated for a while, an oil test on the remaining oil may show nothing since there was no way to pick up metal debris where it formed and deposit it in the pan. You should test the oil on your next oil change too. What is your oil pressure now? At idle? At speed?

The engine may run, but the bearings may have over heated and are now toast. You could throw a rod anytime in the near future. Just because the coolant and the gauge didn't show hot doesn't mean the bearings and journals didn't overheat for a short time. Engine heat transfer into the large mass of coolant takes a few minutes. Look at how long it takes to warm up your car in the morning enough to have your temp gauge move.

If they offer that they will pay for any future repairs, you would need to get that in writing in detail. What they would cover, what you would be expected to cover. They will try every way to wiggle out of that, like blame you for lack of future maintenance. I would make them include cost of towing, and rental car, while yours is fixed.

If they refuse to offer anything to make it right. Take it to an independent shop for their evaluation and opinion. Have them perform the recommended inspections and/or work, pay them, then sue the dealer in court for the reimbursement costs.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Problem is there is no comparable
trade.
Having the dealer foot the bill for an extended powertrain warranty may be your best option then. Hard to say how much wear running for 3-10 miles with no oil pressure caused. Might be equivalent to 20k miles normal wear, or it might be equivalent to over 100k.
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
Depending on how long and how hard you drove the car after the oil pressure light came on you might be OK. (My guess is 20 secs of idling is OK, which is enough time to move to emergency lane)
Dealer Basically broke my oil filter cap from over tightening. They also dont put the right oil in. Sad they can't even do an oil change properly.
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
Yes, It's unbelievable. It happened on a heavily trafficked twisting mountain road with no shoulder, so stopping was not an option. I had to drive a few miles before I had a chance to pull over.
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
I would ask/demand from the dealer,:

1. a rebuilt long block, or
2. a full engine extended warranty to cover any failures for at least two years or 30k miles.
3. Or I would make them pull the oil pan and allow yourself (or your own mechanic) to visually inspect the rod and mains bearings to verify that no engine damage was done. If there is any wear or abnormality, they replace the bearings. All of them, and fix any other bad components found.

The cam or lifters may have overheated and scored the cam or degraded the surface hardening. The oil pump may be scored. Many things can fail with loss of oil. And since there was no oil circulated for a while, an oil test on the remaining oil may show nothing since there was no way to pick up metal debris where it formed and deposit it in the pan. You should test the oil on your next oil change too. What is your oil pressure now? At idle? At speed?

The engine may run, but the bearings may have over heated and are now toast. You could throw a rod anytime in the near future. Just because the coolant and the gauge didn't show hot doesn't mean the bearings and journals didn't overheat for a short time. Engine heat transfer into the large mass of coolant takes a few minutes. Look at how long it takes to warm up your car in the morning enough to have your temp gauge move.

If they offer that they will pay for any future repairs, you would need to get that in writing in detail. What they would cover, what you would be expected to cover. They will try every way to wiggle out of that, like blame you for lack of future maintenance. I would make them include cost of towing, and rental car, while yours is fixed.

If they refuse to offer anything to make it right. Take it to an independent shop for their evaluation and opinion. Have them perform the recommended inspections and/or work, pay them, then sue the dealer in court for the reimbursement costs.
Thanks! Very good points.
 

ticaf

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Location
US Mid-Atlantic
TDI
Stock 2015 Golf SW S Manual TDI
Yes, It's unbelievable. It happened on a heavily trafficked twisting mountain road with no shoulder, so stopping was not an option. I had to drive a few miles before I had a chance to pull over.
Not trying to blame you, but for anyone who reads this thread: Oil pressure alarm means 'shut down the engine immediately'
Driving a few miles without oil pressure, particularly mountain driving (you were going uphill right?), is a guarantee to damage your engine/turbo.
Best you don't tell the dealership you drove a few miles like that!
 

ticaf

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Location
US Mid-Atlantic
TDI
Stock 2015 Golf SW S Manual TDI
That's a judgment call wether to stop or keep going.
But if going uphill, for a few miles, that engine might have very well thrown a rod or seize, and most likely the turbo is dead or soon to be. Either way you end up blockin traffic with a dead engine. The OP was "lucky" the car didn't die on him before he could find a spot to stop.
100% the dealership fault. But if for any reason one loose oil pressure, it's really best to coast to a stop right away. People block traffic all the time simply because they run out of fuel😱, and they don't even bother coasting to the emergency lane...
 

TDeanI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Location
Bremerton WA
TDI
'97 Passat TDI Wagon w/ 286K mi.
Also, there must have been oil streaming out coming straight from the dealer and there should be a trail of oil leaving the service bay and going down the road. Nobody noticed? Or noticed and said nothing. Another level of incompetence. Yelp review, coming up......... And BBB review if they don't make this right.
 

Rob M

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Location
Westchester, NY
TDI
1996 Passat TDI 5spd, 2013 Jetta TDI 6spd (Turning in), 2015 Jetta TDI 6spd, 2015 GSW SEL 6spd
That's a judgment call wether to stop or keep going.
But if going uphill, for a few miles, that engine might have very well thrown a rod or seize, and most likely the turbo is dead or soon to be. Either way you end up blockin traffic with a dead engine. The OP was "lucky" the car didn't die on him before he could find a spot to stop.
100% the dealership fault. But if for any reason one loose oil pressure, it's really best to coast to a stop right away. People block traffic all the time simply because they run out of fuel😱, and they don't even bother coasting to the emergency lane...
This road was one lane in each direction. blind curves and high speed traffic in each direction. no place to even pull over. Rock wall on one side, cliff on the other. Fun to drive on but extremely dangerous to break down on. I'd rather destroy my engine than get rearended by a tractor trailer or car whipping around a blind curve. Another issue is the amount of information overload. I got a warning and a red triangle that flashed momentarily on the dash and then disappeared. No indication what it was for, and hard to diagnose when you are driving on a road like this. Finally realized that I had to flip through a number of pages on the screen to get to this message. I had and issue with the information on the dash not displaying correctly. I previously had an issue with my collision sensor going off intermittently which made the same sound. Even when my washer fluid is low I get warnings that make it seem more urgent than it is. Too many electronics.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Almost every issue like this, the driver always claims it was impossible to pull over. Not saying your story isn't correct but it's a common theme among all the posts here about this kind of thing.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
If the light was coming on intermittently, you were probably getting oil pressure intermittently too. The wear/damage might not be too serious.
 
Top