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Should the mechanic have run my car (idling) with no oil pressure?!

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by omadus, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. omadus

    omadus New Member

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    I was thinking he pay for the reconditioned engine if it’s found they made a mistake. I went for reco because new LS3’s cost like 10k these days. I’m waiting to see from mechanics atm if the oil pressure relief valve was an issue, if so then we know why its seized and could have been preventable. If it’s not the oil pump being an issue I’ll just move on and accept it as just a bit of bad luck and **** happens unfortunately.
     
  2. omadus

    omadus New Member

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    Yes I agree, currently we are determining whether it was an oil pump issue. If so I’m sure seizing the engine could of been preventable since they had it idling for 6 minutes without oil pressure. I’ll know if it’s the oil pump as soon as current mechanic turns it over for the first time with reconditioned engine. If it’s not the oil pump I’ll move on...
     
  3. omadus

    omadus New Member

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    Sorry just to clarify they were diagnosing the engine and working on a misfire. After idling for 6 minutes as he stated it shut down & wouldn’t turn. I’m assuming they missed the memo of low oil pressure oil lights and engine light on. Maybe he didn’t read the tachometer either I’m not sure, however it was flickering to 10psi then zero prior to work being done.
     
  4. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    My bad for some reason I thought it was a VX with Ecotec engine...... Obviously a V8 is going to be more expensive. To have a claim you will need to prove negligence. If you think you can prove negligence then you may have a claim. But as for a reco engine to replace an engine with how ever many km's on it may be hard for the judge to agree too. If found negligent he will only need to give you what the engine and labour is worth. Unless you can prove it has affected you in some other way, say like loss of income because you had no car and couldn't get to work, or that it has affected you mentally.... Convincing the judge of the latter might be hard.
     
  5. omadus

    omadus New Member

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    I’ll plan to get a statement what the cause of damage is when I get my car back from current mechanic. For example “seizure of engine while running on idle due to oil pressure relief valve malfunction”. As mechanic diagnosed a misfire instead of the oil pump I might have a case.

    Apart from being an angry bastard at times lately, like who wouldnt be angry? Mentality isn’t an issue. It’s just hard earned $$ going toward something that could possibly have been preventable is the main issue. If it’s a spun bearing, dropped lifter or whatever I’ll be ok to move on & accept it.
     
  6. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    Not really an assumption, but a fact. You noted it had low oil pressure and proceeded to drive it, and in that 100m or more, it’s likely that the engine had already been damaged beyond repair (apart from engine out and rebuild). 6 minutes idling and it locked up - that can happen after even a brief period of oil starvation. I’d expect them to have to start the car to move it in and out of the workshop and to try to diagnose the issue. If the oil pressure lamp wasn’t illuminated at the time when they started it, how are they supposed to treat it diagnose the issue?

    Once the metal starts to transfer from one rotating/reciprocating part to another, it doesn’t generally stop - especially when there are similar metals on both friction surfaces.

    If you were serious about fixing the problem, you would’ve had the vehicle towed to a workshop for inspection/repair and requested that the engine be removed and thoroughly inspected. Any in-car repair would’ve been a gamble anyway and may have resulted in a more spectacular failure.

    In any case, you dropped the car off with a known oil pressure problem knowing that this was a possible outcome. The mechanic won’t have to foot the bill - sometimes things just happen and are out of our control and we need to learn from our mistakes.
     
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  7. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    If you think you have a case then by all means take it to court. But keep in mind it is very doubtful a judge will say the mech has to give you the cost of a reco engine when the original one is 9 years old. Its not like going to Maccas and taking your burger back because it was cold and them giving you a complete meal for free, including chips and drink, when you have eaten half of it.... It just doesn't work like that.
    You really need to seek advice from a lawyer to determine your likelihood of winning in court. Because you could end up paying his legal costs at $300 an hour if you lose, plus court costs plus your own lawyer at $100 a letter sent to the mech plus another $300 an hour for him to attend legal proceedings. If you think you can prove negligence then you should take him to court..... ;)
     
  8. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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  9. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    Well that kinda sounds like an admission of fault to me. Not your fault they didn't listen to the list of symptoms
    Sorry but that is wrong, he did take it somewhere for inspection, they ignored the major symptom (been a lack of oil pressure) and decided to check for a engine miss instead and ended up with a ceased engine. If someone said to me there is an oil pressure problem the first and only port of call is to test the oil pressure with a proper pressure gauge and not simply rely on the dash warning gauge. Any competent mechanic should be able to do that.

    Fact is the problem got worse whilst the car was in the care of the mechanic after the owner specifically noted the problem (as he suspected) and as such they are certainly liable for part of the cost of repair.

    the OP certainly has a case and may get some recompense if he lodges a claim as suggested above.
     
  10. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    I can’t fully agree with that.

    My point is that it may have had oil pressure at the point of failure. Thick oil when cold may not exhibit the same symptoms, or a sticky relief valve for example may not exhibit symptoms consistently.

    Picture this: you run and engine dry for 5 minutes with no oil pressure. You then rectify the problem and oil pressure is restored. The engine still has a high chance of catastrophic failure even though it’s no longer showing symptoms of lacking oil pressure.

    We don’t know all of the info, or the mechanic’s side of the story. Therefore, I’m not that keen on telling op to jump forward with legal action without knowing all the facts. I’m sceptical of everything I read and hear. Not everything’s always as it seems. If the op wants to go down that road, that’s their own choice and that’s fine.
     
  11. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    I get that, but the fact is the mechanic ignored the major issue and worked on a minor one. Oil pressure or lack there of is terminal as was demonstrated in this example, an ignition miss is not. I know which one is more critical and would work on first. "**** happens" is no excuse. Seeing as the oil pressure was the major issue the owner was concerned about would it not be pertinent to test/check that first and if the mechanic is worried the engine may cease during testing then that should be made abundantly clear before any work is undertaken. Seeing as the mechanic has not done any of these basic undertakings in my opinion they are at least partly liable for the costs involved in rectifying the issue. Must be a fairly **** mechanic because an engine running with no oil pressure is going to make extra noises before it locks up.....

    How hard would it have been to fit a proper oil pressure gauge and monitor that whilst undertaking other checks?

    If I went to hospital because I had a heart attack and broke my arm when I fell due to said heart attack I would hope and expect the doctor would treat the heart issue before worrying about the arm.
     
  12. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    Do we know for certain that there was no oil pressure while the mechanic had it running?

    This is my point - we’re going only off the little bits of info we’re given, which really isn’t a great deal. If the mechanic has blantantly ignored an oil light and the sound of a seizing engine, I wholeheartedly agree that they should be liable for the costs. Proving this will be the difficult part for the OP.
     
  13. omadus

    omadus New Member

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    Ok guys I got an answer today & it is time to move on... I know things like this happen, however it was not the oil pump being at fault which means it was wear & tear possibly due to single valve springs used for the camshaft upgrade wearing out bearings cam etc etc. The camshaft has a chip on one of the lobes too, an eventual engine out anyway. It could be that it was an engine that was slowly giving out & on that day something just let go. The low oil pressure & an engine with low compression is the result. So I guess I can admit it was a ticking time bomb.

    I appreciate the feed back guys, if my mechanic found that the oil pump was the issue & engine was fine I may of had something to go on. It’s actually good knowing what the cause is & I can now move on. Could be a blessing in disguise seeing I’ll now have a reconditioned engine and it all set up for reliability.

    Maybe a lesson I’ve learnt is I should of taken the car to a place that knows these engines well when I did my cam upgrade. It’s my first HSV with an LS engine, so maybe I should of done my research and found a reputable mechanic with knowledge on these engines.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  14. VT&VX

    VT&VX Active Member

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    Remember that Nulon advert from 30 years ago, when they drove a Holden Torana from Melbourne to Sydney after draining the engine oil.
    The car had been running with Nulon oil additive and that coating was claimed to still protect the engine even though the oil had now been drained out.
     
  15. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    Don't think I'd trust that advert somehow :)
     
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