Oil relief valve issue shortly after oil was changed

I had my oil changed yesterday. As soon as I got home noticed oil everywhere. The mechanic came and got car. After examining it, said the oil relief valve let go and charged me an additonal 250. I found it hard to believe that the valve would just happen to break immediately after having oil changed!!!! They refuse to take any blame. Thoughts???

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
I’m curious as to what "weight" of oil they put in. Most manufacturers now warn against using anything heavier than 10W30 for oil pressure relief valve (overpressure on cold start) reasons. While this is not common, overpressure due to a sticking oil pressure relief valve can occur. The oil filter would look "inflated" like a balloon fixing to burst – which in fact yours evidently did. It’s more common to have an oil filter overtightened, rupturing the oil seal ring, or not tightened enough, and it vibrates loose.

It’s hard to find a path to satisfaction here – comes down to trust and prior experience with the shop. If you want to take a different route in the future, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to service your vehicle.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

A bad oil pressure sensor can cause your vehicle to leak oil. This happens because your oil pressure sensor connects to oil-sending units. When this goes bad, the unit starts to leak oil out of the pan. If your vehicle`s oil pan has a leak, you should fix or replace it as soon as possible.
Oil-filter problem

An oil filter obstruction or blockage can also cause oil pressure to suffer. Oil filters include pressure relief valves. If this valve is damaged, oil will easily pass right through, reducing pressure. It may go without saying, but it is important to also change the oil filter with each oil change.

Using the wrong oil filter can negatively impact oil pressure. The wrong filter, a filter that isn`t working properly, or a filter that gets clogged can cause oil pressure to drop. The proper oil filter, along with the pressure relief valve, will help regulate oil pressure and avoid spikes.
Overfilling also increases oil pressure, putting more stress on seals and gaskets that keep oil from leaking out of the engine or going places it shouldn`t on the inside. Over time, the added stress accelerates wear on those seals and gaskets.
Over tightening the oil filter can either strip the threading, or break the O-ring. If the O-ring is broken, this can cause the filter not to have a proper seal; and cause oil to eventually leak.
The bypass valve – otherwise known as a pressure relief valve – is an integral part of the oil filter. The valve is designed to open when the oil filter becomes clogged or when the oil is too thick. This allows the oil to bypass the filter through a center tube.
This is because a clogged, bad or wrong oil filter may restrict the flow of oil entering the engine. And when there`s little oil to lubricate the moving components of the engine and dissipate heat, the metal components generate excessive heat which in turn damages the engine.
This extreme pressure can cause the oil filter to explode, resulting in engine oil loss. Excessive oil pressure can also cause pressed-in oil galley plugs to blow out. Either of these scenarios can result in complete loss of oil pressure and catastrophic engine failure.
An oil pressure sensor is a device used to measure the oil pressure on an engine. Oil pressure sensor is actually a term that covers at least two different and distinct types of sensor – an oil pressure switch and and oil pressure sender.
While pressure switches and sensors seem to achieve the same goal at first glance, they go about it in completely different ways. Pressure switches are used in systems to ensure the safety of the machine and its operators while sensors simply relay a pressure readout to a remote location.
Too much oil can create resistance against moving parts like pistons and connecting rods. Too much resistance will result in catastrophic engine failure, often beyond what can be repaired, and the engine needs to be replaced.
The short answer is yes. Engine oil is crucial in maintaining optimal performance by lubricating and cooling engine components. Neglecting regular oil changes can lead to increased friction, reduced efficiency, and potential engine damage, ultimately impacting acceleration.
And for oil filters, we suggest tightening it as tight as you can get it by hand – so you turn it until it stops naturally, and then you might be able to twist it another quarter of a turn.
Oil filters are designed to withstand, without collapsing, differential pressures significantly greater than those experienced under normal operating conditions. Therefore, when a center tube or element has collapsed, it is usually the result of a “sticking” or otherwise malfunctioning by-pass valve.
Oil pressure switches can develop external leaks (that is, they can leak oil onto the engine) and/or the switch can fail internally such that the switch either fails to warn of low oil pressure or the switch goes off prematurely and illuminates the oil pressure warning light when in fact nothing is wrong.
Oil pressure sensor problems

One of the common problems is when the oil pressure sensor (switch) starts leaking oil. The oil could leak from the sensor itself or from the tread. If the oil leaks from the tread, your mechanic may recommend resealing it. If the sensor itself is leaking, it will have to be replaced.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Oil relief valve issue shortly after oil was changed
ANSWER : I’m curious as to what "weight" of oil they put in. Most manufacturers now warn against using anything heavier than 10W30 for oil pressure relief valve (overpressure on cold start) reasons. While this is not common, overpressure due to a sticking oil pressure relief valve can occur. The oil filter would look "inflated" like a balloon fixing to burst – which in fact yours evidently did. It’s more common to have an oil filter overtightened, rupturing the oil seal ring, or not tightened enough, and it vibrates loose.

It’s hard to find a path to satisfaction here – comes down to trust and prior experience with the shop. If you want to take a different route in the future, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to service your vehicle.

Low oil pressure light comes on when idle. Check engine light is on as well. Both came on after getting an oil change 3 days ago.
ANSWER : It is possible that they put in the wrong viscosity oil. In rare instances, a defective filter will also cause low pressure. If there is too much oil, it will aerate and cause low pressure. Be sure the oil level is really not above "max". The P2187 code will appear if the oil fill cap is not tight but it will also appear due to a myriad of causes because that code only "generally" identifies a lean running condition. Consequently, numerous parts would have to be tested including the O2 sensor, gas cap seal, manifold air leaks, any vacuum leak anywhere including PCV and EVAP systems, exhaust leaks, and fuel system faults such as failing fuel pump, clogged filter and more. Since the car has relatively low mileage, you would not expect a failed oil pump, although the pressure sensor (or switch) could be bad. However, the occurrence of the oil pressure warning light is quite coincidental to the oil change, thus I would suggest bringing the car back and asking them to redo with a new filter and double check the viscosity of the new oil that they use. If the problem persists after that, you will have to test actual operating oil pressure (at idle for instance) as well as the oil pressure switch. Finally, if the oil pressure warning light comes on continuously, unless the warning circuit itself is malfunctioning, that means the oil pressure is too low to operate the engine without damaging it. Anytime the light comes on for more than literally an instant, you should shut down the car and thus an issue like this obviously has to be repaired.

If you’d like, a YourMechanic certified mechanic can come to your home or place of business to inspect the vehicle and perform an oil pressure light is on inspection to diagnose the vehicle and suggest potential repairs.

2006 BMW oil filter gasket keeps breaking and oil leaks from oil filter. Oil leaks only after starting car in morning. PCV valve?
ANSWER : Hi There,
It sounds like you may need to replace the oil cap o-ring. If you haven’t done this before there are two O-rings to replace; a small green one on the base of the filter cap stem and the large black one that seals the filter cap (which seems to be the one you are having issues with). The large O-ring sits in a small square-shaped groove that is at the base of the oil filter cap. It is very easy to not properly seat the large O-ring because the threads for the oil cap are quite large and will accept the O-ring if you are not careful. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle.

lost all oil pressure, replaced the oil pump, low oil sensor, oil pressure sensor, oil pan gasket,
ANSWER : The fuel pump will not stay on if you loose oil pressure. This is why it is shutting off. The loss of oil pressure may be from bad crankshaft bearings or camshaft bearings. The engine oil pan should be removed and the oil pump needs to be checked to ensure that you put in the pick up tube seal to the pump and connected the pump to the block. Then remove at least one main bearing cap and inspect the bearings for excessive wear and crankshaft damage. If you need some help with this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can help diagnose the issue with your oil pressure firsthand and help you fix it accordingly.

Type of oil and when to change
ANSWER : Oil change intervals on your vehicle are determined by the vehicle’s engine oil change monitoring system. A message on your instrument panel will alert you when it is necessary to change the oil. The change interval is based on a computer algorithm and is "duty cycle based". Consequently, the oil change interval is not fixed and will vary depending on personal driving style and drivings conditions. For example, lots of short trips will necessitate a more frequent oil change than if your driving mileage is accumulated under continuous highway driving. An engine computer keeps track of all the required data, processes the data, and then the car’s messaging system lets you know when to change the oil. With some minor caveats, as stated below, synthetic oil can be used at any time and you can switch back and forth between conventional oil and synthetics at any time. Although existing leaks may potentially leak at a somewhat greater rate when using synthetic oils versus purely mineral based (aka, "conventional" oil), the added leakage, if any, is meaningless in most seal locations and in most circumstances. The potential for a leak is due to the smaller size of the molecules in synthetic versus conventional oils. However, synthetic oil cannot possibly cause or otherwise mechanically enlarge a leak. In any event, any "distinction" in leak rate is meaningless simply because if you put synthetic oil in a car and you can see a leak from a seal, that seal was most decidedly leaking anyway with regular oil and so would have to be repaired regardless of the oil "type" you are using.

In your specific case, with a relatively newer car and low miles on the engine, this possibility of a leak probably does not exist at least for a while, although you are getting close to the time frame when just due to rubber aging (over time, not mileage related), leaks will start developing anyway. The bottom line is you can and should use synthetic oil in your circumstances due to its huge advantages in physical properties and potential to lengthen the service life of your engine and even seemingly unrelated parts such as oxygen sensors and the catalytic converter (synthetics don’t have the sulfur and other elemental contaminants that mineral oil has). Full synthetics will be less subject to degradation and evaporation during the oil service interval, too. I would recommend you use "100% synthetic oil". If it were my car I would use the most expensive, highest rated synthetic oil I could find. Changing your oil removes dirt and contaminants and newer cars with all sort of oil actuated mechanisms, such as variable valve timing, need very clean oil. YourMechanic offers oil and filter changes during mobile visits right to your location and you should certainly avail yourself of that service as the cost is lower and the service is much more personalized than at a shop or dealer. If you have additional concerns, don’t hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic.

Oil consumption. Burning oil. Oil light turns up on idle.
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. The valve stem seals are the most common cause of this on your engine. When they fail, it requires that the cylinder heads be removed and rebuilt to fix it. The piston rings can also cause this but they are not as common. Unfortunately there is not anything, not even heavier oil that will fix this. You will need to have the heads rebuilt.

My car is leaking oil i got an oil change for it last month but it is still leaking oil what will cause my car to leak oil ?
ANSWER : Most older cars have oil leaks. Sealing technology has just not kept up with mechanical improvements to engines so much so that leaks often kill engines rather than mechanical problems. So, it is not unexpected at all to have an, indeed many, oil leaks on a 23 year old car. Oil leaks vary hugely in terms of severity and priority of repair. Oil leaking onto a hot engine manifold is the worst case (the oil can start a fire; at best, you are left breathing oil fumes in the cabin, as the oil burns off of the manifold) while de minimus seepage of oil at the oil drain plug or oil pan gasket, while annoying and messy, if limited enough is not an emergency. Some leaks are easy to repair, while others literally require the engine to be removed just to get physical access to all the leak points. In your circumstance, if you smell burning oil, oil is probably leaking onto a hot engine part such as the exhaust manifold. A certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, can perform an oil leak diagnostic and then let you know of your repair options and costs.

As far as the check engine light, that is not related to the oil leak(s). If you request a check engine light diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that have caused the check engine light to illuminate. Using those codes, the appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are then carefully tested, based on specifications set forth in your car’s Factory Service Manual, to pinpoint the cause of the fault or the reason why the check engine light has illuminated. Once the faulty part or component is identified, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Just noticed a huge oil leak trailing my car. It seems to be coming from below the engine. I recently had my oil changed a month
ANSWER : You might have a problem with the oil filter leaking when you rev the engine and increase the oil pressure. This can be from a collapsed oil filter media or excessive oil pressure from the engine. I recommend having the oil and filter replaced using a good quality filter and have the oil leak verified to be from the filter. Make sure to not run the engine low on oil. If you are finding you do not want to drive with the leak, a mobile technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office, and replace both your filter, and oil.