So, I'm currently without my beautiful car.

I was driving in the Rochester area last night. Now, lately I've had this slight pinging in the engine when I shift, but it was only slight.

I got the oil changed a few weeks ago. They tested the pressure and everything, said everything was good.

The other day, the ping came back. Then last night, it really started pinging loudly, turning into a knock. I pulled over and checked the oil. I didn't get a very accurate reading, but it looked like it was pretty empty. Weird. So I bought 3 quarts and put it in.

The knocking subsided for a few minutes, but then got even worse. I was driving on the thruway doing about 60. Something fell off the bottom of the car, and there was oil all over the back windshield. Then the car just died.

I tried to start it. It woudn't turn over, but the starter WAS turning the engine, so I'm quite sure the engine isn't seized.
I had it towed to a gas station where I was better able to look at it. The oil plug flew out of it. I was pretty sure that something bigger fell off though, but maybe i just saw a ton of oil flying out, I don't know.

The plug WAS in when I put the oil in. There was NOTHING leaking out anywhere at all.

The tow truck guy told me if I got the engine flushed when I had the oil changed, that could have caused a clog in the engine. He recommended never flushing the engine until you have high mileage. So now I'm faced with a situation that I might have to go after Valvoline if the engine is no good.

Honestly, I have no idea what happened. Any thoughts? The tow truck operator also mentioned that in some newer cars, if the computer senses a massive drop in oil, it will immediately shut down the car to prevent engine damage. This is a 2005 Ford Escape, so I'm pretty sure it does have a computer system in it.