Auto Education: Oil Changes - Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of our look at Oil Changes. Last time, we covered why it's important to keep on top of changing your oil regularly. Now, let's discuss what's included with and oil change and where you should go to get one.

So, you look at the reminder sticker on your example vehicle and realize its time to bring it in and have your oil changed. Where do you go? You might think of simply bringing it to one of those “have it back in 10 minutes” oil, lube and car wash joints. But before you do, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider going to a traditional repair shop instead. First, you want to have someone who is properly trained working on your car, not someone who was flipping hamburgers a few weeks prior and doesn’t know anything about a car except how to drain and refill oil. Second, a proper oil change takes longer than 10 minutes. Some cars can take 10 minutes just to properly drain out all the oil, and then you have to change the oil filter, and then add the new oil, and then check the level, and we’re already past the 10 minute mark. So how do they do it in 10 minutes? By cutting corners and rushing things along. And sure, occasionally, they have multiple people working on one car. But it’s mostly from cutting corners. Whether it’s by not fully draining the old oil or not changing the oil filter. Yes, that does happen. Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that a traditional auto repair shop will never make a mistake. No one is perfect. What I'm saying is that when you rush things, mistakes are more likely to happen. Like forgetting to tighten the oil drain plug or the oil filter. Those are common ones. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about these kinds of places…far too many to start talking about here. Maybe in a future blog…but for now, let's move on.

Another point worth pointing out is upselling. Many car washes and oil change chains will try to sell you unnecessary services based on a vehicles mileage. Why? Technicians at these places are usually on commission, meaning for every item or service they sell you, they make a small percentage of the sale. The more they sell, the bigger their paycheck. The biggest issue is the fact that most people don't really know if these services are for the betterment of the car or the technician's wallet. Many times, they will even try to scare you into a service saying its so bad that they won't let the vehicle leave until the services are performed. Never hesitate to ask questions and demand them to show you what's going on. Just doing a quick google search of auto repair upselling will lead you to some cases that really make you think about how these places operate.

So, instead of bringing it to the kind of place we just described, you decide to bring your example vehicle to a proper auto repair shop. What will you get differently? Your vehicle is going to get serviced properly, like we talked about before, by trained technicians who knows what they're looking at. Your under-hood fluids will get checked, and topped off in most cases. That means your transmission fluid, your antifreeze, your power steering fluid, your brake fluid, and your windshield washer fluid all get a check over. Your tires will get inspected for proper wear and tire pressures will get checked. Things like your air filters, brakes, suspension, drive belts, and hoses all get a look over to make sure that they’re all in good shape and working the way they should be. If any other repairs are needed, they can usually be taken care of in the same visit, saving you time. And lastly, your service reminder will get reset. Whether its a light on your dashboard saying ‘maintenance required’ or “change oil soon”, or maybe an oil life percentage in your vehicle’s information center, it’ll get turned off and reset for the next service interval. Otherwise, if you don’t have a fancy service reminder, you’ll still get one of those low-tech service reminder stickers for the top corner of your windshield. 

Having your vehicle maintained like this regularly like this will give you peace of mind and ensure you that when you leave the shop, your car will be safe and ready to go another 3000-5000 miles until the next service.

And there you have it. Hopefully I’ve made you think a little about how to take better care of your vehicle. Be sure to like this post if you want to see more content like this. You can also keep up to date with us by following us on social media. And, If you have a topic you'd like to see us cover in a future blog post, you can use the submission form at the bottom of the page to send it to us. Thanks for reading!