Saturday, May 14, 2011

The value of a full service oil change

There are many "quick lube" places around town, you see them everywhere boasting fast, cheap, no appointment oil changes. I can see where this is tempting in our fast paced world; just drive in, a couple of techs jump on your vehicle, change your oil, you pay your bill, and your on your way.

Of course it's never that simple. While you're there they will try to sell you transmission fluid changes, air filters, wiper blades, additives for your gas and engine, fuel injection cleaning, and anything else they can think of. This is all well and fine, but lets face it, their main goal is to sell the biggest ticket they can. And for a lot of these places it's company policy to reach certain "average ticket" sales. That means they have only one person in mind when they work on your vehicle, themselves!

We have seen the damage done by quick lube places. Blown engines, transmissions, putting in the wrong type of fluids, and a lot of unnecessary repairs. Customers come in and want us to check their fluids because the "quick lube" place told them that their fluid was bad and it was critical they have it changed. We feel honored they came to us for our opinion, but more often then not, we send them away with nothing more that an education and peace of mind on the proper way to maintain their vehicle.

A full service oil change at a professional repair facility may take longer, and be by appointment only, but there are serious advantages to this;
  • One is the experience factor. More that likely you will have a trained technician with many years of automotive experience working on your vehicle, and even if it's a less experienced lube technician, he has the full support of his fellow tech's if any questions arise.
  • If you take your car to one place regularly, they get to know your car.They know what work has been done in the past, what maintenance schedules you are on, and what work is pending or coming up next. This is important for prioritizing work and preparing you for future service or repairs
  • Your vehicle is at a facility that has the capability of servicing the entire vehicle, not just changing fluids. 
  • Your vehicle will receive an honest inspection for pending problems. Not just checking other fluids for up-sell, but checking suspension, brakes, steering, and other critical safety components that a quick lube place has no experience with. 
  • Your assured of getting the proper fluids and a quality oil filter that your vehicle requires, not a generic fits-all fluid
  • Relationship. This is a trust factor you develop, and should have, with the repair facility you go to. There's nothing like picking up the phone and talking to someone you know when you car needs service. 
I know a full service oil change will take more time and probably cost a little more, but your vehicle is the second biggest investment most people will make. Do you really want to trust your investment to a facility that only knows how to change your oil?