Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Maintenance Question


I live in an apartment, so i don’t do my own maintenance, other than keeping a close check on the fluids and tire pressure. I go to Jiffy Lube for my oil changes, about 4 times a year, and I’m wondering if the other stuff they do is really necessary, because I’ve heard different opinions, especially on the transmission flush.They also do a cooling system flush. Are these good things to get done on a regular basis?

Some of that stuff, you need to do at the right times. However, none of that stuff, including oil changes, should be done at a quick lube place. Sooner or later, it will lead to great pain for you. Find a good local mechanic. (Your owner’s manual will tell you what needs to be done and when.)

First of all, you are courting danger by allowing the poorly trained kids at Jiffy Lube to do any service on your car. Each year, there are scores of posts in this forum regarding (pick one or more) engines/transmissions/differentials/cooling systems/brake hydraulic systems that were ruined by the staff at Jiffy Lube or one of its clones.

The business model at those quick lube joints is such that the staff is very rushed to get cars in and out very rapidly. When you throw the very poor training into the mix, you have the formula for all sorts of problems such as: Draining the transmission, rather than the engine crankcase, resulting in a dry transmission and a grossly overfilled engine. Result=ruined engine + ruined transmission. Likely outcome=Jiffy Lube denies responsibility and ties you up in litigation until you give up with no settlement.

For maintenance, you need to do two things:

Open your Owner’s Manual, and refer to the maintenance schedule provided by GM (Hint: It does not list flushes of transmissions)
Locate an independent mechanic’s shop in your area for all of your maintenance needs. They will likely charge no more than J-Lube, and may actually charge less. Additionally, they are likely to have sufficient expertise to avoid damaging your car.

Ditto. Have you been pressured by them? That’s very common. While an occaisional transmission fluid change is good (every 30-50k miles), and the same for coolant (check your manual for both), neither is frequent. And you must be driving a good amount of miles to change your oil 4 times/year…

We help (or try to help) a never-ending stream of people with major disasters caused by the fast-&-furious undertrained and underskilled kids at the jiffy libe joints. I’ve even had my own experiences. You’ll find everyone here will recommend avoiding these places like the plague. Emphatically.

The other stuff they do is probably unnecessary, but the answer is easy enough to find in your glove compartment.

In addition to being poorly trained and rushed in general, they also do things like using generic fluids with additives instead of using the correct fluids. That’s not a good idea.

Somebody describe the training program that would make you qualified to perfrom the services that Jiffy Lube provides,like do you need a BS?

These people are no different than young soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan. In fact I bet some ex Jiffy Lube employees are now serving in both those areas.

Today’s soldiers are, thank God, far better trained and equipped than ever before in history. My son has been undergoing today’s combat training and I’m extremely impressed with what he’s going through. He just this summer went through a program to learn how to clear a building, along with some more advanced arms training.

The kids in Jiffy lube are not so well trained or prepared to do that job. Knowing basics about fluids, knowing about proper installation of drain plugs, being able to tell the underneath of the tranny from the underneath of the engine, knowing to change a nylon washer, these are important. We’ve seen countless posts of crossthreaded plugs, stripped plugs, wrong fluids used, and even trannys being drained and crankcases having 5 quarts too many.

Many are,as you say, also serving in Iraq…and Afghanistan. Thank God our military is training and equipping them well first. My they all come back healthy. My prayers are with them.

Congratulations, checking levels and tire pressure is proper maintenance. If more people did the same with their own vehicles, this forum wouldn’t be nearly as busy. I’ve never used Jiffy Lube so I can’t judge or condemn them. I suggest you find a trustworthy mechanic for your routine maintenance. It might cost a little more for oil changes, but it will work out in the long run.

I’ve been going to the same mechanic for 15 years or so and on more than one occasion, he has caught and fixed little problems before they became big expensive ones.

Ed B.

i got told on this forum and others that one does not need a flush for anything. So other than changing the fluids and maintaining your car, you should be fine. I was close to a flush on my air conditioner but everyone told me not to do it. Besides, in your ownermanual it will most likely not be recommended as a routine maintance, therefore it is not needed.
But you should change the fluids on schedule.
Not sure, is there a law here that you can not do it yourself? Serious question. I personally like to do it myself since i am sure it is changed.
Or, like it was mentioned, if you have a trusted mechanic let him do it. Shouldn’t be that expansive.

I go to Jiffy Lube for my oil changes

Not good. We get questions time after time with problems caused by all brands of the quick lube places. Their business model demands that they pay little (inexperienced or worthless staff) and allow little time for each job and try to make profit on unnecessary add on sales (like a variety of flushes)

They also tend not to notice real potential problems when they might be fixed cheaply.

Don’t rely on a mechanic to decide what your car needs. First open that owner’s manual and find out what the manufacturer says your car needs and make sure it gets that.

Once you find a local mechanic that you can trust (check with friends family and co-workers) have them go over the car for other things that might need work It is always cheaper in the long run to address issues before they cause a real problem.

Forget the flushes at quickly lube. They are simply a profit generator.

Not sure what you own but usually there is maintenance schedule that outlines the interval which is not too often to replace not flush fluids.

They don’t hurt anything except wallet and vehicle when performed incorrectly.

It is a mistake to think there is nothing in between Jiffy Lube and doing it yourself. There are many better options.

Do you have a friend with a house where you could to the work? How much does the dealership charge for maintenance? Can you find a trustworthy independent mechanic to do your maintenance?

Jiffy Lube is probably the most dangerous option. They are the least qualified people you could pay to maintain your car. Find a better way.

No matter where you go, check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If someone recommends a procedure that isn’t listed there, respectfully decline.

Wallet flushing machines…