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Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14410
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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Toyota Dealer Service Department left oil cap off. Noticed

Customer Question

Toyota Dealer Service Department left oil cap off. Noticed terrible smell when driving the car the next morning. Took straight to dealership a couple miles away.
Mess under the hood, gave me a rental. They cleaned the top and made things look nice again.
Odor and burning smell the next day, returned to dealership. They didn't clean the bottom of the engine the first time, so they cleaned it off and gave the car back.
I'm glad the mess was cleaned up, but nothing on the service paper says anything about adding more oil or checking the engine to make sure there was no damage. What should be checked?
The car ran for several miles after the first cleaning. After that is when the odor was bad.
Why did it take so long and so many miles before we had a bad, strong odor. If oil is burning off, why does it take driving the vehicle a while before it does it?
Should I be concerned?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

There probably is no oil being added or shown on the receipt because the technician probably just topped off the oil and they did it all internal so would show up as being billed to you. The oil can easily be checked simply by shutting the engine off and removing the dipstick to confirm that it is still topped off. This happens more frequently than I care to admit to at some dealerships. The bot***** *****ne is there should not be any damage to the engine it doesn't decrease internal lubrication at all when the oil sprays out of the filler hole on the valve cover. The biggest problem is dealing with the odor until it gets totally clean and the oil itself gets burned off the exhaust and I would perhaps take it back in a week or two and have them reclean it again. They should do this without any kind of trouble. Sometimes oil residue takes multiple washings from above and from underneath to keep it clean and clear the only long-term effect would be is if they did not get it all cleaned it will sometimes can attack the rubber components under the hood and cause them to swell up. As far as any damage to the engine I would be concerned about that.