The Daily Ping

The 5,000th Ping will be published on September 14, 2013.

August 6th, 2000

Why I hate quick lube places.

I like to change my car’s oil myself. For me, it’s just easier and cheaper, plus I get to know the car better. Yesterday I changed the oil in my new Stratus for the first time. This process involves: a) removing the old oil filter, b) installing a new oil filter, c) draining the old oil, and d) putting in new oil. I’ve done it dozens of times on my old car.

But, the last oil change my car saw was at a Pennzoil quick lube (the sticker was still in the windshield when I got it.) I crawled under the car and tried unscrewing the filter. No go. Tried a few more times – nothing, not even a budge. I then took a screwdriver to it and started chipping a hole into the filter. (This is a trick my dad taught me – you can get more leverage this way.) That didn’t work. I ended up getting a large hole in the filter, probably about the size of a dime or quarter, through which most of the oil drained. That was fine, but the filter was still on.

I took several tools to the filter, including a honking big adjustable wrench, pliers, a medium adjustable wrench, a small adjustable wrench, and a sure-grip jar opener. Nothing did it. This filter was installed by Hercules himself.

Eventually I got two more holes poked into the thing with the big wrench, jacked up the car for more clearance, and threw my entire weight into moving this thing. At one point I actually moved the car and not the filter. But, after two hours of battle, the filter finally moved. I got it going after another 10 minutes, and the thing was finally off.

Look at this thing.

I have never, ever had to do anything like that to a filter before. Filters do not need to be that tight. Tight, yes, but not welded to the surface. (It’s actually potentially problematic if the filter is too tight.) Moral: if you go to quick lube places, continue to go there, for they have the machinery to take these things off. Otherwise, don’t go near ’em. -pm

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday August 6, 2000 -- 11:11:22PM
Maybe that is the price you pay when moving up into the upper stratus(insert laughs here) in life.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday August 7, 2000 -- 11:20:11AM

FROM: Jeff Schneider
DATE: Tuesday November 26, 2002 -- 7:38:09 pm
Paul, there is a nifty little tool called a filter wrench. You slip it on over top of the filter and when you pull the handle, the strap encircles the filter and twists it off. I admit, that a filter should only be put on hand tight. I once worked in a lube shop myself. But if you want to make home mechanic work easy and painless, you have to have the right tools. Quick lubes are excellent service centers. Had you paid an additional $10 up and above what you had paid for your parts and visited a service center, you'd have saved your self 2 hours that you could have spent relaxing or doing something more productive. And during that 10 minutes, you could have enjoyed a cup of coffee and read an article in your favorite magazine. Quick lubes are a convenience to most people and they are generally inexpensive.

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 26, 2002 -- 7:47:52 pm
I actually did have one of those, Jeff, but thanks for the input. The days of self-oil changes are mostly gone.

DATE: Tuesday January 7, 2003 -- 8:45:09 pm
Sorry to say the guy must be a jerk to do that to a filter. All you had do is bring the car back to the oil change place, And ask if you would PLEASE make it a little lose. And then you say THANK YOU !

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday January 8, 2003 -- 11:57:16 am
Yeah, I'll be sure to tell "that guy" when he signs on this chatroom.

FROM: Lori
DATE: Thursday March 20, 2003 -- 6:56:45 pm
I am an owner of a quick lube and although the filter should never be that tight it could be because they never oiled the oil filter gasket and that makes it hard too. You would've saved yourself a lot of time if you just went back and let them deal with the tight filter, a professional can always get a filter off and you wouldn't have to be complaining about it now.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Thursday March 20, 2003 -- 7:04:40 pm
Bad quick lube horror story:

I had just finished college, and was moving home, and knew that I had to get the oil changed before I did the several hundred miles. So I stopped in the the local "Jiffy Tube" (real business names changed to protect the stupid) and got it done.

However, they warned me that they did not have the right kind of air filter for my car, and that they would simply put the old one back in. No big deal. The air filter was still in decent shape, so I could make it home, and be ok.

well, I made it home, but a day later, the engine started hesitating, then finally overheated. Turns out the bastards never put the OLD AIR FILTER BACK. Long story short, engine shot, had to buy a new car.

As a postscript, I attempted to contact the local place, and found it to be out of business. After calling the national headquarters of "Jiffy Tube", all I got was an apology letter an a coupon for a free Oil Change on my next visit.

That coupon was useful for wiping my butt. I now change my own oil and filter. Pain in the ass? Sure, but better than the above happening again.

FROM: Rich Dean
DATE: Wednesday April 2, 2003 -- 8:12:44 pm
I went to a quick lube place with my 1959 Edsel (I didn't have the tools at the time). The guy doesn't even look under the car and says, "they don't make oil filters for those cars anymore." Ummm. Yeah. That's right. Idiot.

Went to Kragen and got an oil filter along with the wrench and oil-recycling bucket and did it myself. I wouldn't trust my car to those places.... they're not real mechanics.

FROM: jay leavitt
DATE: Wednesday June 4, 2003 -- 12:38:38 am

FROM: jay leavitt
DATE: Wednesday June 4, 2003 -- 12:42:19 am
if you judge all lube shops by the two or three in this comment section than your a closed minded fool. there are some good shops it depends on the techs and their experience

DATE: Wednesday June 4, 2003 -- 8:30:37 am
I'm actually quite concerned that some of these one-time pingers have such strong feelings about lube shops. They probably have unresolved issues from their childhoods that need to come out.

Sure, quick lube joints provide a service to the technophobe (or the mechanical/automotive equivalent). But since they generally cater for the people that don't know better they often perform unnecessary work and you end up paying more. Obviously I'm referring to the outfits that do quick tyre (sorry, tire for the benefit of my colonial cousins) and exhaust (muffler) replacements also.

DATE: Sunday June 8, 2003 -- 11:20:44 pm

FROM: jerry harrison
DATE: Wednesday June 11, 2003 -- 11:13:39 am
I have been very dissatisfied with the local Pennzoil quick lube here in Oak Creek WI. On three occasions in only 3 visits they never lubed the upper ball joints. On one occasion they wiped off the oil filter and tried to pass it as a new one. It's a crying shame when you have to put a key scratch in your filter just to know wether or not they have installed a new one. Or to inspect all 11 lube points to see that they were done. I will never go to another Pennzoil quick lube ever again and I urge others to check the work done because it seems like standard procedure to do as little as possible and charge for it.

FROM: Woody
DATE: Saturday June 21, 2003 -- 6:11:26 pm
I travel a lot and have stopped in several "quik" lube shops to get an oil change. My last visit was to a "Jiffy Lube" in Washington, Mo. After I got home I noticed an oil spot on my garage floor. I took it into the Ford dealership the next day and they found that it had the wrong filter. I was going back through that town so I stopped in and they said that the filters now adays are very similar and it is easy to make a mistake. ???? The filter was for a 2002 Escort, I have a 2001 ZX2. Huge difference in the size of these filters if this is true.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday June 21, 2003 -- 8:57:46 pm
For the record, though, not all dealers are exempt from really crappy service.

I visited my parents the other day, and my mother was complaining about her car, a 2002 Hyundai Accent, with barely over 10K miles on it.

Looked around and everything appeared to be ok. Then I checked the oil. The oil level was fine, but really really dirty. One examination of the filter showed that when she had it in the dealership for the first oil change, that they didn't replace the filter, and probably didn't drain all the old oil.

So I told her I would take it back to the dealer to get it fixed. Before I did, I took a blue magic marker, and made a small "x" on it, so I could identify it as the old one.

Made the appointment and took it in a day later. When they were finished, I checked the filter, and sure enough, the same filter was on the car, because my little "x" was still on it. All they did, it turned out, was top the engine off with oil (only draining about half of the old), and clean the exterior of the filter. I let them have it, and the manager ended up giving me the money back, and doing the oil change himself. Believe me when I say I watched him personally do it.

In an unrelated note, the dealership, withing a month or so, just announced they were closing. Wonder why..

FROM: guy who knows how to remove an oil filter
DATE: Tuesday August 5, 2003 -- 9:36:41 pm
hey dumbass ever hear of a filter wrench. Also if you are all experts on changine oil/car maintenacne than why are you taking your car someware to have the work done. If you can do it better than someone else, do it!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday August 5, 2003 -- 9:56:39 pm
Why bother when the dealership did it for free? It's called convienence.

Besides, this was my mother's car, not mine. I was visiting her place, and didn't have my wrench with me, and she can't change her own oil. That's why.

What is "maintenacne"? Is that a pimple on a grease monkey or something?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday August 6, 2003 -- 9:29:25 am
I think maintenacne is a disorder affecting one's ability to take responsibility for his or her own words, and control punctuation and grammar. It seems to cause people to hide behind idiotic statements, too.

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday August 6, 2003 -- 12:59:27 pm
Maybe maintenacne is related to forienger, Dave. ;)

FROM: Nick
DATE: Thursday August 21, 2003 -- 8:16:51 pm
Well I have to say that I am not in favour of those oil change places. I drive a commercial vehicle and once in a while I will go into my local oil change place, and sometimes to a friends shop and sometimes do it myself. But in my local place there's a guy in there that I went to school with so I know that all my shit gets done right, considering I am allowed down in the pit. But to be honest before he was there, there is NO WAY IN HELL I would let them do anything to my trucks and especially not my cars, I once knew another guy who worked in there and he was in no way mechanically inclined and I mean IN NO WAY he once tried to do a lube job for someone and ended up lubing the rear shoes..........THAAAAAAAAAT'S right the rear shoes(that would be rear brakes for those who don't know) I even know of cases where people have left with loose drain plugs that blew off on the road dumped all the oil and grenaded the engine. My advice is go to your local mechanic and get it done because even he/she is not above changing oil if the shop owner is there he/she will do it, and there's at least one licensed tech working, well not like it takes a licensed mechanic to change oil but given the evidence some of the people hired in these quick lube places aren't even out of high school yet. I personally like the private shops better than anywhere else, but then again that's just one guys opinion.

FROM: yessah
DATE: Friday October 3, 2003 -- 2:05:27 pm

FROM: Matt Cartwright - Ass. Mngr. Platteville Wonder Lube
DATE: Sunday October 19, 2003 -- 8:19:06 pm
After reading through everyones comments. Either if you had a horror story or if you have had a good experience with the places. One thing everyone has to understand is that mistakes happen. The good quick lube minimize those mistakes or fix the problems financially for the customer for that problem. Too the comments about us not being real mechanics, not true. I myself am working toward my ASE anong with a co-worker. If your lube tech is doing his job right, you shouldnt have to see a mechanic. The moral of story is that you cant judge every quick lube, your satisfaction is dependent on the store management and their employees not the establishment. And please remember if a mistake unfortunately happens, be respectful and you should get compensated for it.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday October 30, 2003 -- 10:41:09 am
I appreciate your comment, but would suggest using the abbreviation "Asst." for "Assistant," instead of "Ass." Thanks.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday November 17, 2003 -- 11:47:43 am
I am doing some due-diligence on the quick oil and lube industry. It is my desire to gather enough information about this industry in order to make a decision whether to introduce a new value added service to this existing business structure and model, or not, and do it myself.

What an eye opener to see and feel the sentiments of those who have had an experience with these oil change centers (both good and bad).

It seems to me that these companies could revamp their training programs, and perhaps screen potential franchisees closer, to up the quality and character of the employees and these locations owners. That would seem to help in the overall reputation of these services and the industry itself.

Question for all out there.

If you had any power related problem with your vehicle, i.e. windows, sunroofs or moonroofs, seats, sideview mirrors, trunk releases etc... would you be willing to bring it to an existing oil change center that has trained personnel to fix these problems at half the cost of a dealership, and the work would be completed in less than an hour? Or would you feel more confident in bringing your vehicle to a free-standing center that specializes in these type of repairs?

Thanks for your input!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday November 17, 2003 -- 1:37:53 pm
I'm Daily Ping Paul, by the way; the person above is not.

Paul: I'm willing to offer my opinions at my standard rate of $50/hour. Please email me for further information.

DATE: Wednesday December 3, 2003 -- 10:39:30 pm
Sunshine Quick Lube in Lillington, NC have the finest and most professional Techs in the area. The manager is a great guy and all work is done with the utmost quality. Not all fast lubes give shotty service.

DATE: Thursday December 11, 2003 -- 2:22:02 pm
It all depends on the tech you could have the best tech working out of his garage or you can have the shittiest tech working at a quckie lube, know who your trusting your car too!!!!

FROM: dragun
DATE: Tuesday December 23, 2003 -- 3:14:38 pm
i usually change my oil myself, but recently moved out of state and into an apartment complex ( can't exactly change it there) so had "quit car" to change it for me bc i didn't have the time or a good place to do it.. being this was the only place in the local area within a reasonable distance.
only to find out that the wrong oil was used, the wrong filter and everything was tightened extremely tight! plus i was charged about 60 bucks for an oil change!! i'm sure there may be good techs out there.. but the only way to make sure it is right is to do it yourself. there's no way of knowing if the tech is good until the damage is done.

FROM: Biff
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 2:58:26 pm
I have usually changed the oil myself after the car dealer garage left the drain plug use (thank god for idiot lights), but keeping the old used oil properly "bottled up" in the garage was a pain....especially with 3 kids riding bikes around. I have had nothing but good experiences with fast lube places. The last one I was at while traveling through lower Michigan, I got to sit in my car, read the daily paper with a cup of coffee in hand. Plus, you can really see & hear what is going on while they work on it. Yes it was worth the $28 for it. I also noticed the do-it-yourselfers bringing in jugs of used oil in for proper of charge.

FROM: big
DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 10:06:26 am
ur and idiot man i work at a freaking quick oil change place. It's called get some fucking muscle. If i can put it on i can take it off.

FROM: big
DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 10:06:47 am
ur an*

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 10:42:43 am
Apparently people who can "put it on" can't communicate in a written language, natch.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 12:13:03 pm
You work at a quick lube place? I'd have never guessed...

FROM: Value of Patience
DATE: Thursday April 8, 2004 -- 10:52:26 am
I hope the rest of your life is less problamatic. Your liable to find errors at hospitals,restaraunts,movie theaters, etc. Learn to exercise some patience or stay home and never go out "Bubble Boy"

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday April 8, 2004 -- 11:22:15 am

Remember "sense?"

FROM: Jason
DATE: Friday April 9, 2004 -- 11:59:03 am
"ur and idiot man i work at a freaking quick oil change place. It's called get some fucking muscle. If i can put it on i can take it off." -- Quote from big

It's scary that they actually let you drive an automobile let alone work on them. You do realize that if the filter seal is not lube'd properly that the filter will actually fuse to the engine block right? I'd like to see you get that off.

I think there is a fine line to be drawn here...sure, not ALL lube places can be crap, but I would venture that MOST are, and of those that ARE crap, most are big name chains.

On a side note, I wouldn't take my bicycle to a Jiffy Lube.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday April 9, 2004 -- 1:59:04 pm
On a side note, I wouldn't take my bicycle to a Jiffy Lube.

...but... you don't need... er, never mind.

FROM: Smee
DATE: Wednesday August 11, 2004 -- 7:03:18 pm
That is nothing, they apparently stripped the threads on my drain plug. Rather than repairing it properly or at least telling me, they WELDED my drain plug to the pan!

FROM: John
DATE: Thursday August 26, 2004 -- 6:32:26 pm
Like any business you go to you have to take care and choose someone reputable and able to meet your needs. Ask questions, watch the service, make sure the technician knows what they are doing. I own 2 quick lubes and we let customers watch everything, even let them into the pit. We love to have questions because we are all about quality. Sure a mistake can happen, but our system works to keep problems to a minimum and we fix whatever is our problem. Best advice is to check out your auto maintenance facility well before you have a story to post here!

FROM: tony
DATE: Thursday September 23, 2004 -- 8:04:24 pm
i've been working at quick lubes for quite a while now and ive never oiled the gasket on a new filter before placing it on a vehicle and ive never had a problem with a filter being too tight to take off when that same vehicle returned for another oil change. and if u want good service give the techs working on your car a tip before the work starts. trust me, the work will be done correctly.

FROM: bobbie
DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 9:56:43 am
I just had a bad experience with a local "lube dynamics". They installed the wrong oil filter on my car (which had only 104,000 original miles). Now my car is pouring out oil and they said it is due to my car being old, not anything they done. That's funny, my car was running just fine-not leaking any oil until they performed a routine oil change.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:40:43 pm

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:40:56 pm

FROM: jc
DATE: Monday February 21, 2005 -- 12:21:04 pm
I have had both good and bad bad experiences with quick lube places. One time my husband tried to remove the oil filter that a "quick lube" place had put on - see picture above - that is exactly what it looked like. I also had many good experiences. I have also taken it to a reputable mechanic who did not tighten the plug completely - hello new engine. I live in an apartment complex that does not permit any car repairs in the parking lot so I generally take my car to a quick lube place nearby that I have gotten to know the techs, and I have one in particular that I have work on my car - if he isn't there I wait a couple days til he is.

FROM: Tyler
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 1:25:48 pm
The fact is, if you never know what to get from a quick lube, why the hell should anyone go? Ill be the first to admit there are good mechanics out there, but what if he is in a bad mood? I dont want to put my hard earned money in the hands of a moody "technician".

DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 4:37:23 pm
Most the quick lubes hire techs for as little as possible. It's no wonder that quality suffers. Maybe if they paid a living wage they might have less problems.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday May 26, 2005 -- 9:56:31 am
I've never been to a quick lube place and never will be. It's just too risky. I've heard way too many bad stories well before I found this Ping.

By the way, Dave Walls, back on March 20, 2003, did you mean to say that the old oil filter wasn't put back into the car by the techs? I've never heard of a missing air filter causing those kinds of problems.

By the way, for the do-it-yourselfers, there are more than only two schools of thought about oil and filter change intervals.

Some people swear by changing the oil every 3,000, but only change the filter every other time. Others do the same at 5,000; others change both the oil and filter at 5,000.

I think it's safe to pick a value in between what's recommended in your manual and what the oil and filter producers recommend.

Auto manufacturers want to extoll the low maintenance costs of their cars and recommend oil changes after as many miles as 7500 and the filter change at 15000.

Oil and filter producers, wishing to sell more oil and filters, of course, pick the lowest reasonable sounding interval for oil and filter changes. Of course, they play on your natural consumer paranoia and lack of knowledge and by suggesting that not changing the oil and filter every 3k could cause major damage to your car, or doing so can help you get the most miles out of your engine with the least cost since your engine is so well protected (as opposed to the cost of major engine repair). Such a campaign must work well, because 3000 miles is not an incredibly long interval, yet we never seem to ask why the oil they sell us barely works. If we were actually required to change the oil every 3000 per the manufacturer's warranty, we might be asking that question.

I used to religiously change my oil and filter every 3,000 miles, but now I change the oil every 5,000 and the filter every 10,000 and I've got just as many trouble free miles on my present car as I've ever had on my old cars. I tend to keep a car for a very long time--always well over 150,000 miles. I've never killed an engine yet (knocking on wood). I usually get rid of a car, finally, when everything else stops working and can't be repaired easily (because neither the dealer nor the auto parts store has the parts anymore--doh!)

So, there's no point to keeping a car that long because they just stop stocking replacement parts. Once that happens, the car becomes too expensive or impossible to maintain anyway.

Bottom line: you can't win.

FROM: Kengo
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 8:11:13 pm
TO ANYONE READING WHO ISN'T A "CAR" PERSON: Never ever ever take your vehicle to a quick lube place, just ask your friendly neighborhood 19 year old auto tech college student to do it for $30-Mobil 1 synthetic and a K&N oil filter. He'll probably work for food. And if you are an adult male, LEARN TO DO IT YOURSELF YOU WUSS. I say male because who wants a woman covered in oil sleeping next to you, am I right?

FROM: Aanen
DATE: Friday June 10, 2005 -- 9:31:36 am
A friend of mine took their car into one of those places to have the oil changed but they forgot to put the screw back into the oil pan!!!
As for air filters, get a K&N filter they rock!! when they get dirty (if you can't see through the filter it's time for a new one) you just clean it with water and the cleaner (recharge kit sold seperately) and let it air dry, spray it with the oil and slap it back in.good stuff a little on the pricy side but definately worth it

FROM: Quick Lube GIRL
DATE: Tuesday June 21, 2005 -- 8:18:43 pm
I am probably the only girl responding here, and the only girl that has worked in a Quick Lube for 10 years. There are many bad experiences to be had at most oil change places. At my QL we hear some pretty bad ones. We have even worked on cars that the oil filters are super tight and end up looking like the one in the above picture. We even get customers that tell us they took their car somewhere else but oil filter we put is still on. I guess it just depends on ownership and management. Our supplier even tells us all the bad things that happen at Jiffy Lubes and WalMart Express Lubes. Some places just hire whoever they feel like.

Oh, and to Joseph, newer cars will mess up if you leave the air filter off. Most of them will have the "Check Engine" light come on immediately after starting it.

FROM: quick lube
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 12:14:38 am
I have worked for dealerships and i now work for a quick lube that is ran by myself and two co owners, we do oil changes,tires and alignments an mufflers we are all ASE certified and do quality work at a reasonable price.
I can tell you first hand that the dealership will cost you alot more money and the quality may be less than you pay for because the guy changing your oil is getting paid flat rate and he is trying to do as many oil changes as he can as fast as he can in order to make any money and you can bet there going to find something to upsell you because thats how they make there money.
dealerships prices are generally higher than quick lube places.
we are doing great and are busy as ever and we do good work because we want our customers to come back
and do there buisness with usoh yeah we also vacuum out the car and wash the windsheild as a part of the oil change and you don't get that at the dealer guy's.
so get more bang for your buck at a quick lube. see you in about 3,000 miles.........

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 9:29:19 am
Quick Lube Girl:

All cars will mess up eventually if you leave the air filter off, for sure. If you run a car for a while without a filter you will allow dust to enter into the engine which causes premature wear.

But hesitation and overheating?

Lots of things can cause hesitation, but the classic cause is severe overheating. Overheating occurs in two systems: the engine lubrication system, and the cooling system, which is the radiator, fan, thermostat, coolant, water pump, etc.,
Dave's problem was probably oil overheating caused by lack of oil in the engine--I'm assuming that the oil ran out when the QL place didn't put the oil filter back in. The oil temp gauge would go through the roof, and then the engine would drop to the floor. Had he an oil pressure gauge, he would have known right away something was awry. Engine damage caused by oil overheating, insufficient oil can be anything from blowing a connecting rod, throwing a crank bearing, cracked crank, prematurely worn piston rings--almost anything that relies on oil lubrication to work properly will go bad--and this can happen with the coolant temperature gauge reading normal temperature. Often this kind of wear can occur slowly over time, like when someone does not change the oil at all. This causes a grey stinky smoke to emit from the tailpipe when the pistion rings no longer prevent oil from entering the combustion chamber.

If the cooling system goes bad, the coolant temperature is affected, the cooling temp gauge should spike (but not always--if you suddenly expel all coolant so that the temp gauge pick up isn't immersed in coolant, it can read fine even though your engine is remachining itself into a pile of steel shavings) which can cause all kinds of bad things. Primarily, improper cooling and corresponding overheating can cause a cylinder head to warp, which will compromise the fit between the block and the head by allowing gaps for the coolant to pass through. You usually find out that your head has warped because your engine barfs coolant out the side. If the break in the seal occurs towards the pistons, the coolant will enter the combustion chamber where it will be converted into steam which you can see coming out of your tailpipe. If you've ever been behind a car that suddenly clouds the entire road with a blinding white smoke (steam) and a nice sweet maple syrup smell (burning coolant), you've seen what happens when the head gasket blows.This sometimes can be fixed by removing the head, grinding it flat again and installing new gaskets.

I understand that a "check engine" light might come on without an air filter being in place on a new car, if it's equipped with some sort of switch that senses whether or not an air filter is installed in the air cleaner. It could also be an airflow sensor, in which case a K&N filter might also trip the check engine light since K&N filters breathe better than standard air filters. But I've never seen a car in which the check engine light comes on without an air filter installed, so I don't know what kind of switch might be there, if indeed, there is such a switch/circuit.

But, really, I wasn't trying to impeach anyone. I just want to know if it was true, and if so, how it could happen. All kinds of crazy things happen with cars that are new to almost anyone. But if leaving an air filter off of a car for a few days caused that kind of damage, I'd like to know how just because I'm curious.

Kengo: I love an oily woman.

FROM: Mark Galloway
DATE: Sunday August 14, 2005 -- 1:01:14 pm
I am truely sorry for ya'll who have had trouble with this "Place of Business",But I really would like to thank each of you.You see I was so "blown-a-way" by the way I was treated by the one here at Shreveport ,La(Pines Rd) that I couldn't see straight.Now 'ya'll have shown me there are truely bigger idiots throughout the country and that my problem with these idiots are really small.It is also ashame that the number of people who I have heard horror stories from do not stand up for themselves and say anything.I have always done my own work and the only reason for using the quick stop was to have a paper trail or documentation for any warranty on my new truck big mistake...never again..thankyou

FROM: Get over it, for heavens sake
DATE: Friday September 9, 2005 -- 11:51:23 pm

FROM: dealships?
DATE: Wednesday September 14, 2005 -- 9:43:32 pm
I work in a QL. You think the guy changing your oil at a dealership is a asc certified mech.?? Wrong most dealerships dont have the asc certified mech. doing oil changes. Most dealerships dont have anywhere the training program that good QL's do.

FROM: Jo (quick lube girl 2)
DATE: Friday September 23, 2005 -- 12:52:56 am
I work at a Quick Lube shop as well and I have seen tons of vehicles come in from both dealerships and other quick lube places with filters to tight, to loose, plugs to tight and some dripping. In regards to filters... everyone knows the filter should be one hand tightened, but who's hand. I can tighten a filter snuggly enough that it doesnt leak and it can be hand loosened as well, but my co-worker, who is also a certified mechanic, is a hell of a lot stronger and his "hand tight" is a lot tighter.
If you have a problem with a lube shop you should go back to them first, because "mistakes happen" and they should be aware of it, at dealerships too.
Also, in regards to a shop saying that they don't make "those filters" anymore, it is true that some companies, pennzoil, CLS and others in fact do NOT make the filters anymore, HOWEVER there is always a filter out there. My shop for example will just order one from the local parts place if we don't have one in stock, it's not uncommon with classic cars.
No we're not all mechanics, but when you are TRAINED to be a lube tech and you do it every day you become a professional. I have guys coming over from the automotive shop next door, MECHANICS, asking us questions, because they never do oil changes. We are trained to do OIL CHANGES properly, nothing else. Most of the people that I work with have had automotive training in college, some guys worked at dealerships as a lube tech. Saying it is silly to bring your vehicle to a place who only does oil changes is not a bad thing. You KNOW we've done them before. Would you bring your car to a dealer to get your exhaust fixed instead of going to an EXHAUST shop.. like Buget (not saying you shouldnt, but they're an example of a specialty shop too).
Last but not least... I agree with "the guys who knows how to remove an oil filter". If you know more and you think you can do it yourself, go nuts... we're not twisting your arm, just here for convenience, and for the people who don't know how, or don't have the facilities. You wouldn't believe how many people we get in saying "I have a leak and it's your fault", then we bring them downstairs and show them that its something else (rear main seal, pan gasket ect).
There are a lot of shotty quick lubes AND dealerships out there... but there are also a lot of good ones. If your not sure, ask around. I have customers that have been coming to us for years and not once ever had a problem. I also have had a new customer come in very unsatisfied and has never returned... it happens. I won't shop at one particular clothing store because they're return policy sucks, doesn't mean they all do!

ps. It is true that some places will hire anyone off the street, but some places, like my shop, actually have training manuals, training time and a test that must be passed to stay. There are also seminars every year to update us on products and vehicle recalls that may come up.

FROM: rodger
DATE: Friday November 18, 2005 -- 10:06:54 pm
I started a mobile, travel to you oil change enterprise, and I am thankful for all the shoddy work out there! I hope those places never go out of business. As a matter of fact, I send them Xmas cards!

FROM: Jean
DATE: Friday December 9, 2005 -- 12:04:25 pm
You guys are all morans. Just like most half assed do it yourselfers. I am not a quick lube tech but a certified mechanic. I see this kind of shit all the time. Quit bitching or figure out what you are doing. Most of you will coninue to do things half assed and then point the finger at someone else.

FROM: Jean
DATE: Friday December 9, 2005 -- 12:09:15 pm
Moron. Not moran. I am a mechanic, not an english teacher.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday December 9, 2005 -- 1:29:08 pm
Not very good at being courteous, either.

FROM: Bill
DATE: Saturday December 10, 2005 -- 1:38:01 pm
Re quicky oil changes. I went once. No more. The tech had the oil plug back in the pan while the old oil was still running out. When doing my self, I remove the plug then go have lunch. When resuming work an hour later the oil is still dripping. Why change the oil if not completely drained?
I have since done my own private survey, they all operate on the same principle. That is why they are called QUICK lube.

DATE: Monday December 12, 2005 -- 8:32:34 am
You all are a bunch of pathetic loosers. How hard is it to service your car
yourself. NOT VERY! I've been servicin' cars since i was like 8 years old,
and now at the age of 20 I am a certified mechanic. If you can't get the
job done yourself, you shouln't complain about the job that others do!
It is that simple. !

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday December 12, 2005 -- 8:46:00 am
"You all are a bunch of pathetic loosers."


FROM: bill
DATE: Tuesday December 20, 2005 -- 4:13:06 pm
i took my van into one of them to get a trans.filter change and fluid replaced.bad move.some so called technition,young man about 18 or so,did the job in record time but failed to put all the bolts back in the pan.i sued the piss out of them and got a new trans.and some cash.they really need to have a better training program for their grease monkeys.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday December 21, 2005 -- 1:40:20 pm
If you can't get the job done yourself, you shouln't complain about the job that others do!

Exactly!!! That's why I recommend those books on do-it-yourself internal medicine and surgery. I got my own appendix out just for fun! There wasn't even anything wrong with it.

FROM: bill
DATE: Friday December 23, 2005 -- 1:13:01 pm
if you had any brains,you'd probably just take them out and play with them.that's the do it,or should i say screw it up yourselfer way.

FROM: Josephine sort of
DATE: Friday December 23, 2005 -- 2:29:13 pm
I did my own circumcision, but it sort of turned into a sex-change operation. But, I never wanted a sex change in the first place--just looking to save a buck on my circumcision. Oh well, at least I'm not complaining about someone else's ten thumbs, of course, I have no thumbs after trying to reattach them myself after that accident with the circumcision.

DATE: Sunday April 16, 2006 -- 10:10:12 pm
Hmmm oil filters put on too tight....most filters have right on the filter or the box " when the gasket meets the base plate turn 3/4 of a turn to tighten. All oil drain plugs should be torqued tight (most 11-17 ft lbs).

Welded on drain plug....Do quick lubes have welders in them?
As far as never lubing a gasket.... Man are you lucky and pretty uninformed cause once again most filter boxes will tell you lube the new gasket.

And as far as what started this thread if you cannot get a filter off with the proper tool what makes you think that putting a screw driver through it would help. If the filter was not damaged before that why would you take the chance in putting a hole in the filter, rendering the car useless?

I know this is an old thread but man was this funny!!!

Quick Lube Supervisor!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday April 18, 2006 -- 10:23:55 am

And as far as what started this thread if you cannot get a filter off with the proper tool what makes you think that putting a screw driver [sic] through it would help.

Did you, uh, read the Ping? Really? The proper tool didn't work. I wanted to get the filter off in order to replace it with a new one, which I had. I was changing my oil. The screwdriver gave me leverage that I couldn't get with the tools.

If the filter was not damaged before that why would you take the chance in putting a hole in the filter, rendering the car useless?

Because I was, uh, replacing the filter? You know, SOP for when you're changing oil?

FROM: Richard
DATE: Friday June 9, 2006 -- 2:30:47 pm
The trouble with oil filter places is not the oil change itself. It's the preverbial "upcharges". By the time you leave you have:
- new windshield wiper blades
- new transmission fluid
- new differential fluid
- new antifreeze
- new headlight, taillight, side maker bulbs
- new air filter
- fuel conditioner additive
- transmission conditioner additive
- new alternator belt
- a gallon of windshield washer fluid
- to up brake fluid
etc. etc. etc. etc.

what was your $29.95 oil change now costs you $500.00.

- but you got your cup of coffee free!

FROM: Terri
DATE: Tuesday June 20, 2006 -- 3:08:49 pm
Well, Perhaps you guy need to just count your lucky stars, because females like me gets it rough all the time from shady mechanics.

Name a couple of things that would make your car just cut off at a stop, or just hesitate while trying to crank it, and then finally catches and crank up?

I had just got a $500 tune-up on my 98 Lincoln Towncar at the Ford dealership, and had to go back because the problems I just mentioned started happening after a few days. I went back to Ford and they are charging me an extra $281 because they claim it had nothing to do with the tune-up, but it was the Idle Air Control Valve.

Did I get had or what? That's how it goes with us single females though. If a mechanic sees this, tell me what you think.

FROM: Bill
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 2:38:57 am
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

Regardless of what most people think, (and it’s usually based on speculation or an isolated incident) they shouldn’t make comments without all the facts. That said, I will only critique on what I know to be true.
Yes, it’s true that quick lube businesses sometimes make an occasional blunder. And yes, sometimes their staff can be negligent too. But the ratio of mistakes made from the average quick lube is quite small, (roughly one per every 1,400 vehicles ends up with a service related error large enough to be classified as problematic).
The key is to find a place you can trust, making sure the acting tech. has been there a while. Remember, the guy doing 120 oil changes a day probably has a better niche for it than most anyone else. That’s one of the reasons these facilities become so lucrative. (And here you thought it was because they rip you off.) Think of it this way: the reason McDonald’s is still in business - despite all their shortcomings - is because of the big picture: fast, convenient, inexpensive, and usually, reliable service - exactly what most people want.
And that’s the truth - can you handle it?
As a Master Auto Technician working in quick lubes for more than 15 years, believe me when I tell you, it all comes down to the guy who gets that ten minutes alone with old Betsy.

P.S. BTW PAUL! It seems you like to pick on peoples grammar and punctuation, do yourself a favor and go over some of your own comments - I see you need some help in that area also.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 8:18:16 am
Bill, it was cute that you had a grammatical error in your post script to me. So nice of you!

FROM: lube tech
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 1:09:24 pm
i want to thank everyone for their comments, but quick lubes will
make mistakes like everyone eles, the key is how big of a mistake and how it is repaired and how fast. you can't say ALL quick lubes are bad because you did not visit all of them, I am opening one in three weeks and wish you all could visit my store and I personally guaranty that you would be back. Even you do it yourselfers
PS paul if you find a misprint in my comments, i apolagize.
I guess you are too smart to be an ASE certified thech like myself

FROM: Dale
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 1:32:39 pm
Well, obviously there is going to be a percentage of mistakes made.
There are those Loser shops that try to rip people off! Someone said: I put a scratch in my filter to see if the changed it? Well, if you caught them red handed, report them to consumer affairs in your area, don't just let them continue doing the same thing to others!
Now, As for my oil changing, I am an AMSOIL dealer, I use NOTHING but the best! It has been tested against every brand of oil out there, even these new synthetics... and it always comes out on top! Don't believe me, go to the site: What's so great about it, is you don't have to put up with such frequent changing, for years now, and since I was put through one of thier training classes, I only change my oil...ONCE, every 25,000 miles! I can't hear you all now! "WHAT" your crazy....!
NOT SO...just more educated! Synthetic Oil, is far, far superior to crude oil,
it doesn't break down like crude, it does need to be filtered, just like any oil should. So while all you others out there, that are so far behind the times?
Changing your oil every 3,000 miles and throwing money away, I am getting superior lubricity, better gas milage, way less wear and tear, much better cold start ups in the winter, and hardly ever it hardly ever over heats. If you change your oil, every 3000 miles, that's 8 times in 24,000.
Just figure it out! That's 8 filters, 48 bottles of oil, and 8 trips to the oil change place, not to mention your valuable time doing so. Let's say the average oil change cost is 20. just for this example, most are more. That totals out approximately, 160 dollars, depending on prices, for 8 changes.
I however, have only changed mine ONCE! Amsoil is about 7.00 per quart, and the filter is 5-6 bucks. They have Air Filters that are guaranteed for a lift time, just clean and replace! (imagine what that saves you) so 5.00 x7+6.00= $41.00 the air filter is about 20.00 depending on the car. So, lets say I buy one of those too, My cost is less than 65.00 with tax... While you have spent, at least 160.00, not to mention your time and hassle.
And AMSOIL is made in the USA! I'm not dependant on the crude. You owe it to yourself to check this out! Synthetics LAST MUCH LONGER PERIOd, there are some out there that are made for less milage, say 6,000.
GM now puts synthetic in the Corvette from the factory! Your being lead around blindly people, and wasting money! Sure the oil people want you to change it frequently! MORE MONEY FOR THEM! Dont' believe it!
AMSOIL will guarantee their product. IF you EVER have an Oil Related breakdown, that is anything due to the lubrication factors, they pay for repairs! That doesn't mean they will buy you a new engine if your to stupid to check the oil level in your car! The first time I used it, it was like driving a new car! I don't even have to change it myself, I just found an oil change place, befriended them, and they let me drain my oil at there site, and I just pour the new oil in and change my filter, mine is easy, it's mounted on the front fender wall, right under my hood, it came that way from the factory, I didn't change it! I know others are more difficult, OBVIOUSLY by this man story. Which by the way, you do have to change your filter only, once at about 12,000 Amsoil, has specialty filters that last much longer should you choose those! They require some installation for a bracket to hold them. They actually tested the durability of their oil, and ran it in a semi truck, for: just over 400,000 miles!!! That's not a typo!
FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND~ They then pulled the whole engine apart and examined it! There was not one problem with anything! They actually cleaned the oil, reassembled the engine and put it back in, for another few hundred thousand! I know, don't beleive me, check it out for yourself! They have a video tape of it, and you can see the engine parts for your self! YOUR THROWING YOUR MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN PEOPLE~ If your not using AMSOIL.... If you must, you can use Mobile one, or some other brand, at least that's heading the right direction. The hell with the imported oil, we can make this HERE~ Just like we can make ETHANOL! The oil companies are too powerful, to do the right thing. IT's all about the MIGHTY DOLLAR~ and planned obsolecence, I had a truck that I used nothing but AMSOIL IN? and after about 550, 000 miles? I got tired of it, not because I had any trouble with it, it still ran fine! I just wanted something else to drive....! Man, If your not convince by now, your brain dead! STOP LOSING MONEY~

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 3:56:41 pm
Ryan, I think this is my tow truck drivers Ping.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 4:45:24 pm
Ryan, I think this is my tow truck drivers Ping.

...or your Maury. Your pick.

FROM: Jordan
DATE: Friday July 28, 2006 -- 12:56:15 am
ive worked as a lower technician in a lube shop for the past two years and i do admit sometimes filters are put on a bit tight, but onyl on occasions most of the time i make sure the filter is only placed on hand tight, but u have to consider what happens if we put a filter on hand tight but it is slightly to loose and managaes to leak all the oil, the shop has to pay for the engine, doing 110+ cars a day the odds are it might get put on a bit loose eventually so we are encouraged to place it with a quarter turn with a wrench becausea quarter turn never would cause problems, even on dodge caravans, for those who change oil on aa regular basis know they are the most commonly "double gasketed car in the world", chances are people will not change their own oil usually and have the problem of someone like paul trying to change their own oil and finding it to tight, because most lube shops have pits the lower techs can be standing up and its much easier to use your whole body to twist on a filter someonone laying on their back might find it extremely tight because they can only use thier arms, and plus u have to consider how much stornger ur forearms and wrists would be if u twisted ratchets continusously, on 55 cars a day tht also makes hand tight a lot tighter

FROM: peter
DATE: Saturday July 29, 2006 -- 4:40:42 pm
my brother got his oil changed at a penzoil . the next day we were going out to eat and we heard a big thunk. and watched the oil filtr rolling down the street behind us. luckily he immediately shut the engine down. we called penzoil and the guy said they were closed. we told him we were coming anyway, and he was going to fix it. we got there and the guy new he had to do something. he started putting a new filter on and a police car rolled up and stayed right next to us until he finished. the guy must have called the cops because he thought we might kick his ass. good thing my brother did not have any warrants because i saw the cop running his plates. we just wanted the car fixed. 2 days later i saw the same guy buying cases and cases of the cheapest oil filters at the local parts store. if you go to penzoil you better watch them and see what they are putting on your car.

wfike September 11, 2006, 11:27 pm

The first thing they tell you when you want to open a “quicklube” is that you have to get people to change their oil at 3000 miles to make any money. The second thing is that you have to generate at leat $50.00 dollars worth of work on the car to make money. Not doing these on a regular basis will mean that you are not making the money that the other quicklubes are making! There are humans woking at quicklubes so mistakes will be made! When humans are involved you will also have crooks! Anytime I decide to go to a quick lube I know what type of filter that I have already on so I can check on them. As far as that guy buying filters that were cheap at a parts house, he can order any quality of filter that he wants and you can’t tell the difference! That was probably a sign that he was behind in his payments to the wholesaler cause he can get them cheaper in bulk from his oil supplier delivered. As for the screwdriver through the filter, I have had to do that before on filters that I had put on. Sometimes it is just that they are hot and are stuck or they tighted up themselves due to vibration. Also happens when you wait to long between changes! Ain’t like I could get a pipe wrench on it! I change oil and filter at 5 to 6 thousand miles. Filters are to cheap to not change them while I am under there! Don’t forget to grease all of the fittings and also lube the door hinges. Pour the oil on the crossties in your flower beds to keep them from rotting. PS I decided not to open the quicklube as I did not feel good about what I had to do to “make money”.

Katie January 12, 2007, 1:20 pm

are you people worried about oil changes, or spelling and grammer??? Paul you constantly correct any one who mispells…may I ask what that has to do with the actual oil change? One more question, was the oil changed by an actual quick lube or the dealer just before you bought the car? The dealer may have left the sticker on, but changed the oil. Have a nice day!!!

Paul January 12, 2007, 2:37 pm

Paul you constantly correct any one who mispells…may I ask what that has to do with the actual oil change?

Nothing; it’s just fun.

DAvE February 10, 2007, 4:08 am

This is officially the biggest waste of brain power ever, however little brainpower has gone into this retarted rant it is still a BIG achievement!
Now how about we consider Legalizing Marijuana? mary jane? no ? yes? ok
rant on……………

charles April 10, 2007, 6:01 am

i manage a quik lube, must say that this disagreement could continue forever but see if i can solve most of this mess. half of the countries fast lubes are gonna give you bad service this is because they had to cut there budget because nobody in this country is very worried about vehicle maintenance. so we lose business then we have to do something first comes firing the experience to lower over head. replace them with less knowledgable employees. then cut the training cause you dont have enough employees to work on cars and train at the same time. lots of shops are only there to help. the ones that are, are usually broke because its hard to be nice and make money in this business. some shops though are picking up new methods, including being more knowledgable, following manufacturer specs for services, etc. but after all this if consumers still do not purchase these services then same issue. you can tell just by being greeted at one of these places if you are gonna be taken care of. if all you hear is “hi just an oil change for you today” then you should just leave.”hi my name is jon i’ll be the technician inspecting your vehicle today.” these people will be gathering information to sell you what you need, nothing more. uniforms are neat, shirts tucked in. if you can’t tell by these things what kind of service you are gonna get then its nobody’s fault but your own. stupid people every where not just in this industry. so get use to it. P.s. there are tightening instructions printed on the side of all oil filters. 3/4 to 1 1/2 turns. 1 1/2 turns will be to tight to get off by hand. but is still within specs. heat expands the filter in turn it gets tighter. these are the reasons we have specialized tools.

George April 11, 2007, 9:28 pm

I just had an oil change done at one of these “fast lube” places and I think they intentionally sabotaged my car simply because the idiot who was trying to sell me new wiper blades, engine “de-gummer,” new transmission fluid, and various other things got visibly annoyed when I declined all the add-ons. The next day, I discovered an oil puddle in my garage. I opened the hood and found that the PCV valve was still unplugged (from when the guy was trying to sell me a new one). I also looked closely at my receipt and noticed that the guy had typed “Car leaking oil on arrival” — this is total b.s. and I wish I had caught this when I paid, because no mention of it was made while I was there, and I knew there had been no oil leak because there wasn’t a drop of oil on the garage floor until the day after the oil change.

I brought the car back to the shop and they told me that the unplugged PCV valve wasn’t the problem, but that the oil seemed to be coming from the filter because I had a worn out “filter gasket.” They put a new gasket on and topped off the oil and sent me on my way, assuring me that the problem was now solved. (Of course, this raises the question…why did they write “car leaking oil upon arrival” but then after I return, they fix this issue which should have been done at the time of the oil change? Because the car wasn’t leaking oil when I got there!!!)

To really make it special, the car has continued to leak oil. I’ve had to contact the franchise regional management and may have to go to a mechanic to find out what they did to my car.

Isn’t it an interesting coincidence…not a drop of oil on my garage floor until the day after an oil change from these crooks??

George April 12, 2007, 2:55 am

Well what do ya know… As a follow up to the above, a certified mechanic was nice enough to put my car up on a lift and show me the problem. We watched the oil collect on the drain plug and drip. So the fast lube people lied multiple times…they lied about the problem being an “oil filter gasket,” they lied when they said that they fixed it and the problem was solved, and they lied when they said it was leaking when I brought the car in. Wow…lesson learned. The mechanic said it best: “They probably stripped your oil plug or your drain pan threads and they didn’t want to tell you.”

I’m getting the corporate management involved and going to see if I can get these folks to fix this.

David April 14, 2007, 12:00 am

Wow, what a thread. I own a “Quick Lube place” and agree with some of the other comments on this thread about mistakes that happen at quick lubes. We are human and are trying to run a business. Mistakes will happen, just like anywhere else. I strive on customer satisfaction. If i find a problem, I alert the customer, even allowing them into my pit area. If we can fix it, we do. I do not upsell anything that is not needed, or scamming people. My customers depend on me to alert them if something is wrong, or needs changing. If the car has 100000 miles on it and the transmission fluid is black as oil and smells like a burn hot dog, than I recommend a transmission flush. If the power steering pump is whinning loud when the car comes in I recommend a power steering flush. If the tires are bare on the inside I recommend a rotation. RECOMMEND!!! I show the customer the fluid, tires, etc… and advise a solution. I am not twisting their arm, just advising, letting them know something is not right. That is my job and I have never been accused of selling or performing a service that is not needed. I admit, other quick lubes probably try to upsell services that are not needed, just like any other business. Ever gone to Foot Locker and bought a pair of Nike’s and the saleman tried to sell you some leather conditioner or water-proof spray. It’s a recommendation. If you dont want it, don’t buy it. But dont go and complain to Foot Locker when a week later you walk through a water puddle and stain your leather when you didn’t buy the water proof spray. My advice to people who don’t service their own car is to find a place that feels comfortable to you. Stay in the bay area when the service is being performed. Ask questions about what is going on. If they try to sell you something, ask to see why and have them explain the problem and solution. It’s not rocket science. If you are unsure about a service, there are thousands of sites on the internet where information is abundant about regular service.,,,, etc… I have three full time employee’s who are paid very well and have been with me for 9, 6, and 4 years. If you decide to visit a quick lube and the staff is always changing, heads up. If you ask about a certain service and the staff seems unaware or confused, heads up. Use your commen sense. One last thing for all the upsells, if you continually use one quick lube than you wont need all the upsells all the time. If the car has 100000 miles and has never had anything but the oil changed, then most, if not all dealerships, mechanics, and quick lubes will advise you that you need the works. If you take your car to them from new, than follow the regular maintenence schedule in your owners manual and they should never try to sell you something you dont need.

Paul Davis June 17, 2007, 11:24 am

Went to visit my brother in NC. Truck engine was a bit noisy so I went to the local lube shop and had the oil changed as it was at 3000 miles.

Over the next few weeks the engine slowly began pinging more and more loudly. My wife drives that vehicle to work and I seldom ride in it, so I was shocked yesterday when I heard how noisy it was.

I went to change the oil at once, and lo and behold, the oil filter was a valvoline #31. That filter is for late 80’s AMC vehicles, and isn’t at all the correct filter for a chevy V8 1500 truck from the late 90’s. I’m not sure if the oil pressure was too low or the flow was too low or what

I put on the right filter, added a quart of Lucas to the oil, and the motor went dead silent. Excuse me, but I’m more than a little ticked.

Danny June 24, 2007, 11:30 pm

Hi Paul,
I cannot beleive that dumbass called you dumbass. I have for many years worked self-employeed as a heavy marine mechanic. I have rebilt Detroit deisel engines as large as 16V-71 and 8-92 cubic inches in the bottoms of some of the largest fishing boats and yaghts(including Barbara Mandrell’s “Barbara’s Baby”.)Yes, that is sixteen pistons at 92 cubic inches each. Due to salt water corrosion, I too have used a screw driver to remove oil filters where a filter wrench has crushed the can( a trick my father taught me.) This includes all types of filter wreches made. The screw driver was a last resort but has always come through. Your filter was not my first, nor will it be my last to see, that had a screw driver hole torn through it.Keep up the good work, you were smart enough to find a solution to your problem. Most non-mechanical types would have given up long before you did.I would work by your side any day.

Debbie September 14, 2007, 4:23 pm

I say stick to blooging about something you know or educate yourself on oil change procedures!

p.s. you said NOTHING about using a FILTER WRENCH, in fact everything but.

Paul September 14, 2007, 7:19 pm

Dear Debbie,

I say learn how to spell and consider shutting the heck up since I know what I’m doing with this stuff.

Maybe you should do that in the other order, though. Just a thought.

– Paul

ps: I didn’t say FILTER WRENCH because I FORGOT so YEAH whoop ti DO.

Brent December 24, 2007, 4:54 pm

At the bottom, or base of an oil filter there is what is called the base plate. If you put your band wrench on this area instead of the middle of the filter you would not crush it and can put a lot of force on a band wrench. Also not all band wrenches are created equal, cheap band wrench and you will have problems.

I got a call once from a guy that can’t get the oil filter off. He has been “working” at this filter for hours. I drive to his house, walk up, slap my band wrench on it at the base, take the filter off, and hand him the old filter. I was there for about a minute. His filter looked worse than the one in the picture.

What I don’t understand is, you are trying to get this filter off and can’t, so you decide it is a good idea to poke a hole in the filter. Now, if you don’t get the filter off your vehicle has to be towed. Sounds like a good decisions to me. Wait, it is the Quick lube’s fault that you don’t know where to put a band wrecnh on an oil filter!!!!

Paul December 24, 2007, 10:57 pm


Do shut up.

Happy holidays!

Katharine Swan February 8, 2008, 9:46 pm

I ran across your blog while researching material I was writing for a client. I have to agree with you completely about not liking quick lube places, and I actually find it rather disturbing that some people get so heated about defending them. This isn’t like a debate about abortion or anything, so what gives?

Anyway, I am a do-it-yourselfer and have a decent amount of behind-the-scenes experience with the auto industry. I’m not judging quick lube places off of one experience, but from what I’ve seen and heard during the period of time I worked for the industry. Here’s what I know — everyone can take it or leave it as they wish.

1) I have known several guys who worked in these places. One of them didn’t know the first thing about cars, and the others actually had to *draw him a diagram* indicating which direction to turn the oil drain plug to loosen or tighten it. Knowing that quick lube places will give guys like this a job, is this really the kind of place you want doing your oil changes?

2) Same guy as above got fired for forgetting to put oil in a car’s engine. He was working above the pit that day, so lubing the car and refilling the oil were literally the only things he had to do. Some poor kid ended up with a fried engine in his brand-new car.

3) I worked in an auto parts store for quite a while, and I can’t tell you how many times people came in with quick lube horror stories. The most common was that the quick lube place had stripped out the oil drain plug and didn’t tell the customer. Sometimes they “fixed” the problem with one of those little wax gaskets, and other times they didn’t do anything and the customer found out because they suddenly developed a new leak. Either way, it was usually too late to get the quick lube to pay for the damages by the time the customer found out. These folks were always coming in to get new oil drain plugs, gaskets, and taps to fix the damage to the threads in the oil pan.

Personally, I’d rather spend the minimal amount of time it takes to change my own oil and *know* it’s done right.

john March 8, 2008, 7:42 pm

You guys blame quicklube for mess-ups… its the people who drive the car that is actually messed up..

1) people come in to get their oil change… they don’t follow up on recommended services…and then whine like a kid when poop starts flying through the roof

2) they don’t want to pay for a crush-washer for drain plugs… causing leaks…

3) and the oil filter thing… you guys are a bunch of pansies if you cant take it off your self.. there is a tool to take off a filter on every certain car

4) you try changing the oil yourself..don’t have a clue what your doing… the oil gets drained out.. your scared as crap to get oil on yourself or on your fance driveway …so you hurry up and stick the plug in and you strip the drain plug
THEN HERE COMES THE BIGGIE… you take it to a quicklube to get an oil change ..and 5 minutes later all of a sudden you know exactly where it leaking oil from.. then you blame it on the techs that messed your car up…and how upset and dissatisfied you are…so you can get your free fooking oil change…

Paul March 8, 2008, 9:22 pm

I like how people don’t even bother reading the Pings anymore, and just comment. Ignorance on parade.

Ryan, we should try just posting random comments on your Pingless Ping.

Aaron April 14, 2008, 10:52 pm

I am the Manager of Jiffy lube in Ohio you must try it. I am giving away free oil changes to ANYONE until the end of the year. The only catch is you have to call me personally to set up a time so I can meet and talk with your experiences. I am looking forward to making some long term customers. Please call me at 1-937-397-7503. My Name is Aaron Boren and just tell me your name and vehicle. Limited Time ONLY Thank you.

that guy May 5, 2008, 5:07 am

i work at a quick lube (shell rapid lube) and i will say that the employees there will do what is right… but i just wanna say never work at a quick lube!!! NEVER! it sucks and i think of suicide everyday. but i am sry to hear bout that shity deal with the filter. i work with a guy that woulda taken that bitch off for no charge as long as you just came back to get your oil changed there. not saying you actually would but it’d be the right thing to do.

Jamaal May 24, 2008, 8:25 pm

Same situation, honda CRV and oil filter was put on by the strongest bionic hand/machine in the world. Broke my adapter on it that I use with my torque wrench. Will take it to dealer where last got oil change and demand they do it all plus for free!

Van September 30, 2008, 1:44 pm

I took the time to read some of the comments on this ping and I must say it is chalk full of everything, from good to bad to crazy.
What you all fail to see is that an oil change needs to be done every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Not 4,000 miles or 6,000 miles or 10,000 miles and on and on. 3,000 miles is the amount of time it takes the additives in the oil to break down due to heat and pressure. Broken down additives are like glue they stick your valves open and closed and gum up the crank bearings and the most noticable thing for the weekend tech. is it seals your filter to the engine block. Weather you like Quick lubes or not is not relivent your car won’t care either way. Only you can decide when your oil will be changed.
Oh ya, engine oil monitors in cars are just a calculator. It is a scam to bring down the maintainance cost on a new vehicle. By the time you will see any adverse effects from the 7,500 mile oil change or more your car will be out of warranty.

hans March 26, 2009, 6:53 pm

am am an ase certified master technician and things people r saying in here are absurd. First off, not putting an air filter in will not, i repeat will not destroy an engine unless you go off roading or drive 5000-10000 miles with out it. NEVER, i repeat NEVER use a screwdriver to loosen an oil filter!!!! and last but not least a fiter will not “weld” to an engine block rubber does not weld. the lowest drain plug torque reccomended on any vehicle is 20 ft lb. not 11 as someone said. 11 and you have a blown engine due to plug falling out

Naniniiine Caddy Eldorado April 4, 2009, 7:17 pm

i agree with hans…it’s so funny how everybody went into their own personal stories and i mean STORIES instead of stoning this idiot for trying to remove an oil filter with a screwdriver….bwaaaahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

Paul April 5, 2009, 3:42 am

So, anonymous internet troll, you’re actually advocating that I be stoned – STONED – for trying to remove a too-tight oil filter?

Ross May 1, 2009, 11:37 pm

I’ve been a licensed tech for close to thirty years and the truth is, it all comes right down to the guy doing the oil change, whether it’s at a Jiffy Lube or at a dealership. The low guys on the pole typically do the oil changes. Some care, some don’t. As far as the mangled filter goes, I have had a few over the years that looked like that when I got them off and I am an EXPERIENCED tech. NEVER use a filter wrench to install an oil filter!!! When they are seized tight, there is no magic tool! When the filter wrench mangles the tight filter, a screw driver driven through the filter may help to unscew it. General motors back in the early eighties used to install the filters dry and then paint the motors, filter and all. I remember at the GM dealership where I started, the techs using an air chisel to turn/remove the filter base off the engine block(They were that tight). They had already ripped off the tin housing.

Maria Lofgren August 22, 2009, 4:53 pm

My husband and I own a Quick Lube, My husband is a Director at a local dealership and I run our Quick lube.

In our waiting room we have a huge window that customers can veiw their vehicle while the oil change is being done. The techs we have are cert. and every oil change receives a free 25 pt. inspection, vacuum, and windshield cleaned. At the end, we walk customer to their vehicle and have the hood opened, and, then we pull the oil dipstick to show customer oil level and how clean the oil is. They love it. In life there is no business that can’t be slammed. It’s how you run your business!

Jon October 7, 2009, 11:44 pm

In response to Paul Davis on 6/17…

“Over the next few weeks the engine slowly began pinging more and more loudly. My wife drives that vehicle to work and I seldom ride in it, so I was shocked yesterday when I heard how noisy it was.
I went to change the oil at once, and lo and behold, the oil filter was a valvoline #31. That filter is for late 80’s AMC vehicles, and isn’t at all the correct filter for a chevy V8 1500 truck from the late 90’s. I’m not sure if the oil pressure was too low or the flow was too low or what I put on the right filter, added a quart of Lucas to the oil, and the motor went dead silent. Excuse me, but I’m more than a little ticked.”

I am a Service Center Manager for a quick lube that carries Valvoline products. The Valvoline “VO31” filter that you mentioned is one of the most common apps still used on new vehicles. I am assuming that the “correct filter” that you mentioned was a VO58. According to Valvoline’s own filter hotline (a service provided to all shops carrying their products) The VO31 and VO58 are inter-changeable. The only difference you should experience in using the 31 in place of the 58 is a very subtle drop in oil pressure, hardly enough to cause a knock. More than likely it was the Lucas treatment that quieted your engine, not the new filter.

jasoninhell November 6, 2009, 1:24 am

“From: hans
Date: 03.26.2009 14:53

am am an ase certified master technician and things people r saying in here are absurd. First off, not putting an air filter in will not, i repeat will not destroy an engine unless you go off roading or drive 5000-10000 miles with out it. NEVER, i repeat NEVER use a screwdriver to loosen an oil filter!!!! and last but not least a fiter will not “weld” to an engine block rubber does not weld. the lowest drain plug torque reccomended on any vehicle is 20 ft lb. not 11 as someone said. 11 and you have a blown engine due to plug falling out ”

I work for a wallyworld TLE and as of tourqe some fords, tq specs are 10 go figure. and true sh*t happens mistakes are made its not the quick lubes its who is doing the work mainly they don’t give a crap because of the low pay, and i have done alot of oilchanges in my life and i have used a screwdriver a few times just got to make sure you punch threw both sides b4 turning it lol

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