Car Engine Low On Oil Suffern NY

The Honest Mechanic helps a car owner with engine problems. The car needs a new engine and the owner believes the problems were caused by the negligence of the auto shop he took it to just days before it started having problems. See what kind of advice he gets and keep it in mind in case you find yourself in the same situation in Suffern.

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Reader Question I have a 2004 Subaru Outback LLbean edition with a 6L Boxter engine. I always take it to the same local shop for my oil changes and minor repairs.

I recently took the car to him to perform the 30K service. About a week after I got the car from him I noticed a knocking sound in the engine. Not being a mechanic at all, I wasn't sure what the sound was. Within a few days the check engine light came on, so I took the car to the dealership right away to see what was going on.

The called me and said that the engine was 4.5 qts low on oil. The engine only holds 6 qts. To make a long story short, I now have the car in the subaru dealership with the engine torn out and apart. Apparently a rod was damaged and there is metal shavings all inside the engine. The dealership says I need a new engine.

I have spoken with the mechanic about the apparent mistake made by his shop in not refilling my car with oil. He is not willing to admit fault. What should I do to get him to own up to the roughly $10K to put a new engine in my car? Any ideas would be great.


Hey there Jed
This is a bad situation, and I don’t really know what or who can be the blame for this. IF, your mechanic did not refill the engine with enough oil, or did not fill it at all...which happens sometimes, the engine would have made noise and probably stopped running within 5-10 miles.

Since it was a week after the oil change before the engine started to knock kind of leads me to believe it might have left the mechanic shop with enough oil, enough to keep it from knocking.

Could there have been an oil leak that caused the oil to leak out of the engine and cause the damage?

You might want to ask your mechanic if he has insurance that will cover this, and you might want to pay his deductible amount to make the claim. We have insurance at my shop just for this type of situation, and I would just turn this in as a claim if this happened at my shop.

Last option, call a few junk yards in your area and see if you can find a used engine for your vehicle. I am not familiar with this engine, or how many of them were made, but it would be worth a few phone calls to a junk yard to see if there is a vehicle like yours that is wrecked but the engine is still in good shape.

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