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08 March 2009 @ 02:44 pm
To lazy to do it myself  
I need an oil chance and a new oil filter. My dealers are both far away, slow and very expensive. Does anyone have a recomendation for one of those quick oil change places around here? Also about what should I expect for a price? And I'm right that not getting an oil change at the dealer doesn't matter for the warrenty, right?

I feel clueless.
mathhobbitmathhobbit on March 8th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
I get my oil changed at Aris Auto at the intersection of Craigie and Somerville. They look sketchy, but they've always done well by me. Eight years ago their standing with the Better Business Bureau was something like "mostly OK but there have been a few complaints". I think I checked and the warranty is fine with having them change my oil, but I don't remember exactly.

(In case you've heard the same horror stories I have, you might want to check the Better Business Bureau rating of a place before you take your car there. I found that doing that greatly reduced my stress levels.)
mathhobbitmathhobbit on March 8th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
And I forget what the price is.
A Sage With a Slight Flaw in Her Charactereccentrific on March 8th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Avoid the *really* quick oil change places like Jiffy Lube. They use a vacuum to suck the oil out the top rather than opening the drain pan and letting it drain out the bottom. This means that they don't get all the sludge that's built up in the bottom, and this can cause problems (like your engine seizing up).

Aside from that, almost any place should be fine for an oil change and it shouldn't have any effect on your warranty.
Daniel Eisenbudeisenbud on March 8th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I go to Jiffy Lube once in a while when I'm in a hurry, but I had a bad experience with them in Boston where they couldn't fit a new oil filter of the right size on the threads, so they used another one, and told me it should be OK (I didn't believe them, but I needed an oil filter of some kind there.) The car leaked half a quart of oil sitting in my driveway over a day or two. I went to a real mechanic and got the proper size oil filter, which fit just fine for them, and went back to Jiffy Lube to get my money back, which at least they readily gave me. All the other times have been OK (maybe modulo the vacuum issue, which I wasn't aware of) but not really highly recommended.
Daniel Eisenbudeisenbud on March 8th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
And getting your oil changed not at the dealer definitely doesn't void the warranty. You can get a much better deal for probably better service at a local mechanic, and then you'll already have a relationship with them for when your warranty expires and you don't want to pay dealer service prices.
katybeth on March 8th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
I have always used an oil-change place. I figure it's worth it to me not to have the hassle of figuring out how to do it myself and the figuring out where to dispose of the used oil. My favorite around here is Grease Monkey. They've generally been quick and knowledgeable, and they do a few extra things like checking my tire pressure and doing a quick vacuum while they're at it. They are a chain, but I don't know how much the locations vary in quality. I expect to pay about $30 for a basic oil change. Some places have AAA or other discounts.

If it's a good place, they will also check/change other fluids and filters and offer some additional services on top of the basic oil change. Some of these are good things that the dealer would also recommend; some of them are going to be snake oil for them to get more money out of you; some are just a convenience surcharge, like replacing your windshield wipers for 2-3 times what you could buy replacements for. You'll probably either want to turn them down on any of the extra stuff, or know enough about your car to know what's actually needed and what's fluff.
Binkbinkbink on March 8th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
Good ones here
Pep Boys and Sears are trustworthy in this area. I don't know about there.
I like my Saturn dealer and Ford dealer here, but you don't like your Saturn service manager. If you beg and are willing to wait for parts, most dealers will do it, or get your filter online and take it with you.
Perhaps it is time to do a walkin at some local service station and find someone you can talk to happily, rather than trying to find the best brand name. Watching them work is probably more important than who does it. The brand of oil they use (get a name you recognise) might be important too.

Keep your receipts and take them to the dealer when you go for your checkup or safety service so they can enter it in your records and you won't have a warranty problem. I think there is a law now, that they can't force an oil change on you to keep the warranty in force.

If you are paranoid, you might want to take a small jar with you (baby food size) and ask the oil change guy to catch the last dribbles in it before he replaces your plug. You can test it for engine wear with a magnet, sniff it for evidence of gasoline leaking in (bad rings, leaking carburetor membrane), examine it for grey goo (coolant leaking in), evaluate it for colour and clarity (indicating whether you changed it too soon or too late), and keep it as evidence of your engine's condition if challenged later by your dealer.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 9th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
I don't crap about cars. Taking my car to a jiffy lube nearly destroyed it: I didn't know that manual transmissions don't get their oil changed, so when they offered to change that in addition to the engine oil, they drained the transmission oil but then didn't refill it.

My impression is that any shop should be fine for an oil change, but see opening sentence. :)
(Anonymous) on March 11th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Dunno about Boston, but here on the left coast, I found a local mechanic through Yelp. He seems to have done an OK job, and he was 'way cheaper than the dealer. And nearby, which the dealership isn't.