Who does your oil change

Messages
53
Location
Nashville, TN
I've been lurking for awhile and finally registered this week. In my readings I've seen a number of references (not a ton but enough to make me wonder) to other members having their oil changed at a jiffy lube, quick lube, private shop, dealership etc. I'm just wondering why if you care enough to spend time on a board talking about oil and lubrication in general you would let another person/place especially a Jiffy Lube type place do your oil change? So fess up who does it themselves and who doesn't? [Big Grin] For the record I've done my own on all three vehicles for the last 5 years or so.
 
Messages
1,432
Location
Virginia
DIY is certainly the way to go. Unfortunately, some of our members have lost the physical ability to crawl under their cars. We are thankful that they still care to share their wisdom with us. Others find themselves in housing complexes and towns where the evil overlords constantly patrol the parking lots, empty fields and highway offramps for renegade oil changers...who are immediately bound, gagged, and forced to watch untrained chimpanzees pour a mix of slightly used olive oil and sand into the crankcases of high-end German cars that require an A3-rated oil, topped off by a slick50 impregnated Fram filter of the wrong thread size for 37 straight hours. For them we keep the eternal flame burning here on BITOG, and we are honored by the contributions they are able to make between electronic sweeps of their computer terminals.
 

zombie_tech

Thread starter
Messages
53
Location
Nashville, TN
quote:
Others find themselves in housing complexes and towns where the evil overlords constantly patrol the parking lots, empty fields and highway offramps for renegade oil changers...who are immediately bound, gagged, and forced to watch untrained chimpanzees pour a mix of slightly used olive oil and sand into the crankcases of high-end German cars that require an A3-rated oil, topped off by a slick50 impregnated Fram filter of the wrong thread size for 37 straight hours. For them we keep the eternal flame burning here on BITOG, and we are honored by the contributions they are able to make between electronic sweeps of their computer terminals.
Well that would explain it then. As an apartment dweller I feel their pain. I purposely went back to my old apartment complex to do my last oil changes just to **** them off. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
2,635
Location
Chicago
The last data I saw indicated the Iffy Lubes do about 85% of the oil changes in the country. They are not nearly as bad as they are blamed for being.
 
Messages
3
Location
Overland Park, Kansas
Knowledge is power to enthusiasts. Knowing doesn't necessarily equate into performing the act, just knowing the act is done properly. Most people don't have proper methods to dispose of oil or filters. Nothing beats getting a vehicle in the air so you can do a full inspection on it for tire conditions, front end, brakes, etc and most people like to just have all this done together. I know the quick lubes don't rack them most of the time, but most other shops do. At that point, if you have the knowledge as the customer, you can act in an informed way to the inpsection. Most shops will let you view your vehicle while it is in. Besides, for the cost a shop charges over retail product pricing, it equates to about $10 in labor charges over the oil, filter and fluids. That is cheap considering what is done. the oil change itself is by far the least profitable item a shop performs, take advantage of it loaded with knowledge.
 
Messages
134
Location
Fargo, ND
quote:
The last data I saw indicated the Iffy Lubes do about 85% of the oil changes in the country. They are not nearly as bad as they are blamed for being.
The popular 'iffy lube' that I am the manager of does over 15,000 oil changes a year, with a total warranty pay-out last year of about $800 ($700 of which was due to repair on a hood that got damaged when the customer's gas struts gave out and slammed down). Less than 1/4 of 1% of net sales were used to pay for warranty expenses, most of them being dipsticks breaking off on 3.3L intrepids and zetec-focuses. I have a feeling that even the most experienced list member on here would have similar results if he did as many vehicles as we service a year. Then again, everyone should be so lucky to know that their car is serviced at an 'iffy lube' run by a BITOG'er. Another point I would like to make - people give a lot of bashing towards 'iffy lubes' for recommending extra services. Well, you obviously are not the same clientele that we get every day. Probably one in ten cars have no oil on the dipstick when they come in, one in five are at least a quart low, and one in fifteen has gone over 15K miles on their last service with bulk dino oil. probably 1 in 10 cars have their check engine light on, one in three cars have lights burned out, and 9 in 10 cars have tires inflated to improper pressures. hmmm what else... oh yeah. I have seen people in the air filter forum post a pic of a filter and saying, 'wow look how dirty this one is!'. Well I see filters worse than those at least once an hour and i have literally pulled air filters out of cars that are dripping with oil and blow by and weigh two pounds!! Where do we get our recommendations from is a common question. They are complied by a company straight from the severe service section of the new vehicles owners manuals are printed out as each car is put into the computer system in the service bay so we have accurate manufacturer-endorse service intervals. there is NO fluid comparisons, NO recommendations based on looks, tastes, smells, etc, and definitely NO recommendations if the manufacturer has no specific recommendation for the service. The vast majority of America do not maintain their cars AT ALL and they are lucky there are places like 'iffy lubes' that check out and recommend services to them. And then they wonder why their car is running poorly or is stuck on the side of the interstate some day. Usually we get blamed either way. I think it is way too easy to get sucked into the BITOG mentality and not see that the people on here are the very pinnacle of preventative maintaintence and are educated enough to know if they can safely stretch service intervals, let an air filter stay for 50K, etc etc etc. The fact is, 'iffy lubes' do not exist for us - they exist for the people who will never visit BITOG and don't know washer fluid from antifreeze. Lastly - I hear a lot of crap going to 'iffy lubes' for perpetuating the old-school 3K mile service interval. While it has certainly been proven that this recommendation is out of date for most vehicles that are well taken care of, AGAIN - you have to realize what our clientele are like. Rememeber how I said one in ten have no oil on the dipstick when they come in? That is with them assuming a 3K mile interval. And now you blast iffy lubes for not telling customers to come in for 5K or more miles? Clearly those of you who would insist on this are clueless as to how 'other people' think. We can tell them 3K, we will see them in 4500. If we tell them 5K, we might see them in 6000 - which would mean many more cars with low oil for longer periods of time, running low tires for longer, empty radiators for longer, transmissions two quarts low longer, etc etc etc. I do not deny that the oil companies seek higher profits by not recommending longer service intervals for an oil change. But it is all the other stuff that gets check at an oil change that gets neglected in the process. Clearly, the majority of America is NOT ready for extended drain intervals. For the rest of us - it's a no brainer. I hope this insight from a veteran oil change manager helps shed some light on the vastly different climate there is between BITOG'ers and middle america. Andy
 
Messages
61
Location
North Central Texas
I do my own oil changes for my 02 Dodge CTD and my 03 Mercury Gran Marquis. I also do the tranny fluid & differential fluid changes on the truck. Frankly, I don't like doing the changes on the car because it's so low to the ground and I have yet to find some decent drive-on ramps that won't scratch the bottom of the front bumper. My driveway slopes down hill about 20°, so I try to do everything in a cramped garage. I refuse to put the car up on jack stands in the driveway and I can't do it in the garage because I can't maneuver the floor jack on one side. Still keep doing it anyway at 60 years of age.
 

zombie_tech

Thread starter
Messages
53
Location
Nashville, TN
quote:
the people on here are the very pinnacle of preventative maintaintence and are educated
Based on my "lurking" I agree with that statement completely. I just wondered if those people who mentioned having it done for them had ever even done it at all or were just the "know it all" type who read about things but didn't actually do those things for themselves. I don't want to be sitting here reading about something from someone who has never done it themselves which is what sparked the initial question.
 
Messages
204
Location
River Falls, WI
Interesting read 82dmc12!!! Thanks for your insight.. Couple of questions though... When you put on the drain plug on do YOU guys use an air wrench to prevent call backs ? When you put the new filter on how do you do it ? Finger tight, wrench tight ? or torque it on...?? Just curious...? Personally, I have used the dealer for the first two oil changes on both my new cars...and now will be in the DIY category... When I go from commercial service Oil changers to DIY the filter and drain plugs are ALWAYS too tight... I have been doing Oil changes for 35 years and never had a leak from a loose plug, or filter and wonder why "iffy lubes" and "dealers" have to crank on them to the point of almost stripping them ?? Your thoughts on that ?
 
Messages
4,481
Location
Massachusetts
I do my own simply because I was born a motorhead and can't stand to think that someone else has worked on my vehicle. It's peace of mind to me. I have nothing against quickie lubes though, as they serve a purpose for those that need them. I was an ASE certified front end guy working through school(EE) and can verify that there are plenty of people who NEED someone else to change their oil (like 82DMC12 indicated).
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
Not to belabor WalMart, but when I bought new tires at WalMart for wifey's Cavalier two years ago, I was shocked when the mounter actually reached for a torque wrench to torque the lug nuts. At 60+, I still do my own oil changes. But when the time comes when I can't, I'd be inclined to try WalMart. ('Course if I croak under the car during my next OC, I guess I won't have to worry about it...)
 

zombie_tech

Thread starter
Messages
53
Location
Nashville, TN
quote:
I take it to the local Wal-Mart and supply oil & filter, they change for $11. Cost with supplies is no more than their standard oil change, and I know what is going in the car.
I guess I don't understand why, barring a physical limitation or warranty issue, why people would buy the oil and filter and then still pay someone else to have an oil change done for them. To me it seems like someone who claims to be a computer expert but brings their PC into Best Buy to get it fixed. [I dont know]
 
Messages
2,635
Location
Chicago
How about no facility to change the oil in? How about it is -30F outside? How about no mechanical aptitude? How about my wife won't let me? Just a few for you to think about.
 

Mud

Messages
701
Location
Texas
I do my own, but if I had someone like 82dmc12 around, I would sure be inclined to bring some of our daily drivers over there. Sounds like a pretty conscientious guy. I think that was well said, especially the part about BITOGers being on that pinnacle of car maintenance! Good points about the vast majority of the cars/owners that come in too.
 
Messages
866
Location
Norway
I do all fluid & filter changes on my old Audi. My "new" Opel Astra is covered by warranty. I've done one extra oil/oilfiter change at 1500 miles before first service oil change at 20,000 miles or 2 yrs..
 
Messages
134
Location
Fargo, ND
quote:
Interesting read 82dmc12!!! Thanks for your insight.. Couple of questions though... When you put on the drain plug on do YOU guys use an air wrench to prevent call backs ? When you put the new filter on how do you do it ? Finger tight, wrench tight ? or torque it on...?? Just curious...? Personally, I have used the dealer for the first two oil changes on both my new cars...and now will be in the DIY category... When I go from commercial service Oil changers to DIY the filter and drain plugs are ALWAYS too tight... I have been doing Oil changes for 35 years and never had a leak from a loose plug, or filter and wonder why "iffy lubes" and "dealers" have to crank on them to the point of almost stripping them ?? Your thoughts on that ?
Thanks everyone for your positive comments. I will gladly answer any questions you have to the best of my ability. Installing drainplugs - absolutly no air tools whatsoever are used except for tire rotations. My method and the one that I instruct my employees to follow is to inspect the plug for damage prior to reinstallation, wipe off the threads and/or magnet, replace the gasket if necessary, replace the plug if there is damage, install it with your fingers until it stops, then use a wrench to tighten it the rest of the way. After it is snug, I hold the wrench with one hand and make a fist with the other and hit the wrench-holding hand once with my fist. These procedures always work if they are followed. For stripped pans we usually use a 'last resort plug' which is a plug that has a screw on it with an anchor that tightens against the inner pan wall as you screw the plug together. It is installed hang tight and we instruct the customer to take the car to a full-service garage for additional repairs if they wish, even though I have seen these 'last resort plugs' work fine for over 100K miles. Differential/transfer case check plugs are different. Much easier to strip, much harder to repair. We recommemend making them snug but no tighter. New filters are always installed hand tight unless it is a diesel (large filter, more surface area on the gasket, more oil pressure leads to likely leaking if not tight) or some of the GM V8's such as the 5.3L which has the filter hanging straight down (usually hard to get those handtight because it is too close/built into the oil pan contour) in which case a band wrench is used to give it an extra 1/5 or 1/4 turn. Anyone with a bandwrench should be able to remove it with no hassle. Worst offenders for over tightening filters tend to be the local toyota dealer - NEVER seen one come into my bay that was even close to being able to be removed by hand. They always require tools! As for torqueing drainplugs, that is worthless because you rarely know if the same plug or gasket are on the car when it came in as was specified by OEM. The single most important thing you can do is use the RIGHT SIZE WRENCH and replace the plug if it appears to getting damaged either on the head or threads. Experience and common sense prevail here. Andy
 
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