4 Engine Disasters From Taking A Car For An Oil Change

by admin on August 26, 2010

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine… just try and operate your engine without it!  You have to change your oil from time to time or you will end up with an expensive engine disaster on your hands.

I prefer to change my own oil to avoid all of these potential problems but sometimes my hectic schedule and the weather don’t allow.  I hesitate to take my car in to get the oil change and when and if I do I cautiously observe the entire process through the viewing windows at the shop and here’s why.  (I give my tips for oil change success at the end)

Nightmare #1:  The put the wrong drain plug back in!  I can’t count the number of times I have heard this story from different people.  They take their car in for an oil change because the weather is bad or some other reason that they don’t do it for themselves.  The next time they go to change their oil they have a very difficult time getting the oil plug out… and when they do they discover it is the wrong drain plug!

The problem is discovered long after it happens and arguing with the oil change place that they caused it is a nightmare in itself…

Nightmare #2:  Oil plug is not put back in!  Yes that means there is no oil in the engine when you drive away from your oil change.  I wouldn’t believe it either if it had not happened to my friend Dan.  His engine was toast in less than 7 miles.  Talk about a fight with the oil change place to get that taken care of.

Nightmare #3:  Oil plug is loose!  Yes, this happened too.  The oil plug falls out days later and engine runs temporarily with no oil.  If you or your wife happens to be paying attention to the idiot lights when your driving the car then she pulls over and stops… if you don’t happen to catch the oil light come on then death to the engine (and thousands of dollars).

Concern #4:  Wrong type of oil is put in the engine.  I am paranoid they put the wrong viscosity rating in my engine and there is not way to double check since most places use a central dispensing system through a hose to your car.  If they put the wrong weight of oil in your car you will never know.  This is not near as bad as leaving the oil plug out but that is why I called it a concern and not a nightmare.

So here’s what I do.  I bring my own oil and filter to the shop.  I do this so I know the highest quality filter and the best motor oil (and grade) is being put in my engine.  I request that the empty oil bottles be placed back in the box in my car.  I watch them put the oil in my car and watch them pour from the bottles I provided.  This also gives me the indication the right quantity of oil was added to the engine since I provided the correct number of quarts. 

When I get my keys back I pop the hood and look at the oil filter to make sure it is the brand I provided.  When I start the car I double check to make sure the oil light goes out and all is well.

If you would like some help selecting the best motor oil for your vehicle then go grab your free report here.

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