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Hi all, I will try to make a long story short. took my 2016 4runner in for oil change. during service they noticed moisture around the steering gear. Took back in a week later to have that looked at. Turns out the seal was broken and they needed to replace the gear. Apparently to do that you need to get the drive line out of the way. They repaired the gear, put drive line back together but only tightened 1 of the 4 bolts. so the 3 bolts have now come out of the holes and done damage to oil pan and other things. I had a huge puddle of oil when i went to church, had one of the guys come out and look, also took dip stick out and checked it. not a drop on the dipstick, so we never started it again and had it towed back to Toyota. Also, later when I got home there was a 4x2 ft puddle in my garage and a line all the way down the street from when I left... they are telling me I was only 2.5 quarts low on oil, so should be no engine damage, although they are taking responsibility for the repairs. I want to be sure I have no engine damage, how do I do that?

my question is basically how low does the oil have to be before it registers nothing on the dipstick, and how low does it have to be before the light comes on? never got the low oil light...


thanks for any info
Angie
 

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my question is basically how low does the oil have to be before it registers nothing on the dipstick, and how low does it have to be before the light comes on? never got the low oil light...
The dipstick does not measure down to zero in the oil pan, but I don't know how low it goes.

The dash light is for oil pressure, not oil volume, although the two can be somewhat related. The fact that your oil pressure light did not illuminate is a good sign.

I would demand that they provide an extended drivetrain warranty to 10 years or 100K miles to compensate you for any possible permanent damage that they caused by their gross negligence. Open a case directly with Toyota Motor if the dealer gives you any flack about extending the warranty (but keep in mind that the dealer, not Toyota, may have to pay for extending the warranty).
 

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they are telling me I was only 2.5 quarts low on oil, so should be no engine damage, although they are taking responsibility for the repairs.

my question is basically how low does the oil have to be before it registers nothing on the dipstick...?


thanks for any info
Angie
My son has a '96 Camry that burns oil and he's also not very consistent with checking the oil. When he came to visit, I checked the oil and found there was no oil on the dipstick. It took 2 1/2 quarts to fill it up. Hope that helps.

I would demand that they provide an extended drivetrain warranty to 10 years or 100K miles to compensate you for any possible permanent damage that they caused by their gross negligence. Open a case directly with Toyota Motor if the dealer gives you any flack about extending the warranty (but keep in mind that the dealer, not Toyota, may have to pay for extending the warranty).
I agree with you, but GOOD LUCK with that!

Angie, let us know if you had success with Mark's suggestion.
 

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If the oil pressure light did not come on, then serious damage was most likely avoided. There are a few videos on YouTube of folks draining oil out of the car and running it until it seizes. For some engines that takes some time, but starts smoking and jerking before locking up. If you noticed no smoke and felt no issue yo are *probably* OK. But -

You took the vehicle to the dealer for them to change the oil and they screwed up. The screw up included you running the engine with a fair amount of oil missing, thanks to their error. That is inexcusable. I noticed your signature - you are a woman, correct? Some of these jerks think they can tell a woman anything and have her buy it. That they would say you "should" be OK and try to get you out the door and not take any more responsibility is poor.

Did you buy it new from them? Do you go to them for service? If so, I would think you have some leverage. I would demand to speak to the GM and the service manager. Sit them both down and very reasonably state they created a situation in which you drove your vehicle with more than a 1/3 of the volume missing. 2.5 quarts low is not the worst (volume is about 6.5 quarts), but I would ask the GM and service manager what they would say to a customer that told them they knowingly ran the thing when down 2.5 quarts. They would say you are probably OK but they can't tell you for certain, and can't guarantee there are no issues that may come up later. So, they can't expect different now. You are in a position that the only way to know better is they remove the engine, tear it down and inspect it. Otherwise they can only guess. Ask if they intend to do that for you? That warranty runs out and you are on your own. What are they willing to do for you? Fixing their own mistake is not doing anything for you. You are now in the position to not know if their error will cost you more money down the line. And that was gross negligence to not secure the bolts.

Heck, see if they will cut you a deal on a new 4Runner. Take what you owe (or if paid off the value plus a bit) and ask them to put you in a new or similar model, within reason, unit. They can take the one they fouled up and do what they think appropriate, you walk away with something you have more confidence in.
 

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Angie, please take this seriously and get everything in writing. I would definitely involve Toyota and document all communications with the timeline.
 
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