Catastrophic engine failure in a 2013 Chrysler Town and Country
Could a leaky heater hose cause a catastrophic engine failure within an hour of
being diagnosed? I didn't have any overheating issues or coolant leaks that I
was aware of previously. The tech at the oil change told me it was leaking,
Within an hour, on the way to my personal mechanic I had a catastrophic
engine failure and all the oil leaked out of the car. What the heck??
If your car runs out of coolant it will overheat and cause damage unless you tip the coolant off regularly. Always check coolant level and add more if necessary. I would just recommend it getting fixed as soon as possible because it can create a mess
Without coolant the engine can self destruct in seconds. Ignoring such a warning is going to cost you dearly.
So I left the oil change, got a sensor light, put coolant in immediately, was driving to my regular mechanic to do the necessary repair and the engine blew. All within 1 HOUR of the oil change. How is this possible when I didn't have ONE sensor or indicator that this was a problem prior to the oil change?
Warning lights for overheating are pretty much useless. All they do is tell you the engine is toast.
I know it sounds like I am trying to blame the "messenger", but that isn't the case. This engine was rebuilt 6 months ago and I have it under warranty, I'm trying to figure out what else could have gone wrong, if anything. I feel that I did my due diligence as well by trying to take it in right away and it didn't make it 5 more miles. I'm just not sure what we can do to help get it paid for...we can't afford a several thousand dollar engine.
The important question is: did the oil change place change your oil? If they did and your oil drained out within one hour any court in the country will put the blame squarely with them, not you. (Especially if you find a lose plug, loose filter, incorrect filter, double o-ring or NO o-ring). Just hope you have the events of that day well documented with pictures and witnesses. If they did not change the oil, but did have your car up on the rack... could still be their fault but that gets a little trickier. There was a time when places like that would create work/profit for themselves by causing problems and talking you into repairing them right then and there. Would like to hope all that kind of thing has stopped (and it has, mostly, in all the well-known oil change chain-type places)....but it has not in some of the independent garages. But it would be very difficult to prove that they loosened or cut a coolant hose.
Can a coolant leak cause catastrophic failure? Yes. In fact, it is probably the most common cause of catastrophic engine failure. The coolant runs out, the engine overheats, the oil becomes too hot and loses its ability to lubricate, the metallic engine parts rubbing against each other with now- useless oil create too much friction and start grinding into each other, engine literally tears itself up from the inside out. At that point it can throw a rod right out of the engine making a hole where all the oil drains out. That assumes the driver knows nothing about cars and ignores the temperature gauge and warning lights. Most drivers would see the warning signs, stop the car immediately, and call for assistance.