Arizona Woman Left With the Bill After an Oil Change Went Wrong

An oil change gone wrong has left an Arizona mom without a car. After taking her car in for a routine oil change at Walmart Auto Centre, Nikki Smith’s vehicle unexpectedly caught fire, and then exploded in the parking lot.
Written by Bellina Gaskey
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Fresh oil is poured into an engine during an oil change.
An Arizona mom’s horrific oil change experience has gone viral on social media.
At the end of 2021, the story popped up all over the internet, of Arizona woman Nikki Smith’s routine trip to get the oil changed in her car gone wrong. The story drives home the importance of not only finding a
good mechanic
, but being prepared with breakdown
car insurance

Routine oil change gone wrong

Nikki Smith posted the chilling story to her social media last month, of how she narrowly escaped with her life after taking her car in for routine repairs at a Phoenix Walmart Auto Centre.
Smith, a single mom, had owned her Jeep truck for over a year without any issues, using the vehicle to get to her two jobs and transport her young daughter. According to
, Smith took the vehicle for a routine oil change at Walmart, but upon driving it home claimed the car started to act up and was leaking fluid.
Upon lifting her hood, Smith discovered the oil cap had not been replaced, and oil had leaked all over her engine. Walmart promised to redo the oil change and fix the issue, free of charge.
The next day, the problem worsened as Smith drove back to the auto center. Service lights flashed on her dash and the car barely accelerated. Minutes after she exited the car at Walmart, the car began to smoke under the hood, and then caught on fire.
Before she knew it, Smith’s Jeep was in flames, and ultimately exploded. She claimed it was only by the grace of God that her daughter had not been with her in the car that day.
To top off her ordeal, Smith is now left without a car and without the means to replace or repair it.
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Reliable repairs

Smith’s experience is a stark reminder of the importance of good
car maintenance
and repair. It’s important to not only find a reliable, licensed mechanic you can trust, but to maintain your vehicle.
It’s important to check your car regularly for routine problems, such as leaks or dents.
Many of the car maintenance tasks which help your vehicle run better are easy to do yourself, cost nothing, but can save you plenty of headaches and cash in the long run.
MORE: Biden Proposed Right to Repair Initiative

Mechanical breakdowns? No problem

Something else to consider is getting
mechanical breakdown insurance
to cover all your bases should something go wrong.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) covers you if your car breaks down or parts wear out from standard use, and can be added to most standard car insurance policies. It also covers the cost of repairs for poor workmanship, if your mechanic fails you.
MBI covers the repairs of the most common car breakdown perpetrators, including engines, transmissions, steering, drive axles, suspensions, cooling systems, and electrical systems.
The insurance coverage also lets you use the licensed mechanic of your choice; just make sure they know what they’re doing!
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