Just an Oil Change? Who Does That?
You have heard me say it before. I believe in doing what is good for the car, the client, and my company. So, when I am faced with the request of “can you squeeze me in for an oil change,” I will not say no. I will, however, take an opportunity to teach you why this is not good for you, me, or your car.
About 2 years ago, I stopped doing oil changes and started performing oil services—at a minimum. It isn’t because I do not want to do an oil change, or I want to charge more money. It is actually far from that. Your car is not designed to just have the oil changed—especially with the change to Synthetic Blend Engine Oil, Full Synthetic Engine Oil and Detergent Engine Oil. Service intervals are changing.
Unless your car is still using Conventional Engine Oil, you are not coming in to see me every 3 months or 3,000 miles like you used to. While I miss you terribly, that is okay. The new minimum is every 5 or 6 months or every 5,000 miles—but we are going to dig a little bit deeper. Have you every opened your glove box and read your owner’s manual? The material is not exactly captivating, but it is informative—especially if you want to get the most out of the life of your car. In it, you will find what services get performed and when. These services are broken down by time, mileage, and in some cases by indicator. I mention this to you because it is the system I use to determine what service I will recommend when you come in to see me for your “Oil Change.” I have your car’s entire owner’s manual in my computer database, including Technical Service Bulletins and Safety Recalls.
Nowhere in your owner’s manual will it ever tell you to only do an Oil Change. That, my Automotive Family, is why I stopped doing them. Now, let’s talk about some of the chain stores that specialize in Quick Lubes. I have heard, both in my shop and on shop owner forums that clients can get Oil Changes done cheaper. Here is what you are actually getting: your Engine Oil Filter replaced, your Engine Oil replaced, Fluids topped off, and in some cases your carpets vacuumed and your windows cleaned. I am a mom and I love having clean carpets and windows that I can see out of (please forgive me my child, your hand drawings on my windows are great, but mommy needs to see). Those added “benefits” do not add life to your car. They do not let you know what may be needed soon so that you can prepare your budget for upcoming car expenses.
Let’s look at price versus time too while we are at it. The Oil Change shop Near Me may charge, let’s say $19.99 (with a coupon NOTED MOST CARS to get you in the door) to $55 for a quick 20 minute service. Let’s average that: $37.50. That works out to an hourly cost of $112.50.
Here is what you get from me when I perform an Oil Service (at a minimum) or a Factory Scheduled Maintenance Service: a 2-mile pre service Test Drive, Battery Test, Fluid Sample Comparison, Digital Vehicle Inspection that covers 30 or more points on your car with pictures sent to you with a full health report, the Engine Oil Filter replaced, the Engine Oil replaced, Maintenance Reminder Light reset, Tire Pressure adjusted, and a 2-mile post service Test Drive. You receive a full estimate of items that require immediate attention and items that will need attention soon so you can stay on top of the health of your car.
I take longer—about 45 minutes. I cost more. In fact, my service starts at $55 to $110 (without a coupon). Let’s average that: $82.50. That works out to an hourly cost of $110.00. It looks like I am not more expensive than the cheap guy down the road with the coupon after all—and you get more for your money that is…
GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR CAR!
I can make you these solemn promises. I will never be the least expensive shop. I will always have your best interests in mind when I custom build a maintenance package, recommend a service or a repair for your car. I want to be your partner in the life and health of your car. I want to be your Automotive Home. Come in as a new client. Leave as a new friend. Return as Automotive Family.