Sunday, May 31, 2015

Oil Change

I am simply reporting a set of events.  You can decide what you think caused this drain plug to fall out.  Video is here:

March 6th – Oil change at Exeter Subaru. The only reason I did this was because it was free as part of the purchase of the car.

March 12th – Early morning coming back from Boston Logan Airport engine oil light comes on a few miles from home.

March 12th – Called Exeter Subaru in the morning and they tell me to drive or have car towed to their location. They tell me to check if any oil under the car.  There is a small amount of oil under the car so I start to drive thinking that there may be a small oil leak.  Within a ½ mile engine sounds very bad, so I go back home. I call Triple AAA to have towed to Exeter Subaru.

March 12th – I know the AAA towing garage so I have them put the car up before they tow it over Exeter Subaru.  The AAA garage calls immediately to tell me there is no oil plug in the car and there is no damage under the car. They said that it most likely that Exeter Subaru did not tighten the oil plug after the oil change.

March 12th – I call Exeter Subaru to let me know what the AAA garage discovered regarding the missing oil plug and to make sure to take a look at the engine to see if it is ok.

March 13th – Exeter Subaru did not call me the day before when the car arrived, and by afternoon had still not gotten back to me.  I call them and got the service manager on the line.  He said they looked at the engine and put new oil in. They also indicated they had no idea how the plug could have gone missing.  They don’t tell me they talked to the person that did the oil change or indicate at all that they could have been responsible. Instead, the service manger asks me (after warning me to not take what he was going to say personal),  “if I have any enemies?”.  He indicated that he or anyone in the service department could think of how this could have happened, and was I sure no one I knew could have done this. I ask him when I can pick up the car and if the engine was OK.  He says the engine seemed fine.

March 13th – I pick up the car late in day. The service department says there is no charge for putting the oil in.  I drive home and the engine seems ok but I drive without reving the engine at all (it is a standard).

March 14th – I am driving the car in the morning and decide to test the engine as I have my concerns.  I rev the engine to about 5K RPMs and the engine starts to make all kinds of noises.  I drive it about 4 miles round trip and the engine is banging and making all kinds of noise. I barely make it home and the car dies.

March 14th – I call Exeter Subaru. I get the highest ranking person at Exeter Subaru which is the Sales Manager. I explain the situation. As expected, he tells me he cannot help and I would need to talk to the GM. I leave all my contact information for the GM to call.

March 16th – The GM calls me back and leaves a message. They offer no help and are not in a hurry to get back to me. They definitely don’t want give the impression they could be at fault. Therefore, I call my attorney.

March 16th – My attorney is out of town and will not be back until March 19th.  

March 19th – My attorney calls and I explain the circumstances. He immediately calls Darren the GM at Exeter Subaru.  Darren explains to my attorney that I should contact my insurance company and that my insurance would then work with their insurance company if needed.

March 19th – I call my insurance company and issue a claim.  The first time they can get an adjuster scheduled is for March 25th.

March 23th – I call Exeter Subaru and speak with the GM Darren and let him know I followed his instructions and filed a claim with my insurance company. I tell him the car will be towed over to his location so the insurance adjuster could look at the engine from below and talk to folks in the service department.

March 24th - I get the car towed over to Exeter Subaru. 

March 25th – I  don’t hear from the adjuster or Exeter Subaru that the insurance adjuster came out to look at car.

March 26th – I call the insurance company and find out they did look at the car.  The said the claim was in process.

March 30th – I talk to the Insurance adjuster. He indicates that he did look at the car and suspected that the oil plug was not put back properly so it came loose and fell out. I thought they would not cover because of this, but he said they were putting together the estimate for the claim.

March 31st – I get the estimate for the claim.

April 1st – I notice in the claim that Exeter Subaru was going to do the work. I call insurance company to verify. I thought this was the case since perhaps the insurance company had negotiated with Exeter Subaru and they admitted fault.  That had not happened and I could get my car repaired anywhere.  I call AAA to get the car towed to garage near my home so they could do the work. Triple A had to call Exeter Subaru to get permission to get the car off their lot.

April 1st – Engine ordered by garage doing the work  and check issued by my insurance company but problems persist. The amount of check is change and reissued as this garage charges $85 an hour not $125 an hour Exeter Subaru was charging.

April 22nd- Called auto insurance company. They indicated they paid the claim because, “Couldn’t prove who tampered with the car engine plug”.

June 4th - Response from Subaru:  "I talked with Nick the Service Manager at Exeter Subaru. He states that he talked with you extensively about the concern with your engine.  
He advises that they changed the oil in your car on 03/06/15. He explained that your vehicle came back in on 03/12/15 with 500 miles and they found that the oil plug was missing and that there was no oil in the engine.
Nick says you told them that the car had been sitting at Logan airport parked for a period of time, until you returned to drive it home to NH, and that is when you heard an engine noise and determined the oil plug was missing.
The Service Manager explained that he told you that based on the length of time and mileage that passed since the oil change was done, he felt it was unlikely that the concern resulted from their workmanship, and they could not take responsibility for the engine damage. Nick further explained that if the oil plug was loose, due to engine vibration, it would almost certainly have become evident in a very few miles of driving.
If you have any further questions about this concern, I would recommend contacting Exeter Subaru and talking with Nick the Service Manager or their management team."