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Thread: no oil, not muffler!

  1. #21
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Indeed!

    Those places are often disasters-in-waiting.

    Several years ago, my mom called to ask whether I could come by their place to look at her car. She had taken it to one of those quick-lube joints. Anyhow, she noticed a puddle of oil underneath the car - and was concerned and called me. So I went over, got under the car - and found the drain plug not just loose - but stripped. The assholes had cross-threaded it and it was barely hanging on by the time I got to it. Amazingit didn't just fall out - and of course, I had to repair the ruined threads in the oilpan (I managed t Heli-coil it and so did not have to drop the pan). Still, those bastards almost turned a $20 oil change into a ruined engine and left me with an afternoon's messy hassle to deal with thanks to their incompetence.

    Until they moved to AZ to retire, I performed all the oil changes on their vehicles from that point on!

  2. #22
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    >>Still, those bastards almost turned a $20 oil change into a ruined engine and left me with an afternoon's messy hassle to deal with thanks to their incompetence. <<

    They should have paid for a new oil pan---- labor included

  3. #23
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Re; Don Tom msg.:

    >>>Perhaps the filter did get overtightened in the Ford. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what a half turn is, with all the junk in the way.

    -Don- <<<
    What I do when I tighten the filter "by hand" before final tightening by tool is to stick a 2-in.piece of masking tape on the filter base and do the final tightening by observing where the tape ends, whether a quarter, or a half-turn.



  4. #24
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I wonder...!

    If someone's too feeble to turn the filter by hand, they probably are too weak to be attempting to change their oil. I would bet most of the problem is the common tendency to overtighten things - everything from filters to bolts!
    I don't think it's a strength issue, so much as an access issue. Sometimes you just can't get your arm in there to where you can apply your strength.

    You gotta remember, Eric, that engine bays on modern cars aren't as "open" as your Trans-Am. :-)

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  5. #25
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    What I do when I tighten the filter "by hand" before final tightening by tool is to stick a 2-in.piece of masking tape on the filter base and do the final tightening by observing where the tape ends, whether a quarter, or a half-turn.


    I like that idea! From now on, I will keep some tape near my oil and filters ready for the next filter change.

    Thanks!

    -Don-


  6. #26
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    I hear you!

    I have to slightly jack up my Nissan pick-up to be able to access the filter through the passenger-side wheel-housing. I then snake a ratchet extension with Sears "wobble" feature (veryhand item!) through the hoses and brackets to get to the filter. Not easy - and you have to do it "by feel" since you can't really see anything!

  7. #27
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    They should have paid for a new oil pan---- labor included

    You don't expect them to admit to any wrong doing, do you? They will tell you that it was like that before they even touched it .

    In these type of siturations, the customer is always wrong. No exceptions.

    -Don-

  8. #28
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    >>You don't expect them to admit to any wrong doing, do you? They will tell you that it was like that before they even touched it .

    In these type of siturations, the customer is always wrong. No exceptions.<<

    A trip to small claims court would prove otherwise-- I personally would have called them and told them to come get the vehicle and fix their problem. If it was that way when I brought it in, why did they let it go out without telling me and how come it retained the oil before they worked on it?

  9. #29
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    A trip to small claims court would prove otherwise--

    Have you ever been to small claims court? I have and even proved fraud. However, they still wanted me to pay half. All they same to do at small claims court is spit things in half with every case. Compromise is the name of the small claims court game.

    However, in my case, I got the last laugh because a couple of months later I read in a newspaper how another larger fraud case landed the guy in jail.

    Small claims court didn't seem to care about things like fraud, just split every case 50-50.

    Now, this was all in the 1970's. It could have changed by then. Anybody here been to small claim court more recently?

    -Don-

  10. #30
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    >>Have you ever been to small claims court? <<

    Yes and won both times--- I was the defendant in both cases. Both suits were frivolous and after being presented required only that I present the real facts.

  11. #31
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Both suits were frivolous

    For what purpose? Do you mind telling the story here?

    -Don-

  12. #32
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    I changed the oil in several of my cars today. All three oil filters said "turn from 3/4 to a full turn after contact with base". None of these three said anything about using (or not using) tools. I remember years ago, most oil filters said "use no tools to install".

    So today, I compared the two and got a surprise. I discovered that if I screw on the oil filter as tight as I can without using any tools, it is one eight of a turn MORE than one full turn!

    This proves to me that it's never necessary use a tool to install an oil filter. A little old lady could probably get it well past the required 3/4 turn without any tools.

    In two of these vehicles, I have not changed the oil since Feb 2006. One of them we put just over 1,500 miles and the other, just under 3,000 miles in the full year. I tend to think in this case, changing the oil once per year is enough (I don't expect Eric to agree ;D). The old oil looked quite clean. When these vehicles do get driven, it's usually more than 50 miles each time, so it should be very easy on the engine oil.

    -Don- (near Reno, NV)


  13. #33
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    >>Both suits were frivolous

    For what purpose? Do you mind telling the story here?<<

    In both cases, I ws sued by salesmen who thought that they deserved commissions on sales made after they left my employ. Both claimed to have called on the prospective customer while working for me.
    All the was necessary was for me to show their employment contract that they had signed when they started the job. It clearly stated what the employment terms were.
    The best time I ever had though was when I fired an old employee that refused to update his skills to work on the new equipment. He was 74 at the time and wanted to keep working but only on equipment that was obsolete. He complained to the state labor board that it was age discrimination and he wanted his job back with 6 months pay. Our corporate attorney attended the hearing with me and it was his first exposure to the real world. He was actually the leg man for our aged corporate attorney.
    The mediator asked for the 6 months pay-- we offered 4 months and that he retire and go away. He refused that offer and stuck with his original 6 months and the job back. I got up and walked out and said that 4 was our offer and I was withdrawing it.
    The mediator came out and said the man decided to accept the 4 months-- I told him he had an opportunity to do that 10 minuted ago and that offer has been cancelled -- Six months later, a PG female investigatopr from the state came to my place of business and after she did her investigation, asked me why we allowed him to work as long as we did without fireing him.

  14. #34
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Overtightening filters is a fairly common beginner's mistake; I agree, with you - a person strong enough to change his own oil should have more than sufficient hand/grip strength to hand-tighten the filter, per the instructions on the box!

  15. #35
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    I changed the oil in several of my cars today. All three oil filters said "turn from 3/4 to a full turn after contact with base". None of these three said anything about using (or not using) tools. I remember years ago, most oil filters said "use no tools to install".

    So today, I compared the two and got a surprise. I discovered that if I screw on the oil filter as tight as I can without using any tools, it is one eight of a turn MORE than one full turn!

    This proves to me that it's never necessary use a tool to install an oil filter. A little old lady could probably get it well past the required 3/4 turn without any tools.

    In two of these vehicles, I have not changed the oil since Feb 2006. One of them we put just over 1,500 miles and the other, just under 3,000 miles in the full year. I tend to think in this case, changing the oil once per year is enough (I don't expect Eric to agree ;D). The old oil looked quite clean. When these vehicles do get driven, it's usually more than 50 miles each time, so it should be very easy on the engine oil.

    -Don- (near Reno, NV)

    Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??

  16. #36
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    "Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??"

    On my Pontiac, there is a nylon washer/gasket on the drain plug; it is reusable (until it breaks!). The bikes have o-ring gaskets; these usually last awhile - though often the filter kit comes with fresh o-rings for both the drain plug and the oil filter adapter.

    If there's a gasket (and there may not be), replace it when it's visibly deteriorating - that's the general rule.

    More importantly: Be careful not to crossthread (or overtighten) the drain plug bolt - or you will be dealing with a real PITAS!

  17. #37
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    This problem is repaired, but some might find it interesting.

    Our 1999 Mustang (90,000 miles) started to sound like it needed a new muffler. But when I started it this morning, I also noticed some new noise that sounded like it was coming from the hydraulic lifters. First, I checked the oil pressure gauge while running at idle, and it showed normal, perfect middle of scale, as usual.

    So then, I stopped the engine, waited a few minutes and checked the oil on the dipstick and it showed NONE! Not a drop on the dipstick! The last time the oil was checked was just last week and this car never eats any noticeable amount of oil. I then looked under the car with engine running and saw drips of oil dripping out of the MotorCraft FL400S oil filter near the top on the side of the "can". There was a small crack there! Perhaps hit by a rock--I have no idea.

    I went to the local Kragan AuotParts store and purchased a Fram TG-3600 (the TG's are not as junky as other Frams). I changed the filter to this Fram and had to add five full quarts (total oil capacity is only 5.5 quarts!). Engine is now nice and quiet, no longer sounds like a hole in the muffler. I hope no permanent damage has been done, but I am rather surprised that it only takes a half quart of oil to run this engine and even with a normal oil pressure gauge reading. I take it I found this problem in the last mile or so before being stuck with a frozen engine!

    Any comments?
    My experience with lost oil is that if you have damaged the bearings but not frozen the engine, that your oil pump won't be able to maintain pressure at an idle. You might have adequate pressure when running. You would have an engine that has been compromised, in any event, and the low oil pressure at idle is the symptom.

    Since I don't know what kind of gauge you have, I can't go any further. If you have a true oil pressure gauge, not some kind of on/off thing, it sounds as if you have managed to beat the odds, and didn't hurt your engine.

  18. #38
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??
    I've reused copper & nylon seals repeatedly with no problems, even though I know it's good practice to use them only once. My current Alfa had a flat copper washer as original fit, but last time I did an oil change I decided to get a new one; they have now changed to Dowty seals, which I had only previously come across in high-pressure industrial hydraulic applications. I'm not sure if I'll be happy reusing them, so I'll make sure I've always got a new one ready when I do an oil change.

  19. #39
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??

    My cars don't have gaskets on the drain plugs, but my motorcycles do. On the motorcycles, I never change them. Why bother, if they are not leaking?

    If they leaked, or become loose or show a problem, then I would change them.

    -Don-





  20. #40
    DonTom
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    Re: no oil, not muffler!

    If you have a true oil pressure gauge, not some kind of on/off thing, it sounds as if you have managed to beat the odds, and didn't hurt your engine.

    It has a gauge, but I have no idea how "true" it is. It read normal even during the time it had very low oil and was making a lot of noise because of it.

    We've but on several thousand miles on this car since then (it's out most used car) and have no had any problems and it does not eat any engine oil.

    -Don-



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