Oil chnaged at CT lead to engine seizure


New member
Should CT be liable to the damage of my engine\car??

I had the oil on my Mazda 3 changed at CT in Aurora. 25 days after, the engine light came on and the engine seized completely! I had the car towed to my mechanic who upon visual inspection told me the person who last changed your oil either didn’t replace the seal or put a new seal on top of the old one which lead to the engine oil leakage.
I called CT Aurora and spoke to an auto service manage. I explained what my mechanic said about my car. He said in order to inspect the car they will have to towed it back to their location. After inspection he told me, what caused the oil leakage has nothing to do with them as the leak is from the bottom of the housing. He then asked me to drop by so that one of the mechanics on duty can show me the damage. While I was there the mechanic told me the leakage is ‘from a hairline crack on the side of the oil filter housing’. (Isn’t the bottom and side two different locations???). He then said to me, you could have ran over something on the road or snow bank which can crack the oil filter house. Not sure if he thinks because I am a female I don’t know any better – there is a plate under which protects the bottom of the car where the oil filter is and the space between the oil filter housing and the plate is about 6 inches. If I ran over something wouldn’t I damage the plate first???
Right now, CT is saying the damage to my car has nothing to do with the oil changed they did.
Since CT last did my oil change, shouldn’t they be liable to the damage to my car/engine??

What can I do?? Any suggestion is appreciated!! Thanks!!
Hi, emm12345:

Sorry to hear about the damage to your vehicle. It's upsetting to be faced with something so expensive, as well as inconvenient, to be without transportation.

First of all, I'm not a mechanic or a lawyer, but I will give you what advise I can.

If CT (or anyone whom you hired to work on your vehicle) does not perform the work correctly and damage is caused, either during the repair or later as a result of the repair, then absolutely they should be liable for the cost of their mistake.

However, your task now will be proving that it was CT who did the work incorrectly, and then compelling them to pay.

You could gather what evidence you can, take it to them, and attempt to get a settlement. They might do this voluntarily if you have some convincing evidence and they think they would lose a court case. But by the sounds of it, they are currently just looking for any excuse to give you, in the hope that you will believe them and go away.

Based on what you've said, the problem was not with some minor crack in the metal, on a protected part of the engine. Besides, is there even a crack, or did CT make that up? And wouldn't it have only leaked slowly? Instead, it sounds like the filter was installed incorrectly, as your mechanic said. Unfortunately, you may have to got to court and prove this to a judge, who can force CT to pay up. Note that each store is really a separate business, with a unique name and owner, whom you would sue if you go that route.

You already have your mechanic who inspected the problem, and can hopefully give a sworn statement in writing, but may have to testify in court. CT could try other tactics, like claiming they never did any work on your car, ever. They could also claim that somebody else worked on it after them, which caused the damage. I suppose they might also say that it had the crack or damaged filter already when you brought it to them, and that they warned you about it, but you ignored it. Those are all standard defences, so you should be ready to disprove them.

If this case starts to get complicated, you might consider professional automotive and/or legal advice. If you have a CAA membership, you can consult them, too. There is also the Automotive Protection Association, who support consumers.

You might also try searching the CANLII.ca web site for similar cases. There are also a couple of stories on this web site, about suing CT. You can also try contacting the Consumer's Ministry in your province.

Good luck with your vehicle problems - I hope you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Dear CT Challenger
Thank you for your suggestions and tips!!!

I was able to obtain a written statement from my mechanic stating that there is no way I could have hit the bottom of my car without damaging the shield underneath. I have filed a case with their customer relation, and BBB. I also contact Consumer Protection, who had logged my case.

I am keeping my fingers cross this problem will be resolve soon!

Hi, Emm:

I have heard of cases where the CT Cusotomer Service people helped, but I've only heard of them helping, when it's very clear-cut that the service people were at fault.

Good luck with your fight, and keep us updated!
Update... still battling with Canadian Tire.

A case manager finally called me after 12 days to provide an update!!! I have been calling them every day or two to following up on my case since I had no luck getting hold of the store owner or GM. They are NEVER available. No return calls after leaving multiple messages. What kind of customer service is this???? No wonder they are call crappy tire.

Now they are blaming Mazda for the 'poorly design' of the oil filter housing..LOL. And why hasn't Mazda done a recall???
I wonder how the case manager determines it's Mazda's poor design that causes the problem without physically examining the car. Interesting eh. It's clearly they will pass the blame on and feed the customer BS.

Not giving up yet!!
Thanks for keeping us updated.

Interesting how they are trying all different dodges, to say it's not their fault.

Seem to me, if they knew what they were doing, they'd know about oil filter housing, and how to avoid damaging it ... and would recognize when they'd damaged it. Instead, they damaged it and then just let you drive down the road to a seized engine? Still sounds like their fault either way.

Good luck, and let us know how it develops.
OMG...the nightmare is getting worse!!
Not only this store screw up my car, they lost my car key and forget to remount the splash shield!! WTH?? I have been provided with inconsistent and incorrect information regarding the issue with my car and to make matters worse I now am out my car keys and splash shield due to the auto staff at this store’s negligence. What else??
I contacted their customer relations department and isn’t getting any where!!basically they are saying auto service concerns are dealt with by the store. What is the point in having a 'Customer Relations' department???
Contacting the corporate management doesn’t help either. They come back with a nice respond to brush you off. This is the respond I received when I contact one of their corporate management personnel:

Thank you so much for contacting me and for letting me know about your experience at our auto service centre in Aurora. Every day we try hard to meet our customers’ expectations, provide better service, launch new and exciting products and help in any way we can as Canadians tackle the jobs and joys of life in this great country. On behalf of the Canadian Tire Family of Companies I’m sorry for putting you through what sounds like a frustrating experience.
First, I want to reinforce that we are making huge progress in our efforts to better serve our customers across the country, particularly with our automotive service. We have invested heavily in training throughout our network in order to provide auto service employees with the training and tools they need to provide the best possible customer experience. While I am proud of the progress we’ve made, your letter reminds me that there is still work to be done.
I wanted to let you know that I have followed up with our Corporate Customer Relations team and understand that they have already been in touch with you and are in the process of resolving your case. I have full confidence in the team here at “the Tire” and know that they will do their very best to make things right for you.

It has been over 6 weeks and I have followed up, still no response. And Canadian Tire is suppose to be ‘Canada’s most trusted company’ and ‘to ensure a clear understanding and consistent level of commitment to ethical business practices.’??? I question their 'ethical business practices' they are practicing. It's so pathetic that they are a Canadian Corporation.
What a mess! People think there are actual, trained mechanics at these places, but the "Bakeware and Oil Change Emporium" is staffed by teenagers who probably flunked their high-school shop class.

Thanks for taking the time to warn others about the pitfalls!