k a r y n . m a r i e (thetopdown) wrote in bad_service,
k a r y n . m a r i e

I don't know if anyone else has dealt with this, but if you have, I'd like to know about it.

My husband and I recently moved to California, driving cross-country to get here. Before we left, we had my car (a 2002 Ford Focus LX) looked at by my mechanic of 5 years. I told him if anything was wrong with it, to tell me, and I would fix it then. He had no reason to lie to me, given that he would stand to make a crapload of money off of me, and so when he told me nothing was wrong other than needing a new spark plug, which I promptly replaced, I believed him.

We got to California, where we had an oil change done immediately after arriving, having just driven 3000 miles. We took it to Firestone for this service, as we have coupons for their business. This was probably my first mistake, but it needed done and we hadn't found a good mechanic yet. So we get the oil changed, no problems, and go on our way.

Two Fridays ago, I was driving on a relatively dark road at night, by myself, doors locked of course, on my way home from work. All of a sudden, I stop at a red light, the car idles HARD, and then dies. Just dies. No warning, no check engine light, no oil light. Just dead, right there on the road. I get it pushed to the side of the road, popped the hood, and looked at things. I opened the oil cap, and guess what I saw? NOTHING! There was NO OIL in my car. None. Bone dry. So I go grab the two quarts I keep in my trunk, add them, and try to start the car. Nothing happens, of course.

After a very long and exhausting night, have it towed to a mechanic, which cost me $150 even with my insurance. I also had to go rent a car, which cost me $700 for a week because I had to take what they could give me seeing as I HAD to have a way to work and school, and what they had was a freaking SUV.

So I get a call from the mechanic that Monday, telling me that I need an entirely new engine, which, if they can find a refurb, will cost $2500. If they can't? $4000. The mechanic starts asking me about things, and I inform him that there was no oil in the car before I put the two quarts in. He goes silent for a moment and goes, "Well. That would do it." He also tells me that they found metal in the oil that was there, and that they found metal bits clanging around the cylinders. He said that if I got my oil changed when I did, the oil was likely gone by about two weeks ago, and that while he's surprised that the check oil light didn't come on, that it's not entirely unusual. He also said that it's his opinion, given the lack of oil and the severity of the damage to my engine, that either Firestone FORGOT TO PUT OIL IN MY CAR or added the wrong kind of oil and it just burned through. There were no leaks, either - he checked. He also informed me that it would be until this coming Tuesday before I'd have the car back - which meant I had to rent another car for another $400. So now we're up to $3800 total that I've spent becasue Firestone didn't do their jobs.

The mechanic is willing to put this in writing. I'm sending them the bills for this mess.

Anyone else had any experience with this kind of thing?
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