Went nuts on oil change placeless today

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by 1970 gold, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I think its 50/50 trust and communication. There have only been a FEW instances in which I needed somebody else to do XXXX. I was fortunate to meet a great guy and very good mechanic at that time (400 miles from old home). He hunted the issue for a couple hrs...even told me "i know what your feeling...but i don't know what it is" .. I figured $150....as I questioned WHAT exactly did he check so I could rule out...x,y,z,1,2,3,.....Then as I asked the bill..."I didn't fix chit...i can't charge YOU"..So gave him $50 said buy lunch! The next time (couple yrs later) called him from the house told him send a wrecker...pick up the blazer...call me when you figure out WTH happened....,WE are on the road to Florida! He calls me back 2.5 hrs later...$300 total..ignition died. He obviously fixed it....cleaned it...and delivered it back to the house (3 miles)...
    Being an honest mechanic does NOBODY any good if they are stupid..... finding some that are both honest and good is sometimes a problem.
    I think most of us have no issue paying $60 for the oil change (instead of $40) or $12 to replace a bulb (instead of $5) when you KNOW it is squared away, but when you try to smoke someone $80 for the $30 job...its just not going to fly.
     
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  2. TTR230

    TTR230 Veteran Member

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    Places like Canadian Tire, and bigger chains like them, will nickle and dime you to death if you're not careful. Crappy tire will charge you $12 for "shop supplies" on a windshield wiper change, lol.

    I was trying to explain to my 11 year old why it's important to be able to do things for yourself. We changed pads and rotors on my santa the this weekend. Took maybe an hour and a quarter, clean up included. I tried to explain that repair would have cost close to $500, plus parts, and we did it over a lunch break, basically. Important lessons to teach that don't get caught anymore. Cheap credit is too plentiful these days, and it's making us dependent on others for everything.

    I don't mean for this to rag on the op, of course there are tons of perfectly good reasons to have stuff done that you can do yourself otherwise, it's more the overall societal attitudes toward getting your hands dirty!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  3. Rosster

    Rosster Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Oil change places are notorious for upselling and overcharging for minor stuff. Been plenty of consumer advocates filming the scams being pulled by charging for work that isn't needed. I always change my oil but one time I was rushed for time so took it to our local chain speedy oil change place. Guy comes back a few minutes later and says the drain plug is worn out and needs a new one for $20. Shows me it screwed into a plate and it’s obviously way loose on the threads. Tell him yes and he goes to get the drain plug. As he’s walking back out to the car, I call him over and tell him to let me see the new plug. Then I tell him to get me the plate he used to determine mine was bad. Screwed the brand new one in and it fit loose just like my other one! He had that “oh crap I got caught” look on his face. Then I told him I’m the only one who’s changed oil on this car til today and the original drain plug didn’t need replacing. He scurried away any re-installed my original drain plug. Never went to another one of those scam shops again and never will.
     
  4. carr911

    carr911 Veteran Member

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    Gonna Guess $150 Total!
     
  5. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Exactly why I would say “ how much will that cost?” before saying press (being mechanically inclined to do it myself”. You never know how much someone is going to charge you.
     
  6. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    I remember when I was in the service truck,we'd stop at a local quik type lube for our "spill+fills" the first thing they'd do is pull the air filter and ask "Do you want a new one?",the truck had literally a new one 5k before and looked pristine.I asked the guy "why"? He said what do you mean-why? I replied if you were at the doctor and he walked up to you with an enema bag and hose and asked "do you want one?" wouldn't you ask why? :D He turned and put it back in.
    All places are driven by extra/upgrades as they seem to have undercut themselves to get you in-cant even get out of drive-thru with out the badgering.If you're concerned about keeping as much in your wallet you have to ask.The Subway here will make your sub a "melt" for $1,I asked what does that mean? We put cheese on it and throw it in the turbo-chef???? Didn't get charged for that before it used to come with cheese and you heated it,guess the "new" normal after the pandemic for that owner-I walked out BTW,other subway doesn't do that-looking for an extra buck-think how many people say "ok"-What did Cheech and Chong say "things are tough all over MAN"- Later Steve!!
     
  7. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Veteran Member

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    I had one of the ram 5500’s at work due for service, but it was also going to the dealer to fix an oil leak in the front cover (warranty, and a big job) and replace the coolant tank. (Not a bad job, but still warranty). They do a bit of warranty work for us, so i told them to do the PA inspection on it. Thinking i would throw them some $$, i knew it would pass. Then they saw it was due for service, and it was also due for a crankcase breather ($$), so i told them to do it. I think the inspection and service was like $500. Wont be doing that again. I think the crankcase breather cost like $200 for part and install.
     
  8. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I know this crowed is mostly DIY, but these folks are trying to make a living. I know we can swap pads and rotors in the driveway for way less than Midas, but we can’t look at it as “why pay you, when I can do it myself”. I pay to have my oil changed even though I can do it, but it takes time and I have to deal with the old oil. Worth paying $60 and not worry about it over $30 and deal with the mess.
     
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  9. TTR230

    TTR230 Veteran Member

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    For sure, but it's not only about saving $30. It's also knowing it's done right, the way I want it done. Certainly it's noble to spread the wealth, but that wealth belongs in my pocket more than midas'. There are plenty of people out there that can't do this stuff, they don't need my money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  10. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    There's something to note here most people don't consider:
    The spill 'n fill, Jiff Lube style shops are doing oil changes at near breakeven, if not losing money on the job. It's called a loss leader, which is basically a way to get customers into the shop with hopes of upselling them.
    Here's some real math on breakeven costs.
    • Oil change with a tire rotation books to about 0.6 hours with a lift. If you're paying a mechanic $25/hr; $15 labor cost
    • Avg modern car holds 6-quarts of synthetic oil. Buying in bulk you can get Synthetic (albeit crap) oil for ~ $2.00/quart, so figure $12 Oil Cost Good oil costs more like $4/quart in bulk
    • Oil Filters, if you're willing to no-name junk (don't fool yourself, that's what's at the Jiffy Lube) are $1.50 Oil Filter Cost good filters cost more like $4 in bulk.
    • Filter disposal is ~ $2.00

    So far we are at about $30 shop-cost for the oil change.
    This is before we consider shop rent, insurance, workers comp, electrical, equipment depreciation, and a bunch of other stuff that goes into Net-costs.
    In general, a small business needs to run a gross profit margin of ~40% to be net profitable.
    So take $30 <gross cost> ➗ 0.60 <40% margin> = $50 minium breakeven.
    If you have a shop with good technicians - it's going to cost more.

    Over the years, we've all become accustomed to seeing coupons for $25 oil changes... they were a long time ago. AND let's face it, no one could ever actually get that price.

    TLDR if you're paying less than $50 for an average oil change, the shop is losing money and is going to make it up somewhere. That's where the upsells come in.
     
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