Jiffy Lube Left a Rag in my Car, $751 later

Jiffy Lube left a rag in my 2008 Subaru Impreza. They agreed to pay for the diagnostic and rag removal after my “check engine” light illuminated. Several weeks later, both my A/F sensor and my mass air flow sensor failed prematurely. These failures are a result of the rag and Jiffy Lube should be held responsible for these repairs, right? My mechanic helped me draft a letter requesting reimbursement, but is there anything else I should/can do?

Get documentation from the mechanic addressing the rag caused mechanical issues. Call the Jiffy Lube regional headquarters or headquarters (period), get the regional managers name and address. Send a registered copy of the letter and mechanics report to regional management as well as the local station that did the work. Tell them you are giving them this opportunity to respond before you file legally.

I followed this procedure with a well known brake chain. Within two days a manager crossed several state lines to meet with me in person, apologize and cut me a check.

Jiffy Lube: the automotive Weapon Of Mass Incompetence.

Where was the rag left?

Was there an air filter service done by Jiffy Lube and did this problem surface immediately after you left there?

What? You mean a quick lube place made a mistake !!! The likely hood of that is about the same politician telling the truth.

I’m kind of struggling with why & how a rag wrecked your MAF & A/F sensors. How about you explain the entire sequence of events including where the rag was left.

Then you also need to clarify whatever symptoms you had and whether or not everything has been repaired, etc.

My vote is with cigroller but I have a feeling this may be another complaint without further clarification though.

Just what in the hell are you doing taking a 2008 Subaru to Jiffy Lube? Actually, what in the hell is ANYONE doing when they take a FUNCTIONING vehicle to Jiffy Lube?

Call a garage, schedule an appointment, and pay $10 extra to have someone with a few credentials put their mitts all over what is more than likely the second most expensive piece of property you own behind your house.

Jiffy Lube serves a very noble purpose for shop managers and reputable mechanics everywhere: it weeds out the customers who don’t like to view automotive repair and automotive repair facilities as professional businesses who operate on the same business behaviors as other professions: walk in without an appointment and your wait-time is going to be higher because they already got things going on. Your unscheduled but somehow urgent oil change is taken with the same seriousness as a cough in the emergency room at 1AM.

Oh yeah, at $30 for a standard oil change, considering shop-space occupied, disposal fees of old filters and oil, and flat-rate labor for my mechanic, I’m barely breaking even, so don’t roll your eyes with an expectant air of disbelief when the mechanic shakes down the vehicle for areas of concern and makes recommendations for service.

Well said, W123Benz!

While I believe it is well known how I feel about fast lube places, but I really need to add this:

“Jiffy Lube left a rag in my 2008 Subaru Impreza. They agreed to pay for the diagnostic and rag removal after my “check engine” light illuminated. Several weeks later, both my A/F sensor and my mass air flow sensor failed prematurely.”

  • Where did they leave the rag?

  • What was the engine error code (should be like [P0123])?

  • What happened to alert you to a problem?

" Several weeks later, both my A/F sensor and my mass air flow sensor failed prematurely

  • How did you determine the failures were “premature”?

  • These failures are a result of the rag and Jiffy Lube

How do you know they were the result of the rag?

I can’t imagine how the rag got into this thing and what damage it did.

This post gives me an idea. A while back one of the guys at my local shop left a pair of pliers under my hood. (Note that this kind of thing is not the exclusive province of Jiffy Lubes).

And lately I noticed my leaking oil pan is a little worse. So, hmmmm…I think I’m thinking I’m going to try to get the shop to pay for my oil pan leak.

Cigroller: The fact that they left an actual TOOL under your hood denotes that they perform services OTHER than fluid swaps, as the only tools Jiffy lube uses are sockets UNDER the vehicle.

And yes, even the best shops leave tools under the hood. I was happy when a lady was nice enough to bring back my Snap-On flashlight, and it still worked after she saw it rolling down the road in the rear-view mirror!

W123Benz: Jiffy Lubes do plenty of other things to cars besides just removing drain plug bolts. But are you under the impression that I was offering a defense of Jiffy Lubes? That’s not the case. I was more starting to say that maybe this isn’t a Jiffy Lube story. Maybe its just one of those looking for someone to blame stories. Jiffy Lube makes an easy target due to its deservedly poor reputation.

Just because a post says “Jiffy Lube” doesn’t mean I’m going to say “guilty!” I still can’t figure out how a rag wrecked these two sensors. The MAF I could see - IF the rag was somehow left in the intake between the air filter & MAF. The rag would end up sucked onto the MAF & create all sorts of havoc. As for the A/F sensor? I just can’t get that one.

Then there’s the other problem. For all we know, this OP and his/her mechanic are under that common delusion that if a code gets set and a part is referenced in a code description that this means there are bad “parts.”

Maybe the Iffy Lube replaced the air filter (one of those things they try to do commonly). Maybe a rag was left someplace, AND maybe they forgot to tighten down a clamp on the snorkel (I actually did this to myself recently). Maybe a loose clamp threw codes & the rag had nothing to do with it. Maybe 10 seconds with screwdriver would have fixed the whole thing without any todo about blaming and finding fault.

I’m just saying - people show up here with clearly screwy ideas and this person has not come back to answer any questions.

Cigroller: Agreed. I wasn’t on the offensive… just saying that even the “good guys” leave tools under the hood. I was just happy to get a $100 LED flashlight back… albeit with a few pavement scuffs :slight_smile:

I don’t see how a rag in the intake would cause a MAF code several weeks down the line… I would think it would be more immediate.

I keep thinking there’s more to this story than has been presented and while I’m no fan of the JL franchises I don’t consider them death personified nor am I ready to throw them under the bus on this incident.

The OP can register on this forum and lodge a complaint. The least they could do is provide some actual detail about the incident and especially the time line on all of this.
Still holding breath… :slight_smile:

LOL, I finally got my ex-wife to stop going to Jiffy Lube when they were paid for an air filter, removed the old one and then re-secured everything sans any air filter at all. I found out fairly quickly and was royally pissed when they wouldn’t provide the air filter she paid for. Eesh.

Since then she’s avoided Jiffy Lube type places. Back then I just did my own oil changes (for fun, really, since I didn’t save much if anything) on my truck. Now I don’t bother but I have a good mechanic that does them for me. I still do basic stuff when I can, though. It’s good to get your hands dirty as much as possible.

I’m not at all surprised to hear the OP’s story. I wish I had more details … just for the chuckles!

You know the number of oil changes and the percentage of problems? I do not but wife has used Jiffy lube for years and we have never had a problem. It is an oil change, sure we turn down any extras I can do, but it is a simple oil and filter change, and I cannot fathom how a company could stay in business without doing a simple thing right most of the time.

I’m pretty sure most of these places operate on the concept of plausible deniability as much as anything else. Cars being what they are, sometimes you had an issue which simply hasn’t presented itself yet. It’s got to be pretty obviously their fault to make them pay for it. I’m sure there are reputable oil change places with reasonably skilled folks. I mean, I’m not a professional mechanic or anything and I change my own oil from time to time (less now than I used to). With proper training, an oil change garage can be very good and a convenience. The issue comes in when they have a new guy or the employees are talking more than working; things like that.

Management at the “Iffy Lube” my ex-wife used to frequent was not responsive at all, even though I was there hours later without an air filter and we had the invoice for one. I mean, what do they think, we’re trying to get a 2 for the price of 1 deal? Really?! It’s like $20 at most for crying out loud. They should have apologized, given us the air filter and worst case they lose one. With the computer showing my ex taking her Jeep there every 2 months for YEARS (she drove a lot for work back then) you’d think they’d want that business to stay. Nope, their take was, “It could have been someone else … it’s been 3 hours since she left!”

That’s my take on it anyhow.

An honest to goodness oil-filter-lube is a .5 + hour job and the oil and oil filter alone are a minimum of $30.00. The quick change shops lure in the public with below cost base prices and try to shake down the customer for overpriced incidentals.