What national chain do you trust for oil change?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by 2003prius, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. 2003prius

    2003prius New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    6
    0
    0
    Location:
    MI
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    So, my "extended" warranty expired, hence, no more "free" oil changes.

    Ever since I bought my Prius in 2003, I've always went to the dealership for the oil changes.

    Are any of these national chains trustworthy, if so who?

    Thanks!
     
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,423
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    No chain is trustworthy. Individual stores within a chain may be trustworthy, the trick is finding out which ones. BBB, for all it's faults, is a reasonable place to start checking as well as any local/regional online consumer organizations.

    Some chains have earned a distinctive record as being untrustworthy. For one of their outlets to be trustworthy would be an uphill swim for them.
     
  3. Troyroy

    Troyroy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    373
    30
    0
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Using a chain oil change service is really a crap shoot......if you love your car.....and you have been happy with your dealer......stay with him.

    With the chain service, you don't know where the guy was working the day before,,,like McDonalds, Berger King. If you don't want to stay with the dealer, look at a tire service national dealer.

    My own opinion......since I'm overly happy with my dealer.....I'm sticking with him.
     
  4. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,423
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    A couple of those have reputation for doing a hard sell on parts and services you don't need.
     
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    7,512
    1,168
    0
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    No one working on your car will care as much about it as you do.
     
  6. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    354
    41
    3
    Location:
    Santa Monica, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    You might try the mechanix files on the Cartalk.com website. If you can find a good local mechanic, have them do the service or just stick with the dealer, it's probably more expensive but should be reliable.
     
  7. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    3,326
    1,489
    38
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Ask other Prius owners where you live. It is possible that a non-dealer in your area has a good reputation for Prius service. A Toyota independent mechanic or hybrid specialty shop would be the best bet. Don't use a national chain unless a particular store comes recommended by other owners.
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    2,287
    458
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Bought tires for another car from Tire Rack and sent to and had them installed at VIP.

    VIP: Do you want the alignment checked?
    Me: No, it's OK.
    VIP: It's free.
    Me: Oh, OK. Check it and give me the results
    ... a few minutes later ...
    VIP: If we check it and it's out of alignment we'll correct it because most of the work is getting it on the machine to do the check.
    Me: No thanks.

    (Foolishly, I didn't check the tires and found out later they'd left two valve caps off.)
     
  9. GWhizzer

    GWhizzer not so Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    120
    24
    0
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    This is a real dilemma. For my first oil change I used a chain and they took off my skidplate (didn't know about the access panel) and overfilled slightly (I had to remove some). BUT, I actually saw the oil they put in and it was the recommended 0w20

    Not quite happy, the next two times, I went to the dealership where I purchased the vehicle. BOTH TIMES they put the wrong oil in the car. First time 5w30 despite the fact that I specified 0w20. Next time my wife took it in, didn't specify (assumed they would know) and they put in 5w20. Took it back both times and got them to change it, but did they really?

    I think I will go back to the chain next time and I will supply the oil. At least there I can prevent them from removing the skid-plate, I can tell them to stop after 4 litres and top up myself to prevent overfill, and I can actually see what they are putting in.
     
  10. 13Plug

    13Plug Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    581
    103
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Personally I'd say stick with the dealer if you haven't had any problems. Or learn to do the oil change yourself. I don't trust quick lube places at all. I don't trust the dealer much but at least they have a lot more Prius experience than anyone else :)
     
  11. oldasdust

    oldasdust Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    356
    46
    0
    Location:
    illinois
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    No chain here it's me or the dealership.
     
  12. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    641
    143
    2
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't trust any shop to do it correctly. Every single darned one will overfill the oil in a Prius. Even the dealers do it. I even took my 2008 to a Toyota dealer one time because I just didn't feel like doing the change myself and explicitly told them not to overfill it. Guess what? They overfilled it anyway.

    Also I can tell you without a doubt that when you take a car to the dealership and they have this huge checklist of things they are supposed to check, they don't do it. The problem is, to check everything correctly would take an hour or more. But most dealers promise it to be done in 30 minutes or less. I've watched any number of technicians and they will just fill in random information on that sheet. For example, the tire-pressure is just a random guess. They don't have time to check each tire and write the information down. Or if they do, then that means there is something else they didn't do. It is sort of a crap-shoot depending on which technician you get as to which checks they feel like doing and which ones they will skip.

    They certainly don't have time to fill the oil correctly. That would mean adding less than the required amount of oil, letting the car sit for a while, start the engine, shut it off, check the oil level, add more oil as needed, repeat until accurate.

    Truth be told, what I discovered is that if I have the oil and filter already at home, I can actually change the oil and do it correctly and will spend less time doing it than it would take to drive up to the dealer and wait for them to do it. So I just keep a supply handy, or pick up the stuff at Wal-Mart when I'm grocery shopping.
     
  13. khp

    khp Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    74
    44
    0
    Location:
    SW Washington
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    II
    As far as any of the national oil change chains. No way! Do you really want someone who when they are not servicing a vehicle they are all out standing in front of the store waving their " I will change oil for food signs" working on your expensive car?

    Independent service shops.....depends on the shop. Many are no better than the national chains.

    If you can't service your own vehicle bring it to the dealership and check their work. If they screw up you have a better chance to have them repair the damage without causing more damage.
     
  14. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,423
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Assuming you are using a good synthetic, it's probably not coming out of a bulk tank.

    If your car takes a fractional number of quarts or liters, have them fill it to the whole liter or quart level and give you the last container to finish the job yourself at home. That serves the purpose of avoiding an overfill and showing you what oil they actually used. It also tells you whether or not they can/will follow simple instructions.

    That won't protect you against a blatantly dishonest shop but it will prevent or expose a lot of simple incompetent and/or don't give damn service.
     
  15. GeekEV

    GeekEV Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    417
    14
    0
    Location:
    NorCal, USA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I've always used JiffyLube and they've never done me wrong (that I know of)...
     
Loading...