Oil Change Fiasco

lindsaymazda3lindsaymazda3 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2017 in Mazda
Last night I dropped off my 2008 Mazda 3 for a routine oil change and picked it up as the service department was closing at the dealership. I noticed it wasn't as "zippy" as I took off, but I made it onto the interstate and up to highway speed, but the RPMs shot up and I started losing speed. When the car would only go 55mph, I pulled over, and as I did, I noticed a cloud of smoke behind the car and an AT light lit up on the dash. I made it 3.8 miles. I had the car towed back to the dealership at their expense, and they provided a loaner vehicle. When my father and husband checked the fluids, the transmission was empty and the engine was overfilled by 3+ quarts of oil.

When the service department opened this morning, they confirmed what my father and husband suspected -- the mechanic drained my transmission instead of my engine, added the new oil to the engine, then put nothing back in my transmission. They admitted fault and said they refilled my transmission and re-changed the oil to the proper level. The service manager drove the car, he said it was running properly, and they will guarantee my transmission for the "near future". Of course I'll get everything in writing, but I don't feel like that's adequate compensation for their huge mistake and potential engine/transmission damage/loss of life. I recognize it's a nearly 10-year-old car with 130,000 miles, probably only worth about $3000, but it's been a reliable car for me for years with zero issues. I was just getting ready to purchase a new vehicle and hand this car down to my 14-year-old daughter for her school permit -- I expected it to last at least another 5 years.

Has anybody run into a similar situation? What compensation was provided or what seems fair? I'm picking the car up in a couple of hours.

Thank you!


  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    It is possible that very little damage was done, but make sure you get it in writing what they will do and for how long they will cover it. Make sure it is specific, covering the engine and transmission.
    It is possible that the added/over-full oil could have compromised oil seals or valve seals.
    The likelihood is slim, but the possibility is there.

    Engines and transmissions don't like to be over or under full and either can cause some issues.

    Did they change the transmission filter on your car when they refilled the transmission?
    If they did not, the fibers from the clutch disks that took a beating from lack of oil probably washed into the filter with the new oil.
    The correct thing to do, would have been to do an entire trans and engine service. Filters and oil.

    It may not be necessary to go that far, but it would have been the correct thing to do.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    ZERO!!!! Where have you been??

    This is a touchy one and something I would expect more from a Quickie Lube than a dealer!

    Opatience knows what he is doing and has given you good advise.

    I know I would be TICKED!
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    @isellhondas Good to see you old friend.
    Life took over and I was off on too many different adventures.
    Things are finally calming down a bit and I'm on the downhill run to retirement, so there is becoming more time available to me to relax a bit. LOL!
    I've missed this place and will try and make it here more often.
    I'm still running though. LOL!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I'm happy to see you back! Keep up the good fight there on the coast!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nice to have him back isn't it? :p
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    @0patience Count me as another happy to see you back! :)
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Well, that's nice of you all and I'm really glad to see some familiar people still here.
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