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Oil drained and not replaced. Chevrolet Volt (plug in hybrid) placed in Hold mode starting engine on freeway after oil change. Oil pressure light, switched back to electric drive while pulling over on shoulder of freeway. Contacted Onstar. Obtained diagnostic codes. Returned to dealer under electric power. Confirmed by dealer that engine had no oil. Dealer attemped to start car twice with hood unlatched which caused engine to start twice with no oil. Had to intervene to close hood so car could be moved under electric power to add oil. Contacted Onstar after oil addition and confirmed that codes still present. Service advisor stated Service Manger would call this morning.

Would anyone have any advice as to what I should do?
 

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Who is responsible for the absence of oil? They owe you an engine.

Start by being polite a first, and ramp up to a small claims suit in short order.
 

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This is one of the reasons I change my own oil when at all possible... It's way more common than it should be due to the lowest common denominator of techs doing oil changes, and being rushed to do them in minutes per each one.

My gut feeling is Chevy will tell you if the engine runs now after codes are cleared that "no harm is done, no action needed on our part." The damage is done, but it might take months or years or maybe even never before it progresses to outright engine failure (likely spinning a bearing and spitting bits out). Since you caught it so early, you probably don't have a very actionable claim since the engine will likely run fine once oil is added. The million dollar question is - "how much damage is done?" Unfortunately it's not a cheap question to answer if you're paying someone to pull the oil pan and pop off some rod and main bearing caps to check for scoring.
 

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The most you can get out of small claims court in I believe all states is $5,000. I doubt that would cover the cost of an engine but I could be wrong.

Do not let this go lightly - they may have done serious damage to your engine - if nothing else they probably shortened its life a bit.
 

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Not to muddy this, but did the engine run seconds, minutes, or what?
 

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I'd cut the oil filter open after the engine is run for awhile.
 

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What you need to request, nicely at first, is a free 100K mile extended warranty on the engine. They should have no problem providing this because if they did nothing wrong, then it costs them nothing. If they did damage something, then you will get what you deserve. Everyone should be happy.
 

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I'd cut the oil filter open after the engine is run for awhile.
This is routinely done on small airplanes at each 100 hr oil change.
There is a tool, like a can opener, to do this without getting debri in the filter peats.
Then the fiber pleats are cut vertically once to allow the filter pleats to be spread out on a table and inspected for shiny bits (metal).

Great idea, but how can this be done with an automotive size oil filter.
And the chuckle-heads at the shop that did this deed is not the place to have this done.
And you need to be present.
 

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If your Volt is still covered under the factory warranty with all service having been performed by an authorized GM/Chevrolet service center, whether or not the service department was negligent, wouldn't the engine be covered too? If they had put in the wrong oil you would never have known unless the engine developed problems sometime later. I know it is hard to accept but in a situation like this you may be better off getting rid of the car as soon as you finish settling up with the dealer.
 

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The is the only instance where I would trade in the car (I typically drive my cars into the ground). I would ask for a meeting with the service manager, sales manager, and owner of the dealership and play hardball to negotiate the most trade in and the lowest price for a new replacement. I’d be willing to put some money on the table to upgrade cars, but not very much as this was their fault.

After you drive away with a new car, never return to this dealership and get you car serviced at a different Chevy dealership. I’ve stopped going to the dealership 3 miles from me and only service my volt at a dealership 18 miles from me.
 

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The minimum request should be for a free extended power train warranty. And maybe free lifetime oil changes to keep you as a customer.
 

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The is the only instance where I would trade in the car (I typically drive my cars into the ground). I would ask for a meeting with the service manager, sales manager, and owner of the dealership and play hardball to negotiate the most trade in and the lowest price for a new replacement. I’d be willing to put some money on the table to upgrade cars, but not very much as this was their fault.

After you drive away with a new car, never return to this dealership and get you car serviced at a different Chevy dealership. I’ve stopped going to the dealership 3 miles from me and only service my volt at a dealership 18 miles from me.
This is honestly the best course of action if the engine was run for more than probably 5 seconds without oil pressure (that's about how long a "very dry start" takes to build pressure with an empty oil filter). The dealership probably won't provide you with anything for free like a powertrain warranty (even though they should at a minimum), but they might accept a lower profit on selling a new car to brush this under the rug.


So OP, how long roughly each time did the engine run without oil pressure?
 

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The minimum request should be for a free extended power train warranty. And maybe free lifetime oil changes to keep you as a customer.
Why, and inflict the car to a lifetime of no oil on the crankcase? No there’s no forgiving this event. They screwed up, there’s no additional business for this dealership, even warranty repairs. (after you’ve put their managers through the ringer, negotiated a new car out of them and the best trade you can get, and threatened lawsuits to get that deal).
 

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Like what Bill said but I'd run the ice for a couple of hundred miles then take a sample and send it to one one the oil test labs with a quick explanation of what happened and see what they find
 

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a liitle slick 50 and engine restore and your good to go.:p
 

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From the post it sounds like this same dealer performed the oil change?
I haven't changed oil myself on our volt as of yet, but looked into it, and it is as easy or easier than our other cars.
Pretty sad mistake, and why I am careful about who I let do oil changes if it is not me.
But, I would think a dealer would be high end in this regard?
Reading this forum you get to hear about the horror stories about dealers.
Anyone know how GM dealers compare in this regard to Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc ...?
 

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I worked as an apprentice technician at a Toyota dealership at the age of 18 back in 2009. I did oil changes constantly and was very careful to double check everything. A couple of the lube techs were not so careful, and we had a few instances of a car rolling out of the bay without the drain plug, no oil, etc.

I don't know how some of those guys got jobs there. No formal training or certifications, they just liked working on cars or they knew the service manager. You would think that under the Toyota name, you would at least be required to take some official training or certification to touch those vehicles. Nope. I guess it all depends on who the service manager feels comfortable hiring.

If you are curious about your dealer, see if you can talk to the service manager (not a service writer) about the techs that work at the dealership. Find some diplomatic way of saying, "What is your standard, and how does the tech working on my car meet it?"
 

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I don't think that analyzing any oil that might be in the filter would be helpful, as whatever oil that might be there would be residual from whatever was not drained, and since there was no oil to flow through the filter from the un-lubricated parts, there would not be any evidence of bearing damage to analyze!
 

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So what happened with the follow up call with the service manager?

I occurs to me that when I do an oil change, I start the engine and check for oil pressure and leaks. I would expect that to be SOP for a professional mechanic.
 

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So what happened with the follow up call with the service manager?

I occurs to me that when I do an oil change, I start the engine and check for oil pressure and leaks. I would expect that to be SOP for a professional mechanic.
Not when they are under pressure (no pun intended) to get as many oil changes completed in a day as possible. Mistakes happen but the OP should not be on the hook for this.

I tend to agree with everyone else here is that the OP should definitely negotiate more than an apology out of the dealership. While the likelihood of actual engine damage is pretty small, you certainly do not want to be in a situation where the engine suffers a premature death.
 
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