Avoiding Mistakes & Problems at Quick Oil Change Outlets
When it comes to your vehicles maintenance, nothing is more important than changing the engine oil regularly. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is unfortunately how a lot of people operate when it comes to doing this job. The thing is, Oil Changes are cheap. Even if you don’t try and do it yourself, there is always a “Quickie Lube” shop just around the next corner, and they are all in constant competition with each other, and will offer discount coupons and “Added Value” services to get your business. Some of them go as far as cleaning your glass inside and out, and emptying your ashtrays.
If you end up taking your car to a professional for an oil change, make sure you look their work over before driving off the lot. A lot of these Quick Oil Change places hire younger people, and that’s part of the reason that mistakes are often made.
When you are ready to pick your car up from the Oil Change place, before you pay, there are some things you need to check. First open the hood and look for the dipstick, after you find it, and making sure the car is on fairly level ground, wipe it off with a Kleenex or paper towel, stick it back in all the way, then pull it back out and look at the end to make sure the oil on the dipstick is within the “full” range. Then while you have the hood open, take a quick look around to make sure nobody left a wrench or tool laying where it shouldn’t be.
After that, start the engine and kneel down to take a quick look at the undercarriage. Look for any obvious leaks or drips, that might indicate the oil drain plug wasn’t installed correctly or the oil filter isn’t tight enough. The most common “screw up” at an oil change outlet is when the drain plug threads get “stripped” upon re-installing, or similar problem with the oil filter. Installing the wrong oil filter can create a huge crisis later on. Usually an oil leak will present itself right away with the engine running.
This is one of the reasons that if you do decide to take your car to a “quickie Lube” place, you’ll want to stick with the same location for as long as you can or for the life of the vehicle. If an Oil drain plug did get “stripped” and it doesn’t leak right away, there leaves no doubt as to how it got damaged and who did it. That way if there are any costs involved in repairing it, its on them!
Before you leave you will want to ask if they checked all the tires for proper air pressure. This is a gimme, and all of these shops do it for free. You may want to take a quick look at your wiper blades while your there, because if they didn’t recommend them, chances are they didn’t check them. Most oil change places stock wiper blade refills, and will install then for nothing if you buy them there.
By always checking the detail of a shops work before you pay, it will let them know what kind of customer you are. And if you take the advice of going to the same shop every time, the employees will get to know you and have more of a tendency to stay on top of things.