I have found dealership service departments to be just as bad or worse than quick change joints when it comes to overfilled and underfilled oil, lost bolts, etc.
a Jiffy lube tried to rip off my sister. She called me one day and was like the guy said I need new transmission fluid, a coolant flush blah blah blah, and I was just like, your car has what, 30k miles on it? It doesn't need new fluids. Tell them to change your engine oil and let you leave. So stupid...
And you don't have to be a master tech to know a specific make of car inside and out. There is such a thing as factory training. This is what you benefit from at a dealership.
Food for thought..
All of you are on this site therefor have a pretty good understanding of a car. Car people make up only a small percentage of drivers on the road. Most people don't know anything about a car except where to put gas in it.
A car comes into a general service shop for an oil change. The certified tech only changes the oil but notices some potentially dangerous things wrong with a car (brakes low, swaybar link broken, ect) and doesn't inform the customer. The car leaves the shop and gets into an accident because of those broken parts. The customer would go right back to that certified mechanic and shop and want to know why they didn't let them know their car was a hazard.
I'm not saying there arn't some shady jiffy lubes or quick lubes, I am just saying there is a lot you guys are generalizing and a lot you don't know about the business. Most people would be thankful you let them know they had a broken spring digging into their tire that was going to blow out at any minute.
There's only one thing you can do with a Jiffy Lube and all the other fast oil change places out there.
Burn them down.
Jiffy Lube always makes me cringe. I even knew before I could drive that I would never got to a Jiffy Lube.
On a side note, I've been going to a tech school for the last year to become an "Automotive Technician" (Friday is my last day) and there has been times when my fellow students have made a blunder that made me cringe. The only oil change blunder I have done is when I forgot to check the drain bucket to see if it was full. Exxon Valdeez on the shop floor!!
Current Car: 99' Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
Project Car: 84' Chevy Monte Carlo
Past Cars: 84' Buick Regal, 87' Olds' Cutlass Supreme Brougham, 87' Monte Carlo SS, 91' Toyota Corolla
I went to one of those places once. I didn't feel like changing my oil in the snow and the car was a beater Honda. I made sure to tell them not to waste a good seat cover on my dirty work car, and casually mentioned that I was just there for my yearly oil change. I watched them up-sell a lady to death, and then when it was my turn....nothing, they didn't even bother. I take my winter car to my mechanic, usually timing it so I can get it done with my inspection. The rest of them I do myself.
When I get my car serviced, I appreciate when the service tech tells me if something needs to be fixed. Nobody puts a gun to your head and makes you pay their potentially inflated prices, but at the very least you now know there might be a problem and can shop around.
to the Jiffy Lube ads.
A tire shop down the street from me tried to sell someone I knew parts that were replaced recently and worked fine. They've also done me wrong. Stuff like this is everywhere these days. More excuse to do it yourself.
You want things done right you got to do it yourself. Its really not very shoking that a small lube place does it even deakerships di it also. VW told me my timing belt and water pump needed to be done very soon and wanted to charge me around $600.00. I paid a mechanic I knew to do it for $300.00, as he pulls out the belt he starts laughing. I ask "whats so funny?" he replies "its brand****ing new".
My girlfriends GTI is still under warranty so she takes it to the dealer for oil changes and such. Last time she took it in they didn't tighten the drain plug all the way so the car was slowly pissing oil all over her driveway. *facepalm* I thought it was the PCV valve causing the leak as that's a super common problem in 2.0ts. So I took it all apart and tested it, and it was fine. Never would've guessed it was the drain plug. That's something I, a shade tree mechanic, would do. Never a certified Tech.
I am a dealer service only type person. (Flame and joke all you want.)
I have a tendency to show dealer service departments quickly that I follow the owners manual to the T and they learn pretty quickly that I do not screw around. Once they learn that they really do not try to push unnecessary services on me and just suggest them.
I learned to avoid these quick lube places like the plague. While I know dealer service is not too much better at least I know I have a bit of support from the brand should I have an issue.
Find a GOOD dealership and build a relationship with them is my motto.
There's a similar chain of quick lube places down here, one of which I took my beater (2cyl Daihatsu) to get a wheel bearing changed as it would cost about the same as buying the tools required to press the old one out. Prior to this, since the wheel bearing was howling/whirring, I repacked them with grease and torqued the driveshafts to spec, taking care to install the split pin in the castle nut.
So I get my car back and they say the OTHER wheel bearing was gone and promptly showed me how the wheel rocked back and forth loosely on the hub with the car on the hoist. Knowing that there was no way it would be THAT loose since I torqued them to spec, I just took the car. After poking around back at home, I found that they had cut off MY split pin, loosened the driveshaft castle nut and put their own pin on.
I knew this because I spilled a tin of touch up paint into my jar of split pins and they all had paint on them whereas theirs was shiney and new...
They also told me that ALL the suspension bushings were MISSING (rear leaves, lower control arms, all of them). Just to humor them, I got them to price it all up with all new bushes from their books to come up with some rediculous sum for a $100 car, then just just walked out.
The flip side is that a LOT of people use places like this and never have problems. As in, millions. That doesn't mean they're not getting cheated necessarily, but just for perspective.
I've used them before, and it's not bad if you're upfront with them- tell them you just want the oil changed. No air filter check, no lubing the door hinges, no up sells. They leave you alone. And i always ask to see the used filter after the car is running.
Dealerships are just as bad. Took my Jetta in to the dealer for an oil change because I had coupons for free changes. A few days after the visit I noticed some oil spots on the front of my car. Figured the tech dripped a bit when filling up. I wiped it off and carried on. A few more days and there a more oil spots. Opened the hood to find the fill cap sitting over in the battery tray where the tech had left it. Oil slung all over the engine compartment. Called the dealer and raised hell. The service manager tells me "everyone makes mistakes." Yeah. I get that. But this isn't forgetting to top off the washer fluid. You left THE CAP OFF THE DAMN ENGINE. Threw my remaining coupons away...
I went to Jiffy Lube one time in my life, when I was daily driving a '94 Isuzu Amgio (beater status) and I had a coupon for like $15 off. They told me I needed my coolant flushed. Funny thing was I had just replaced all of the coolant b/c I had just put a new radiator in the car. The look on the tech's face when I informed of this was priceless.
I <3 driving.
I've gone to Jiffy lube a block from work a few times in the last decade, when I simply didn't have time to do it myself. Never had a problem and was never upsold on anything, just had oil changes. No stripped bolts, no leaks, nothing.
I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.
Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan