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Mike V.
Mike V., Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 20506
Experience:  25 years of experience, Certified Subaru Technician and Nissan factory trained.
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99 Infiniti Q45: highway miles..took my car..my valve gasket..car died

Customer Question

Can someone please help...I have a 99 Infiniti Q45, although it has about 216,000 mostly highway miles it was still in great condition. Recently I took my car to an advertised as "ASE Certified" mechanic. Initially I contacted the individual to have my valve gasket covers replaced, but before I was able to take the car in my car died. So I had it towed to the mechanic and he told me my alternator had gone out and needed to be replaced, I let him replace the alternator and valve cover gaskets. When I received the car we test drove it around the block it sounded relatively quiet and normal, but by the time I had driven the car about 30 miles (the distance between his shop and my office), it sounded like a diesel and my service engine and oil lights were on. I have never had this issue with my car and I now he is telling me I need an oil pump, or my engine may be gone, something is wrong...Please help I don't believe my car has gone from having a lot of life left to none at all.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Mike V. replied 5 years ago.
Hi there! Did you have them do an oil change on the car while it was there?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes, they did an oil change including an air filter
Expert:  Mike V. replied 5 years ago.
I agree it is suspisous. Do you have the car? Or has he got it now?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has the car and is waiting for me to come so he can describe how he wants to pull my engine out, possibly replace the oil pump etc, etc.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 5 years ago.
It is my personal opinion that they likely didn't fill the engine with oil, or they left the drain plug loose. I would take a close look at the underside of the vehicle. If there is any oil on the bottom it is likely the oil leaked out.
There really is no way to prove it, but I would be very suspicious. I would also ask him to tell you what the oil pressure was. If they didn't check the oil pressure then there is no way to be sure the pump was bad. 30 miles after an oil change for this to happen is an awfully big coincidence.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He said he checked the oil pressue and that it was low. He said it could be something internal with my engine. Also, the knocking/diesel sound was coming from the left side of the engine, and it seemed as though as the car began to warm up thats when it started. I had went under the hood, checked the oil dipstick and it seemed to be oil in the tank. Shouldn't he have been aware that the oil pressure was low while he was working on the car (valve gasket covers)? Isn't there some type of computer that can read this information?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 5 years ago.
He would not have any indication the oil pressure was low without using an oil pressure guage. When he changed the oil, or did the valve cover gaskets there would just not be any way to tell or to know. If you checked the oil when it started happening and there was oil in there, then this is really just a coincidence,although it is strange,that is what it is. Based on the info, and the fact that it has started sounding like a diesel engine, something probably has let go inside the engine.
Mike V., Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 20506
Experience: 25 years of experience, Certified Subaru Technician and Nissan factory trained.
Mike V. and 10 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Okay, thanks for the information.

Expert:  Mike V. replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome. I'm sorry I could not provide better news for you. Thanks for the accept!

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Mike V.
Mike V.
Auto Mechanic
20506 Satisfied Customers
25 years of experience, Certified Subaru Technician and Nissan factory trained.