Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Oil drain plug and pan missing after oil change

asked by on

My SUV’s mileage is approximately 130,000. The oil and filter were changed two months ago at the authorized Suzuki dealer (the same place I purchased my car). While driving home from the dealership, the oil light came on. I pulled over, shut off the car, and opened the hood. Oil was spraying near the bottom of the engine (4WD). When I crawled under my SUV, the oil drain plug was gone and there was no oil in the oil pan! I had driven up to 6-7 miles. I called the dealer to get to where I was parked on the side of the road and do something! They came and filled it with oil, a new plug, and then I drove it back to the dealership. The engine was checked and they said it was OK. I demanded they put on the report that the oil plug fell out after they had changed the oil and they did.

Prior to this happening, my oil level on the dipstick would hardly move in between oil changes because I rarely drove the vehicle. Now, since the last oil change it has dropped about ⅓ or more from the “full” mark and my vehicle is not even due an oil change any time soon. I am concerned that the engine might be damaged. There is no bluish smoke coming from the exhaust when I am driving. The coolant level stays constant and normal. Except for the new problem of the malfunctioning oil level, the engine is seeming to run like it did before the botched oil change. I am thinking that the rings/valves might be damaged, but there is never any smoke from the exhaust. The dealer suggested that I bring the car in every week so the oil level can be recorded. Other than that, he won't do anything and seems very reluctant to do anything. I do not know if they are just stalling for some reason unknown to me. In your professional experience, what should be done to get my car properly functioning again?"

Hello there, this is a rare accident that can occur when oil changes are performed. In this type of situation, an oil sample is taken and sent off to a facility that can perform an oil analysis. This is done to determine if the lack of oil is caused by long-term damage or if there is any metal in the oil. With the dealer taking weekly oil readings, they are attempting to see if your Suzuki Vitara has excessive oil consumption that would indicate an issue. This is something that can take some time to show symptoms and diagnose. If you would like to have this checked elsewhere, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the relevant systems and let you know how to best proceed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Torque converter vibrates - 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500

Torque convertor "shuddering" is a cycle where the torque convertor tries to lock up, can't, and re-cycles repeatedly. General Motors has a service bulletin - TSB Reference #3438A, that addresses this issue. Discuss this issue with your dealer.

Q: Should i just put oil in it

The oil maintenance reminder light on all Lexus models comes on when an oil and oil filter change is required. However, if you have not checked the engine oil level (on the dipstick) for some time, you should do so...

Q: Jeeps stalls at traffic lights - 1979 Jeep CJ5

From the description it almost sounds like an air/fuel mixture issue. Possibly caused by unmetered air being sucked in at closed throttle. The vacuum system should be checked along with the intake manifold gasket. If no leaks are obvious, a...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.