I get it. We are all busy. Too busy in fact to be bothered with doing a lot of the little things in life that we sometimes hire out because it’s simple, it’s inexpensive, and saves us one of our most important and uncertain commodities of life---our time. A good example are those chain service centers specializing in changing the oil and filter in your new or used car that we pass by on our way home from work.
And it is understandable because very often those fast lube-type service centers that specialize in oil change jobs are cheaper than what we can do ourselves. Besides, it’s a simple job so what could go wrong?! Plenty as it turns out.
If you have ever used one of those fast service joints there’s a good chance that while waiting for your oil change you were approached by a service tech holding a clipboard and telling you that their mechanic “found a problem” that needs to be taken care of right away or risk wind up having a big repair bill.
And this is why that advertised oil change is so cheap: it’s bait to get you into their bay where once your vehicle is trapped on their lift, they become the guys who are about to save you from financial ruin by taking care of a problem before that problem exists. And it works.
So, now rather than just a simple oil change you are presented with a “transmission job” or a “cracking fan belt problem” or---and, if they are really adventurous---the dreaded “timing chain job” problem. The kinder ones will just try to sell you on changing your air filter.
Now, I am not trying to be disrespectful of fast lube-type service centers and the people who work there. Statistics would tell us that there is a chance you have had favorable service sometime in your life from one, and we all know that sometimes good people are pressured into doing questionable business practices if they want to keep their job. We all have to make a living. However, the point to all of this is that there are too many car service and repair horror stories out there, and that they need to be repeated and shared to raise the awareness of the unwary car owner.
That said, here is a recent video from the Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel that is a joy to watch and listen to as this mechanic warns what can happen when you agree to more than just having your oil changed at a fast lube-type service center.
Don't Let This Happen to You!
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For more about car maintenance and repair, be sure to check out our past and future articles that covers both new and used vehicles (including Tesla and other Electric Vehicles) to help you have an enjoyable car experience and save money.
If you have a fast lube-type service center horror story, be sure to tell us about it in the comments section below.
Timothy Boyer is Torque News Tesla and EV reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily Tesla and electric vehicle news.