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Old 05-26-2009, 11:59 PM
 
1,892 posts, read 3,625,201 times
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Because I don't have the proper tools to raise the car up to change the oil, I always have it done at the gas station where they charge $19.99 to change the oil and filter.

I figure the oil and filter cost around $15. That only leaves $5 for the shop, not a lot of money. I wonder if they just charge you the money and do nothing. How many of you actually check to see if the work is done? I mean like asking to see the old oil filter and things like that.

After so many negative experiences with repair shops and mechanics, I have little trust in them.

Last edited by davidt1; 05-27-2009 at 12:10 AM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,366 posts, read 57,116,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
Because I don't have the proper tools to raise the car up to change the oil, I always have it done at the gas station where they charge $19.99 to change the oil and filter.

I figure the oil and filter cost around $15. That only leaves $5 for the shop, not a lot of money. I wonder if they just charge you the money and do nothing. How many of you actually check to see if the work is done? I mean like asking to see the old oil filter and things like that.

After so many negative experiences with repair shops and mechanics, I have little trust in them.
They may not make much money on the oil change itself; they make a lot of it in their upsell of other items like air filter, new wiper blades, radiator flush, etc.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,214 posts, read 11,892,816 times
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I change my own oil. It's really too easy to do to let someone else do it....unless you're just physically incapable of doing it.

And I change my own oil because it's cheaper and easier for me to do it and at least I know the work was done right.

As far as having the right tools, all you need are some old clothes/coveralls, a set of ramps, some wrenches to fit the drain plug, a funnel, and maybe an oil filter removal tool. All of this stuff you're looking at maybe $50 or less for the tools.

Now for the filter thing......a trick you can do is somehow mark your old oil filter with a permanent marker....could be your initials or whatever....just mark it in an inconspicuous area so the mechanicl doesn't see it....then check after the oil change to see if the same marks are still there.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:24 AM
 
3,494 posts, read 6,549,539 times
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Yup, take a magic marker and mark the old filter. Then you'll know if it was replaced. Oil of course will be golden i changed.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:40 AM
 
Location: Warren, Ohio
365 posts, read 757,490 times
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If you're going to go through all the trouble of marking oil filters & later re-checking them, why not just do the oil change yourself? It seems to me that it would be much easier to crawl under the vehicle once vs. doing it twice just to double check someone else's work. If you're truly that concerned about it I'd suggest learning how to do it yourself, that or get used to the fact that most shops perform the services you pay for as they should... it's not like it takes them an hour to change your oil like it would most self-proclaimed mechanics at home.

As far as their margin of profit is concerned. Almost every shop purchases it's materials in bulk form, which is much cheaper than the average Joe will pay at the auto parts store. At $20.00 for a basic oil change, you're getting a deal. They probably used roughly $10.00 in materials (tops, at their cost). Most places charged $25.00 for a basic oil change 15 years ago. As mentioned before, they make additional money offering other services that you can opt to go with or without. Instead of assuming the worst maybe you could take into consideration that they're offering you the service at a cheaper cost than the typical chain-stores to bring in more "word of mouth customers" to their shop?

Last edited by Cisco GT; 05-27-2009 at 03:01 AM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Warren, Ohio
365 posts, read 757,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
After so many negative experiences with repair shops and mechanics, I have little trust in them.
I'm curious as to what these negative experiences were. As a mechanic & a former shop owner who had a long list of satisfied, repeat customers... I find these experiences (not to mention the untrustworthy label) intriguing.

Last edited by Cisco GT; 05-27-2009 at 03:02 AM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,178 posts, read 5,047,947 times
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Beware!!!
I know for a fact that some don't do all that you pay for.
I suspected a well known national chain was ripping off my neighbor after he complained about them trying to pressure him into getting things done that he suspected weren't needed. So I told him I'd try to help him find out when it was time for the next service. I let some air out of two tires to see if they check and air tires like they say they do. Nope. Tire psi was the same after the service. I siphoned some brake fluid out of the master cylinder frt chamber. Not enough to make it dangerous, just enough where some fluid should have been added. None was added.
He had recently had the water pump replaced and the system was flushed and new coolant added. Coolant was nice and green and clean. They showed him some dirty brown liguid they must use to show everyone and told him his system needed flushed. At the cost of $89.00.
They didn't lube the upper ball joints. Didn't even wipe the dirt off the fittings. They also missed one tie rod end.
They did change the oil and filter.
I service my own vehicles but I don't have time to be the neighborhood oil changer.
He started going to a small independent shop that I recommended and his car is done right.
Not all places will rip you off. But there are some that will. You need to know what to check for to see if they performed all advertized services included in the price. I'm a retired mechanic. I worked on vehicles all my life which included everything from rebuilding engines to doing body work. I don't consider drive thru oil changers as real mechanics if that is all they do. I can spot a fraud or a job not done.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:05 AM
 
6,347 posts, read 7,232,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwoodsZJ View Post
I'm curious as to what these negative experiences were. As a mechanic & a former shop owner who had a long list of satisfied, repeat customers... I find these experiences (not to mention the untrustworthy label) intriguing.
Stick around here long enough and you'll see there are some backyard hacks who are "experts" and think every shop is out to ripoff everyone who comes through the door.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:25 AM
 
8,292 posts, read 22,065,701 times
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At $19.99, that shop isn't making a lot of money on an "oil and filter change". Typically, for that price point, that's all they're doing ... changing the oil and filter.

All of the other servicing takes labor time and some materials, such as checking/correcting tire pressures, checking/adding fluids, checking trans/diff lubes, greasing the chassis (if zerks on the car). I'd expect that a competent shop will charge more for their service, and that's something that I'd seek out if I was having others service my car.

Most of the franchise "quick lube" places don't service a car very well, nor do they do a reasonable job of cleaning windows or vacuuming the interior. I appreciate that it's not a "detail" shop, but I've seen most cars leave with windows as dirty or more streaked when they came in, and the amount of dirt vacuumed out was trivial. It's more "show" than real work, like the important stuff of lubing the car and performing the real services. They're more into the "upsell" of cheap quality wiper blades, air filters, flush/refill services, etc. That's where the quick and easy dollars of profit are in the business.

You'll pay more for the "service", but I'd suggest that you seek out a competent independent shop to maintain your car. You'll get better real work product, and most likely ... better quality filters for your car.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,926 posts, read 3,191,225 times
Reputation: 1206
I always change my oil and filter myself. Not only does it save money, but I know exactly what type of oil is now in the crankcase and that the job was done right.

In general, I do as much maintenance as I can myself considering the tools I have and my knowledge level. Unfortunately, new cars are such a pain to work on compared to cars from 30 years ago and before computers.
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