Jiffy Lube battery corrosion spray - is it a scam?

I own a 2002 Honda Odyssey Minivan and live in Albuquerque, NM. A couple months ago, while getting my oil changed at my local Jiffy Lube, they noticed significant corrosion on my battery terminals and cable leads. They suggested a $20 spray-on product that they claimed would remove the corrosion and keep it clean; they said they would reapply the product for the lifetime of the battery, as needed. I agreed and had them apply the product.

Seven weeks later, my Odyssey would not start in the morning. I decided to replace the battery since it was several years old, and the engine started after installing a new battery (from Costco). However, after driving the car ~30 minutes and parking it, it would not start again. I was able to jump the vehicle, and I drove it to the Honda dealership for service (after turning the engine off at the dealership, the engine would not start again). I figured it was a problem with the alternator…

The dealership said that the problem was corrosion on the battery cable leads, which I did not notice when I replaced the battery. They said they cleaned the cable leads and charged me $50 for labor. Two weeks have passed and everything has been working fine since then.

So, my question is, “Is the Jiffy Lube battery corrosion spray a scam?” Should the corrosion have reappeared so quickly after their application of the spray, and is it possible that their product contributed to the problem? Is it reasonable to ask them to pay for the $50 labor charge from the dealership, in addition to refunding my $20 for the anti-corrosion spray?

Problem #1 is that you are assuming the cause of the problem without doing any actual testing. You can get your old battery tested for free, and you could have saved yourself some time and money if you had.

Problem #2 is that you let Iffy Lube solve a problem you didn’t have. Iffy Lube makes most of its money by selling services people don’t need, and this battery spray was one of them. You need to stop going to Iffy Lube for anything.

EVERYTHING Jiffy-Lube does is a scam…You can buy your very-own can of battery post protector for $3…Did Costco install the battery or did you??

The spray is pretty useless once the terminals and connections are already corroded. Putting the spray over corrosion is about the same thing as puttng spray paint on top of rust. It looks ok for a bit, but didn’t do anything other than cover up the problem.

The corrosion continued underneath the spray covering until electrical contact was lost completely. You may not have needed a new battery, rather a good cleaning of the contacts. Meaning, you remove the contacts completely off the battery, scrape off the corrosion, reconnect them and then use the spray to stop further corrosion in the future. Jiffy Lube only did the easy part and therefore you ended up with a “no start” situation.

The corrosion was pre-existing and had nothing to do with the spray which is a scam and unneeded.
Any spray that is applied is not going to be applied to the area that really counts, the contact surfaces between the cable ends and the battery posts.

This sounds like a pretty profitable scam to me. The cost (couple of bucks maybe) of one can of scam X who knows how many cars they get out of one can at 20 bucks a pop could equal a ton of money.

Unfortunately, I don’t think you have any basis legally or otherwise for asking the JL to reimburse you for the dealer charge. It’s possible that the JL may refund the 20 bucks back but legally I don’t think they have to since the use of this product could be debateable and you agreed to it in advance.

If the local Honda dealer does oil change specials all of the time you might consider just having your oil changes done there instead of the JLs. The price may be the same or close to what JL charges.

“Jiffy Lube battery corrosion spray - is it a scam?”

If it is any corporate fast lube place, it’s a scam.

Probably JL moving the battery cables around exacerbated your existing corrosion problem. The spray? Not necessary and a waste of money. You can clean corrosion and acid away yourself with a solution of baking soda and water, or buy some corrosion protector yourself for far less than JL charges.

If JL would have cleaned the terminals and cables before applying the spray, it is not a scam. We don’t know if that is the case because you did not say so. Some JLs are not very good, but some are. I use one near me for 4 cars and they do a great job. While everyone above said it’s a waste of money, remember that you did not recognize the issue. They offered a service to you because you did not perform needed maintenance yourself. On that basis, I would say it is not a scam.

I’ve never heard of this spray? My dad always told me to check my battery cables regularly for signs of corrosion. He always told me to clean them once in a while with a toothbrush (but not using toothpaste as a cleaner) if I notice a little grime on them.

Remove cables and clean with an inexpensive battery cleaning tool. Re attach cables and coat with dielectric grease to prevent any future problems. It’s cheaper then $20 and a fix any one can do themselves.

Pouring half a gallon of hot tap water on top of the battery does the same thing as JL’s spray can product, except the end result with the hot tap water probably looks a lot better. The problem is that you had a corrosion issue that was not corrected properly by JL or by whomever installed your new battery. To effectively remove corrosion such as this, and for it to mean anything to the car, the cables need to be removed from the battery and cleaned with a wire brush. The cable ends need to be checked for proper fit (need to clamp tight) and replaced if necessary (very common with the lead free cable ends used in Asian cars for the last 20 years or so). Dielectric grease on the cables is also a very good idea, and you don’t have to get it in those tiny little packets the auto parts stores sell for 99 cents to do your tune-up or install taillamps (the best little profit idea ever, selling five cents worth of grease for a dollar and pushing it with every spark plug and bulb purchase). You can get a big old tube of the stuff for five or six bucks and have enough to last you a lifetime.

I’m still using the same tube of corrosion prevention “grease” I bought years ago at a parts store for perhaps $1.49. It’ll probably last me the rest of my life…or until I lose it.

$20? That, my friend, is a rip off IMHO.

This is not a scam, even if you clean it well by removing the cables and also using the wire brushes, then the spray or dielectric grease, it is still possible for the issue to reoccur.

Point is people are just informing you that you should/could do this yourself and save the cost and headache.

IF they charged you cash money for it as a seperate job, It’s a scam in that it’s a money making angle that others don’t charge for.

In my Ford shop it’s a standard ever day application not seen as a seperate charge but included in the general work you’re here for anyway.

I’ve never had anyone charge me extra to clean the battery cables during a tune up…

Battery cables can get a buildup of corrosion, but it’s nothing to worry about…Simple solution of baking soda and water cleans it up and it’s cheap. Just add a table-spoon of baking soda to a cup of water…pour over batter terminals…then pour over clean water after that…

I always use the red/green felt rings on the battery posts. I have never had a battery corrosion problems. They are cheap, 99 cents.