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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,
I was driving my 2020 HR-V with 5000 miles when I saw a withe smoke in the back of my car (no light or signal in the car). I immediately pulled over and after a quick check out, I discovered an oil leak. I called the truck the took the car to the closest dealer. After a revision, he says that the oil plug is missing and that the engine makes noise so it needs a new engine (!!). He wants to charge me $6000 (馃く) for a refurbished engine (he says that does not have a new one) and the warranty doesn麓t want to cover it.
I replaced the oil during the first service two months ago (and I used only one because) in another dealer.
1-Does anyone have problems with an oil plug?
2-Is it possible to break an engine for this?
3-Does anyone have problems with the warranty to recognize this?

I am talking with the insurance, warranty and lawyers. My sense is this will be a long battle.
Any similar experiences?
 

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If you had no oil plug you would probably have the engine die within seconds - you would hear it and feel it as the engine cannot function without oil. It would not be a leak, it would be all the oil POURING out of the oil plug hole .
yes major engine failure and you would probably need a new engine/rebuilt one.
is it possible the plug fell out while you were parked - yes ( if it was not re-installed properly etc) and the oil is all over the ground here you last parked - yes- but how far could you possibly drive like that ???
I doubt this is a factory issue and I don't think you will have any luck 'under warranty'.
was there a slow leak and you lost all the oil as you drove these 5000 miles ? possibly that too.

But the dealer telling you the 'plug is missing'- sounds odd.
 

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Honda engines can actually run quite a long time and at high rpms without oil. Theres some crazy Youtubers who've tried it.

But as for your car, I鈥檇 say just get a new oil plug, add oil, and then drive it and see if it still works.

If it does, then at least you have a car to use while you fight the people who ruined it. Plus you wont have to spend $6000.

If the engine is truely ruined, then trying to drive it with a new plug and oil isnt going to change the fact the you need a new engine. So it doesn鈥檛 hurt to try.
 

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Hi Folks,
I was driving my 2020 HR-V with 5000 miles when I saw a withe smoke in the back of my car (no light or signal in the car). I immediately pulled over and after a quick check out, I discovered an oil leak. I called the truck the took the car to the closest dealer. After a revision, he says that the oil plug is missing and that the engine makes noise so it needs a new engine (!!). He wants to charge me $6000 (馃く) for a refurbished engine (he says that does not have a new one) and the warranty doesn麓t want to cover it.
I replaced the oil during the first service two months ago (and I used only one because) in another dealer.
1-Does anyone have problems with an oil plug?
2-Is it possible to break an engine for this?
3-Does anyone have problems with the warranty to recognize this?

I am talking with the insurance, warranty and lawyers. My sense is this will be a long battle.
Any similar experiences?
The previous poster mentioning the engine "dying" within seconds is false. You can check YouTube and see some nutjobs out there looking to create sensationalized videos that have run vehicles at their limit after draining the oil from the vehicle. They don't last long but definitely last more than seconds.

My personal recommendation would be to head over to the dealership with a 5 quart jug of synthetic oil, a new drain plug and a socket wrench to fit the plug (your local auto parts store will be able to look up the plug size for you).

I'm not saying there is anything sketchy going on here but I can assure you it is worth the <$50 to check. Force them to allow you to put the oil in the car and give it a drive. Don't tell them you're coming to do so, just show up and demand your vehicle back.

The engine shouldn't cost $6,000 realistically. Maybe something close to that with labor but the engine itself, especially a refurbished one, shouldn't cost nearly that much. The total bill should be less than $5k and if it isn't, you can likely get the engine rebuilt for less.

Running a car without oil is VERY bad but if the car was shut off (as in you saw smoke while it was running and you shut the engine down while it was still turning over) then the damage would be almost assuredly limited to the cylinder rings alone.

The significant damage would have been caused by what is known as an engine seizure. Thus occurs when the pistons get so hot (lack of oil is one way this can happen) that the piston actually thermodynamically expands its diameter so much that it no longer fits inside the cylinder and the engine stops turning over due to the piston getting stuck. At this point, the lower end of the engine is still trying to move and the connecting rods snap their joints in the process. When this happens, the shattered rods/joints will send pieces of loose metal all over the inside of the block like shrapnel from a grenade and cause a massive amount of damage.

If what happened to your vehicle is what I described above, you'd KNOW. It would be very loud and the engine would instantly stop running on it's own. It sounds like you turned the engine off, so you likely don't need a $6000 replacement engine but, at worst, an engine rebuild (which should cost $2-$3k at most or you're getting ripped off).

Good luck!
 

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if you pulled out of the dealership and down the road this happened, then documenting everything and communicating this with the dealership should bring some kind of agreement as to what is fair. If it happened later on, then wow, it is gonna be difficult to prove your case.

This does happen though!! Happened to me twice at a jiffy lube type express place! Luckily I caught it on time.
 

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The engine does not have a "plug". It has a screw-in cap. I have never heard of one coming out of the engine on its own. Either it was installed or it was not installed. Whoever changed the motor oil is responsible for this.

The transmission on the other hand, has a rubber oil fill plug which can blow out if the nearby air vent in the rubber vent cap is clogged and allows too much air pressure inside the transmission. The oil fill plug is merely pushed in. This will cause the CVT transmission fluid to blow out of the top of the transmission but won't cause damage if it is found quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The previous poster mentioning the engine "dying" within seconds is false. You can check YouTube and see some nutjobs out there looking to create sensationalized videos that have run vehicles at their limit after draining the oil from the vehicle. They don't last long but definitely last more than seconds.

My personal recommendation would be to head over to the dealership with a 5 quart jug of synthetic oil, a new drain plug and a socket wrench to fit the plug (your local auto parts store will be able to look up the plug size for you).

I'm not saying there is anything sketchy going on here but I can assure you it is worth the <$50 to check. Force them to allow you to put the oil in the car and give it a drive. Don't tell them you're coming to do so, just show up and demand your vehicle back.

The engine shouldn't cost $6,000 realistically. Maybe something close to that with labor but the engine itself, especially a refurbished one, shouldn't cost nearly that much. The total bill should be less than $5k and if it isn't, you can likely get the engine rebuilt for less.

Running a car without oil is VERY bad but if the car was shut off (as in you saw smoke while it was running and you shut the engine down while it was still turning over) then the damage would be almost assuredly limited to the cylinder rings alone.

The significant damage would have been caused by what is known as an engine seizure. Thus occurs when the pistons get so hot (lack of oil is one way this can happen) that the piston actually thermodynamically expands its diameter so much that it no longer fits inside the cylinder and the engine stops turning over due to the piston getting stuck. At this point, the lower end of the engine is still trying to move and the connecting rods snap their joints in the process. When this happens, the shattered rods/joints will send pieces of loose metal all over the inside of the block like shrapnel from a grenade and cause a massive amount of damage.

If what happened to your vehicle is what I described above, you'd KNOW. It would be very loud and the engine would instantly stop running on it's own. It sounds like you turned the engine off, so you likely don't need a $6000 replacement engine but, at worst, an engine rebuild (which should cost $2-$3k at most or you're getting ripped off).

Good luck!
Many thanks! Super helpful comments.

Here i am attaching a couple of pictures that the dealer sent to me.

UPDATE: The dealer that changed the oil delined all responsibility and say that the car "must be vandalized" and this is the reason because the oil plug was missing (BS to me).
And the dealer who has the car says that 6K is for a second-hand engine and a new one is about 12-14K (the same kind of BS). Meanwhile, i am waiting for the Honda Warranty to assign me a representative to discuss the case.

Thanks all!
 

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OK, that is the drain plug. This plug is required to have an aluminum crush washer which seals and prevents the threads from stripping. The plug must be tightened with a torque wrench to prevent damage, give a proper seal and make sure the plug does not unscrew on its own. No one could vandalize this without lifting the front of the car unless they have a small torso.
The dealer is at fault here.
 

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I'd recommend using dealerrater.com to check for a more reputable dealer if possible.

Also, I would see about getting the car back asap since who knows how well they are storing your car if they are shady about prices like that. Then take it to a more reputable dealer. If possible of course.

Hope it doesn't have to end up in a lawsuit. Some dealers just need to get shut down.
 

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My daughter drove her Honda Civic over a road hazard and ripped a hole in the oil sump. All the oil drained out and she drove at least a few miles before she realized what had happened. The car was towed to the Honda dealer where I have all my cars (Honda and non-Honda) serviced because I know the mechanics there and they are very reliable. They checked the engine, replaced the sump pan, put new oil in it and she drove the car for another 100K miles before she sold it with a total of 250K miles on it.
Hopefully, your engine is OK. Don't give up yet. Its a good thing you took pictures for evidence. This damage did not just happen on its own.
 

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Many thanks! Super helpful comments.

Here i am attaching a couple of pictures that the dealer sent to me.

UPDATE: The dealer that changed the oil delined all responsibility and say that the car "must be vandalized" and this is the reason because the oil plug was missing (BS to me).
And the dealer who has the car says that 6K is for a second-hand engine and a new one is about 12-14K (the same kind of BS). Meanwhile, i am waiting for the Honda Warranty to assign me a representative to discuss the case.

Thanks all!
I'm not the type of person to say hire an attorney, but this time I will. Whomever was the tech to do the last oil change forgot to tighten the darned drain plug. I hope you have proof of the last oil change done by them. For them to say someone vandalized your car by loosening the plug is shear lunacy. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not the type of person to say hire an attorney, but this time I will. Whoever was the tech to do the last oil change forgot to tighten the darned drain plug. I hope you have proof of the last oil change done by them. For them to say someone vandalized your car by loosening the plug is shear lunacy. Good luck.
Thank you all for the super helpful comments.
UPDATE: Over the weekend I went to see the car (it's in NJ and I live in Washington DC) and the car indeed made a noise and the impression is that it's broken - Here is the video (I could upload directly): New video by Juli谩n Najles

The warranty and the insurance are not giving answers and the dealer who changed the oil declined all responsibility.
At this point, as you recommended, I am looking for a lawyer who can help me to deal with all this.
The question is: Do you have any recommendations? I was looking as crazy in the last couple of days but I could find anyone reliable yet. I am in Washington DC.
Grateful for your comment!
 

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Just going by the audio in the video, that engine is likely toast.
Sounds like rod knock to me, possibly from a spun rod bearing due to lack of oil pressure.
You are likely doing more damage to the engine by running it.

My technical recommendation is to get the vehicle to a good independent mechanic.
He should connect an accurate oil pressure gauge to the engine and determine what the oil pressure is.
Then a compression test.
Of course any engine can be repaired/rebuilt but for a common low cost economy engine, it's not worth it.

A good used 1.8L engine is less than US$1000 plus likely about another US$1000 to install it.

Good luck with the legal process...
 

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It is not far-fetched to think that someone could have forgotten to replace the threaded plug or only hand-tightened it and forgot to torque it properly. One of my customers is in the business of providing psychological counseling to their customers' employees; they have customers all over the US in a variety of sectors (manufacturing, construction, engineering, insurance, law firms, food distribution, retail, banking) and all sectors have employees with drug (and alcohol) problems. Not that it happened here, but drug-related lapses of attention are happening all the time.
 

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Different countries, different laws.

To me the Burden of Proof lies with the dealership that replaced the oil, they would have to prove that the vehicle had been vandalised to back up their claim. Receipt or stamped Service Book would be proof that they conducted the work and as the oil was only changed approximately 2 months prior to the oil leaking and if the vehicle had only travelled a reasonable amount in that time (say 2-3k miles rather than an amount that would require the oil to be changed) it would be reasonable to believe they would have been the only people to have carried out such work in that time.

It is possible the screw in plug was not installed correctly and managed to work its way loose, highly unusual, but not improbable. The only fly in the ointment is when did the OP carry out basic maintenance checks on his vehicel? The general contract between manufacturer and owner is they will replace defective or failed parts if the owner takes all reasonable steps to mainitain the vehicle and keep it in a road worthy and safe condition. According to the UK Owners Handbook, "We recommend that you check the engine oil level every time you refuel." Have you fueled up since having the oil changed and if so, did you check the oil level, and what level was it at?

Slightly confused as to why Honda Warranty is being mentioned, but there may be context to this which has not been mentioned so far. Before getting a solicitor or lawyer, if your HR-V was purchased under finance - bank or HP, I would check the T&C's of your contract and see if you can involve them in the dispute (under UK law if you purchase via a bank loan or hire purchase, the vehicle belongs to the lender until you have made the final payment, so in this case it would be the lenders responsibility to sort this out, not the owner).

When making big purchases I always try and pay a deposit of at least 拢100 that way if I have any future issues with the vendor, under the terms of the UK Consumer Credit Act (2006) I can request the Credit Card company act on my behalf. So if you did something similar, and there are similar safeguards under US law, then you could also involve them.

I would also inform HUS, and make them fully aware of what is going on,they may even intervene on your behalf on a 'Checks (not cheque!) and Balance' principle. If the accusation is found to be true, what other work has this dealership bollocksed up?

Dealerships and Service Departments DO make mistakes, I was carrying out basic maintenance checks on my previous vehicle the day after I had just had the A/C serviced. When I opened the bonnet I found a lilac and light blue plastic caps wedged under the windscreen wiper arm. When I contacted the dealership, they informed me they were the dust caps for the A/C and just slip them back on, the 'Techinician' (and supervisor) obviously forgot to replace them. I got them to confirm they recorded this event on my Electronic Service Record in case they tried to use the 'but our highly trained technicians would never do that...' if in the future I suspected they had negligently carried out work.
 
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