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Old 05-21-2003, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Engine exploded...

I was going to SC from OH and decided to get my oil changed @ Valvoline Instant Oil Change here in Columbus OH as it had been about 4K since last changed. Kid talked me into an "engine flush" as he saw sludge on the dip stick. Had me run the engine for 6 minutes but he never put the flush in the engine. Valvoline videotapes each job, and they saw on tape that he had put the can of flush back on the shelf, not in the engine, and the engine was run "dry". Well, drove about 550 miles before the moving parts in my 3.8 exited the front of the block. $3184 and a week later I had my ride back with a reconditioned engine, (many thanks to Harry'* Cadillac, Pontiac, GMC in Ashville, NC) and filed a claim with Valvoline. Those bast**** said water and coolent was found in the pan and pickup pump, so they wouldn't accept the responsibility. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:53 PM   #2
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What model do you have? Can I guess a Series II SE? (95+)
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:59 PM   #3
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Okay are you refering to a bottle of engine flush product? Usually with flush products I thought you run them with your old oil and if you seen him not put any in and you set there running your engine for 6 minutes I would like to know the explanation behind that.
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:13 PM   #4
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Have a lawyer draw up a letter. It may cost you $150 for the letter, but at least they will know that you are serious. As for your car, it would greatly help if you listed the details in your signature. 89SE was asking if it were a Series II because there is a history of these engines having the plastic intake fail on them. When this happens, your engine can suffer hydrolock--which can result in major internal damage as the engine instantaneously stops from 2100 RPM. In that case, it is highly unlikely that Valvoline Instant Oil will cover the cost. The only way to find out is to have the intake removed from the old engine and inspected.

Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:46 AM   #5
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You can bet that their first response in all these situations is to deny it'* their fault.
It'* an automatic response, similar to "The check'* in the mail."

It shouldn't be that hard for a mechanic to be able to see if the lack of oil made it sieze or if something else caused it. Have you asked the shop that replace the engine about it? They might be willing to write a letter as to what caused the engine failure.

You need to keep fighting, demanding to talk to the next person up the chain.
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Old 05-22-2003, 01:00 AM   #6
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Yeah I would get an annalisis on what caused your engine to seize. If this seems like it is the oil places fault then what I would do is take some time to build up a case. Then I would apply to Judge Judy to sue the owners of the shop. The most you can sue for on Judge Judy is 5000 so you can sue for the repair costs. I saw someone do this a few months back and won they had around 4k in damages and they also got 1k in the inconveinience that they had caused the person. I think that this is the way to go.
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Old 05-22-2003, 02:14 AM   #7
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You really should have took pictures and asked questions about your engine when you got it repaired, to build a case. It just sounds like they didnt put fluid in it at all, I doubt it was ran dry and even still it shouldnt have caused your engine to commit suicide.
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Old 05-22-2003, 11:02 AM   #8
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My Bonneville is a '95, first went into service 9-22-95 and was originally equiped with the 3.8L ER v6 seriess / multi-port fuel injection. I've raised hell with Valvoline and their "adjuster" to no avail. The engine flush looked like a quart of oil. I took a bunch of digital pictures of the engine when it was out of the car, on an engine stand. The hole was located at the dipstick, about 4"x4". The engine was not reparable. The mechanic at the dealership just said the engine was shot, never gave a reason as to why it failed (kaboom). I really don't know if it was a series II or not....
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Old 05-22-2003, 11:09 AM   #9
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All 95+ Bonnevilles are equipped with a Series II 3800 engine. Do you have an SE? and did you notice a significant amount of coolant lose before the servicing and before the engine went kaboom. That is the dead-ringer for upper intake failure which sadly Valvoline will not cover.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike West
My Bonneville is a '95, first went into service 9-22-95 and was originally equiped with the 3.8L ER v6 seriess / multi-port fuel injection. I've raised hell with Valvoline and their "adjuster" to no avail. The engine flush looked like a quart of oil. I took a bunch of digital pictures of the engine when it was out of the car, on an engine stand. The hole was located at the dipstick, about 4"x4". The engine was not reparable. The mechanic at the dealership just said the engine was shot, never gave a reason as to why it failed (kaboom). I really don't know if it was a series II or not....
Okay, several things here:

1) Engine flush basically _is_ a quart of oil, but with assorted goop added (varies by brand) to thin the overall viscosity, dissolve accumulated sludge and wash everything out. Letting it drain for a long time afterwards is a plus. (The few times I felt the need to use the stuff, I added it per directions, ran the engine and/or drove the car round the block as instructed on the can, then left it draining while I went out to lunch or worked on other car stuff for a couple hours.)

2) You said they had a videotape of the servicing that shows them _not_ adding the flush? So did they use it, or not? You got to see the tape yourself? Do they still have it?

3) Even if they had added the flush, they wouldn't drain all the rest of the oil first. It'* added to the existing old oil in the crankcase, not all by itself after the old oil is drained.

4) You said, "The mechanic at the dealership just said the engine was shot, never gave a reason as to why it failed (kaboom)." You're going to need more competent backup than that if you really plan to press your claim with Valvoline. You're going to need someone who can examine the old engine and write up a coherent analysis of what they think went wrong.

It sounds like you may need small-claims court to get any money back from the shop that you're blaming for this, but before that you really need a better summary of what the heck happened. I've read your posts twice so far and I still can't piece together exactly what did or did not happen to trash your engine, and I'm just a casual observer; a judge is not going to be more sympathetic.

So write up a chronology in your own words of what happened, one thing at a time, and find somebody at your dealership who can describe clearly what failed in your engine, and why they think it did that. Good luck...
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