Oil Change Catastrophe

chicago_mieschicago_mies Member Posts: 3
edited December 2016 in Subaru
So, I've owned my 2012 Subaru Forester for about 5 months and purchased from a local dealer. The dealer offers free oil changes as long as you own the car. So, my wife brings the car in for an oil change and notices something wrong when she drives it home. We take it to our local, reliable mechanic and very quickly observed that they did the following wrong:
•instead of draining the oil, they completely drained the transmission fluid
•thinking the oil was empty, they filled it with four MORE quarts of oil.

My mechanic is telling me that my transmission life will potentially be shortened, I'll likely need new catalytic converters soon along with other potential internal engine damage. The dealer is saying they'll make it right but also staying that if nothing is wrong now, then there won't be in the future. Do I demand a new engine? Make them buy the car back? Install a new engine?



  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,640
    I'm more worried about the transmission than the engine. How many miles were put on the car after the oil change?

    I would ask them for an extended engine and transmission warranty in writing.

    Was this a Subaru dealer?
  • chicago_mieschicago_mies Member Posts: 3
    no, Nissan. Probably 30-40 miles after the "oil change"
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    This is a tough one, because you can't sue him for anything unless you can prove you have lost something due to his negligence. And to do that, you'd almost have to take the transmission apart to show any damage.

    I'm thinking that anything you get out of this will be strictly a goodwill gesture on the dealer's part.
  • chicago_mieschicago_mies Member Posts: 3
    thank you texases and Mr_Shiftright for your responses. I really appreciate your input!
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,640
    edited December 2016
    I would find a good Subaru shop for future maintenance and repairs. This exact problem is relatively common, unfortunately. Subarus are a bit quirky, and one needs to maintain them 'by the book' to minimize problems with the engine (head gaskets, although you have the new engine which should avoid the prior problems) and drive train (AWD system). I would want to make certain that the correct ATF is used.
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