View Full Version : Oil Quick Change place expectations

12-16-2010, 07:15 AM
Not sure if this will stay near the top with all the Eric stuff... But....

Wanted to get some opinions if I'm completely insane or only partially.

Wife took her van in for oil change yesterday. We had coupon from the grocery store. They tried to sell her "buy 3 get one free" for more $$ than 4 changes w/coupon would have cost. She said no & negotiated a price for the deal that would be a bit over the cost of 3 at the discounted price. Good job wife. Oil was changed, via phone I think life it good.

Just for fun, I check under the hood when I get home and find they apparently are not able to get all the oil in the fill hole. Extra oil mess on the platic engine cover piece, fan housing, and motor mount. So, either they spilled A LOT and did a crap job cleaning it up, or didn't spill so much and no clean up. Either way I'm not happy.

In 20 years of owning 1 to 3 vehicles + boat and doing almost all maintentance, I've taken in for 3 oil changes. #1 the plug was stripped out on my truck in college. #2 was OK, #3 was this. I had just decided to try and outsource this task since it is 15 degrees and we are very busy this year at this time. Plus the cost of oil & filter is about what we were going to pay.

Anyway, I've never spilled oil like this, typically not a drop on the top side of the engine. I have a special upside down cone shaped tool (I think it is marketed as a funnel) I use in the event I am nervous to make a mess.

Pics attached. Am I complete OCD for wanting our nice vehicle to be clean and not attract mud / gunk / crap via sticky oil residue, and what I consider poor workmanship? I'm thinking to go back, demand a return on the remaining 3 coupons and get a discounted rate on the 1 change they did. Or do I just need to mention I would like oil in the engine, not on it.

Have others had problems like this?

12-16-2010, 09:48 AM
I think you can either take it back in and see if they will clean it up, or just clean it yourself, then note to them next time that there was a lot of spillage. Typically, I wouldn't expect the quick change guys to be overly ambitious as many are probably making minimum wage or close to it. I'm sure there are exceptions. We used to go to a place that was great....then it was torn down and a starbucks put in its place.

12-16-2010, 10:00 AM
That's nothing to lose sleep over don't waste your time being upset about it.
I do have the same luck as you with oil changes. Of the very few oil changes I've paid for on my personal vehicles, half of them didn't do something the way "you'd have dunnit".
I've had hundreds of oil changes done on my company trucks though with only a few bad ones. Some worse than others, like leaving the filler plug out of the rear diff! Really makes a mess! Dbl gasket on the filter, leaks pretty good too.

12-16-2010, 10:58 AM
You are worried that the engine compartment will get dirty? Doesn't look like it was/is clean to begin with.

I would be more worried that they did not fill the engine oil to the proper level (too much or too little). Have you checked that?

east tx skier
12-16-2010, 11:20 AM
I change the oil on the boats, but not the cars. I'd say what you experienced is somewhat typical from the quickie-lube type places. If you have a good mechanic, you'll pay a few bucks more, but won't usually have the mess. If not, it'll burn off over the course of a few days or you can use the engine cleaner setting on the wand at the car wash.

12-16-2010, 03:11 PM
You could take it back and point it out, and maybe you could get a free oil change next time....but I think you'll have better luck pounding sand.

I've changed my own oil in every vehicle and boat I've ever owned. Done it in the rain, snow, tidal wave, etc. When I first started to drive a company truck I took it to one of the "quick change" places and after just one visit I started doing it myself. The woman behind the counter listed off all of the services that were performed on the truck: Oil, belts checked, transmission fluid check (it's a straight drive), rear differential fluid checked (plug had never been removed), windows cleaned (only the ones that were all the way up), and the list goes on.

12-16-2010, 03:15 PM
Not at all. I had a durango that had skid plates that you should take off to drain the oil. lazy speedy lube drop out didn't take them off, and they were full of oil. I took it back, went ape $hit on the guy, next thing I know he had my car detailed inside and out, and a pocket full of free oil changes for the future. From then on they knew me, how I expected to get my car back, and never had another problem.

12-17-2010, 09:11 AM
If you take it back and complain I would ever take that car there again.

12-17-2010, 09:22 AM
If you take it back and complain I would ever take that car there again.

Why? If they damage it, like leave out the oil... I'd be getting a new motor at no cost to myself!

12-17-2010, 10:35 AM
Why? If they damage it, like leave out the oil... I'd be getting a new motor at no cost to myself!

Hard to prove...

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

TX.X-30 fan
12-17-2010, 12:17 PM
That has to be the scariest sh!t I've seen since Meg Ryan's lips...........

12-17-2010, 01:05 PM
That has to be the scariest sh!t I've seen since Meg Ryan's lips...........


Seriously though, I've seen more oil in customers hair around here...don't think you will get far by being pushy about it.

12-20-2010, 08:06 PM
Heck, I had a quick lube place leave the plug out of the rear diff. SPrayed oil all over the back of the truck. I went back (after the owner frantically called me and left like 4 messages because I had a Phoenix phone # and oil changed in Tucson, he thought I headed back to Phx and probably blew up the rear diff!)
[email protected]@rd wouldn't even give me a free car wash and he owned the car wash. Also tried to charge me for the additional oil it took to refill it "because it was full when I left the shop."

12-20-2010, 10:24 PM
They did get the level right, I did check that.

I unfortunately have not been able to get back (travle weekend), but am still weighing on if I raise a stink or not. Leaning toweards not, but definitely pointing out what happened, and leaving it at that. If I sense something coming my way, I'll take it, but if I'm on a dead end road, the one who will get most upset it me...

I was just very frustrated at 1st. Still am, but have too many things going on I guess, which is the reason I went this direction in the 1st place. Maybe I'm guilty for trying to find a "cheap" place, and that's what I got. Still feels wrong though.

Thanks for the comments, good to know this wasn't the only example. The more I think about it, the more I think I just may keep doing myself. Zero frustration outcome that way.

12-30-2010, 12:10 AM
quick lube = quantity over quality

once, on my paperwork it claimed that front grease fittings had been topped off/checked/whatever
little did they know, as soon as I got home, I started on a front brake job...
front grease fittings were still caked with dirt/grime
I called them and told them they had lost my business.

did it hurt them? probably not, 10 more will take my place
did it hurt me? nope

12-30-2010, 09:13 AM
I usually do my own oil changes, but do not have a good place indoors. So I usually rely on someoone to do my winter oil changes.

I took my daughters car (VW New Beetle) to Wally-Mart to get oil changed. When I got home I decided to check my work and realized the hood wasnt closed properly only to find they somehow managed to break the hood latch. I went straight back and got the manager to look at it and they tried to fix it. Well, they did fix it, but along the way one of the baineless gorellas tried to slam the hood shut to get it to latch. (I witnessed this) and left a dent in the hood the size of the palm of his hand. Needless to say, I went ballistic.

In the end, I got a check from Wally-Mart for about $800 to get a new latch and hood repair.

Now, the car needs its oil changed and I need to find a place to take it. It wont be Wally World.