Valvoline doesn't change filters? / What damage is done?

Messages
313
Location
Jefferson, Wisconsin
My friend has a 1996 Cadillac Seville SLS with the 4.6L Northstar. The car has about 125,000 miles on it. He doesn't know very much about cars, so while he is away at college, he doesn't do his own oil changes. Today he asked me if we could change the oil on the car because it was running really bad and it was quite low on oil. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty becuase his oil change ticket from Valvoline was from 12/18/02. I got under the car and noticed there was something written on the filter in permanent marker. It said "Inst. 9/22/02" and then it had two sets of initials on it. Well, 9/22/02 is the date of his previous oil change. It is VERY clear that they did not change the oil filter on 12/18/02 when they changed his oil. I don't understand how these "oil change" places can even be let to operate using such poor practices. Even if I didnt' have any arms or legs, I wouldn't let a quick lube place touch my car. Their quality of work is horrible. As I go to take the filter off... I quickly realized it wasn't tight whatsoever. I didn't even have to break it free. It just spun off with ZERO effort. Again... how can these oil change places get away with this? I would like to go back to this place and well... I dont want to get myself in trouble so i'll stop there. The oil came so black and dirty it was horrible. It had stuff in it and was SUPER thin. I put some Pennzoil 10w30 I had in it and a Supertech filter in it for now becuase I plan on changing it again in a month or so because I have a feeling it is quite messy in there. What damage could be done to the motor?
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,990
Location
Oakville, Ontario
And this is why I never want to visit a fast lube place with any car I own. He might want to do a UOA on his next interval to help see if the engine is ok.
 
Messages
3,695
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Other then a catastrophic failure soon you will never know if damage was done as wear occurs over time and two years down the road if that engien goes you will never know if it was this last oil change or just the engines time to go. If operating fine you are probably okay. One overdue oil change does not kill an engine. Your may wish to consider a treatment of the Neutra or RX but if operating fine I would not worry about it and just change it as you had planned
 

Al

Messages
19,206
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Defenitely agree with above. The vehicle was getting oil even though it was in the bypass mode. Estimated damage-zero. I would do an early change- Filter and fresh oil at say 500 miles.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
I am surprised that people don't even bother watching their cars being service(especially in quickee lube joints). Most of these place offer "oil changes", and "oil and filter changes". Anyone notice the difference(hint--keeps oil clean) other than the cheaper price. Customers around here are always trying to save a couple of bucks and usually don't understand what they are asking for or getting. You get what you pay for. And, work ethics is a common issue. Expect these shops to be just as ethical as any other worker in that area. I expect more engine damage from being "quite low on oil" which is caused by owner neglect. I don't expect any additional damage from skipping one oil filter change. Check the owners receipts to see if he got what he paid for.
 
Messages
47,716
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Interesting. I wonder if he PAID for a loFilter on 12/18? That is just fraudulent. I wonder why they bother dating the thing..... I would recommend an Auto-Rx treatment. Almost forgot => A FEW years back, I had some surgery a little too near the groin area [Dual] for comfort and couldn't climb under the car....so I went to a lube joint....weasels said I drove my car in there with essentially no oil yayadayayayda...I had just checked my oil before I left home...not sure where they were going with that, I told them to smack a filter on there, put the new oil in and be quiet... [ June 07, 2003, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Pablo ]
 
Messages
9,749
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
one thing that is interesting is that his engine has lasted 125,000 miles with such crappy treatment. we worry about how long our vehicles are going to last, we worry about what filter and what oil to use, some even give the engine "treatments" to make them last longer. this guy has no regard for his car and it has lasted a pretty decent amout of time. it will probably last for awhile longer. something to think about
 
Messages
47,716
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
tom slick => we THINK about it all the time, decide we are very anal, say: "who cares?" and carry on! [Cheers!] I remember in my early Volvo years - somebody was at around 200K (pretty easy with a red block RWD) - but the sucker was near rusted through and he was tired of the car, so he said he would just drive it without changing oil - sure every six months he would check the oil and add a small amount - seems he went 50K or so and just got sick of the thing...I think he changed the oil and sold it [Big Grin]
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Lakeville, MN
A couple of comments: 1. If you found an old filter on the engine from the previous oil change, fill out the form on the reciept and send it in. I had a problem with one Valvoline Instant Oil Change location in particular. I notified the regional rep and was promptly issued a full refund for my service. It was NOT store credit - it was cash. I didn't go back to that loaction again, but instead used my regular location which did an excellent job. Quite honestly, these places range from good to horrible - if you find a good one, you won't have any problems. 2. Why should we think the oil is going to look horrible since the last date was 12/18/02. Thats only a little over 6 months. Unless the mileage was piled on high, that isn't terrible. 3. Damage done is most likely zero. One long interval is not going to singlehandedly kill an angine. Repeated over time, it would be an issue. 4. ToyotaNSaturn - wheres the "fiasco" at Valvoline Instant Oil Change in your post. You got Valvoline's premium product, which costs extra, and you consumed oil. Doe this mean the shop screwed up? 5. I am getting really tired of the bashing of Valvoline products. I've thrown out the most analysis of their products on this site, and wear has been just fine, if not excellent in most of the posts where that hasn't been some other issue (bad air filter, fuel dilution, or severe service (especially colder weather than most people on this board will ever see) - not the oils fault). I'm not going to say their products are the best ever, because they aren't, but the bashing is starting go overboard.
 
Messages
810
Location
Greece
correct me if i am wrong but these northstar engines are familiar even to me ,although i live in Greece ,for their notorius durability and their ability to survive with no oil at all, for hundreds of miles. A missed filter change means nothing to them lol.
 

Intelman34

Thread starter
Messages
313
Location
Jefferson, Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by MNgopher: 2. Why should we think the oil is going to look horrible since the last date was 12/18/02. Thats only a little over 6 months. Unless the mileage was piled on high, that isn't terrible. 5. I am getting really tired of the bashing of Valvoline products. I've thrown out the most analysis of their products on this site, and wear has been just fine, if not excellent in most of the posts where that hasn't been some other issue (bad air filter, fuel dilution, or severe service (especially colder weather than most people on this board will ever see) - not the oils fault). I'm not going to say their products are the best ever, because they aren't, but the bashing is starting go overboard.
The 6 months were over winter here in Wisconsin so it was harder on the oil. He also commuted from UW-Green Bay to here in the Milwaukee/Waukesha area almost every weekend so that put miles on the car. I'm not bashing Valvoline PRODUCTS at all. I AM bashing the service that Valvoline provided. When I was in highschool... the kids that basically didn't care about school or anything else worked at the oil change places. They didnt know about cars or how to take care of them, they were failing school, but somehow they get hired at an oil change place. Not the type of person I want servicing my vehicle. And yes... my buddy has not cared for this car at all. I am pretty much forcing him to care for it now since he is at my place a lot and I am ususally changing someones oil.
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Lakeville, MN
As far as #2 went, without seeing the mileage over the interval, I still have a hard time seeing 6 mos as much of a problem, though I do recognize the joys of living in a Cold climate and the havoc it plays on machines! As far as the bashing comment goes, it was not directed at you, but just in general. It seems like they have become the punching bag as of late, whether deserved or not. I keep seeing the first comment from some folks on Valvoline - without looking at the actual wear numbers - that its junk. In nearly every case, something else has been at work, and wear numbers have been good to excellent. Is it the best oil for extended drain? Hardly. But for a 3,000 miler, the numbers look just fine - similar to many other dino oils we see these days. OK - vent mode off - its been a long day!
 
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