When is an Oil Change not an Oil Change..?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Elector, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Elector

    Elector Guest

    Hi All:

    In these days of busy holiday shopping and party planning and the busy
    times in our lives I wanted to point out that even in an oil change we
    must be diligent.

    Last Thursday I stopped at the Saturn of Albany for an oil change with
    my wife, and the staff were friendly and they were not really busy.
    Had four customers in the waiting area etc. They took the car looked
    it over had us sign some papers and said it would be ready soon. Also
    asked if we wanted a car wash. I said ha ha yeah I always want a car
    washed when its rain or snow falling as it was when we arrived. Guy
    said you have a good point there. Not too eventful. We sat in the show
    room, bought a few doo dads for ourselves and friends from the gift
    area and the service man came in and said the car was ready. It took
    around 30-35 minutes from time of arrival to end.

    I asked where the car was and the man said it was under the canopy in
    front, I said can I have the keys? And he said they are in the
    ignition. I said that is a hell of a place to keep a car unattended.
    He said he spoke out about that same issue a few nights back but
    nothing was done on it. He also thought leaving cars in the parking
    lot with keys in them was risky. No matter I pay the $27 dollars and
    go out and find that the seat had a plastic cover on it and a paper
    drop cloth on the drivers mat which was not removed. I then took the
    junk out of the car and threw it in the trash.

    Not thinking about the matter my wife asked me to check and see if
    they toped off the fluids and check the tire pressure on the car. I
    told her not to worry they did the procedures every other time we were
    there so I was assuming they did this time as well.

    I check the car over when we reached home in the garage, and she was
    right. None of the fluids were topped off. No pressure was checked in
    the tires (I had to add the air and fluids myself). I was quite angry
    and by the time I was going to call the Saturn service department back
    they were closed.

    Not to be too careful I checked and they did actually change the oil
    in the car, since it was clean on checking and they did put a new
    filter on. The next day I called the dealership and blasted them for
    not doing what they were PAID to do. I also pointed out they charged
    more than everyone else in the area and did not produce good work for
    that price. The nice lady said she would tell the service manager of
    the problem and I gave her the employee ID at the time of service and
    I said that was why in three separate occasions this dealships service
    department was the worst. We had two other nightmares for warranty
    work done in the past. Very shoddy repairs.

    The next business day the assistant manager calls and states "You were
    right the mechanic was supposed to do the service and he forgot, and
    would I please bring the car back to them and they would top off the
    fluids and place air in the tires etc." I said I already did that
    myself and I was not going to drive out of my way to have something
    done that should have been done two days ago. He then went on to say
    that he would also like to give us a free LOF on the next occasion the
    service should be done. I said that was a nice gesture but three
    occasions now the service has been lousy and that is why as an
    emergency we had the 51,000 mile oil change done there. (Mobil was so
    packed that he wanted us to come back a day or so later or more. And
    this service station has fixed this car like all the others we own for
    many years)

    He again was apologizing for the mishap but let me tell you, how many
    screw ups should a customer take? Then the dealership has the nerve to
    keep asking us to purchase another vehicle from them. They have got to
    be crazy!

    Don't get me wrong the Saturn vehicle we own so far is the lowest cost
    to us in repairs and maintenance of any other car outside of the 2000
    Impala, but the dealership should be carefully looked at from its
    past actions and that the customers should look at any or all work
    performed at this facility since I don't think they actually know how
    to service what they sell.

    Well Happy Holidays to all and be safe out there!

    Elector, Dec 20, 2003
  2. Elector

    clutch Guest


    One of the nice things about quickie oil change places is that you
    stand their and keep an eye on what is going out. I always say a good
    word to the man in the pit since he is likely doing the worst job.
    Think rain and winter.

    An arguement could be made that at the dealership, a trained mech is
    looking your car over, something you don't get at a quickie but I have
    a feeling that the 'A' staff isn't changing the oil unless it is
    really slow. Likely they have a kid at minimum wage doing it.

    clutch, Dec 20, 2003
  3. Elector

    Teem Guest

    It's like if you make a critical comment for the better of the customer &
    dealer,they take that as your a mean guy,you just 'assume' everythings being
    Teem, Dec 21, 2003
  4. <story about oil change deleted>

    Funny you should post this today. I did an oil change this AM on my Saturn
    out in the driveway before I went to the dump. I've got it down to a
    science, takes me maybe 10 minutes. A friend of mine asked why I do it
    myself, asked me: "Don't I value my time?". Well, yeah I do, that's why I
    do it myself in 10 minutes rather than drive to the place, wait, drive back.

    David Teichholtz, Dec 21, 2003
  5. Elector

    Simplstupd Guest

    A friend of mine asked why I do it
    Very wise man you are!

    Plus, you know it was done correctly!
    Simplstupd, Dec 21, 2003
  6. Elector

    Elector Guest

    That is very true, but I brought up the fact that the Depaula Chevy
    dealership was having another one of them $9.95 10 minute oil changes
    and the service manager said you get what you pay for. Lets see down
    at Depaula they give the oil change and filter, top off the fluids and
    check the air in the tires. No car wash since who would have it done
    in a snow storm anyway? Advertised in 10 Minutes.

    Saturn of Albany, $26.97 for waiting 35-40 minutes, oil and filter was
    changed, no top off of any fluids and no air in the tires, left a
    dirty plastic sheet on the drivers seat, a wet paper on my car mat and
    I got what I paid for? Yep I think Saturn of Albany must have a screw
    loose. Oh a plus is that since they did not do the job right this time
    I get a free LOF next time, even at free I am still over paying for
    what DePaula is charging and doing 6 miles down the road. Strange huh?

    Elector, Dec 21, 2003
  7. Elector

    Elector Guest

    I usually go to Madison Mobil a few blocks away for everything on all
    our cars. We have had great service from them and the mechanics know
    us and like us. Around this time of year we understand they are busy
    so we thought we would be helpful and just have the LOF done
    elsewhere. In my neck of the woods the Quick Lube places are rip off
    joints. They strip the oil pan plug to sell you another one, try and
    screw with the car to get you to get another type of service etc. And
    even with a free car wash it is best to avoid them.

    In the summer months I don't mind doing my own service for both oil an
    transmission fluid and filter changes. I have the proper tools and a
    clean garage but in the winter I don't like lying in the garage on a
    cold floor. And yes it takes me around 10-15 minutes to change the oil
    and top things off, including placing the air in the tires. But I just
    did not want to do it this time.

    Elector, Dec 21, 2003
  8. Plus, you know it was done correctly!

    Correctly? Heck, you know it was DONE!!!
    I've taken my car to a quickie lube place and I really don't think
    they changed the oil. I know they didn't top off the fluids like they
    check out form said.

    I do it myself now. Quicker, Cheaper and I look at whats happening
    under the car. I know my car better than any mechanic.
    Fred Schwartz, Jan 7, 2004
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