Oil Changes [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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Mike Jung
04-29-2007, 01:43 PM
DaimlerChrysler helps with V8 repair

April 28, 2007
Eric Lai

I have a 2003 Dodge Ram SLT Quad Cab 4x4 (36,000 km/22.3K miles), with a 5.7-litre Hemi V8.

I bought this pickup new for $45,000 Cdn ($41K US).

In February, the check gauges light came on, with oil pressure showing "zero." I checked the oil level, which was okay.

I tried to drive the 2 km (1.2 miles) to my home, but the Ram died.

The dealership towed it in and said they'd replace the oil pump under warranty.

But they later reported the engine was "gone" and denied warranty coverage, as my last oil change was in March 2006 and the Ram had travelled 6,600 km (4.1K miles).

That's five months and 600 km (372 miles) past the recommended oil change interval of six months or 6,000 km (3.7K miles).

Powertrain coverage is for seven years or 100,000 km (62.1K miles).

I am looking for a warranty engine repair, but Chrysler says this is entirely at the dealer's discretion.

Gord Baycroft, Brampton

Answer: Phil Raby, a consumer advocate (www.JustDriveCanada.ca) and vice-chair of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund, an independent offshoot of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, replies:

This case underlines the importance of following the recommended service intervals for new vehicles especially during the warranty period.

The consequences of procrastinating on basic maintenance, as seen here, can be disastrous.

However, your warranty is with Chrysler, not the dealer, so the manufacturer can intervene where appropriate.

In this particular case, the owner has nearly doubled the recommended interval for maintenance (remember, it's months or kilometres, whichever comes first).

He is likely facing an uphill battle for compensation.

One overdue oil change shouldn't cause the engine to fail, but it may be that this isn't the only required service that was late or missed.

Stephen Moody, general manager of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan, replies:

Along with disputes between manufacturers and consumers about alleged vehicle defects, CAMVAP also resolves conflicts regarding the interpretation, application and administration of the new-vehicle warranty.

The main eligibility requirements for CAMVAP are that the consumer has given the dealer and manufacturer a reasonable amount of time to resolve the problem, and the vehicle is from the current or past four model-years (2003 is included).

As this vehicle is a truck, it must weigh no more than 4,536 kg and the consumer may be required to have it weighed as part of the eligibility process.

Also, it must not be used primarily for business. If it is registered to a business, the consumer must be a principal.

If eligible for CAMVAP, our arbitrator may order the manufacturer to repair or replace the engine or, if the consumer has already had the work done, require they be reimbursed for it.

The consumer will have to make the case at arbitration that the vehicle has been properly maintained and be able to prove, in this case, that oil changes were done regularly.

Consumers may contact the CAMVAP Provincial Administrator at 1-800-207-0685 or visit www.camvap.ca.

Cole Quinnell, spokesperson for DaimlerChrysler Canada, replies:

In reviewing Mr. Baycroft's vehicle and service records, we confirmed that the cause of the engine failure was the excessive length of time between oil changes, compounded by many short trips that did not allow the engine to achieve normal operating temperature.

This allowed moisture to accumulate in the oil pan, which iced up during a cold spell and caused a loss of oil pressure.

The lack of proper maintenance and driving with zero oil pressure (after being alerted by the dash gauge of this) resulted in the damage to the vehicle.

This is why the request for warranty coverage was denied.

That said, DaimlerChrysler Canada values its customers, and we have agreed with Mr. Baycroft to provide parts for the engine replacement at no charge. He will be responsible for labour charges.

We cannot stress enough the importance of timely maintenance as described in your vehicle owner's manual.

It's not only the kilometres that matter, but also the time span especially in our cold Canadian climate.

We are pleased we are able to offer Mr. Baycroft a solution.
What type of :rx7: is this ?

DaimlerChrysler has had known problems in the past of zero oil pressure, oil screen pick-up clogs, etc... Known as Sludge Engines in the Dodge Durango's V6 engines in the past.
Not sure if this is the case in this engine.

Not meeting an oil change requirement of 6-months or 6K km (3.7L miles) ?
What BS is this ?
Are they using cheap oil ?
Or was it a known problem in the engine demanding this oil change interval [IE: What happened to Toyota in the past; when they extended their required oil change intervals, & raised their operating temps by design for emission (without doing the research what would happen). Causing it to kill the oil life earlier.]
& doesn't a Dodge Ram Hemi also have a big oil tank capacity ?

On my ride & my Mom's '98 Sunfire GT:
I do a once a year oil change interval (or if my change oil light comes on in my GA)

My Mom's Sunfire GT is up for an oil change in a couple of weeks at 1-year / 5600 km (3.5K miles).
It only has a oil tank capacity of 4L.
It drives Mon-Fri at 5:30am: 8 km (5 miles) dropping my Mom off at work.
& once a week I drove it shopping for my Mom 2x 10km (6 miles) trips.

On my GA it is about 10K km (6.2K miles) / 1-year.
Driven to work & back daily of 17km (10.5 miles) each way

Using (German) Castrol Syntec 0W-30 synthetic motor oil with a NAPA Gold oil filter.

With today's latest oil spec's:
All cars should be able to go about 6-months or 5K miles / 8K km, or about 200-engine on hours; unless they are just driving a block everyday, & turning off their engine.

Even GM Canada recognizes the advance in oils:
Calling for oil changes in severe service of 6-months or if the change oil light comes on or (which on my GA) maximum mileage of 12.5K km / 7.7K miles, if it was easliy all highway cruising.

What do people think about this ?
(& don't give me sh*t about, 'I do it every 3K miles / 5K km or 3-months'.)

The only real fault I see with this guy is:
He drove it the 2km/1.2 miles home after the oil pressure light came on.
He should of had it towed to the garage.

PS: You must check your oil level/condition, once per month when doing longer oil change intervals.
(Like you are suppose to anyways.)

PSS: If you want to talk about water build-up in the motor oil, check your local Police force cruiser (that idles all day long).

04-29-2007, 02:04 PM
It pretty plainly states in ANY warranty these days that if you skip the scheduled maintaince you can void the warranty. As I see it he wasnt putting many miles on the truck at all considering he drove 6000km is almost a year. Thats just begging for condensation buildup. I also dont get why he didnt take it to get the oil change.

BTW I change my fully synthetic oil every 4500miles or 4 months due to high mileage and often short trips.

Mike Jung
04-29-2007, 02:13 PM
But a "schedule maintenance" on a GA is like once a year minimum for an oil change.
(Check your owner's manual. I'm sure Dodge has something like that too.)

But GM Canada now recommends 6-months oil change intervals for severe service.

PS: I wonder if they did a used oil analysis, to determine there was excessive water build-up. Or was it obvious visually ?

PSS: They have used that excuse (not performing proper oil changes) before during the Dodge Durango V6 incident about oil sludging up; even when it was done at the same dealer every 3-months.

04-29-2007, 02:38 PM
Yea not saying its screwy but I honestly wouldnt take GMs advice on many things. 100k miles for Dexcool for example!!! lol

I bet there is more to the story. Plus I bet he is getting hounded for driving the truck when the light came on. Doesnt matter if there is oil in the engine still doesnt mean its getting pumped.

04-29-2007, 11:03 PM
The oil pump failing due to ice buildup does sound like BS to me. It would take a noticable amount of water in the oil to do this. But this guy really is an idiot to continue driving with no oil pressure. Even the manual tells you not to do this. Chrysler really shouldn't cover anything because of this.

He may not of been the cause, but the damage was driver induced.

... and speaking of short runs, that's my normal commute. 6 minutes door to door. But usually I do take the GA out for a hour or 2 every weekend when I commute. I really should get a motorcycle for this.

04-29-2007, 11:22 PM
Most newer cars have sensors in them that measure oil viscosity- once that throws a light, its a definite sign to change the oil, something this guy clearly didnt do. I really don't feel bad for people who dont take proper care of their cars.

OT- If I change my own oil, how do I prove I did it every 3000 miles (which I do) just in case?

04-29-2007, 11:27 PM
Joe just keep your receipts of the buying of the oil. Plus if you HAVE to prove it have them do an oil analyst.

BTW when we seeing real pics of the Monte?

04-29-2007, 11:30 PM
Joe just keep your receipts of the buying of the oil. Plus if you HAVE to prove it have them do an oil analyst.

BTW when we seeing real pics of the Monte?

heh, I was actually planning on taking some pics tomorrow, if the weather holds :angel

04-30-2007, 05:45 AM
That's alright, I was out of warranty 7 years and 340k kms ago ;)

But yeah that was kinda bs, I'm sure if he kept bitching about it they'd repair everything for free including labour.