Woman claims leaking oil burned up engine, sues Wash Depot

David Yates Mar. 12, 2008, 9:14am

A business that washes your car while changing your oil may sound like a time-saving combination, but Arlicia Craven claims the service cost her a new engine.

Nearly two years ago, Craven had her oil changed on her 1999 Tahoe at Simoniz Carwash. After being serviced, Craven jumped on Interstate 10. A few miles later her Tahoe began smoking and she was forced to pull over.

Craven claims a Simoniz employee failed to tighten the oil drain plug after they changed her oil, ruining her Tahoe. She filed suit against Wash Depot XXV (Simoniz) on March 11 in the Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on March 11, 2006, Craven had the oil changed in her 1999 Tahoe at the Wash Depot XXV, located at 4415 College Street.

"Immediately after having the oil changed, Plaintiff had her engine tested at a nearby facility," the suit said. "They indicated there was nothing wrong with her engine except a few minor problems involving a tune-up and an intake manifold. Plaintiff then drove from her vehicle from Beaumont to Orange, Texas."

Orange is about 30 miles east of Beaumont.

"While traveling down I-10, the engine in her Tahoe began making a noise and she saw smoke in her rearview mirror," the suit said.

"Once she stopped her vehicle, she noticed the vehicle was leaking oil on the ground and it was quickly determined that the reason for the smoke was because the Simoniz Car Wash personnel had failed to tighten the oil drain plug they had removed when they changed Plaintiff's oil. It has since been determined that Plaintiff threw a rod in the engine of her Tahoe. The total cost of repair of Plaintiff's engine is $3,391.00."

Craven is claiming the car wash and its employees violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act by failing to insure that the oil drain plug in her vehicle was tightened.

She is suing for actual damages, court costs and attorney's fees.

Craven is represented by Quentin Price of the Barton, Price, McElroy & Townsend law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

Case No. B181-421

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