Ever have a 'bad' oil change?

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Feb 16, 2005
Scituate MA
Changing the oil on two cars. Started and thought I had lots of time. Nope, started to get dark then of course I started to rush. First one went quick, second car was getting darker, couldn't see/feel for the filter, then remembered crush washer, then took the foil off jug of oil and it ripped and blew into the new filter that I filled with oil. Finally felt around for the filter got it ok after that. Then have to knock over old filters in driveway.

So much for "Yes dear, be done in 20 mins or so".

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Don't feel so bad, years ago, I was rushed and forgot to put the drain plug in, before I started filling with new oil. First and last time I've made that mistake.
Burned my hands with too hot oil, knocked over the old filter, positioned the drain pan in the wrong spot, couldn't get the filter off and had to go buy a filter wrench, almost forgot to fill my UOA container, put on the wrong filter, spilled old oil, spilled new oil -- done it all, but luckily not all in the same oil change.
I've had a lot of hot oil go down my arm changing oil in Hondas where the filter is on the back side of the engine. The engineer who designed that should have to spend the rest of his life just changing hot oil. The Toyotas have been easier, but there is always something that can go wrong when you are dealing with five quarts of hot oil. I am dreading the thought of having my oil changed since I have been doing it myself for over sixty years.
One time the gasket on the old filter remained on the filter mount, ended up with two gaskets and a large oil puddle.
Welcome to the party!

I always thrown a big piece of cardboard under the car so as not to stain my driveway with drops of oil, plus, it cushions my old bones from the hard concrete.

About a year ago, like you, in a rush, no cardboard, dropped the old filter because it was hot, it rolled all the way down the driveway making a nice, long, black line as it went.


Anger got the better of me because I yanked the now full drain pan which contained over a gallon of dirty oil from under the car. It splashed dirty black oil under the car and onto the driveway.


I shoulda known better.
Friend gave me an old 93 civic with a prelude motor swap. Not a bad car. Took it to a quick lube. Screw those guys. I can muscle off pretty much any filter no problem but this was uncalled for. Good thing I started with the filter because the plug wasn't much easier.
My favorite story is a guy who got his oil changed at a quick lube place, they drained his transmission and put a full oil charge in his engine. The engine froze up and the tramission burnt up.
Originally Posted By: Corvette Owner
My favorite story is a guy who got his oil changed at a quick lube place, they drained his transmission and put a full oil charge in his engine. The engine froze up and the tramission burnt up.
They are professionals at the quick lube places
I once attempted to remove a filter by hand, after the dealer had done their 30K service on the vehicle.

I got so frustrated My foot sent a chair flying with a colorful stream of curses that sent the neighbors into their saferooms/bomb shelters. Screwed up my big toe. Still gives me issues.

Had to go buy a filter wrench riding a skateboard into town with sore toe. Overestimated diameter needed, and had to modify filter wrench.
Did not firebomb the dealership who put on filter with impact gun, even though they obviously deserved it.
Only one... on my 1968 Buick GS400, I had changed oil on that car for over 10 years, I knew it like the back of my hand. I put the drain pan under the oil pan, removed the drain plug, adjusted the drain pan to be at the edge of the flow so as the flow slowed the drain pan would still be under the flow, walked away to let it drain. Came back 30 minutes later... oil was flowing from under the main door into the alley... somehow and to this day I do not know why, I had not centered the drain pan and most of the oil missed the pan. The garage floor had been pristine... now there was a massive stain... concrete apron also a massive stain. We actually got charged on our damage deposit when we moved out for this debacle. We were kids then (my wife and I) renting the house and I felt horrible and ashamed because we were never negligent renters... and here I had made one massive mess that never happened before or since. Now I wait until the flow has stabilized before walking away to do other things.
I always check for filter gaskets left stuck to the car. Well, the one time I didn't, it was there. I screwed on the filter and filled the oil then started the car which then sprayed oil everywhere. Does that count?
Sure have. I have been doing my own since I was 16 and could drive (earlier with family). I did one in the dark and dropped the filter. Failed to check to see the filter ring, put a new one on and started it up. Oil everywhere. Got the ring outa there and so far haven't messed that one up since.
Couldn't get a filter off. Stuck a screwdriver in it and crushed and tore up the filter. Ended up paying a mechanic to get it off. He read the instructions on the side of the filter box to me.
My drain pan has just a small hole in the middle. Last change, I dropped the drain bolt and of course it went bolt side right into the hole. That was fun.
First bad oil change: Forgetting to take care of the basin under the vehicle after changing the oil in our minivan. I drove it backward off the ramps and out of the garage. As the minivan went down the ramps it hit the basin, flipping the basin up and over, splashing 5 quarts of dirty oil over the front bumper cover and hood and underside of the engine bay and all over the garage floor. Naturally I was pressed for time so I had the joy of washing the minivan, wiping down the underside of the engine bay, and cleaning up the garage floor.

Second bad oil change: Forgetting to replace the oil drain plug before pouring 4 to 5 quarts of new oil into the engine. Of course it was not-so-cheap synthetic oil. The good part was the basin was still under the engine bay and it has a 12-quart capacity, enough for both the old oil that drained and the new oil that ran through the engine without overflowing onto the garage floor.

Third bad oil change(s): the first time I change the oil in most of the used vehicles I've purchased over the years. Often the oil drain plug is overtightened big time and requires a lot of force to get it loosened, and once the oil drain plug was cross-threaded and no amount of force could get it loosened. Also noteworthy is every used vehicles I've purchased had a completely flat spare tire.
My bad one was on a lawnmower. After refiling the oil, I forgot to put the oil cap back on. Standing directly over the engine I started it up and got completely sprayed with oil. I thought the other guy in the shop was going to have a coronary laughing at me.
Both parents vehicles used to get their oil changed at this shop. My mom said her car would shut off on its own and have trouble starting. I checked it out and the oil filter was not tight so almost all the oil got pumped out. I did an oil change and all is well 30,000 later. Same thing happened on our other vehicle from the same shop. The oil filter was not tight. That was the last time that shop touched those vehicles.
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