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Well, about a week ago, I had my oil changed by a local repair shop. I'm a student at Alfred University, and the the closest Mazda dealership is over an hour away (Rochester, NY). To make a long story short, I was driving around last night, and smelled a burning oil smell when I parked my car. I popped the hood, check the oil and there was practically nothing on the end of the dip stick. I didn't get to the point of having my oil light come on, but I couldn't have been too far from that. I called the place that did my oil change, and they showed up within 5 min with a flat bed and the guy who did my oil change. I had mentioned how I read on the forum that people have been using a locking nut on the replaced filter. It sounds like this guy didn't do that.

I have a few questions.
1. Is this the most likely culprit of the leak?
2. What's the likely long term damage that this did?

My car is leased, so it will not be mine in a few years, but I still don't want my engine to be screwed (for me, or for someone else).

Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed off.
 

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Well, about a week ago, I had my oil changed by a local repair shop. I'm a student at Alfred University, and the the closest Mazda dealership is over an hour away (Rochester, NY). To make a long story short, I was driving around last night, and smelled a burning oil smell when I parked my car. I popped the hood, check the oil and there was practically nothing on the end of the dip stick. I didn't get to the point of having my oil light come on, but I couldn't have been too far from that. I called the place that did my oil change, and they showed up within 5 min with a flat bed and the guy who did my oil change. I had mentioned how I read on the forum that people have been using a locking nut on the replaced filter. It sounds like this guy didn't do that.

I have a few questions.
1. Is this the most likely culprit of the leak?
2. What's the likely long term damage that this did?

My car is leased, so it will not be mine in a few years, but I still don't want my engine to be screwed (for me, or for someone else).

Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed off.
[/b]
I haven't heard of any locking nut on the FILTER, it doesn't seem possible.

For the other guy who posted a while back, they left his oil fill cap off. Did you happen to notice of the fill cap was on correctly?

Reason I ask, is I don't see how you would smell burning oil uunless it wwas up in the motor compartment, and the oil drain bolt and oil filter are on the bottom, meaning oil would just fall onto the plastic bottom cover. Mabey it would hit the exhaust though.....and you would smell it. Either way your mechanic has to find what of 3 things are installed incorrectly. The oil drain bolt, the filter cap, the drain on the filter cap, or the fill cap....
 

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There's a crush washer on the oil drain bolt (the 17mm one) that needs to be replaced every time the bolt is removed. Then there are two O-rings, a small one for the oil filter drain plug (the one with the 6mm Allen socket), and a much larger one for the oil filter holder. There aren't any "locking nuts".

I'm not sure how many miles you've driven in the past week, but these would be the obvious mistakes (common to all cars) such as:
1. Oil leaking from the oil drain plug due to not tightening the oil drain bolt enough and/or not replacing the crush washer (the drain bolt could feasibly fall right out if it loosens enough).
2. Oil leaking from the oil filter drain plug due to not being tightened back down, and/or a damaged O-ring (well this is more unique to our cars due to the design, but the prob is still a lack of sufficient tightening).
3. Oil leaking from the oil filter housing because it wasn't fully tigthened and/or O-ring damaged.
4. Missing oil filler cap (as already mentioned)
5. Forgetting to refill with oil (this has happened) but since you smell burning oil I would say this isn't likely, as there wouldn't be any oil left to leak out, and you'd have two probs, this and one of the above to get the burning oil smell, plus probably a seized engine (or at least turbo) by now.

There is one possible problem that is more unique to our cars. Due to the design of the filter system, overtorquing of the filter housing can cause it to crack. I believe this has happened to another member already. The filter housing is some composite material, and an over zealous dime store "mechanic" could easily go overboard torquing it back on, cracking it.

Have you checked under your hood? If the oil filer cap is in place and your engine is clean (not covered all over in dirty oil) it's not the oil filer cap. Where do you normally park? You should notice a nice puddle of oil there, if you've been losing oil over the last week.

My guess is that they overtorqued the oil filter holder and cracked it.
 

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Well, about a week ago, I had my oil changed by a local repair shop. I'm a student at Alfred University, and the the closest Mazda dealership is over an hour away (Rochester, NY). To make a long story short, I was driving around last night, and smelled a burning oil smell when I parked my car. I popped the hood, check the oil and there was practically nothing on the end of the dip stick. I didn't get to the point of having my oil light come on, but I couldn't have been too far from that. I called the place that did my oil change, and they showed up within 5 min with a flat bed and the guy who did my oil change. I had mentioned how I read on the forum that people have been using a locking nut on the replaced filter. It sounds like this guy didn't do that.

I have a few questions.
1. Is this the most likely culprit of the leak?
2. What's the likely long term damage that this did?

My car is leased, so it will not be mine in a few years, but I still don't want my engine to be screwed (for me, or for someone else).

Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed off. [/b]
understandably so.

Ya know,it still amazes me that after reading thread after thread about oil change horrors at the hands of repair shops, quick change stores, and even dealerships that people continue to not only take their cars to these places for this simple and sadly all too often poorly done service. On top of that they don't bother to go over the work carefully before driving blissfully and ignorantly away only to discover in horror a short time later that it was done wrong, perhaps dangerously wrong.
Oil changes are painfully easy to do, and while you won't be saving tons of money over having it done, unless you're a total klutz with simple hand tools you'll know it was done correctly.
I realize if you're a student finding the resources to do the work yourself might be a little harder but at least be diligent in checking your car over closely after you have any work done, even something as simple as an oil change. Yep, that means crawling under and making sure you don't see anything leaking, checking the dipstick level yourself, making sure the filler cap is on tight, and after a couple blocks of driving doing it all over again. Those few minutes spent will be a lot easier than all the hassle you'll have to go thru if you pop a motor or fry the turbo later from running out of oil. By the way, if you do this you'll most likely find the culprit in your leak situation, and unless you've been beating on the car mercilessly since the oil change, and/or have been seeing low oil pressure/level warnings there's probably not any motor damage.
Hopefully this will be a lesson for the next time..........trust no one. Too bad it has to be that way but better to be safe and always check everything yourself.
 

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The first thing I do if I have the oil changed is pop the hood, check the oil cap and look under the car with it running for smoke or leaks.
 
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