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Rip-off oil change places

Being a female, I DREAD going to these places. And although I know enough from listening to horror stories about the games they play, that doesn’t mean they don’t continue to try.



I took my car in for ONLY an oil change (I stressed this). They warned I needed a power steering flush, a new PCV valve, fuel system service, and to have my tires rotated (note I had bought the tires only two months ago). They “shook” the PCV valve and said it was supposed to make a noise (moving part inside) and that mine didn’t make a sound and that meant it was bad. I declined all but the oil change, but went ahead and bought a PCV valve later on that day ($1.94 vs. their quote of $17.95). When my boyfriend took the old one off, it DID make a noise! What did they do to make it temporarily silent?

They are all amature illusionists. Or they probably used some type of noise canceling device.

I don’t know what they did to silence the PCV valve, but if you continue to patronize these quick lube places, you are courting potential disaster for your car. Even if you fend off their attempts to “upsell” you, the probability of a screw-up that is fatal to your (pick one or more)–engine, transmission, differential, brake hydraulic system, cooling system–is significant.

These places are notorious for using the wrong fluids, putting them into the wrong place (motor oil in the trans, trans fluid in the oil, etc., etc.) and also for forgetting to refill oil or transmission fluid after draining it. In addition, their oil filters are very poor quality.

Find a well-reputed independent mechanic in your area, and use him for your service needs. If you have the need for repairs, he will be familiar with your car’s history. And, he will probably charge no more than the quick lube places that are largely staffed by incompetents and managed by crooks.

It would be easy to firmly hold the tip of a finger against the opening where the check ball is located and there would probably be enough protrusion of the finger tip into the opening to prevent the ball from hitting the seat/opening.

Best thing to do with the quick lubes if you must use them is stick to your guns; oil/filter change only and don’t buy into any sales pitches.

If you DREAD going to these places, why do you do it? Male or female makes no difference. Please tell us why you continue to patronize these places if you don’t like going to them. It’s like banging your head against a wall. You should stop it.

There are plenty of independent mechanics who will gladly help you maintain your car according to the factory schedule, at a reasonable cost. Find a mechanic you like and trust, and stick with him or her.

Stay away from the “quicky-change” places.

I am sorry to say you need to be on your toes every minute. We had a 97 voyager we bought through a dealer 45 miles away because of a volume purchase agreement at the credit union. Got a great deal but when a check engine light went on wifey took it to the local dealer. They wanted $125 for rotation balancing etc etc, at 8,000 miles, I said thank you no, they reset the switch and 1 week later were at the original dealer and had a bad pump replaced that pressurizes the fuel system for a check, no charge,

Are you a glutton for punishment? You go back apparently knowing this :slight_smile:

How much do you really save by going to these places? I’ve got an ad from the GM dealer for a $26 oil and filter change, and a $19 coupon from the Acura dealer that includes a wash and inspection. If you aren’t able to protect yourself, just go somewhere you can trust.

Hey, you guys are really hard on the Lady!! Be nice.

Elly–This is just an attempt to get the OP to “think outside of the box”.
There are far too many people who seem to think that they can only take their cars to a quick lube place for service, despite the high costs (in many senses) and the high level of incompetence at those places.

Sometimes you have to shake people up a bit in order to get them to think outside of the box.

Keep in mind that next time that drain plug may not get put back on tight and some dark and stormy night it could come out in a part of town you don’t want to be stuck in waiting for help. The business model that keeps them in business does not allow the employees enough time to do the job properly and even a good employee will end up making errors under those conditions. They would rather allocate more time to selling unneeded services.

Joseph,you are using fear to sell,not ethical. Sell what you may ask,your view point.

Joseph,you are using fear to sell,not ethical. Sell what you may ask,your view point.

??? Could you rephrase that? I am not at all sure what your point is.

I don’t see it that way. In the opinion of many, these quick lube places have a terrible reputation for slovenly work and high-pressure sales tactics. To be concerned that the consequence of that might lead to grief (either to the car or the occupant) seems entirely natural. JEM’s comments are fair game.

Was the $17.95 for part alone or did that include installation???

If that was part+installation I think $17.95 is actually cheap given standard book rates for replacing this part + part markup by a normal shop.

The same is true about airfilter. People balk at $20-$30 since they can buy themselves and install it for usually <$10. Sort of like buying a package of meat vs having it served to you.

But it’s so conVENient! I know, I know. I could even go to the dealer and get better treatment. I’ll do better next time…

Just like it reads,you are using fear to sell your point of view,we discussed last week how trying to scare your customers into buying a certain servive is a unethical way to make a sale.

If it is easily accessible you should change your own oil and filter. The best care you car can get is from you, its owner.

I agree - I went in for an oil change, they stuck an electronic gizmo in the brake fluid, said the red LED meant I needed a flush. I said not thanks (nicely). Next day I check under the hood, the brake fluid cap was left off. Had I not checked this could have lead to brake failure. At least they forgot their gizmo, too!

I believe oldschool is correct in his point of view. Often there are posts on this site warning of ‘consequences leading to grief’ they are most often directed at damage to the vehicle. The pathos of JEM’s comments are fear inducing of bodily harm, not inanimate vehicle damage.

All mechanics make mistakes, and while JL-esc shops get a bad reputation, dealers can also make the same mistakes.