UPDATE: Walmart Refuses To Pay For Engine Damage Caused By Faulty Oil Change
Having just arrived in Paonia, Colorado for the summer, reader Ashlee thought she should get her oil changed. Not yet familiar with the area, she went with a name she recognized–Walmart. The oil change seemed to go fine so Ashlee and her friend decided to embark on a trip to Denver. Thirty minutes into the road trip, she heard a strange noise coming from the engine. She pulled over and intuitively checked the dipstick which revealed zero oil. Ashlee then looked underneath her car and saw oil covering much of the undercarriage. Eventually, she got the car to town where a mechanic discovered that the oil cap had been put on improperly, allowing the oil to escape. Later, she received an estimate from GMC of $5,875 to replace the engine. Ashlee’s letter, inside…
I needed an oil change. After all, I had driven across the country from Georgia to Colorado. Walmart seemed to be an obvious choice, be it that I was unfamiliar with the area, and a familiar name would just be easy and reliable–or so I thought.
Last Saturday I made a decision I would soon regret… I got my oil changed by “oil technicians” and Wally-World. Driving no more than a mile or two each day after that I noticed no problem and was relieved to have the oil changed and taken care of for the time being. Thursday afternoon Courtney and I were excited to be let out of work early, so we packed up the vehicle and hit the road toward Denver for the holiday weekend. No more than 30 minutes into the trip Courtney heard a strange noise and made me listen for it. It didn’t sound normal so we pulled over as soon as the road permitted. Having just gotten the oil changed it was my first thought to check the dipstick. Empty. Nothing. A glance under the car lent a horrifying view of a filthy bottom covered in leaking oil and a smoking drive-train closer to the rear.
My next thought was to get On-Star. Push the button. Nothing. Empty rings into oblivion, then the automated operator informs me that she is unable to connect to On-Star. A lone biker-man stopped, and confirmed what we had already gathered… which was that we were pretty much out of luck. Then another car stopped, leant us a few drops of oil that was left in a bottle he had in his trunk. They advised us to coast back down the mountain and try to get back to Paonia, where we had come from. We made it back, barely. Coasted into the only mechanic in town. Bob the mechanic then informed me that the oil cap was put back on improperly when the oil was changed, causing the o-ring seal to bust and the oil to simultaneously leak out, leaving the engine to run metal on metal and in turn ruin my engine. $4000 was his initial estimate, and that was just a courtesy as he is not actually equipped to replace entire ENGINES!
Keep in mind that I own a 2006 Saturn Vue, which only has 54,000 on it. No prior mechanical problems to speak of, until Walmart’s “technicians” got their hands on it. Currently trying to work with Walmart and their insurance company to see if they will pay for the replacement of my engine, parts & labor, the cost a rental car (since the GMC dealership told me it would take about 2 weeks for repair)… and I want quarts of oil for LIFE! Final estimate from GMC was $5,875!
BOOOOOOO Walmart for sure this time!! Don’t get your oil changed there, go to a REAL mechanic! Just do not shop there, period.
We would like to see Walmart take responsibility for the botched job. Our thinking is that if they can’t even do the retail store thing right, what chance to they have on a car with hundreds of moving parts? You would have actually been better off if Walmart didn’t change your oil at all and just lied about it.
Wal-mart Automotive Center = DEATH & DESTRUCTION! [Ashlee’s Blog]