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Here's the rundown. Wife always has the oil changed in our 2017 Pacifica at a local Chrysler dealership. Today, she went in for an oil change, they performed the work, she got in and drove away. A few miles down the road, an indicator came on, and she saw on the dash screen a low oil pressure indicator at 1 psi. She pulled over and called the dealer's service department. They proceeded to ask if there was a "change oil soon" indicator on, and she said, no, it's low oil pressure. They instructed her to turn off the ignition, which she did, and call a specific towing company, which she did. They came out with a loaner and towed the car back to the dealership.

We'll get a call from the dealership tomorrow. I expect them to say, "hey, our fault, we didn't tighten __ [drain plug, filter, etc.], but no harm was done and we fixed the mistake and changed oil and filter again." Here's my rub with this, assuming that's the response. This engine ran for 10, 15 minutes with little, if any, oil in it. Wife says that she saw the large pool of fluid (oil, I'm sure) under the car after she pulled over. Could there still have been a negligible amount of oil left in the crankcase that might have prevented damage? Perhaps, and perhaps not. We may not know until 5, 10, or 20,000 miles from now when we experience engine problems.

What's the appropriate and reasonable demand to make to this dealership? They've already apologized profusely, and no doubt they're aware of the potential for problems, but no one really knows without tearing the engine down which, I know, they're not going to do. Let it go? Free lifetime oil changes? Extended engine warranty?

What would you all propose? I'm not looking to get anything out of this other than the peace of mind that there was no lasting damage caused by their mistake. And, I realize, that may be difficult to get.
 

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Here's the rundown. Wife always has the oil changed in our 2017 Pacifica at a local Chrysler dealership. Today, she went in for an oil change, they performed the work, she got in and drove away. A few miles down the road, an indicator came on, and she saw on the dash screen a low oil pressure indicator at 1 psi. She pulled over and called the dealer's service department. They proceeded to ask if there was a "change oil soon" indicator on, and she said, no, it's low oil pressure. They instructed her to turn off the ignition, which she did, and call a specific towing company, which she did. They came out with a loaner and towed the car back to the dealership.

We'll get a call from the dealership tomorrow. I expect them to say, "hey, our fault, we didn't tighten __ [drain plug, filter, etc.], but no harm was done and we fixed the mistake and changed oil and filter again." Here's my rub with this, assuming that's the response. This engine ran for 10, 15 minutes with little, if any, oil in it. Wife says that she saw the large pool of fluid (oil, I'm sure) under the car after she pulled over. Could there still have been a negligible amount of oil left in the crankcase that might have prevented damage? Perhaps, and perhaps not. We may not know until 5, 10, or 20,000 miles from now when we experience engine problems.

What's the appropriate and reasonable demand to make to this dealership? They've already apologized profusely, and no doubt they're aware of the potential for problems, but no one really knows without tearing the engine down which, I know, they're not going to do. Let it go? Free lifetime oil changes? Extended engine warranty?

What would you all propose? I'm not looking to get anything out of this other than the peace of mind that there was no lasting damage caused by their mistake. And, I realize, that may be difficult to get.
I would think that a comped Mopar Power Train warranty 8/125,000 would be appropriate. That would only cost the dealership a couple hundred dollars, while providing you with the peace of mind that you deserve.
 

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I have always been under the belief that low oil pressure light means no oil, and damaged engine.
I would not feel comfortable still owning that engine. If I was the one that made the mistake, I would keep driving it and just hope no damage was done. If it was someone else's mistake?... Why should I take the risk of a damaged engine?


I would think that a comped Mopar Power Train warranty 8/125,000 would be appropriate. That would only cost the dealership a couple hundred dollars, while providing you with the peace of mind that you deserve.
A warranty would not cover damage from the result of no oil in the engine.

Sorry for your situation.
 

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Sorry to hear about this but it happens.

I have taught my wife and kids (now adults) to always do the following prior to taking delivery of your vehicle after an oil change and/or tire rotation:

1. Open the hood to ensure the dipstick is fully inserts, the oil cap is screwed closed and there are no oil spots or leaks caused by the oil change technician. Check for tools...have found ratchets, sockets and even a Crescent wrench under the hood through the years.
2. Check the oil level. If you have to, pull it off to the side and go back inside for a cup of coffee or walk the lot for a little exercise while the oil drains back down so you get an accurate reading.
3. Look under the vehicle for any drilling or running of oil.
4. If tires were rotated, check to ensure all lug nuts are on and then use your fingers on every one of them to ensure they are tight...have actually seen where they missed attaching one or failed to tighten a couple.
5. Check to ensure the oil service meter has been reset as sometimes they forgot to do this.
6. Check to ensure there are no light on the dash that are illuminated.
7. If tires were rotated, check the brakes at least three times before pulling out of the dealership to ensure they didn't cause a problem (very critical).
 
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Tough situation. The engine is probably fine, but there's really no way to know for certain other than inspecting it with a boroscope, which they could do. The extended warranty is a good idea, but Jason is right that typically they wouldn't cover damage that would arise from no oil in the engine, years down the line nobody will remember this happened.

When I was a teenager my dad had a friend who had the oil in his Lexus GS400 changed at a Jiffy Lube, and this happened and the engine itself was seized and ruined. Cars didnt have the kinds of readouts back then the Pacifica has which saved your wife. I can't remember whether it locked up while he was driving or if it was more similar to this. JiffyLube replaced the engine.

I would talk to the service manager and general manager of the dealer, share your concerns and see what they come up with...report back before you accept any resolution...
 

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A warranty would not cover damage from the result of no oil in the engine.
Sorry for your situation.
The extended warranty is a good idea, but Jason is right that typically they wouldn't cover damage that would arise from no oil in the engine, years down the line nobody will remember this happened.
In the future the mechanics will be able to identify engine damage due to no oil at some point in the past?

In that case, assuming you are claiming the powertrain warranty at the dealership that messed up the oil, I'll say to them "Hey remember X years ago your shop had an accident of emptying my engine oil and towed it back for service, you guys apologized profusely and provided this extended powertrain warranty..."

I can't imagine what the outcome will be but the dealer would be hard pressed to not take any action.

I think documenting well and keeping all records about this incident will be vital down the road when you need to provide proof/evidence.
 

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If you do try to go the Extended warranty route, i would have them give you something on Company Letterhead stating what happened and that they will stand behind the engine warranty for as long as you own it.
 

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In the future the mechanics will be able to identify engine damage due to no oil at some point in the past?
Yeah, certain types of damage can only come from not having enough oil or low oil pressure.
 
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Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. Here's what I've learned and what I think I'll do.

Service manager called and said that there was "an issue with the O ring." To me, that means they displaced the ring when installing the new oil filter or, perhaps, removed it and didn't replace it. Either way, it caused the oil to leak out.

To make a record of things, I'll probably do a letter to the dealership requesting that they scope the combustion chambers with a camera, look for evidence of wear on the cylinder liners, and then also change the oil again very soon (maybe 200 miles) and give that oil to me. I'll have another mechanic remove any metal shavings and dust from the oil.

After that, and assuming there's no direct evidence of damage, I probably have to hope for the best. If I have major engine-related issues within the next 10k or 20k miles, I probably have a good opportunity to take it back up with this dealer. If it's 50k or 70k miles down the road, well, that's probably just an old worn out engine at that point.

I'll keep you all updated.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. Here's what I've learned and what I think I'll do.

Service manager called and said that there was "an issue with the O ring." To me, that means they displaced the ring when installing the new oil filter or, perhaps, removed it and didn't replace it. Either way, it caused the oil to leak out.

To make a record of things, I'll probably do a letter to the dealership requesting that they scope the combustion chambers with a camera, look for evidence of wear on the cylinder liners, and then also change the oil again very soon (maybe 200 miles) and give that oil to me. I'll have another mechanic remove any metal shavings and dust from the oil.

After that, and assuming there's no direct evidence of damage, I probably have to hope for the best. If I have major engine-related issues within the next 10k or 20k miles, I probably have a good opportunity to take it back up with this dealer. If it's 50k or 70k miles down the road, well, that's probably just an old worn out engine at that point.

I'll keep you all updated.
I am sure I know what happened. The O ring from the old oil filter stuck to the engine and the mechanic didn't notice, and put on new filter. It happened to me once - the double o rings leak like mad - I always start my car and check after a change, so I caught my problem, and now I always check old filter to be sure O ring came off with old filter. It is why you coat new o ring with oil on new filter. The leak will only start when engine is started, and oil is under pressure.

There was an oil commercial where they completely drained oil from a car and drove it to demonstrate the good oil protection.

If the car was only driven a few miles, I'm sure it is fine.
 

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There was an oil commercial where they completely drained oil from a car and drove it to demonstrate the good oil protection.

If the car was only driven a few miles, I'm sure it is fine.
Modern synthetic oils are very good. A short drive at moderate speeds should not cause damage. However, do get the incident documented by formal letter, and get the extended warranty. Make sure it is not recorded in such a way as to appear on a future Carfax report.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. Here's what I've learned and what I think I'll do.

Service manager called and said that there was "an issue with the O ring." To me, that means they displaced the ring when installing the new oil filter or, perhaps, removed it and didn't replace it. Either way, it caused the oil to leak out.

To make a record of things, I'll probably do a letter to the dealership requesting that they scope the combustion chambers with a camera, look for evidence of wear on the cylinder liners, and then also change the oil again very soon (maybe 200 miles) and give that oil to me. I'll have another mechanic remove any metal shavings and dust from the oil.

After that, and assuming there's no direct evidence of damage, I probably have to hope for the best. If I have major engine-related issues within the next 10k or 20k miles, I probably have a good opportunity to take it back up with this dealer. If it's 50k or 70k miles down the road, well, that's probably just an old worn out engine at that point.

I'll keep you all updated.
You are being a lot more casual about this than I would ever be.

I would not let the dealership responsible for this be the same ones who do the borescope/inspection. I'm sure you will hear back "Your engine looks brand new! Good to go!"
Ask the service manager if they would be willing to drain the oil out of their personal vehicle and let it run for 15 minutes. What do you expect their response to be?

If I was in your situation, I'd probably push for a killer deal on trade-in value for your vehicle and look at getting a 2019 or 2020.

Did you actually drive around for the 10-15 minutes? Or was it idling? Is this 10-15 minutes of the low oil pressure warning? Or total time from leaving the dealership?
Oh wow, I just now see that the reported oil pressure was 1psi. Yeah thats zero oil. No way I would keep that engine. This wasn't your mistake.
 

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You are being a lot more casual about this than I would ever be.

I would not let the dealership responsible for this be the same ones who do the borescope/inspection. I'm sure you will hear back "Your engine looks brand new! Good to go!"
Ask the service manager if they would be willing to drain the oil out of their personal vehicle and let it run for 15 minutes. What do you expect their response to be?

If I was in your situation, I'd probably push for a killer deal on trade-in value for your vehicle and look at getting a 2019 or 2020.

Did you actually drive around for the 10-15 minutes? Or was it idling? Is this 10-15 minutes of the low oil pressure warning? Or total time from leaving the dealership?
Oh wow, I just now see that the reported oil pressure was 1psi. Yeah thats zero oil. No way I would keep that engine. This wasn't your mistake.
Good points, actually. They owe the OP real peace of mind here. Replace the engine, or equivalent value in trade for a newer model. First get the documentation for the error.
 
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There was an oil commercial where they completely drained oil from a car and drove it to demonstrate the good oil protection.
Perhaps you are remembering the "Slick-50" commercials from the early 1990's. It turned out that it couldn't live up to its claims.
 

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To make a record of things, I'll probably do a letter to the dealership requesting that they scope the combustion chambers with a camera, look for evidence of wear on the cylinder liners, and then also change the oil again very soon (maybe 200 miles) and give that oil to me. I'll have another mechanic remove any metal shavings and dust from the oil.
Oil starvation is more likely to damage the main/rod bearings but having the cylinders bore scoped is also a good idea.

If there are metal shavings in the oil that is a problem.

I've seen engines run with no oil pan for a few minutes and they were fine.
 
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I am sure I know what happened. The O ring from the old oil filter stuck to the engine and the mechanic didn't notice, and put on new filter. It happened to me once - the double o rings leak like mad -
No way the o Ring was stuck on the engine as its actually on the oil filter cap. More likely, the mechanic forgot to put the new one in after he took it off.
 

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You are being a lot more casual about this than I would ever be.

I would not let the dealership responsible for this be the same ones who do the borescope/inspection. I'm sure you will hear back "Your engine looks brand new! Good to go!"
Ask the service manager if they would be willing to drain the oil out of their personal vehicle and let it run for 15 minutes. What do you expect their response to be?

If I was in your situation, I'd probably push for a killer deal on trade-in value for your vehicle and look at getting a 2019 or 2020.

Did you actually drive around for the 10-15 minutes? Or was it idling? Is this 10-15 minutes of the low oil pressure warning? Or total time from leaving the dealership?
Oh wow, I just now see that the reported oil pressure was 1psi. Yeah thats zero oil. No way I would keep that engine. This wasn't your mistake.
Resonate with Walkdo that this is a good stance to take - proportional to the gravity of the issue that could potentially bite OP years from now.

The car is hopefully still under the basic and/or powertrain warranty?
The dealership might have discretionary power to invoke the warranty for an engine replacement.
Or why are they afraid to invoke the warranty, the parts or costs are backed by MOPAR/Chrysler right?
Come to think of it, the dealership might have their own business insurance for this kind of damage to customer property.
Perhaps someone more familiar with legal or businesses can speak to this. Could the ChryslerCare agent on this forum take a look at this issue?

If you have a Hyatt Legal plan through your employer, it might worth getting a consultation.

I wonder if you could collect what's left of the engine oil to inspect for metal contents by another mechanic.
 

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I am sure I know what happened. The O ring from the old oil filter stuck to the engine and the mechanic didn't notice, and put on new filter.
I agree with Norbert. This would be true for a conventional spin on oil filter mounted on the bottom of the engine, but on these puppies the filter is a cartridge type that mounts vertically on the top with a plastic cap. If there was a pool of oil under the vehicle forming as it was waiting for the tow, I would be suspicious that the oil filter cap or the drain plug weren't installed correctly. Maybe one or the other were put back on barely finger tight, or they were cross-threaded.

The pool of oil tells me the engine was not bone dry at the time of the error message. Perhaps the sensor triggered the warning in time before too much oil was lost. Hopefully, the phone conversation didn't last too long before they finally told her to shut the ignition off while more and more oil was dripping out. Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞
 

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Agreed, it was probably that they didn't tighten the drain plug, or didnt replace the crush washer. The thing holds what, 5 quarts? It would have to be a huge leak for it to be empty, assuming they ever filled it back up. It takes a good couple minutes for it to all drain out even when the drain plug is totally removed.
 
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I agree with Norbert. This would be true for a conventional spin on oil filter mounted on the bottom of the engine, but on these puppies the filter is a cartridge type that mounts vertically on the top with a plastic cap. If there was a pool of oil under the vehicle forming as it was waiting for the tow, I would be suspicious that the oil filter cap or the drain plug weren't installed correctly. Maybe one or the other were put back on barely finger tight, or they were cross-threaded.

The pool of oil tells me the engine was not bone dry at the time of the error message. Perhaps the sensor triggered the warning in time before too much oil was lost. Hopefully, the phone conversation didn't last too long before they finally told her to shut the ignition off while more and more oil was dripping out. Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞
You are, of course, correct. This is the first car I have had with a cartridge rather than a spin-on filter.
 
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