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Missing oil filler cap

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I recently took ownership of my third Focus - A 1.8 Zetec Climate (57) - from a Ford Dealership. I noticed an intermittent flicker of the oil warning light and last weekend having drove to Anglesey the light came on constantly.

I lifted the bonnet and to my horror I saw that the oil filler cap was missing and the engine had spewed oil. I located the cap down the side of the engine trapped amongst piping/wires.

I phoned the Dealer who told me to call the AA. The dipstick was pretty much dry. The mechanic put 4 litres of oil in to the engine.

I believe that the cap was either not fitted at all by the Dealer, or less likely it was not attached correctly (unlikely as the cap was caught up in the pipes at the front of the engine bay - surely it would have gone towards the rear?)

The car is currently back with the dealer who is doing an engine diagnostic, full engine clean and exterior valet and underside clean. The Dealer will also valet my drive due to oil spill.

My questions are;

1. What permanent damage might have been caused?

2. Where do I stand legally if there is permanent damage?

3. What would you do? - Demand a replacement car?

4. Ever heard of this happening before?

Thanks all.

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Hiya mate

I too have a 57plate focus 1.6 titanium and the day i picked my car up from the dealer what agro i have had, paintwork problems, suspension,heater controls,arm rest, steering wheel vibration, engine man light on plus a few other small problems and the car has only done 1950miles since november 400 has been the dealer and i tell you what omg what agro the dealer are not helpful at all ford customer relations are only there to hear your problems and thats it and dont do any thing to help to just send you letters or ring you once the car is fixed and if you have finance on the car like i have even the finance comp dont care at all!!! i wanted to back my car after a few weeks and i didnt have a leg to stand on as no one wants to help you. i would think it may of caused a small amount of damage but you wont know untill a few years or a few more miles. I like the car but the after care is rubbish from the dealer who say its not down to them, ford say you have to contact the dealer and the finance comp dont want to know! so all i can say my friend is good luck you are going to need it. :unsure::unsure:

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Depending on how long the engine was lacking oil will depend on what damage would be done. Being a fairly new engine it would suggest potentially more damage could occur as it has not been worn in.

If there is permanent damage to the engine, then so long as you did not alter/play with/adjust anything under the bonnet then you cannot be held responsible and as far as I know it is the garages responsibility to ensure a product is fit for purpose it was designed for. Therefore it is up to them to compensate or replace if issues should arise. Although I believe this to be the case, chances are you will require legal backing and should be prepared for a long battle. My father fought Colt Cars (Mitsubishi UK) for over 2 years to resolve an issue with one of their vehicles.

If I were you, I would want a replacement vehicle because you never know what could come up in the future. It will be a hassle to get an exchange and if they refuse or you cannot be bothered to fight, get the dealership manager/owner to sign something saying that they will rectify any problems linked with a lack of oil in the engine for the duration of your ownership of the vehicle.

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