Went nuts on oil change placeless today

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

  1. GoldenOne7710

    GoldenOne7710 Equal Opportunity Offender Lifetime Gold Member

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    Define "meaningful inspection".

    This is what I can tell you was routine in the shops I ran. Lets give an example vehicle...a 2000 Honda Civic. We had one guy in the pit, one guy under the hood, one guy greeting the customer, one guy vacuuming the front floors, checking tires and cleaning the windshield and one guy at the cash register. So a total of 5 people per vehicle.

    On that 2000 Honda Civic, we could have the car's oil and filter changed, air filter checked, all vital fluids checked, tires checked and all the complimentary services complete and the hood shut...in roughly 3 1/2 minutes. We performed the very service we advertised to do.

    If saw any fluid leaks, we brought it to the customer's attention and noted it in our computer as well as the customer's invoice. Uneven tire wear? Noted. Anything else unusual or out of place? Noted. We DID NOT do or advertise any repairs. The other extra services that were offered were transmission fluid exchanges, differential/gearbox fluid exchanges, coolant exchanges, air filters, light bulbs, wiper blades, emissions and rain repellent on windshields.

    $25/hr employees? The Manager didn't even make that much.
     
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  2. Lowend

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

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    Yes, understand I can't discuss much of that publically. Will be happy to tell you about via PM. Let's say things didn't go well at YM I ended up wearing a lot of hats, and we didn't part ways on the best of terms.
    Fair correction, we called the Oil Change / Tire Rotation (people keep on forgetting about the tire rotation here) 0.50 hours, not 0.60

    At minimum:
    • Tire Pressure set and tread depth measurement
    • Visual brake pad inspection (we use a stick tool to get mm)
    • Fluid checks, top-offs
    • Note any damages, leaks
    • Engine Air filter check.
    • Quick visual check for CEL's
    • Driver's seat check to make sure windows, wipers, lights, and HVAC work.
    So, 3 guys on the car x 3.5 min = 10.5 minutes = .175 hours. not so far off from the 0.20 I talked about above. If you had one guy do all of those things he'd loose at least a minute in just 'travel time' around the car

    I think what we're seeing here is a difference in what I consider to be minimum acceptable PM service and what some of the quickie shops do. I'm not saying they are dishonest, but IMHO half the reason for an oil change is to get eyes on all of these other things.
     
  3. Rosster

    Rosster Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Sadly, here in norcal, that’s rarely the practice. Our BAR has conducted stings at numerous oil changing franchises and fined them for recommending unneeded services and in some more egregious cases, charging for work never done. In my one data point experience, they tried to con me too. Now, obviously that doesn’t mean they are all dishonest but at $29.99 for an oil change, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand upselling is a reality in order to boost profits and survive. And the shops around here all employ min wage employees, many of which have limited mechanical experience. I’ll pass....your mileage may vary.
     
  4. dcozzi

    dcozzi Veteran Member

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    I know brick and mortar shops have to charge to stay open but, the oil change places do love the unnecessary "upsell". Sometimes I wonder if the techs even know what a part that needs replacing even looks like. They always show you a clean air filter or just say your wipers need replacing. It's in their script. I'm sure they get paid for upsells. Kind of like a carpet cleaner. They come out for a ridiculously low 3 room clean then try to upsell the hell out of you. Otherwise, they make next to nothing.
    Last time I went to AutoZone to get new batteries for my Duramax, the guy offered to help me put the batteries in. I tipped him $10 for his effort. Then, I went home and tightened all the terminals and put one battery back under it's hold-down. If it is not a mechanic, "you git what you git and that's it" with no quality guarantee.
     
  5. GoldenOne7710

    GoldenOne7710 Equal Opportunity Offender Lifetime Gold Member

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    At the end of the day what we calculated was the labor % of the income at the end of the day. An acceptable labor percentage for most any quick lube shop to be profitable is anything under than 30%. We always had 2 bays/pits operating, which added another employee "under hood" and another doing "courtesy". We focused on volume...often 100-150 cars per day. If you could achieve that average, you didn't HAVE to upsell other services, although we had numerous customers come in requesting them.

    On most days, we would have 7 to 8 (including the manager) employees on the clock. The 8th guy would mainly be there to handle any ancillary services that were to be performed. I can remember days where all I did the entire day was transmission fluid exchanges, coolant flushes and emission inspections for 10 hours.
     
  6. 73 Z

    73 Z Veteran Member Gold Member

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    What's the Gripe, You drop off go to the pool/snack bar. 102 - 86, 16 is like another beer/snack.
     
  7. Phil G

    Phil G Veteran Member

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    I wouldn't take a lawnmower to "Iffy Lube" ! Years ago a co-worker bought a brand new Chevy (Caprice IIRC) and took it to IL for it's first oil change/"service". Some time later she asked me if I'd take a look at it (listen) because there was "noise" coming from "back there". Drove it around the block and the diff was SCREAMING!

    Crawled under and there was diff fluid everywhere! AND the fill plug was MISSING! Got her receipt and went to the place. Told the "Manager" what I had found and pointed out the box for "check differential fluid" was checked and told him his guy must have left the plug out. He immediately said: "Oh, we don't check that. It must have been that way from the factory."

    BS! You filled out a work order and ADMIT you didn't perform the "services"! Took the car to the dealership on Company time because she and I both reported to our "Corporate Legal Officer". Who was just as supremely pissed as *I* was because in a prior life he was an Engineer (50 State PE BTW) for F'IN FORD Truck Division! AND I (also an Engineer by that time) had taken the local Community College 2-year Automotive Technology program while I was in HS! As an elective BTW. Freebie! :)

    So up on the lift. Diff was (dry) toast, as were the all the bearings! Total rear end replacement! We started with phone calls and got nowhere. Letters to IL Corporate. Ignored. So how much is a new rear end for a mid-80s Caprice? Don't know what the resolution finally was (long time ago)... :(
     
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  8. Rosster

    Rosster Veteran Member Gold Member

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    The kids with any mechanical aptitude whatsoever or who know their upselling techniques aren’t honest don’t last long at these type of places.
     
  9. Z28PILOT

    Z28PILOT Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I did not know or ever heard that oil change places are required by law to take drop off of old oil……??? Is that national , state or local law ?
     
  10. The Champ

    The Champ Veteran Member

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    In MN and WI, it was the law at one time I believe, but I can't find anything about that now. I've been dropping off used oil for over 25 years after I learned of this.

    This is from the EPA:

    Having said that, I've never had a car repair location (new car dealer or independent repair shop) refuse my drain oil. It appears from my quick search that most of the big box auto parts stores (NAPA, O'Reilly's, etc) also offer free waste oil recycling.

    For 10 years, I worked for an ACDelco warehouse distributor and managed a $2,500,000 book of business calling on new and used car dealers, independent repair shops and fleets in southern MN and northern IA. Anyone of them would accept waste oil.
     

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