Routine Oil Change Cause Expensive Repairs

Monday, May 16th 2011, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -- Jake McCray relies on his 1995 Ford F-150 to get to work and around town. But he wasn't depending on the costly troubles that followed a recent trip to the Del City Wal-Mart for an oil change.

"Next thing you know, they're pushing my truck out of the garage," Jake McCray said.

Jake said Wal-Mart's service manager told him oil got into his air intake, filling oil in places it doesn't belong and sending smoke out the engine and exhaust.

"I was speechless to see how something like that could happen out of an oil change," McCray said.

Jake couldn't drive it either so he had it towed to Bill's Automotive Repair.

Owner Bill Simpson says the problem began because of the shape of the filler neck in this particular truck model.

"So if you put the oil in too quickly, the oil will fill up and it will go into a vent hose," Bill Simpson said.

Simpson said that filled oil into the engine and catalytic convertor. That meant McCray's $32 oil change turned into a more than $1400 repair bill. Simpson said that could have been prevented by pumping the oil in slower.

"It's hard to know everything about every car," said Simpson. "But if you're in that business and you're charging money for it, you're the expert."

Jake filed a claim for damages with Wal-Mart. But it was denied, stating Wal-Mart was not negligent. That's when he contacted News 9 Consumer Watch.

"Felt like something needed to happen and ya'll were the best way to get it done," McCray said. "Why not fix something you messed up. It's just common sense and common courtesy."

I asked Wal-Mart just that, but was instructed to contact corporate. I called and emailed them two weeks ago and still no response.

As for what happened, the mechanic says oil change places should be able to look at your car and know how to properly fill the oil into all vehicles.