My oil plug fell out after an oil change, is it ruined?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Rebecca4846282, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Rebecca4846282

    Rebecca4846282 New Member

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    I had an oil change Tuesday. They screwed up my new tire and I had to return the next day and get it aired up. Now, Friday, my oil plug fell out. Can I get the auto place to take blame? And is my Prius ruined even though it switched to the electric engine at the first sign of a problem?
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Please clarify...

    The oil plug "fell out" meaning four quarts of oil spilled everywhere while you were driving and you just kept driving? Didn't you see the oil on the ground?

    Or are you talking about the fill cap on top that's gone?

    Or are you talking about something else entirely?
     
  3. Rebecca4846282

    Rebecca4846282 New Member

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    The oil plug fell out. I heard it and within 20 min there was no oil in my car. No I didn’t see it come out I was driving 40 mph at the time. But once the car knew the oil was low it switched to the electric engine.
     
  4. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    A Prius hardly has good visibility to the ground behind it using the rear view mirror. And if there is traffic close behind, you don't even see the ground.
     
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  5. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I would think if the plug fell out completely, there would be no oil in the engine in just a few minutes - that is about as long as it takes to fully drain the oil during an oil change. Perpaps a bit longer with the fill cap in place.
     
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  6. Greenteapri

    Greenteapri Active Member

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    Hiya.

    Check your oil dipstick. What does it read?

    Snap a pic.

    Like this...
    20190816_112832.jpg
     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Once the engine knew there was no oil in it then it usually seizes and destroys the engine. And by electric engine you mean you drove on the hybrid battery till that died too.

    I assume you took the car to a jiffy lube or the dealer? Either way yeah there paying for it.

    In your signature you list "2007 Base Plug In" What dos that mean? Is this a hymotion prius?
     
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  8. Rebecca4846282

    Rebecca4846282 New Member

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    Yeah it’s empty. I don’t have a pic but they checked it when they picked it up to tow. Also there’s oil still kind of leaking and there’s oil splattered on the inside of the car where my tire is. They checked it once they got it to my place and said the oil plug is completely gone.

    I took it to Midas. They got me a new tire and screwed that up too. Originally went Tuesday, went back Wednesday for the tire, went back Thursday because it was low, and now this. Also I probably hit about 50 miles when it fell off.

    Also it’s just a Prius base I think. But yes once the red light with the triangle and exclamation point went on I think it switched to the electric only engine which it also does if my gas is low, and then it used that until my battery ran out.
     
    #8 Rebecca4846282, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2019
  9. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    only a lawyer can advise you what your options are regarding the auto place.

    only a trusted mechanic can advise you regarding the condition of the car.
    welcome to priuschat and good luck with your 2007 prius
     
  10. mikey_t

    mikey_t Member

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    The car "switched" to the battery on it's own? It seems that your engine is, most likely, definitely ruined. Who did the oil change? Have you called to complain about what happened? They should be thoroughly compensating you for this. If not, have a lawyer on hand.
     
  11. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

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    Was this a dealer or a Jiffy Lube, or...? Depending on the state of your Prius now, and the response from the shop who did the work, it may be time to lawyer up. Good luck.
     
  12. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    If the engine is running the oil is under pressure. It probably took less than a minute.
     
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  13. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    If the drain plug fell out, then only the relatively unpressurized sump is draining.

    Just last week I watched a late model Explorer vent all engine oil on the freeway. It was about 3 minutes between the first mist/smoke and the driver pulling over unpowered...
     
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  14. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Junior Member

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    If you were driving 40 mph, the road noise would have been too high for you to have heard the oil plug fall out. There should have been a warning light on the dash indicating low oil pressure as soon as the oil was lost. What you may have heard was the engine seizing up after driving a few miles without oil. Driving more than a short distance without oil would definitely damage/destroy the engine.

    Take it back to the oil change place. They should have insurance for things like that and owe you a new engine.
     
  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Hummm, too many "unknown" in this thread to offer any good advice. What is "2007 Prius Plug-in base"? What is "electric engine"? Who did the oil change? How did the car stop after driving 20 min without oil?

    I hope we can get more information on your case, so we can help. Otherwise, good luck you are on your own.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no prolemo, just refill and be on your way
     
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  17. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    There is something missing in this story.
    First, the oil pressure light should have come on.
    If it DID and the owner drove it another 20 minutes.....then all bets are OFF.

    Then, how does the owner know that the oil plug is missing ??

    Advice to the owner:
    Document EVERYTHING.
    Have it towed to a Toyota shop to have the engine examined.
    Decide what to do after that.
    Since it is a 12 year old car, it might not be worth the price of a lawyer to try and get more than whatever the oil change place will offer you.
     
  18. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    1. There's no such thing as a 2007 Plug-in Base, so you need to identify your car.
    If your car is an 07, then it's 12 years old.

    2. The plug fell out and you heard it within 20 minutes?
    Heard what?
    The plug falling out? While you were driving?
    Possible, since it might have clattered around under your car before you left it behind.
    The oil draining from the engine?
    Engine bearings howling in protest?
    Typically Pips do not run for 20 minutes on battery at highway speed, so I'm guessing you were pretty close to home.

    I don't have a Baker Street address so you're going to have to be a bit more specific.

    3. Oil starvation. The only way you're going to figure all of this out (if it happened) is to get a plug and install it, fill the sump to capacity and then run the engine and....see if it runs.
    My mom had a quickie oil change done years back on a Camry and they forgot to put oil in the engine. She drove it a bit (about 7 miles) and discovered that the oil light never went out, and YES she was pretty embarrassed about it.
    The Quickie Lube fessed up and offered en engine replacement if it was damaged.
    The thing is?
    It was.
    And...it wasn't.
    IIRC it was an 04 Camry, and It's still on the road today, being driven by a sister-in-law.
    It actually runs fairly well.

    So....the myth that an engine will lock up the very second that it's oil starved may be just that.
    A myth.

    ALSO - the reason that the quickie lube place offered her a replacement engine is that she didn't go all reality TV on them but rather called the manager and explained what happened while the car was still warm and sitting in the parking lot of her next destination.
    They immediately filled the car's sump, and offered the engine replacement because her story was credible AND because she communicated with THEM rather than typing out a post on a car forum.

    4. Liability.
    Let's just say that I would not use a hard copy of this thread in small claims court as "proof" that you were damaged by the mechanic.
    I WOULD NOT go back to the mechanic for any more car repairs, and I WOULD update your profile with more real-world info. If you're into retribution you can try to become their social media nightmare.

    In the event that this is a for-real post, asking a for-real question then small claims is probably going to be your only recourse, and then only after you've taken corrective action (replace plug, fill sump to capacity) and then determine if there was any real-world damage to your car.
    I would talk to the mechanic, explain what happened, show them the new plug, etc....and see what they're willing to do.
    If nothing else, they owe you the price of the plug and 4 quarts of whatever bulk oil they put in the car - but they might just tell you to buzz off. If you provide more specific information, such as what part of the US you live in, more specific information might apply but FIRST you have to quantify your damages.

    Good Luck!
     
    #18 ETC(SS), Sep 14, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  19. Rebecca4846282

    Rebecca4846282 New Member

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    Okay so I was driving, and this is for everyone kind of, and I heard something it sounded like I ran over something and it kinda hit the bottom of my car or something fell out. The car was fine for maybe 5 minutes and then the red triangle light with the exclamation point in the center came on. I had no idea what to do so I pulled over and it said to look for another light but I didn’t see any on the dash. So I call up a friend and he says he doesn’t know and to get to the next auto part store stat. On my way there the light comes on and I see the oil light on my display. Then a couple minutes later my car switches to the hybrid battery only, not my engine, and then the hybrid battery runs out about a mile from the auto part store. I call triple A and the guy shows me where my oil splashed up on the inside of the tire. He also shows me it’s still leaking a little and then pull up the meter under the hood and we see there’s little to no oil. Then I get it home and my friend comes over and says the oil plug is completely gone. From noise to car pulling over took maybe 20 minutes. Maybe less.
     
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  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Exactly, I'm not buying original poster's claim... 20 minutes with no engine oil is impossible. Knowingly or unknowingly the car was damaged or tampered with and the effort to blame/fabricate evidence against the oil change place is what is going on here. If the plug comes all the way off it would of been leaking as it rolled out of the oil change shop and the amount of oil leaked, unless on gravel would of been near the broken down vehicle and very obvious requiring a haz mat cleanup, 911 records, etc... The fact that none of this is part of the original story points to something else at play.

    You simply don't dump 4.5 quarts of oil as you drive and have it not become an incident where the spill is clearly obvious to many people and agencies, yet this is the claim that being made.
     
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