In May, Mike Pineda thought he’d save some time and stopped in at Mr. Lube on Westminster Highway in Richmond to get a quick oil change for his 2013 Ford Fusion Energi but 15 minutes after driving away, he was stranded by the side of the road.
“I stopped the car, I opened the hood to discover there was no oil reading on the dipstick,” Pineda said.
Clearly something was wrong. He immediately got on the phone to Mr. Lube and the company responded. The service manager drove out right away with four litres of oil but it was too late. The engine had seized.
“Often, by the time you’re aware of it, the engine damage is done,” said George Iny with the Automobile Protection Association.
“It was unbelievable really. It was unbelievable. I was extremely mad,” said Pineda. “It should be safe to assume that the oil change was done properly.”
So what went wrong?
“My understanding is oil was in but it got drainage again, or something,” said Nadeem Ishan, manager of the Richmond Mr. Lube location.
When you pull your car into a Mr. Lube, there’s a guy working above and a guy in a bay below, underneath the vehicle. Ishan suspects that after the oil was drained below and the new oil went in from above, it may have been mistakenly been drained again.
Pineda says he saw the low oil indicator light on after the oil change and says he asked about it. He says the attendant told him it should go off after 10 or 15 minutes of driving when the pressure builds up. 15 minutes later the vehicle went into limp mode.
While Mr. Lube stated it was unclear exactly what went wrong, the company told CTV News, “We have now retrained our store staff to try to avoid this happening again.”
And Mr. Lube wasted no time in compensating Pineda, sending the case to its insurance company to handle the damage.
“He was apologetic. He kept saying that, 'We’re going to make this right.' And he’s going to make any effort he can to help me out,” Pineda said.
The insurance company for Mr. Lube determined a new engine would be needed and Pineda was able to choose the Ford dealer to do the repair.
“I was impressed in this case that the quick lube facility owned up to the problem as opposed to hiding it,” explained In.
In the past, CTV News has heard horror stories about quick oil changes going horribly wrong and the difficulties some consumers can have in getting the damage fixed, but that wasn’t the case for Pineda.
“It’s very unfortunate that a mistake was made but the consumer’s experience, the fact that they came out to help him during his break down and that his repair was expedited, is really pretty close to the gold standard for this kind of situation,” said In.
But the story didn’t end here. Pineda wasn’t entirely happy with the engine that was provided when a used engine showed up at the dealer for his car.
“I didn’t authorize that. I wasn’t even forewarned about that,” said Pineda.
Used does not necessarily mean bad but consumers do have a choice. On Tuesday we examined how these kinds of cases are handled by insurance companies and what you can expect when dealing with replacement parts.