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Hey; A mini-rant, consumer alert, and 'takin' a load off'.

Any mechanics out there? No offense to you guys in general but I have run into a little problem with a local car dealer who used to be great.

When I bought my car, I followed the old adage that the oil should be changed at 1000Km, I used a Fram filter. On my car, the filter looks like a motorcycle filter and screws into the block with a big cap. Pretty easy to do but the filters are like $12.

At 5000Km, I was due for another change and had a 'free' one, yeah-yeah, what do I expect for nuttin? Anyway, when I got it home, I checked for leaks and then I looked at the filter cap, no tool marks, no oil spill, so I pulled the filter, same Fram filter, GM dealers always use AC Delco, I went after them, (politely), and they had every excuse except admitting that they 'forgot', whatever. The mechanic says; "I'm suprised you knew where the filter is", like I'm a crazy, stupid broad, (crazy maybe), I was changing oil in cars when his momma was changing his diapers. :)

At 15,000Km, I didn't want to do it myself because of the weather so I let them do it, I did the oil change at 10,000 with a Fram, you guessed it, no filter change. No, I didn't go after them, I'm only the customer and wouldn't think of bothering them. But you can be sure it will be me that does oil changes from now on, it will be done quickly, with quality products, and done right! I'm even gonna change what they just put in, probably crap oil.

"If you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself" I guess.
Mich
 

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That's brutal. It's the oil filter that's the really important part of an oil change. Especially in cars these days where they're running synthetic with 20000km oil change intervals.

Although I totally disagree with your oil change every 1000 kms theory. That's quite extreme. I mean, that's great for the engine and all, but you're wasting your time and money doing it that often.

Anyway, dealerships are always trying to pull these kinds of shenanigans. It's sickening. Then again, most people's other option would be to bring it to some quickie lube place where you've got some kid that should be working at a Burger King changing your oil. They're just as likely to forget to fill the car back up with oil. Or drain your transmission oil, not change the filter and then proceed to overfill your car with another 4 litres of oil (I've heard of that happening).

Here's a fun story that happened to my sister in law. A couple of months ago her oil pressure light came on. Like, most people, she figured it was just a warning light and she kept on driving to Canadian Tire to get it looked at. Unfortunately for her, unlike the seemingly more grave check engine light, the oil pressure light is more of a "shut 'er down, you're ****ed" light than a warning light.

So, Crappy Tire checks the oil level and it's bone dry. They fill it up with oil and she goes on her way, only now the car is belching out tons of blue smoke. Obviously, her piston rings are shot and the engine is done like dinner.

So, they end up having to get the engine replaced and I started asking her how the heck it came down to her having no oil in the car. She said that she had the oil changed a month ago at the dealership. Haha.

My theory is that they drained the oil and either filled it up a tiny bit or just didn't fill it back up at all. There's no way that a car that's running well and not smoking or leaking oil can burn through 4 litres of oil in one month. Even a car-maintenance luddite would notice something like that. And there's really nothing she can do. She can't prove they didn't fill it back up or anything. So she was out the cost of a used replacement engine and the labour to put it in. Bummer.
 

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My husband used to work at a quick oil change place. For the most part those guys did pretty good jobs, but problems are going to happen when they're working on that many cars that quickly. They were supposed to finish a car within 8 minutes of it entering the shop. My husband averaged 9 minutes but never had a single customer complaint in over a year of working there. One other guy once let a truck leave without oil and a van leave without rad fluid. My husband got yelled at more for averaging that extra minute than that guy did for sending vehicles out without an important fluid.
 

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Yeah, that doesn't really surprise me at all, Kat. Terrible. Once you start putting people under that kind of pressure, all sorts of bad things can happen. Little oopsies can turn into engine-wrecking mistakes because they're at 7.5 minutes and don't want to get yelled at by their boss.
 

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Geezz, next thing you know you'll want them to use new oil in your car too....:tongue:

It sucks when some places try to take advantage of people and not give then what they pay for. I've heard horror stories of people that drove down to Florida and while having their car serviced there the shop sucked out their AC's freon and replaced it with propane...:eek:
 

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kat_ said:
My husband used to work at a quick oil change place. For the most part those guys did pretty good jobs, but problems are going to happen when they're working on that many cars that quickly. They were supposed to finish a car within 8 minutes of it entering the shop. My husband averaged 9 minutes but never had a single customer complaint in over a year of working there. One other guy once let a truck leave without oil and a van leave without rad fluid. My husband got yelled at more for averaging that extra minute than that guy did for sending vehicles out without an important fluid.
I have used a lot of quick lube places and 9 minutes sounds pretty quick to me. 20 minutes is about the best I have ever seen.
 

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I change my oil in my daily drivers once a year, weither they need it or not.

I suppose I could have it changed at the regular service intervals, but I have never had a car die on me in the last 20 years due to an internal lubricated engine part failing. In fact, I have a friend that works at a wrecking yard and an alarmingly high ratio of cars that they get have running engines.

Cars now adays rust and fall apart long before the engine stops ticking.

My moto has always been that I own it, and it works for me, I don't work for it. I drive the crap out of them and have them hauled off to the wrecker when they reach the end of their useful life.

I have a ton of wild car fix stories that I have fixed for next to nothing after a mechanic has quoted me some ungodly price to rectify the issue. My favorite is the blown head gasket. I drove my current 1998 Dodge Caravan that my brother gave me for nothing from Halifax to Hamilton Ontario with a blown head gasket (coolant in the oil). How did I do it? I drained the coolant and the oil and refilled both the crankcase and the radiator with 10w50. It made the trip without any issues, and I left it that way for a few weeks. I eventually drained, flushed and put the pellets in the rad and the problem is gone.

Now if it is a car that you are attached to or has some sentimential value, well that's a different story.
 

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I figure when it's a nice warm Saturday afternoon with no snow or mud outside it's time for an oil change. :)
 

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If you do go in for another change and you should do a few things first, mark the filter in an area that they cannot see unless it is off, take a picture of it before you go in.

Once you come out and see its the same and I mean in the parking lot.. take the pic to the Sales manager or General Manager.

Then see the crap fly.

My dad is an vehicle insurance inspector and he said the number one thing is documentation. If the service guy has to respond to the same filter issue on paper he will have another story.

Quik one... The old man had to look at a right off big rig, it rolled over and was toast. This was the same week of the accident. Opened the fuel tank and found the fuel mixed with water..Got the hood open with the help of the owner and adjuster..Took the air filter off and found a family of squirels with babys..big laugh until they opened the sleeper door and found a bee's nest!

Bev
 

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The shop NOT changing the filter is fraud because you have paid them for the part and service which a) has not been delivered, and b) is being misrepresented by the dealer as being completed. If they are a new car dealership I suggest calling the company's head office (the manufacturer) to let them know what kind of service this dealer is providing. There are only a few car companies that don't take those customer complaints seriously these days. ESPECIALLY the Japanese car makers. I've heard many stories of dealerships trying to pull scams (denying warranty work, etc) - a letter to the head office in Japan apparently has gotten some butts kicked over at the dealerships. I even work with a guy who had a Chrysler Intrepid still on warranty - the PCM (car's engine computer) was faulty and had to be replaced and they were trying to tell him that it wasn't covered and that he had to pay the $1000+ bill for it. He went home, made a call to Chrysler H.O. - he explained the story, they looked up his info, the rep told him that it is covered and asked him to hold a moment while she phoned the dealership.... She came back and told him that he can take his car back and the work will be completed and he is not to pay a cent.

Also, I would actually expect that the local lube place probably does an equal or better job than the dealership. Do you think the dealer has their 20 year mechanics doing oil changes? No, it's the 18 year old work experience apprentice who's been there a month working the oil change bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
nine said:
.......
Although I totally disagree with your oil change every 1000 kms theory. That's quite extreme. I mean, that's great for the engine and all, but you're wasting your time and money doing it that often............
No 9, I meant just for the first 1000Km on a new engine, then every 5000 after that.
:wave:
 

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I wonder about those recommended oil change intervals. My father worked as a mechanic at a GM dealer for years, the mechanics at the shop used to take that "old" oil and put it in their own vehicles. I do regular changes myself, but have to wonder about the merits of it. I work for a guy who never, and I mean never changes his oil and puts 4-500k on his vehicles before getting a new one.
BTW Michelle, if that dealer you are talking about is who I think it is, I bought a new 4x4 from them several years ago, after the sale they tried to get me to buy an undercoating package, I declined. I later read in the owners manual that gm vehicles are undercoated at the factory and additional undercoating is unneccasary and may void your warranty. Four years later I traded for another new 4x4 at a different dealer and they too offered the undercoating for extra $$. I mentioned what the owners manual had to say about that and they dropped it quick and changed the subject. Some of the things dealers do borders on criminal, the problem is people allow it to happen. There are better business bureaus out there, vehicle manufactrurer forums on the internet, and has been mentioned earlier, calls to the home office can sometimes get action.....most people just shrug their shoulders and move on but that just empowers these guys to keep doing their thing.
 
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