Monday, August 27, 2012

The curse of the quick-change oil place strikes again.

I've moaned about quick-change oil places on this blog before. One piece of advice - just don't take your vehicles there. They may seem cheaper up front but they're really not. Our local dealerships do oil changes for the same price but employ people who at least have some talent.
A friend of mine had a problem with a quick-change oil place about a year ago. I won't name it but it rhymes with 'Whiffy Tube'. She took her car in for an oil change and they forgot to put the filler cap back on. So that got lost as soon as she drove off, and the oil started to spray out of the filler at the top of the engine coating everything inside the engine bay. The fumes inside the car were terrible and it took weeks to clear out the last remains of the smell. Fast forward to a month ago, she took her car in again, but to a different branch because she was planning a long road trip and wanted to make sure everything was OK. This time, they broke off the mounting points for her airbox. So the weight of the airbox was hanging off the air hose going to the throttle body. Naturally, that eventually came off as the hose clips couldn't hold the extra weight. New airbox, air hoses and throttle body required. Fast forward to this week, a work colleague took his car to a branch in a different city and they nicked one of his brake hoses with something sharp. He found this out on the way into work when he went to brake and couldn't. When he took his car into his dealership, they found the cut in the brake hose, right next to where the sump drain is on his car (thank you Honda, for that wonderful design). And it was a cut, not a break, snap, perished hose or anything like that.
Of all my friends and colleagues, I only have one who has never had a problem with a quick-change oil place. I'm sure there ARE places that employee mechanics with some talent but honestly I've never found one. In fact I'm not even sure the use of the word "mechanic" applies.
What happened to customer satisfaction, pride in the job and all the other decent ethics we used to have?
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