Here is my story:
May 1st - Went to a shop A, had aftermarket turbo back exhaust & intake installed. These parts are quality, had good reviews and straight from the manufacturers. Had regular service done as well. Oil change and all. Drove home.
May 4th - First timing driving since I got new parts installed. Went to the Shop B to get a tune up on their dyno. This took twice as long as it was supposed to. Guys at this shop told me that my oil pan bolt was loose and there was too much oil in the engine. They fixed the bolt and drained some oil. They told me that too much oil is bad for the engine and I got fixated on that (my fault, not theirs). They also said some lug nuts were over torqued and had to be replaced (mostly irrelevant fact). They got my car on a dyno fairly quickly and started to work on it. It was supposed to be done around 1pm, but they ended up working on it up until 6 pm (closing time). It did seem like they were rushing, but maybe timing worked out.
In next few days I drove it a few times, nothing major, maybe 50 miles total. Weekend after I drove to a country side (100+ miles) and it was pretty spirited, but nothing crazy. Came back all good.
May 21st - My gf and I were about to start our little one week vacation. It was a car trip from North Cali to South Cali, AZ, Nevada, Death Valley, Yosemite. I decided to check my oil levels before leaving. When I pulled dipstick out it was pretty much dry with some oil on the edges. I could not believe it, because how could that be? So i googled around and saw that sometimes that happens with the dipstick. I assumed something weird is happening with my dipstick, because I just could not believe that my engine had no oil in it. My bad. I did add a tiny bit of oil, because I do not know what I am doing. We were pressed on time, so I just decided to go anyways.
We drove to South Cali with no problems. On the drive to AZ i got “Check Engine” light. I checked the oil, same weird behavior (or so i thought). I did bring my oil canister with me, so I added a little bit more. Barely a 1/4 of a quart. I figured my car ate that much over the 1000 mile drive in any case.
Over next few days we drove a little bit, but nothing crazy. “Check Engine” went light turned off. I thought maybe it was a glitch or misfire or loose sensor somewhere.
Our return path was through the Yosemite area, so we drove through Death Valley and made it to the little town of Big Pine. Shortly after passing this town, my car started to make a knocking sound and shortly after it died. I rolled to a side of the road, popped the hood and stupidly stared at my engine. Luckily some nice gentleman pulled over and asked if everything was ok. I told him this story and he without hesitation poured 4 remaining quarts of oil into my engine. Sure enough I could see it appear on the dipstick 30 seconds later. Right then I knew I f-ed up. Engine started, but the noise remained. We limped few more miles to the next town of Bishop. Few officers recommended that we do that, because it is considerably larger and we would be able to get help there. At this point we stopped driving the car. Next day we had it towed to Shop A.
So, I do feel like i made a wrong call. I was afraid to over fill with oil and I had no idea how to double check. My car did not have enough oil. But, I do feel like there is no way it should’ve had no oil after two weeks after doing the tune up. I am told by the Shop A that it would cost me up to 10k to fix the engine. I am not rich, so I don’t even know how I am going to swing that….
Oh warranty. I am covered up to 60k, but my odometer is showing 60303. Damn. Plus all the custom parts and custom tune. So, I don’t think I can get repairs that way even if we would install original parts back (which I still have).
So, my question is… Am I solely guilty here? Would it be reasonable to expect some help from the Shop B? Any suggestions? I do feel responsible, but I also just did the service and expected everything to be fine for a while. PLEASE HALP. I miss my baby.