Just this past week, I went to Los Angeles to visit a friend for a week. When there I had rented a compact car for the week. Same routine, check the car for dints and dings, cracks and paint scrapes so you don’t get charged for any damaged upon returning the vehicle. No problem, I do it as I have always done when renting a car, filled the form and took off.
Three days later, after some considerable cruising around in pretty extreme heat, and heat from the freeways, I had used the air conditioner extensively so decided to top up the fuel tank, just as a precaution. While at the service station, a little thought pops into my head…”Maybe you should check the oil”? Being on the freeway, lots of traffic, lots of heat…it would really suck to break down right? Good call conscience…I pop the hood, check the oil and low and behold…..
There is NO oil in this car! The oil was actually burned onto the dipstick and as you can see as black as the inside of a cow! I’d had this rental for 3 days and already driven over 150 miles like this. So I take this as a lesson learned and when I am doing my Rental vehicle Inspection and walk around, I will be for sure checking the oil. If this engine had of blown on the 405…It would have A) Really Sucked and B) How could I have proven that I didn’t cause that engine damage? I may have been on the hook for it. So in short, don’t just trust that the vehicle you are renting is in tip top shape when you get it…take a few extra minutes to do a thorough check…it may save you a breakdown or a hassle in the long run. I know for sure I will.