Thursday, June 2, 2011

How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?

My friend just had her oil changed at Walmart. She has a '93 Honda Accord with 150,000 miles on it. After driving 30 miles to work, her oil light came on. When she checked the oil didn't even show up on the dip stick! And there was oil on the ground. She put in two quarts and it leaked out in 20 minutes. She called Walmart and they just said to bring it back in so they could look at it. But the Walmart she took it to is at least 25 miles away from where she works! Also, she just replaced the oil pan less than a year ago.

Can she put 4 quarts in and make it the 30 miles back?

And what should she do/say when she takes it back in to Walmart?How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
Sounds like walmart did something wrong. I bet they put the drain plug in wrong. She can drive it forever like that but she needs to carry oil with her and stop regularly to check it.

For 25 miles, i'd stop at least twice, maybe more depending on how quickly it's coming out of it.

When she gets it to them ask them to take a look at what's wrong. It's probably an easy fix that they'll cover because they broke it.

Make sure she hangs on to her receipts in case you need to make a legal issue out of it. Document all of your calls and what you do.How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
Well buying a Honda was the first mistake in my book. LOL but to each their own. She can drive until there isn't any oil and then she will blow her engine.She needs to have Walmart record in WRITING that they made the error and that they will repair the problem as well as cover the cost of any issues created by their mistake and then have them fix it.

DO NOT drive it back to Walmart...have it towed and insist that WALMART cover the cost of the tow. Walmart could technically say that they don't have to cover it because she still drove the vehicle.How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
tell your friend to get a case of oil, keep the receipt, drive it back to walmart,( if the oil lite comes on before she gets there, stop, check the oil, add more if needed), have the service mgr. put the vehicle up on the lift, and if he lets you, go and look at it WITH him. check the oil pan drain plug and the oil filter. make sure the pan bolt is tight and the filter is not so tight as to where the rubber ring seal isnt torn or twisted onto the outside of the filter body, and insist that they put on a new filter. lastly, make walmart PAY for the case of oil or any quarts you may have used.How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
Have her put in the four quarts before she starts the trip back to Walmart and have her carry another case in the trunk of her car.

She should watch her oil light and the moment it starts to glow again, pull over, check the oil level on the dip stick and add enough oil to bring it up to the proper level and continue.

However many stops and however many quarts it takes to get her back to Walmart.

I suspect that the techs at Walmart forgot to tighten the bolt that drains the oil out of the pan. I can say with almost 100% certainty, that the pan was NOT completely empty when she first took it in for the oil change. She would have seen the oil light and the techs would have said something about it, even if it were to sell her more service repairs.

Have her buy a case of oil and keep the receipt. Wallmart should pay her for the oil she had to replace SINCE the oil change, and NOT have her pay a dime more for fixing the problem they undoubtably cause, nor for any additional oil the put in when she takes it back.

The alternative is to have the car towed back (which actually WOULD be a better alternative, but the hassle of convincing the Walmart service manager to pay for the tow may not be worth it).How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
Your friend should take the Accord back to Walmart and have them correct the oil leak. The work should be carefully inspected to be sure that the leak is coming from the oil pan gasket. It is possible that the oil pan has a hole in it or that the drain plug has been lost. Driving it back Walmart with a big leak in 20 minutes does not sound like a smart idea. Adding 4 quarts of oil every 20 minutes is also not good. Could she go to a closer WALMART and get the work done under a WALMART guarantee? Fix the problem now or you risk losing the whole engine. Walmart will not want to pay for a new engine or a tow truck to tow it 30 miles.How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
If Wal-Mart just changed her oil they're not liable for anything...they don't remove the oil pan to change the oil, just a small drain bolt.

Replacing the oil pan is oil pan isn't usually replaced unless it had been physcially damaged. An oil pan gasket is more commonly replaced...the primary cause of most heavy oil leaks.

Is the car able to get back to Wal-Mart?....of course. Fill it with oil and drive 10-15 minutes, stop, check it, add, repeat. You need to decide first if you're going to try and stick this on Wal-Mart. Look under the car and see where the oil is coming from...the oil pan seal? a loose oil pan bolt? (in which case tighten it and then get the oil change money back from wal-mart), etc. Make a judgement call...if it seems like they may have been liable then DO NOT drive the car. Have it towed to the service location and be prepared to lay out your story very clearly.

If they're willing to fix the problem and you don't believe they caused it then by all means fill her up and drive it cautiously back to the store.

Hope this helps!How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
My suggestion is politely demand Walmart send a mechanic to assess the issue. Since the oil had just been changed there, and no prior issues were observed, this is not an outragious request. However, talk with the store manager first, not the shop manager. It's fine if they put you back to the shop manager after. This way your side gets told directly, without a third party interpretation. Now about the car, DO NOT DRIVE ANYWHERE!!! Sounds like your oil drain plug may not be installed properly but you need Walmart, or a trained pro to evaluate. Walmart would be my first choice, since the mistake is theirs. Make sure the resolution they propose is amicable to you. Hope this helps.

P.S. One other thing. Most replies here seem to indicate driving a car with a severe oil leak is okay ,as long as you keep stopping and putting oil in it. DON%26quot;T DO IT. You will leave a trail of oil, which is a hazardous situation according to the law and makes you resonsible (especially if it causes an accident). Also, you put your car at risk of catching fire. Please, tow it or have Walmart come to you. Be Safe.How far can you drive with a leaky oil pan?
they probably stripped the bolt that goes in the oil pan and then she would have to buy a new oil pan or they put the filter in wrong or something