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rental agency left oil cap off


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Evening Scotty, hope you are doing well as summer starts to kick off before memorial day weekend.

I just had to share with everyone what happened to my family this past weekend while visiting New York. Knowing we would need a rental car when our flight touched down, I urged my family towards renting a 2022 Toyota RAV4 to test it out as we start to look at downsizing from full size SUVs and 3/4 ton trucks.

The attending staff at Alamo found us one after a few minutes and drove it up, no problem so far...We load up and head north for an hour and a half. The problems started when we cranked the AC and came to any sort of stop. To our surprise, we were greeted with the smell of pure exhaust fumes! Even though we had been driving through New Jersey with the windows down, it was certainly coming from our brand new rental car! This ended up being a bit of a nightmare for me in showing my parents the high quality that Toyota usually puts out...But we found out what it was the next morning. 

After contacting Alamo, and they told us it was up to us to call around to find a replacement mid size SUV in our area at either National or Hertz, but no one nearby had anything readily available to be equivalent. My father and I decide the next morning to pop the hood and find the leak to document so we cannot be blamed for the state the rental is in...and what do you know? There is oil splashed all over the plastic beauty cover and pooling throughout the engine near the oil fill cap...WHICH WAS UPSIDE DOWN AND NOT EVEN SECURED PROPERLY!!! My guess is that whoever inspected the car last, flipped it up after an oil change and never flipped it back, but who would do such a thing? We had be driving the car with the oil fill cap completely loose, which made an absolute mess and leaked oil everywhere.  

In a slight panic, we cleaned, documented, and called the rental company again with the updates. Who knows how long this car had been like this. No check engine or oil pressure lights came on thankfully. We checked the oil levels, which seemed fine, but we needed to get rid of it asap in case their had been any damage to the engine. I just had to share this so that others know they should pop the hood and TAKE PICTURES before pulling off the rental car lot and slow down a tad this travel weekend.

2 Answers

You can't depend on hired help.

I rented a U-haul truck once. And once I got a few miles down the road with it, the steering started moaning and groaning like crazy. Sure enough, there wasn't any power steering fluid in it. I called the business operator and he told me to just top it up and bring him the receipt.

They just don't give a damn.


Scotty talked about your experience and expressed his opinion