Dear Car Talk:
I have a 2014 Hyundai Tucson that I bought brand new. It now has 92,000 miles on it. When I went in for my last oil change, I was told there was no oil in the engine. There are no oil spots underneath my car where I park. Where is it going? What should I do? -- Maureen
Misery loves company, Maureen, and the good news is that you have a lot of company. Hyundai had a number of problems with engines from this era. There are quite a few reports of engines seizing up due to lack of oil, and your engine could be one of those.
So what should you do? Well, the first thing to do is not drive another 8,000 miles. Hyundai offered a 10-year, 100,000-mile power train warranty (which applies only to the original owners) on the 2014 Tucson. They're about to regret that.
As long as you don't cross that 100,000-mile mark, you're covered. So start by asking the shop that changed your oil to put something in writing confirming that they found the crank case empty (or very low, which is more likely the case). If they've changed your oil regularly in the past, have them mention that, too, so Hyundai can't blame this on your lack of regular maintenance.
Then drive over to your Hyundai dealer and tell them your mechanic found the crank case empty. They'll want to look at the car and see if it's leaking oil. It's possible, but since you've seen no evidence of a leak, it's more likely that the oil is burning and coming out the exhaust pipe as blue-ish smoke.
They may want to attempt to fix it for you without replacing the engine. That's fine. But just keep a close eye on your oil, and keep a record of how much oil you add, and at what mileage.
That way, if it's not fixed, you'll be able to insist they do more. And as long as the problem has been reported before you cross 100,000 miles, they are obligated to fix it, even if their first (or second or third) attempts fail.
It's possible that Hyundai will own right up to this and replace your engine the first time you come in. Since they've replaced so many engines now, they must know there's a manufacturing or design problem.
But it's good to be prepared in case they don't do the right thing. So keep good records of your oil loss, be firm but polite and, if necessary, if they try to stonewall you and don't fix the problem, speak to a lawyer.
This is precisely what a warranty is for, Maureen. As long as you didn't neglect the car or ignore a flashing oil warning light, you're entitled to have this fixed at no cost to you. Good luck, and let us know what happens.