Faulty oil change

Tiny
BPEEZY
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE STRATUS
  • 6 CYL
I had an oil change but whatever the guy did resulted in my oil all leaking out. I drove the car around for a few days without knowing what was wrong. Never drove it very far. My engine never seized up but it's idalling kinda hard and making a hissing sound. Did I ruin my engine?
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Saturday, August 6th, 2011 AT 5:50 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Take it back to the shop that did the work and let them see what happened. Don't try to fix anything yourself because they could say you did something on purpose to sabotage their work. You SHOULD add some oil though even if you don't completely fill it. Also, don't wait until you have time to get there. Make the time to get there immediately. If you wait an extra day or two when you know there's a problem, any further damage will be partly your fault and they could legitimately deny liability.

About the only things they could have done were to forget to tighten the drain plug or "double-gasketed" the oil filter. That's when the gasket from the old filter sticks to the engine and gets overlooked, then the gasket on the new filter butts up against it. The old gasket will usually blow out before the car gets out of the shop. It happens to every mechanic sooner or later.

Once they remedy the problem and refill the oil, ask politely to have the cause printed on the repair order in case a problem pops up in the near future. Any internal engine damage is likely to show up right away, usually not weeks or months later. If that happens, you'll need documentation to prove the shop was at fault.

Be aware too that if you have the 2.7L engine, Chrysler has built a lot of really tough, reliable engines over the years, and this is not one of them. The 2.7L will live a long life as long as it gets its oil changed on time.
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Saturday, August 6th, 2011 AT 8:16 AM
Tiny
BPEEZY
  • MEMBER
Hello and thank you, actually this was a friend who did it. And yes he hadn't tightened something for me! Unfortunately being a female we tend to trust that the jobs been done properly and I dont have many questions afterwards. The car runs but i'm afraid to drive it to the mechanic to have it checked. Do you suggest that I tow it over to the shop? I don't want to cause any additional issues
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Saturday, August 6th, 2011 AT 3:54 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If the drain plug is tight now and the oil is full, any damage that might occur is already done so go ahead and drive it. Keep an eye on the oil pressure gauge. Any new and unusual sounds from the engine should be accompanied by a drop in oil pressure. If the pressure stays up, as I suspect it will, look at other potential causes for the noise.

The hissing suggests a vacuum leak on top of the engine. A hose could have gotten knocked off or one of the thin hard plastic hoses could be cracked. That will make the engine run poorly but typically won't lead to serious damage.
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Saturday, August 6th, 2011 AT 10:06 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Sabotage! Lol
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Saturday, August 6th, 2011 AT 11:05 PM

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