Atlanta Havoline Xpress Lube not changing oil

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Aug 20, 2013
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Michigan
Here's the link, has some videos I haven't seen yet. Basically Jiffy lube part II
Quote:
ATLANTA (CBS46) - Whistleblowers tell CBS46 what's happening inside many metro Atlanta Havoline Xpress Lube stores is so wrong they quit. CBS46 placed hidden cameras under the hood of several different cars. What we caught may surprise you. Check out the photos.More > "I was in the pit one day, it was maybe 50 give or take a few, I was told not to change the oil or the oil filter the whole day," claimed a whistleblower. When you get your oil changed, a mechanic should remove the oil plug and drain the oil out, then refill the oil pan. At the Douglasville Havoline Xpress Lube, our hidden cameras caught the opposite. The cameras never show a mechanic in the pit. The oil plug was never touched, no oil was drained from the vehicle, but the bill for an oil change CBS46 didn't get was $32.83. Whistleblowers said they've seen similar practices at nearly all of the company's 25 locations. Over CBS46's two-month undercover investigation, the station wired six different vehicles with as many as five hidden cameras underneath, inside and under the hood. Before each trip into the shops, our vehicles got a thorough inspection at Gordy Tire on Howell Mill Road. Our expert mechanic Roy Acord explained what you should get with an oil change. "They should of course change the oil, replace the oil filter, check the air filter and check the other fluids," Acord said. And if they don't? "Gaskets could go, they could blow if they're not lubricated," said one whistleblower. "If you don't change the filter that can cause sludge build up in your engine," explained the other whistleblower. At the Havoline Xpress Lube's Marietta location, they change our oil, but overfill the car which can also do damage, according to CBS's mechanic. "It could damage the seals, you could end up with oil leaks, and it's just very hard on the engine," Acord said. We took the same overfilled car to the Havoline Xpress Lube in Smyrna. Our cameras caught mechanics removing the oil filter, but realizing the oil was clean. Instead of asking any questions, mechanics drained some oil out, then put the plug back in midstream. "Really that should never happen," Acord said. Under the hood, the mechanics never add any oil. We're handed a bill for $24.32 for another oil change we didn't get. At the Havoline Xpress Lube on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, they wanted $92.00 to change the oil and replace our air and cabin filters. The mechanic told CBS46's hidden camera, "Just your air filter and your cabin were the only two that we suggest being changed due to the condition of them." The air and cabin filters are just two months old. "You can see through it and it looks perfectly good, I would not recommend replacing it for any reason," said CBS's expert mechanic. The insiders told us, managers don't care if customers are hurt. "They don't care, but you know, they hope it doesn't happen," said one whistleblower. "It happened three times I know of, motors blowing up. Different shops not the same shop," explained another whistleblower. Preventative maintenance for your vehicle is critical. Mechanics believe you can protect yourself from fraud with a few simple tips. "Open your air filter every once in a while take a look at it, air filters, it's every three oil changes," explained the whistleblower about when is the right time to change your air filter. A mechanic may show you an air filter that isn't yours trying to get you to pay to replace it. "The air filters are shaped different shapes, and so if they hand you the old one and they show you the new one then you should be able to tell," Acord said. You should know what type of oil your vehicle takes. "They all take different grades of oil and it's important that you stick with what the manufacturer suggests," Acord said. Mechanics recommend popping the hood and becoming familiar with what's underneath. "If you have just a little bit of knowledge, pull the dip stick and see what the oil looks, like, see how dark it is and then when you have the work done you can check it again and see if it's clean," Acord said. Whistleblowers told us, "If your vehicle is more difficult or time consuming to work on it could fall victim. Vehicles with skid plates take more effort, making them a target for fraud." Mechanics encourage you to be observant. A closer look at your tires will let you know if they were rotated. "The front tires or front wheels usually have more brake dust on them than the rear so, if you get your car back and it's still dirty on the front but clean on the rear, then they haven't rotated the tires," explained Acord. "To check to see if the shop is checking your air pressure of course to take this dust cap off to get to the valve stem to put air in you'll see marks on the wheels from where your fingers just naturally hit it," continued Acord. Staying on your feet and out of the waiting room can also ensure better service. A standing spot just outside the bay doors while the work is being done can mean the difference between getting good service and falling victim to faulty repairs. "Watch them, it doesn't matter, just watch them," said a whistleblower. The experts caution quick service isn't always the best. It could mean more room for error or work that simply wasn't done.
 
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Scott_mi

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Just watched the video....basically just like the Jiffy lube undercover thing a few years ago. Blacked out interviews with "ex employees", hidden cameras, and managers that refuse to talk. They did say something about tuning in tomorrow when they go back to the shops that scammed them. Now where did that thread about the auto repair industry getting a bad rep go to? frown
 
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ha ha gaskets could blow if not lubricated. diy and a log book. problem solved. Well for some I guess. my old live shop would show the customer the new oil at the full mark after the change.
 

Scott_mi

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woops, Had the link up there the first time then I goofed and started over...forgot it the second time I guess. Same thing though, thanks
 
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Bad enough paying to have someone change the oil in your car. Even worse when you pay them not to have done it. This is the type of thing that would get someone some time in the North, maybe in the South as well, not to mention a plethora of civil claims and a multitude of credit card chargebacks. Fraud pure and simple.
 
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And people wonder why the auto repair and maintenance business gets a bad rap. Some places do almost as much damage by using the wrong oil and "white-box" filters. Today, many cars have very specific requirements and I can't imagine a "quick-change" place can get the job done correctly in those cases.
 
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Originally Posted By: abycat
my old live shop would show the customer the new oil at the full mark after the change.
The one and only time I ever took my vehicle to get the oil changed, the woman (yes, a woman, and she was very competent working on cars), measured out the exact amount of oil into a large measuring container. After she filled the sump and had me cycle the oil, she showed me the oil at the full mark on the dipstick. And she did all this without me having to request it. But most people don't even know what a dipstick is, so I'm sure they're easy to take advantage of unfortunately.
 
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A good personal friend of mine who operated a fast oil change place outside Milwaukee said that at $32.80 per car, they had to do around 700 cars per month (or around 35 cars per day). Up selling pressure (wipers,air filters, additives, etc.) was huge. He gave it up after about 18 months....just not enough profit.
 
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I can understand this. An inexpensive but decent bulk oil will run around two bucks a quart and a white box filter would be around a buck, so you've got twelve dollars in materials alone. You then have the wages paid the tech, which even on fifteen minute turns and ten bucks an hour would be $2.50 per car, with the remainder paying the lease on the shop and all other costs, with the residual going to the owner. Can't be much profit in that. A good shop charges something like a hundred bucks an hour flat rate for a reason and the owners aren't getting rich.
 
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We have shady places around here too. I do oil changes more as a way to get people to know the product, as retail doesn't make up more than a percent or two of my business. My people show customers everything. Even cut apart old filters at times. They explain what the manufacturer recommends in viscosity, the reasons not to put other things in, etc.
 
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I've had shops change the oil before. Earlier it was because I didn't really do it myself, and others were when I was doing it for my parents' car and I didn't feel like doing it in my garage because I knew it would drip (2001 Camry V6 with the filter that drains straight down). However, most of these places had waiting rooms with windows on the service area. The locations weren't typically one where someone would just leave and come back. You could literally see them removing the filter, getting a new one, and measuring out the oil. If I'm going to have someone doing this for me, I want to see them do it. I'm curious how they manage to hide this sort of thing when they typically have working areas that are visible.
 
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Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
And people wonder why the auto repair and maintenance business gets a bad rap. Some places do almost as much damage by using the wrong oil and "white-box" filters. Today, many cars have very specific requirements and I can't imagine a "quick-change" place can get the job done correctly in those cases.
Curious what your definition of "white box" filters is ?? Most quick lube places will have a specification guide print out with every oil change/inspection ( I know ours does, we use Mitchell guide ). Contrary to what the common belief is, most of the big name LOF chains are working hard day and night to get away from this stigma that afflicts our auto industry. Customers have them running scared. With the litigious society we live in, corporate pressure to do the "right thing" is more than ever. I know multiple times our shop had to "eat" the cost of repairs, it was of no fault of ours/techs. It is very very very hard to argue/discuss an issue with a semi-educated customer brought up on old wives tales and their "uncle's" feedback. Most of the time the DM ( district managers ) end up giving away whatever they think is going to make the customer happy, regardless of whose fault. Our DM has told us upfront that if he gets a complaint from one of our stores, by default he will be on customer's side. So nowadays, most of the bad rap is coming from the little guys/smaller chains.
 
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It would seem that the state attorney general would have an interest in filing fraud charges against the owner and managers. It does not seem to be isolated to one location.
 

01rangerxl

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I'm kind of surprised to see a quick lube straight up not doing an oil change, but charging for it...at least after Jiffy Lube got busted. I would figure given that these businesses are a target for "on your side" news stories, they would be more careful than that. I worked for a "quick-fast" type shop chain. They do mostly oil changes and basic services, but some repairs too. The offerings kind of depend on the location/franchise. They didn't go as far as billing for services not performed, but every customer had a price on their head, and frequently incorrect oil for the car was used. Lots of GMs that spec Dexos did not get Dexos, and worse. I did not like the situation and it drove me to quit. As much as I hated most of the customers, it made me sick to be a part of them getting ripped off. When I worked at a JL almost a decade ago now, they always used the correct oil, but the pit guys would frequently skip hard filters. The manager would often get into yelling matches with customers, and most of the other people there simply did not care about doing a good job. In both cases, there was extreme pressure to upsell. Not all quick lubes and not all quick lube employees are bad, but it's a cut throat industry. Margins are tight and customers are cheap. It's a perfect storm for this kind of thing to happen. Personally, I would avoid "shops" that ONLY do oil changes/very basic services and don't do repairs. When I worked for JL, they explicitly said "we are not a repair shop." There is really no money to be made in chaging oil and other very basic services. The bread and butter is always actual repairs. Places like JL that don't get that business can make it up two ways...upsell, or don't do everything you say you will do. Also, shopping for auto services based strictly on price is dumb, but that's what a lot of people do. The purpose of a non-profit oil change is to get something else out of you. No, I would not have someone else do an oil change on my vehicle for cheaper than I can do it myself. A lot of people are really dumb, go out and buy a car that requires synthetic because it has a screen in the dash or some other dumb feature they like, then flip out when an oil change costs more than $20. Guess you should have read up on that big purchase/rental before signing the paperwork? Sure, take it to the place that will put 10W30 (or maybe just 30) in it for $20. There is one local chain I know that does good work, though they do most any repair as well, so that's their real bread and butter. With the oil and other fluid changes though, they are good about using correct products. I know because I've sold them oil. When I was at one of their shops talking to the manager, I actually commented that "I'm glad to see those cases of G-05 even though you're not buying them frome me." There are good places out there, but looking for the quickest/cheapest isn't the way to go if you actually care about your car. Quick, cheap, good...pick two, or maybe 1.5 of those.
 
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I have had poor service done by dealers as well so its really hit and miss. I have found a couple of good mom and pop shops but they are not cheap, a basic oil change for my truck would be $40. But oil changes are not really their business either.
 
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