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Xpress Lube Malpractice AC Service

Below is my letter to the Xpress Lube Regional Manager. Long story short is that while were well intentioned, they attempted repairs beyond their ability and my AC which arrived with somewhat cool air now blows none! The Regional Manager refuses to do anything other than refund the service cost and the Shrader valve kit that the Store manager asked me to buy becasue my AC showed up not working perfectly and the age of the car. Please read the letter and tell me what level of responsbility you would assing to Xpress Lube for repairs to my AC system, and how you would go about getting them cover my expenses.

{Long winded Complaint letter removed and revised}

17 July 10 AM
Wife takes 01 Ford Escape to Xpress lube for oil change. Tech suggests AC service and wife agrees. AC was not blowing very cold initially. No know AC service history.
17 July 4 PM
Wife notices Escape now blowing hot, returns to Xpress Lube. Tech states vacuum test passed first time, perhaps the Schrader valve allowed a leak. Recharges AC at no cost.
18 Jul 6 AM
Escape again not blowing cold air. I called Xpress Lube once they open. Manager states because vacuum test passed on the test unit both times that the Schrader valve was the only possible point of failure. Manager volunteers to perform service free of charge. At Managers direction I purchased Schrader components from Advanced Auto Parts after work and stop by.
18 Jul 3 PM
Arrive at Xpress Lube, Service begins.
18 Jul 3:30 PM
Manager still bending over car. He looks visibly frustrated and I approach him. He said that the valve in question was stuck and he did not have the right tools to get it out but that the tools he was using were allowing him to make slow progress.
18 Jul 3:45 PM
Manager seen using a hammer and a screwdriver in an attempted to get the valve out. I talked with another employee, who commented to me that he had no idea why the manager he was doing this, that he should have given me a refund, that we don’t do this type of repair here. I approach manager and ask him if I should take the car elsewhere and question his use of tools. He insists he can accomplish the repair. He talks on the phone presumable to his boss who presumably approves the expenditures. Sends employee to buy an easy-out tool.
18 Jul 4:30 PM
Valve is out, in small pieces. Stepping into the service bay and I looked into the valve where the valve stem had been removed and saw bits of scrapped and gouged / broken metal and pointed this out to the manager. I told him how I applauded him for his efforts but I feared that he was out of his area of expertise and equipment and asked that if this does not work will he cover my costs for going to another repair shop and getting the work done. He agrees. My wife arrives. I ask how much longer the repair will take and he says about an hour, that he must send his employee to get a second tool to install the valve. We exchange numbers and I leave.

18 Jul 5:30 PM
Repair complete Manager calls for pick up. Picked up 15 min later. AC appears to work very well. I ask how long this repair will last he states boldly ‘should work for years to come.’ He tells me if it doesn’t work he will cover the repair costs.
19 Jul 3 PM
AC again not working. On my way to work I stop by Xpress Lube and inform the manager. He tells me to take it to a shop. I ask if he is going to cover the repairs. He says he will.
19 Jul 11 PM
I submit online complaint to General Manager, seeking concurrence to cover repairs. I point out the use a hammer and a screw driver and the apparent damage to the valve port.
21 Jul 10 AM
General Manager calls, states due to age of car and already less than perfect condition of AC that the best he can offer is a refund of AC service and Schrader valve charges. Admits the Manager should not have performed reapirs.

OK, are we supposed to proof read this or what?


Belatedly, I think that the OP realizes that quick lube places are rarely–if ever–qualified to perform A/C service. No matter how well-intentioned the manager may have seemed to be, he was in over his head from the very beginning. This is just something to bear in mind for the future.

As one of the veterans of this forum likes to say, “Don’t ever go to a quick lube place–not even for directions”. (Translation=The screw-up rate on even something as basic as an oil change is amazingly high at these quick lube joints.)

As to the letter itself, it needs…a lot of work.

It’s way too long and convoluted for me to read.
To the OP: you may want to rewrite this with a goal of being organized and concise.

“you may want to rewrite this with a goal of being organized and concise.”

As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am”.

A long, rambling monologue with a lot of unnecessary details does not help the OP’s case.

ouch… too much detail huh?

So How do I go about getting Xpress Lube to accept any responsibility… The schrader valve itself is likly in need of full replacment.

Wait for your mechanic to fix it and go from there. The future is hard to predict.

While I agree that the lube facility may have been in a bit over their head, based on what has been related, I also see some flaws on your end.

A 15 year old Ford Escape could be reasonably expected to have A/C issues and yours did. You state you will be without A/C until the repairs are done but it sounds like the A/C was not working originally anyway.
Your post also comes across to me as someone who is now expecting an as new A/C system out of the deal. You’re entitled to the cost of the original service and the cost of any part they damaged; nothing more.
Trying to cheap out on a repair can oftentimes come back to bite.

I might also point out that a Cliff’s Notes version of the story would probably be more readily accepted at corporate headquarters.
I also realize my comments may not be readily acceptable but Que Sera, Sera to rehash a phrase.

Well, this is my understanding. Wife took car to quick-lube for oil change. The manager upsold her on AC service, which included a Schreader valve change. But, he botched it up, including using a hammer and screwdriver on the valve to remove it. Despite his best efforts to destroy the valve, he managed to get everything back together and charged up. But it worked for less than a day. After he went back to complain, the manager told him to take it to the shop of his choice and he’d cover the bill for the proper repair. The rest is a letter asking corporate to honor the manager’s promise. I think. My best advise is to get the AC fixed, then give the guy a chance to make right. If not, talk to a lawyer.

I’m not reading that and neither will anyone else, least of all the quick lube. Three paragraphs. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the damage done to . . . . and to demand compensation for those damages. Second paragraph, On such and such date so and so performed the following . . . causing . . . Third paragraph, In conclusion I hold your company responsible for this damage and if I do not hear a prompt reply, I will be forced to have the work performed at a qualified shop and seek redress from the courts. End of letter.

Then if you don’t hear anything, have the work done some place and take them to small claims court. Thats it. Thats all you can do.

Revised inital post condensed to timeline… Does this help?

Well, the valve body is typically manufactured into a larger part, like a rigid pipe or the accumulator. If the body is damaged, the larger part would need to be replaced. And, by the sounds of it, this guy butchered the valve body. The rest of my advise stands. I also agree with others about not even asking a quick-lube for directions. Too many horror stories.

Did you get it fixed at another shop? Why did you file an online complaint before taking the repair invoice to the guy that botched the work to see if he’d pay? You should have given him a chance to pay. Once you filed a complaint, that got another snowball rolling. As mentioned several times above, don’t get service work done at quick lubes, including oil changes.

The revised letter is a big improvement.
But if Bustedknuckles has summarized the situation correctly, I think you should let the shop manager make good on his offer to get the system properly repaired. We all screw up. Accepting responsibility and making it right again is what separates the goodguys from the badguys.

Boy, could I tell you some stories about how I myself have screwed up!

The shop manager sounds like a first rate moron

He should be legally forbidden from holding a tool

He probably cleans his windshield with a hammer and chisel

And after he washes his car, he probably dries it with a blowtorch

The General Manager is over-riding the store manager and not allowing any refund save the service at his station and the Schrader kit. He has stated what ever repairs are needed if I desire any other compensation I need to have the repair shop of my choice call them first.

THe service guy may have had plans to pay your costs of repair out of his own pocket. Admitting that he was way in over his head and he really didn’t want this going up the corporate ladder.

I think you should have had it fixed and if he refused to pay up, then go up the chain of command. I know you were just trying to get something in writing…but something in writing from him may have been the way to go.
Some of these places have a “discretionary fund” that the manager can use. He may have been planning to use part of that fund, over the next few months to pay himself back.

THat fund is meant for, that mirror that was damaged by the guy that pulled the car onto the lift.
That door ding from the lift post, when the door was swung open.
The local food pantry truck’s oil change done without charge.
That school group that does a car wash in the back and you buy then hot dogs for lunch.
A free oil change for the guy at city hall that you need to see next week for your permit.


“A free oil change for the guy at city hall that you need to see next week for your permit.”

Um, not in Minnesota.