My son works at an instant oil change place and often has amusing stories of the way people treat their cars. Tonight'* story was almost unbelievable! He had a customer drive in with a Lexus with about 50,000 miles on it that was making a terrible racket from the engine. He said he was having trouble keeping it running, and the SES light was on. It also showed no oil pressure. Nothing showed up on the dipstick, and removing the drain plug, nothing came out. When he removed the oil filter he said that it felt like it weighed about 10 pounds. He removed the oil filler cap, and it showed a creamy white substance all over it, and the valve cover was filled with a creamy spongy material that squished when he pushed on it.
He asked the guy what this may have been. He said that he was having problems with a coolant leak into the oil, so a friend helped him out with something that would fix him right up....Bars Leak. His friend poured it...yep, right into the crankcase!
He said that he had some "industrial grade stuff" and putting a lot into the crank will take care of the coolant leak. When my son asked if they read the warning on the label about not putting it into the oil, he said his friend told him to ignore it. The guy wanted to know what he should do. My son and the manager told him to take it to a dealer or mechanic, but that the engine was likely toast.
He said that he didn't have the money for a new engine, and wanted them to "do something" to get him back on the road. So, they had him sign a waiver that they wouldn't be held liable for anything they did. They did 4 engine flushes on it, and my son was suprised to see that it disolved most of the gunk out of it. They managed to get the oil flowing again at least through a lot of the passages to where the engine stayed running and quieted down. He was again advised to take it to a mechanic, which he still didn't want to do. So, they told him to come back in a couple of hundred miles for at least another flush. They don't expect to see him again. Worse yet...it was his sister'* car.
If you see a used Lexus for sale...may want to check under that oil filler cap!