Thursday, 26 July 2012

Is a Quick Lube Service Worth It?

Ok – I’ll be the first to admit it - I’m spoiled. I’ve been in this business since I was a kid with my dad so I've never had to worry when it comes to getting my car serviced or repaired. But the other day I talked to a lady who took her husband's car to a quick lube place for an oil change.

I must admit it, she did say that the job was done very quickly; she asked for the basic service and it was immediately brought to her attention that for an extra few dollars they would check her fluids and top them up if needed. Oh, and by the way her husband's car needed the high mileage oil at an extra charge. She declined both but was told her air filter was dirty and her coolant needed to be replaced. It was a constant stream of employees coming up to her and telling her she needed this or that.

She declined any additional services at that time. One thing she noticed was that the tyre pressure was not checked (a big thing in my book since I know that proper tyre pressure helps my fuel economy and tyre wear). Of course nothing else was really checked on the car, no brake check, no belt and hose check, no suspension check, etc. You get what you pay for and it was obvious that the staff was not at the top end of the trade as far as skill level. They handed her a service sticker for the window that indicated her next oil service was in 1,000 kilometres. She asked them about that, they got confused but eventually gave her a new sticker with the correct distance. Good thing she looked.

They finished the service within about 15 to 20 minutes and off she went. When she read over her paperwork it indicated services done that she knew were not performed and claimed condition of fluids and other items that we were verbally told something different. So what would she tell her husband once she got home?

One of the first things she noticed was that her husband's car did not go up the big hill near their house as quietly. It is an older Subaru that has a tendency for lifter noise if the oil level and consistency is not right – that noise was very evident. The next morning for the first time ever there were oil spots in the driveway. Further inspection revealed that the drain plug and oil filter were leaking. The lifter noise got worse and the leaks larger. I had to change the oil and filter again after a week to stop the leaks and the engine noise.

I can see the advantages to a quick service on her car, but she is glad she didn’t rely on this type of service. Good quality service obviously counts!

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