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POINCIANA, Fla. — Action 9 is investigating how a $100 oil change turned into a $13,000 repair bill.

“Was there anything unusual about that oil change?” asked Action 9’s Todd Ulrich.

“Everything seemed great,” replied Christian Saavedta.

Saavedta had his 2021 Honda Civic serviced at Take 5 Oil Change in Poinciana.

He claims he had driven 10 miles after service when he noticed a red light warning. “My dash started showing my oil levels were low and I was shocked because I had just had my oil changed.”

Saavedta says he stopped the car and called Take 5 Oil Change.

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He said the manager told him to take it back to the store. “That’s when all, all hell broke loose and my engine started to smoke.” Saavedta said he heard a loud bang and realized his engine was dead.

Saavedta showed Ulrich a video he had taken of Take 5 Oil employees examining his disabled vehicle and then adding oil. He said the employees denied doing anything wrong.

He paid to have his vehicle towed to Coggin Honda in Orlando.

“Did the dealer tell you the oil was out?” Ulrich asked.

“Yes, they did,” Saavedta replied.

“That caused the failure?” Ulrich asked.

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“Yeah, right.” According to Saavedta, Honda told him that the new car’s warranty would not cover engine replacement because a suspicious oil change that was not performed by Honda triggered the damage.

The estimate for a new engine is over $13,000, but Saavedta says Take 5 Oil has refused to offer any assistance. “They still don’t want to take responsibility for it.”

Take 5 Oil Change is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company is rated F by the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to customer complaints.

In the past four months, 12 customers at various Take 5 stores have claimed that an oil change damaged their engines. An F-150 truck owner says a bad oil change left him facing a $10,000 engine repair.

Ulrich went to the store in Poinciana for answers.

“He did an oil change with a 2021 Honda Civic, 15 minutes later his engine failed,” Ulrich told an official.

“OK, I’m the new manager of this store, I’ve only been here a week. You need to go and contact my district manager,” he replied.

At first, a head office official told Ulrich that an independent review showed Take 5 was not the source of the problem, but now the company claims to have reopened the case and, based on new information, it will cover the new engine.

Saavedta said that was not what he heard when he first contacted Action 9. “It’s just for me that it’s not fair.”

Consumers in similar situations have options. They can file a small claims case, and for any vehicle repair disputes, they can contact Florida’s Consumer Services Division, the agency that regulates auto repair shops.

Take 5 oil change answer:

Customer satisfaction and quality service are of utmost importance to us at Take 5 Oil Change. We have re-opened the claim based on the new information we received and are happy to be able to resolve this issue for the customer.


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