I’m really not good about servicing my car (2000 Dodge Neon). My last oil change was somewhere around 6-12 months ago, and I can’t even remember where I did it. A few weeks back, the “engine service” light came on, which means (according to the manual) that the engine is ok but there’s some problem with the emissions. I checked the oil and it was low, so I put in 2 quarts at that point, but the light stayed on. A few days ago, the oil light came on, and I put some more oil in, and the oil light went out. But with the “engine service” light on continuously for a few weeks, I figured it’s time to bring it in to the dealership.
They say the oil filter was loose, and almost all the oil dripped out, and this caused one of the four cylinders to stop functioning. They put in a new oil filter, but they also think I should spend $3800 for a whole new engine. So I have two questions:
Is there any way this could be covered under warranty? I figure that if the loos of oil was so bad that it caused this kind of damage, the oil light should have been on more.
How terrible is it to drive on only three cylinders? The service guy tried to scare me into thinking that this will damage one of the remaining cylinders, but if I stay under 50 mph, maybe the engine won’t be strained so much?