Last week, on a rainy evening, my brother picked me up at the airport in his Lexus RX350. As we left the terminal I heard a rattling sound, so I rolled down the window to try to find its source.
I then told my brother to immediately pull over and shut off the engine, as it was knocking. We popped the hood and I checked the oil, which seemed to be completely empty. I looked under the vehicle and noticed a large puddle of oil. I called a tow truck and was told it would arrive in 60 to 90 minutes. Being bored, I crawled under the vehicle to try and determine the source of the leak. I was fairly confident it was a loose oil filter, but I found evidence of oil above the oil pan rim. I asked my brother to start the engine for a few seconds. I then discovered a rubber hose squirting oil.
The next day I crawled under the vehicle to find a rubber hose on the engine oil cooler had degraded. We went to an auto parts store. As expected, we were told this was a dealer-only part. Off we went with parts in hand to the dealer looking for a replacement. Then, what I assumed to be perhaps a $15 hose was a $200 metal pipe retrofit. Our problem, it appeared, was not unique and as such the rubber hose had been discontinued. There was no recall for this failure, and I'm sure most failures lead to a destroyed engine.
An additional annoying part of the experience -- besides the cost of the replacement part -- was that the oil warning lamp never came on despite the fact that the engine was completely devoid of oil.
Tell us your experiences with Monkey-designed products. Send stories to Rob Spiegel for Made by Monkeys.