Oil drain plug fell out

singletrack

New member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Location
Fort Collins,CO
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen
My SO and I own a 2010 Jetta TDI Sportwagon with about 50k. We bought it new the fall of 2009. Yesterday she was at the airport picking up her sister when the low oil pressure light came on. She immediately stopped the car and turned the engine off. There was a large pool of oil underneath the car when she got out. The nearest VW dealership sent a tow truck to retrieve the car. Their service tech discovered that the oil drain plug had fallen out. The drain plug was still with the car and was not stripped. They re-filled the engine with oil and used the original drain plug as it was in good shape. The dealership where we live performed a oil change about 2 months ago and were the last people to touch the drain plug. It has been quite wet where we live the past couple months. We park the car on a dirt driveway and the dirt generally has looked "wet" during this time. I inspected the driveway today and discovered that the engine oil seeping from the loose drain plug was the reason why this one particular spot looked "wet". We have contacted the local dealership that performed the oil change and informed them of the situation. What I would like to know is how much damage to the engine (if any) would a slowly decreasing oil volume cause? We probably drove a couple thousand miles during the past two months. Should I press the dealership regarding the long term reliability of this engine given this situation? I would like to get at least 200k out of this car. The original 3 year/36k warranty expired. I was thinking of asking the dealership to provide a warranty (free of charge) to 100k to rectify this situation and give us some piece of mind for the next 50k. At a minimum I am expecting them to pay for the tow truck and "oil change" performed by the other dealership. Thanks for the help!
 

jettasetta

Banned con artist and self-proclaimed victim
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Location
San Diego
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS MK4 PD-BEW 5SP-EUH TDI
I thought the dealerships only sabotaged cars they didn't sell...
Here's a scenario very much like yours Singletrack. Be sure to Yelp about it.

Yelp Reviews for VW Kearny Mesa: http://www.yelp.com/biz/vw-kearny-mesa-san-diego

Alexander S. Filtered Review: http://www.yelp.com/filtered_reviews/iU61HrqtISPDcRrd9pbgOQ?fsid=iqPsRyyVaRqywmxE2rsCqA






  • Alexander S.
San Diego, CA



4/18/2013
READ THE WHOLE STORY, I am sure you will be surprised and disappointed like me!!! WOW What A Bad Dealership !!! I am from Germany and in the automotive industry and I work with Volkswagen Dealerships for more than 10 years.

I brought my Audi A4 to this dealer for a simple oil change. I called them before to arrange an appointment. (just to let you know Audi and VW are the same company) They let me know that I can come around anytime between 8.00am-5.00pm. and they just do it right away. They call that kind of service "Express" Well, waiting for more than 2 hours for this service is just not "Express"! Especially if you know that this is a 20 min. job. The service was not busy at all and I already felt uncomfortable waiting that long to have the job done. So I had to ask several times how long it may take yet, always with the same answer: "It s almost done"

After I have paid I was waiting for my car outside. One of the guys from the service drove it out of the repair shop and hit the curb real bad with the real wheel. I saw that and asked if this is normal. I got no answer, absolutely nothing! I got into my car and recognized that the service signal in the dashboard is still showing me that service has to be done. Well, so I went back inside and made them aware. Finally a guy came out and played with the knobs on the dashboard to make it disappear. From my knowledge they have to hook up the OBD computer to erase the service message in the dashboard and let the car know when the next oil change is due.
The guy let me know that they don t do that and if I want to have this it will cost me $110.00. I know from my VW dealers in Germany that they were lying to me.

THE BEST COMES NOW: after driving straight home from the dealer, the next morning we recognized a huge oil spill under the car!!! It turned out that more than 1/2 gallon of engine oil was missing!!! Obviously they made a mistake with the oil change. After calling them and explaining to the service manager Chris Patterson what happened I did not even receive and excuse/appologize/sorry for the inconvenience. They almost killed my engine and ruined my driveway!!! So I had to call for a towing truck on my own to get the car back to their dealership. They were not even able to arrange this on their own. The next day I was waiting until afternoon and hoped they will call... nothing! So I called them to find out what s going on. It turned out that the mechanic missed to put in the gasket for the oil filter. WHAT ??? Just to let you know an oil change is one of the most simple things and this really may not happen.

So I got my car back in the evening the same day. But there was still the problem with my driveway... I called them again and asked how to solve this problem. I let them know that I expect a professional cleaning. The next afternoon (today) a mechanic from the VW delaer came around to clean it with some chemicals, a brush and water. Of course the stains are still there. After 48 hours of oil in the drive way the concrete soaked it up like a sponge...

Honestly I feel this is the worst "service" available and I never heard about such a behavior before. They simply do not care at all, they lie and hope that the customer remains quiet and the problem disappears eventually...

After reading all the other bad experiences with this VW dealer I don t believe they are willing to solve this problem to my satisfaction. So I will call my attorney by tomorrow and force them to make it right again. This is just such a waste of my time...
 

detroitmike

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Location
Take a guess.
TDI
2013 Passat DSG
You should at least file a complaint with VoA and get it on record in case you have any future problems.

http://www.vw.com/en/contact_us/nav/contact_us.html

I dont think the dealer will be much help. Most likely they will keep giving you the run around hoping you will just give up and go away.

I tried the "free" services for the first 3 oil changes on my last VW and waiting over 2 hours for an oil change and the service manager telling me they didnt bother to rotate the tires because they were "wearing evenly" doesnt cut it.

This time around with the new Passat I'm not even going to bother with the dealership. Hopefully I'll never have to see them again. I'll do my own maintenance and the jobs I don't feel comfortable with I will take to a TDI Club recommended mechanic. At least I'll know its done right.
 

tdiatlast

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
TDI
2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
Wow. This is a tough one to answer easily. I'm no lawyer, but here's how I see it...you're not going to like what I think:

A) NO way a properly torqued oil drain plug should fall out.
B) You noted, "...this one particular spot looked 'wet'..." under the car (for 2 months)
C) You you say nothing about checking your oil during "...about 2 months..." and "...probably drove a couple thousand miles..."

While the dealership is responsible for re-installing the drain plug properly, you are responsible for checking your oil. Your vehicle gave you a signal that there was a problem (wet under the car).

While I'm sorry for your issue, I don't believe the dealership is fully responsible for this.

As for damage, who knows? It's impossible to know how many miles you drove with insufficient oil. When did the oil plug start leaking? Only you would know this, but you neglected to see it.

I'm struggling with where to place the responsibility. If a shop rotates my tires, and a wheel falls off after several thousand miles, is that their responsibility? A properly torqued wheel does NOT work itself loose. However, we aren't expected to re-torque our wheel lugs. Once properly installed, they stay put.

We ARE expected, and REQUIRED, by any/all warranty material, to inspect engine oil level. It isn't a suggestion, it is a requirement.
 
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naturist

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2001
Location
Bro Jerry's hometown, Virginia
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 2005 Jeep Libby CRD, 2012 BMW X5 35d
@singletrack, many years ago when I had a new BMW, I got the oil changed, and drove 60 miles to visit my parents. The oil light came on in their driveway as I arrived, and I discovered that the mechanic had neglected to tighten the drain plug. It hadn't fallen out, but it had leaked away pretty much the contents of the oil pan. I borrowed a wrench from my dad and tightened it, then borrowed his car and went out to get oil. I drove that car for about 150,000 miles after that without a lick of trouble. So if your spouse shut 'er down the second the oil light came on, I doubt there will be a problem. If there is one, I'd expect it to show up immediately in the form of a knocking from the bearing(s) that went dry. This is one of those deals where the bearing either has oil or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, trouble is pretty quick. If the bearing has oil, they're fine, no damage. Lack of oil damage simply does not appear slowly later, it happens pronto.
 
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scdevon

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Location
USA
TDI
None
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Dealer chimps have a long record of messing up VWs even during "free" services.
 

singletrack

New member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Location
Fort Collins,CO
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen
@tdiatlast, the whole driveway has looked "wet" for the past two months, which camouflaged the area where the oil was dripping from the engine. The first recognizable signal we got from the car was the low oil pressure light. I admit I have gotten lazy with checking the oil level and did not check it in the past couple months, but after this experience will be going back to my routine of checking every time I fill up.
 

tdiatlast

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
TDI
2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
Sorry about the wet weather/driveway. We're all lazy about checking oil, some of us get burned, most don't.
Good luck with finding a resolution. I agree with post #5 above, although I'd be concerned about ring damage, not just a dry bearing.
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
Does the car have a low oil indicator as well as an oil pressure indicator? Plenty of new cars don't have dipsticks anymore. Totally reliant on an oil level sensor notification to the driver.

Sounds like your lady took appropriate action.

I agree with the earlier poster who said you should document a complaint with VWoA just in case something goes wrong down the road. I would ask for an extended warranty too.
 

Ol'Rattler

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Location
PNA
TDI
2006 BRM Jetta
I know the transmission dipstick has disappeared on a lot of cars. On what cars has the engine oil dipstick disappeared, as Well?
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
Newer MBs and MBWs don't have engine oil dipsticks.

Allthough VW puts an oil level sensor on TDIs in other countries, they don't fit one to US models* :(

*I think the current Beetle TDI is the only one to get one. Not sure about the trucks.

-J
 

N41EF

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Location
Aiken, SC
TDI
2011 Golf, 2009 ML 320, 2006 NB, 2001 NB
Dude, thumbs up for you wife to immediately shut the engine off!

What does her sister look like and is she car smart too?
 
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TDI_Dan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Location
Michigan
TDI
2015 GSW 6M MKVII, 2011 Golf TDI 6M (bought back)
Newer MBs and MBWs don't have engine oil dipsticks.

Allthough VW puts an oil level sensor on TDIs in other countries, they don't fit one to US models* :(

*I think the current Beetle TDI is the only one to get one. Not sure about the trucks.

-J
That might be a cool mod to do in the event you lend your TDI to other family members that are less technical or don't check it often enough.
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
That might be a cool mod to do in the event you lend your TDI to other family members that are less technical or don't check it often enough.
The problem is that most VW drivers are so used to the Check Engine light being on that they are de-sensitized to warning indicators :eek:
 

Tarbe

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Location
USA
TDI
Touareg and Sportwagon Sold to VW
I check my oil at least once per tank...but I check it daily for a several days after I do an oil change. And I am always glancing at the garage floor!

Kudos to your SO for the quick action. That may very well have saved your car.
 

singletrack

New member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Location
Fort Collins,CO
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen
My SO mentioned that when she got out (after turning off the engine) there was a good stream of oil running out of the engine, so I think we dodged the bullet. I still need to talk to the dealership service manager about compensation for the tow truck, repairs (fresh oil, new drain plug and a thorough underbody wash), rental car, etc. I talked to him briefly on the phone and his first response was that if the drain plug was not properly torqued it would have fallen out it within a day. Basically, he was saying it wasn't their fault. I called BS and so did the service tech at the other dealership (who agreed it could take weeks for the drain plug to fully un-thread and fall out and a properly torqued drain plug would NEVER fall out). I'm planning on a face-to-face "chat" with the service manager tomorrow, we will see how that goes. I notified VWoA and got a response within 24 hours saying they would be contacting the service manager to discuss my complaint today.
 

singletrack

New member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Location
Fort Collins,CO
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen
The saga continues....So we drove the car to my friends' wedding in Santa Fe, NM this last weekend. The car was running great until 60 or so miles outside of Santa Fe when I noticed a bit of a lag in turbo pickup. I mainly attributed this to the stiff headwind we were fighting, but when we got to Santa Fe we noticed an oily spray on the rear hatch and along the side body panels. I looked under the engine and there was a oily residue everywhere and drops of what I thought was engine oil:mad:. The next morning we drove it to the local VW dealership and told them the whole story about the drain plug falling out. They called back a few hours later and said it wasn't oil leaking it was diesel fuel. It was the holiday weekend so their VW tech's weren't at the shop. On Wednesday a VW tech called and said that two of the fuel rails had failed and needed to be replaced. We were told these parts were not covered by the powertrain warranty, so damage was going to be in the $800 to $1000 range (in addition to the rental car to get back to Colorado). I got a call from VWoA Tuesday regarding the complaint I had filed regarding the oil drain plug falling out and I filled them in on the latest issue. Well today I get a call from VWoA and they said that because our car had been in the shop so much lately they would be paying for the repairs being done in Santa Fe:). I was glad I filed the original complaint with VWoA. That isn't the end of the story, however, I got a call from the Santa Fe VW dealer and they said the repairs went well. They did a test drive around town and everything was great. They decided to do a second test drive on the interstate since I have long haul back to Colorado that involves long stretches of lonely highway driving. Well guess what, another fuel rail failed:mad:. They contacted VW technical services about what to do next and they were told that since this is a serious safety issue they would be referring this to the VW safety team (not sure of the official title). I should be hearing what their plan is tomorrow.
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
sorry for your troubles. this is one reason why i love to do my own work and build my own cars. next time you post use paragraphs please
 
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Rico567

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Location
Central IL
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SEL Premium (Turned in 7/7/18)
I check oil (and the other fluids) once a week in both vehicles. Takes maybe a couple minutes each. Another form of cheap insurance. (and in the case of the oil, I'm checking my own work, because I've done my own oil changes for, oh, around 45 years.
 
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