Dealer Problems with oil Changes

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Bobk, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    I've been driving since 1979, and have always done my own oil changes from day one.
    In the early 90's I won a "free Jiffy Lube oil change" as part of a raffle. I took my car down to the local JL and the first thing I noticed was a kid starting the drain screw into some poor sap's oil pan with an air ratchet... not starting the threads by hand, then using an air ratchet to run it up and tighten it... he started the thread with an air tool! What do you think his guy's oil pan looked like after a few oil changes like that?
    That was the first and last time I ever had someone else change my oil. From what I've read on several related threads here, it doesn't seem like it's much better nowadays.
     
  2. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    The dealership did all the maintenance (including oil changes) on my 2010 from 0 to 106k miles without an issue.

    All the Drama Llamas need to chillax.

    I work for a Fleet Leasing company and one of the products we provide is maintenance management. One of my advisors recently started besmirching a well-known quick lube place for their propensity to screw up. I told him we should put some numbers on that statement and see if it holds water.

    We have approximately 180,000 vehicles for which we manage maintenance. The average frequency of oil changes for these vehicles is about 6 times per year (some more, some less). That gives us 1.08 MILLION oil changes per year. Let's now say this particular nationwide chain handles 10% of those oil changes. That means they do 108,000 oil changes a year for us. Worst-case scenario, we might have 500 engines damaged by them annually, which sounds like a lot (and I believe is actually high). However, that comes out to an 0.0046% error rate -- pretty damn good, in my book.

    So, while 500 engines a year may be damaged, given the sheer volume of work they do, they're nowhere near as bad as we think they are.
     
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    You must be in sales -- arithmetic is not your strong suit.

    500/108,000 = 0.46% --- about 1/200
    How much does the engine foul-up cost in time and money ? If $2000 then your use of the quicky-lube is costing *someone* an extra $10 a service. That sounds like an extra 30-50% surcharge you have been happy to ignore.
     
    #23 SageBrush, Oct 8, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
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  4. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    My car.....NO DEFECT is acceptable.
     
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  5. Nora

    Nora Member

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    Gotta say it, Chris, your data makes it look pretty bad, once the decimal point is in the right place. If a shop is damaging engines at a rate of 1 in 200 (from simply changing the oil!), there's no way I'm going there.
     
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  6. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    If you live near San Francisco, you can take your prius to Luscious Garage. They let me talk with the mechanic as he or she works on my car. They're great to work with.
     
  7. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    Again, as I said, the numbers I was quoting were off the top of my head - they may be different.

    My point is, they're not as bad as they're made out to be.

    And, they're not damaging one in 200 engines, they're damaging one every 200 oil changes.

    Until you've found a way to completely remove the human element from the equation, there will be mistakes made.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    My take on quick lube places is they are under the gun to upsell unnecessary, and/or nonsensical services.

    That said, there's one about 300 yards down a trail from us, and they're very nice about taking my DIY used oil, filters and bottles.

    I believe it's mandated, but hey...
     
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  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    That is my experience also, but I politely ask if they are willing to take the oil, do the work myself, and thank them very kindly. I also try to pick hours that I know they are not busy.
     
  10. Sierra Mark

    Sierra Mark Junior Member

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    I've had outstanding service from my local Toyota dealer who has done everything from replacing my rear axle after an accident to replacing a defective dash display to a free check of the electrical system after I replaced a dead battery. But, I do my own oil changes because I don't want the least experienced guy in the garage working on my car. The dealer has a sign that reads "We'll change your oil in 30 minutes guaranteed". When the work piles up, do you think they do a proper job?
     
  11. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    Anyone think this is another made-up or incomplete story by someone who has not responded since his original post? I find it hard to believe. I have had very positive experiences over my many years of car ownership with dealers and independent shops taking responsibility for their mistakes. If the OP has truly had all his oil changes performed by the same dealer and he is the original owner on a 2010 car, the two Toyota dealers I use locally would replace the oil pan, plug and filter housing if needed without a squawk. On the other hand, if the dealer has not done all the oil changes, there is no reason it should take responsibility.
     
  12. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    We bought our 2011 Prius in March of 2012. I have never paid to have the oil changed in one of my vehicles but with the Toyota Care deal (free maintenance for the first two oil changes) I decided to let them do it--there's actually a Toyota dealer within walking distance of my workplace, so it was very convenient.

    This morning I put the car on jack stands to do my first oil and filter change on the car.

    First problem: The filter housing was very tight. As in "tighter than the lug nut torque". I had to get my 1/2" drive breaker bar wrench out to loosen it. The operation resulted in a little surface damage to the housing--I might buy a new one for the next change.

    Second problem: Same deal with the drain plug. I found a thick walled 14 mm deep socket to break it loose.

    Ultimate problem: There was no filter element in the housing. None.

    Your advice above can work with cars that have spin-on filters but there's no way to tell what's inside the housing.

    Pretty sad. I'll notify the dealership service manager, owner and Toyota but I can't see what they'll do other than apologize.
     
    #32 css28, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Offer you a courtesy service.

    Lucky you
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    No. Considering they omitted your filter, they should lose their Toyo accreditation. Or at the least: you should get to drive over the service manager's foot.
     
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  15. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    The rep from the dealership group just called me.
    She offered to have them install a new filter if I brought the car in next week.

    Given that the car really doesn't need a filter change 2 days after the fact she's arranged for me to pick up a new oil filter from the service manager.

    When I raised the prospect of them maybe extending the power train warranty she said "no".

    So my advice is to take your car somewhere other than Prestige Toyota in Warren Michigan, even for Toyota Care.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    You should contact corporate toyota on this. The thought of driving around for who knows how long, at LEAST since your last oil change, without an OIL FILTER, gets me steamed, and it's not even my car, lol.

    This should be "on record" for your car, at the very least. See if you can get some documentation from the dealership, signed by the service manager, plain English, jargon free, with the date and mileage of last oil change, and CLEAR acknowledgement that they handed the car back to you sans filter. Lawyer ammo.

    To state the obvious: offer of a free oil filter install is incredibly dismissive, sums up their attitude. I still think you should get to drive over the service manager's foot.
     
    #36 Mendel Leisk, Oct 14, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
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  17. lester williams

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    I emphatically agree with Mendel, and like his attitude towards the Goober.....sorry dealership, right there.
     
  18. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Goober?

    I thought Gomer worked at Wally's Service Station.
     
  19. danvee

    danvee Blizzard Brigadier

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    They both did...
     
  20. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    I will follow up with Toyota this evening (left the case no. at home) to indicate my dissatisfaction.

    There's no way the service manager will sign anything of the sort, as it's basically my word against theirs. The absence of the filter element, while obvious to me when I opened things up is impossible to prove.
     
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