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Oil Changes All the Same?

Is there a reason NOT to go to a quick and cheap oil change place, rather than to my mechanic or the dealer?

You could try to take it to Iffy Lube, but they probably won’t know anything about your Fiat. One thing you could do to insure their honesty is put in a brand new air filter, then wait to see if they come into the waiting area with a dirty one telling you you need to change your filter, which they’ll do, for more $$$.

The quick oil change place will try to upsell you premium oil, radiator flush, transmission flush, new wiper blades, new air filter, and other services.

Then the techs working on your car are questionable as to their skill level. Frequent problems are stripped drain plugs, falling out drain plugs, cracked oil pans, leaking oil filters, and the best is opps were forgot to add the new oil. Any of these can cause serious engine damage.

Whoever you use for your oil change, double check their work. BEFORE you drive away raise the hood, check the new filter for leaks. Stop the motor and wait 2 mins. then check your oil level to be sure they put the oil in up to the proper fill level. Then drive away and check under the car for oil puddles the next morning.

The quick and cheap places typically employ under-qualified wrench monkeys, not mechanics, that are marginally trained to do a typical oil change. That is why they are cheap. The quick leaves a higher risk of catastrophic failure due to loose drain lugs, loose filters, double-gasketed filters, or lack of oil put back in. The internet is full of stories about engines destroyed due to negligence like these at these ‘quickie’ lube places.

Here are 80 different opinions on the subject:

A quick lube is convenient. I am not convinced the pricing though is any better and speed can be slow compared to an appointment running on time.

A quick lube place main goal is to upsell you on whatever(mostly unneeded services) they can as oil changes do not make much money.

The help obviously is not the same caliber of a dealer or mechanic.

I can get an oil change at the dealer for $25 and they’ll use an OEM filter, check everything and wash the car. Just do a little search on problems with quicky lubes including forgeting the oil, filters blowing off, oil pan plugs coming loose, over-filling or under-filling, etc. Many engines ruined by losing all of the oil rapidly.

Is there a reason NOT to go to a quick and cheap oil change place

Well maybe not a reason but certainly a lot of reasons not to.   They are known for errors in service and for their strong arm efforts to get you to buy service you don't need or even should not do.  

The business model for these kinds of shops do not allow for paying enough to get qualified staff on a regular basis. It also means they need to sell add on products like flushes that are high profit, even if not needed.  

While I don't generally recommend the dealer as they may do a good job, but they almost always charge more than a good independent mechanic.   Another good reason for the local independent mechanic is that they are far more likely to notice a small thing, that may be an indicator of a problem that can be corrected now cheap before it becomes a big problem .

Costs me $50 for an oil change at dealership that includes rotating tires and compete inspection, topping of fluids, annual state inspection free plus I get in and out in 45 minutes. Can’t beat that at a local shop.

We have a neighbor who my daughter went to grammar school and middle school with…He’s now a manager at a Jiffy Lube. This 22yo is as dumb as water. He barely graduated school. My daughter tutored him for a couple of years…He went to work at Jiffy Lube right out of high-school…he’s a nice kid…but I wouldn’t let him put washer fluid in any of my vehicles…And from what I’ve see at these places…he’s the typical worker…In fact he’s probably above average since he’s the manager.

Would you rather have him running around your neighborhood breaking windows, stealing things, or working at the Jiffy Lube, paying taxes, and being an upstanding citizen?

Not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist, and not everyone has brilliant parents growing up, who are able to teach their child to think things through, and make good sound choices in their life.

Just because he got the short end of the stick doesn’t make him a bad person for being less intelligent than your daughter.


Two intelligent people can take the same facts and come to a totally different interpretation of those facts. I did not read Mike’s posting as saying the kid was a bad kid.In fact, Mike said he is a nice kid, just dumb as water. Obviously, he would not be manager of even a Lube place if he were bad. Mike said he wouldn’t let him put washer fluid in his car. It was also obvious he let the kid hang around his daughter for tutoring help, which no dad would do for a bad kid.

My sister takes her Tahoe to these fast lube places. Every 2nd or 3rd time she always seems to get a bad filter and has to take it back. I dont trust their white box filters they use.


You can ask this question a bit backwards “will taking my car to a Dealer or independant guarantee that none of the mentioned problems or issues happen at the Dealer” the answer is NO.

It won’t guarantee it, of course, but the odds of a problem are less.

Just because he got the short end of the stick doesn’t make him a bad person for being less intelligent than your daughter.

WHERE THE HELL DID I SAY THAT??? Argue against something I said…NOT against something you make up…

If it wasn’t for Jiffy Lube he’d be working at McDonalds or Wallmart. I know the kid…he’s a nice young man…just not very bright…Probably below average IQ…He’s been over to our house MANY times. Played BB with my middle son. But he’s the typical person at these Jiffy Lube places.

From what I have seen (working at all three, the Dealer,the Indy and the Quicky Lube) I certainly cannot make that claim. I call it a dead heat between the three. The impression of only dumb a**** work at Quicky Lubes is wrong and the idea that the Dealer mechanic is so experienced that he won’t make a oil change error is totally wrong just like the idea that only low men at the Dealer get dispatched oil changes is totally wrong.

Check your car no matter who did the work as it is a person who’s mind is thinking of something besides the job at hand that makes the error. It is not a lack of knowledge or training or experience that causes oil change errors.