View Full Version : My first attempt at a pit rant. Subject: JiffyLube

01-13-2001, 11:05 PM
This coincides with my finally having gotten around to writing a slightly more civil complaint letter to JiffyLube.
Christmas weekend, I'm rushing around to prepare for the trip to the in-laws.
Washed and waxed car. Check.
Cards. Check
Gifts. Check.
4000 miles since last oil change? Shit.
It's a two-three hour drive, and I'd rather the car be doing it on fresh oil (since I'm trying to stick to the dealer maintenance schedule), so I pull into a local garage I frequent.
And pull right out again, 'pears they close at 6.
I sigh, and pull into the place I had sworn off of after the first time I got charged for a vaccuuming they didn't do, and an air filter they claimed they couldn't replace (but were somehow able to inspect and say needed to be changed?).

JiffyLube service attendant guides me up to the bay entrance, then starts explaining what they are going to do.
"Alright, we're going to start by checking your wipers, cleaning your windows, vaccuuming your interior..."
"Um. Could we skip that? I just had the car cleaned, it'd only get smudged."
"But it's part of our premium service[or whatever] package!"
"Um. Actually, all I want is an oil change. My wipers are brand new, so is my air filter."
"We don't just do oil changes anymore, the best I can do is put a note in here for the service personnel not to do anything more then the oil change."
"But you're still going to charge me for it?"
"Well, it's the only package we offer..."

One grumbling customer flips through a Washington Times article gushing over the new Fratboy-Elect, and waits for his bill.
Sure enough. 30 dollars for just an oil change, with quite a few other fields, each adding their little surcharge with the additional note "DECLINED".

So this, (and the letter to them) is a big screw you to either that one JiffyLube location, or the chain in general for engaging in literal and larcenous highway robbery.
I have no idea how they stay in business, but I can only assume it is through overcharging the gullible.

01-13-2001, 11:24 PM
I was just in a similar situation. I just cleaned my Jeep, vacuumed the carpets, cleaned the windows, etc. and was heading out of town for a couple of days. I was about 3300 miles since the last change, so I figured it might be a good idea to get the oil changed. Since I only had about an hour until I'd planned to leave, I also chose Jiffy Lube. I've learned through my experience that the people who work at Jiffy Lube aren't rocket scientists, so I usually open my hood for them, since it could be a little tricky for a garden slug.

After about 20 minutes, they finish changing my oil, and checking this and that and the other thing, and then comes the sales pitch. "We don't have any record of us overcharging you for all this routine maintenance that the car dealer will do for free, and we recommend that you have this all done soon. We'll give you $20 bucks off if you spend $200 on all this stuff you can get done for free." I laughed at them. Then they had the balls to tell me that I should replace my K&N air filter, which is guaranteed by the manufacturer for 1,000,000 miles. I've had it for about 8,000 miles, so I figure it should last a couple more, at the least. Like I said, they don't work at Jiffy Lube after graduating from MIT with their Mechanical Engineering degrees.

If anyone out there wants to make a lot of money, open a chain of oil change places, and *gasp* offer to only change oil. You can offer additional services, if the client wants them, but don't include all this crap in the basic oil change. I guess I'll just have to plan ahead a little better next time, and do it myself.

01-14-2001, 05:20 AM
I used to get my oil changed at Jiffy Lube. Then one time while he was explaining the bill, the guy said "... and we checked your power steering fluid, it was fine."

I don't have power steering.

Now it seems they're pushing Slick 50, which in my understanding is a worthless sludge. And I can get my oil changed for $10 less by a real mechanic a block away.

01-14-2001, 10:41 AM
I work in a new car dealership. It never stops amazing me that people with new cars take them to Jiffy Lube and places like them. We give them their first oil change free when they buy a new car. They usually come in for their first oil change and then we never see them again, unless they have a warranty problem. They are so ignorant. They would rather go to Jiffy Lube and pay $30.00 for an oil change with an inferior oil filter just because they don't need an appointment. If they came back to the dealership to have their oil changed, they would get the following:
1. Oil drained and refilled to correct level with correct oil.
2. New oil filter. (Genuine part)
3. Chassis lubed if necessary.
4. All fluid levels checked and topped off if necessary.
5. Tires all checked (including spare) for nails and correct pressure.
6. Air filter checked.
7. Brakes checked upon request.
8. Windows cleaned inside and outside.
9. Entire interior of vehicle vacuumed.

All for ONLY $16.95! And on top of that, we don't try to sell a bunch of crap they don't need or want. If we find anything that needs attention, we note it on the Repair Order for their information. They are free to have it repaired wherever they want. If they ask for an estimate, we will gladly give them one. Free.

Just because you pay $30.00 for an oil change doesn't mean you are getting better service.

And all of the above services apply equally to older cars as well.

The only major drawback to coming into the dealership is that you have to make an appointment. Big Deal.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Where I live, you don't even have to pay sales tax. :D

01-14-2001, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by cheezit
The only major drawback to coming into the dealership is that you have to make an appointment. Big Deal.

Or you can't get it done on Saturday or Sunday.

Or it has to be before 7:00 p.m.

Or that I have to get there before 8 a.m.

Or that I have to drive 20 miles to get there.

Or that I have to take off work to get my oil changed.

Valvoline is as bad as JiffyLube. One guy spent ten minutes telling me why I should let them drain and refill my transmission, then when I went there to have them do it when the schedule said to have it done, they said they didn't have the tools to do it.

The only reason I have it done at either place is that the filter is a huge pain in the posterior to get to and I'll make the rat bastards do the work. I've got oil and filters (oil and air) at home, but the last time I changed the oil, it involved two days, drill bits, hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, more wrenches than I have, and at least two other vehicles.

Dratted american car.

Eo Echo
01-14-2001, 11:12 AM
Hear hear cheezit! I work for a dealership as well, and I'd be going there for maintenance service even if I didn't. I've seen people go to Jiffy Lube only to have the alleged technician forget to replace the oil! They just drained it, changed the filter, and let the customer go. It's a good thing that person's engine didn't sieze up. Fuck Jiffy Lube. They suck. I'd rather pay more and know the work is done right.

Max Torque
01-14-2001, 11:17 AM
snort. One time when I was at Jiffy Lube, the guy came back and mentioned that it had been a long time since I'd changed the automatic transmission fluid, and maybe it was time to do it. I responded, "If you can find an automatic transmission in that truck, be my guest." I drive a manual.

I believe that from now on I'll just go ahead and change my oil myself.

01-14-2001, 10:43 PM
No offense intended here, but ¿why could'nt you change your own oil?
I've been changing oil since I was 12.

01-14-2001, 11:21 PM
A lot of people don't have anywhere to change their oil. Most homeowner's associations and apartment buildings will not let you do it out front.

I know how to change my oil, but I choose not to. I hate getting my hands dirty (yes, I know I'm such a girl.)

01-14-2001, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio
No offense intended here, but why could'nt you change your own oil?
I've been changing oil since I was 12.

Seriously! It's not hard, it's cheap, and it gives you something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Plus, if you're not all that mechanically inclined, you get a serious feeling of accomplishment. Just DIY and you save money and the you don't have to deal with the chain oil changers.

01-15-2001, 12:38 AM
I feel your pain. Their primary selling point is convenience, but it comes at a high cost in hassle and dubious workmanship. (FWIW, I can change the oil in the cars but don't have a place to do it sometimes. I'm not mucking around under the car in slush and mud this time of year. ::shudders::)

I hate the sales hassle stuff w/ little dags of fluids on laminated cards. My real mechanic keeps an eye on that stuff, and I just want the oil changed! This may be generalizing, but women really come in for the hard sales pitch. My favorite:

Jiffy Lube Idiot: Ma'am you really need to have your windshield wipers replaced. (look of deep concern) They're really worn bad.
Me: Really? I just replaced them last week. (Absolutely true.)

Had the same thing happen with an air filter less than a month old.

01-15-2001, 12:40 AM
Uh, I didn't actually intend for that urine-yellow smilie face punctuate the shuddering. Sends entirely the wrong message.

Blushing and slinking off,

Badtz Maru
01-15-2001, 02:10 AM
I would try to find an alternative to Jiffy Lube if at all possible. I have known SO many people whose cars got fucked up after getting their oil changed there, apparently they forget to put oil directly in the oil pan after changing out what's in the engine, which will screw your car up later.

I used to go to this local chain that had great service - you didn't even have to get out of your car, be done in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I have moved about 50 miles away, and I have to find a new place to get my oil changed (haven't had it changed in about 15,000 miles).

01-15-2001, 11:46 AM
I drive an old Mustang, but had to get the oil changed at a Grease Monkey outlet recently. Yes, they do the up-sell on tranny fluid and differential lube. But you can say no if you want. I'm perfectly capable of changing my own, but it's the hassle of disposal (hi-density urban apartment dweller) that makes me go to any mechanic. The tranny is shifting much better post-service.

But *Jiffy-fucking-Lube*, on the other hand....

Two weeks before Christmas, my family was having a impromptu tree-decorating party when the power went out on the entire island. My younger sister decided that this was the perfect time to drive out of town to the City to see her friends (who have power!), and I reminded her that when I'd driven her car earlier the power steering had been very noisy, and I needed to add PS fluid (a regular occurence in this beater Plymouth).

No, said she. She had been to Jiffy Lube earlier that very day, and the girl there had shown her the dip-stick for the power steering, and it's fine.

No, said I. I'm absolutely certain that the loud noise from the pump indicates that the pump is nearly dry.

No, she insisted. The girl at Jiffy Lube *showed* me that it has fluid in it.

It's at this point that I, miffed by her refutation of logic, said precisely and entirely the wrong thing:

"You said it was a girl at Jiffy Lube?"

Big fight ensues, gender recriminations are leveled, and I had to take her car to several gas stations before I found a zitfaced teenager who was inventive enough to sell me some fricking power steering fluid for CASH even though the lights and registers were out.

She still loves Jiffy Lube, though, because she can go there and get her oil topped off anytime for free as long as she keeps going for service.

I know most of these kids are trying to do a good job, and the up-sell is a tool I understand and appreciate. But if I find thirty-weight in the radiator one more time.....

01-15-2001, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Mojo Jojo
Originally posted by Mercutio
No offense intended here, but why could'nt you change your own oil?
I've been changing oil since I was 12.

Seriously! It's not hard, it's cheap, and it gives you something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Plus, if you're not all that mechanically inclined, you get a serious feeling of accomplishment. Just DIY and you save money and the you don't have to deal with the chain oil changers.

On my old car it wasn't a big deal, but on the new one?
If I jack it up and damage it in any way (trying to keep it as pristine as possible) it isn't covered by the full warrenty.
Then I have to haul the oil off for disposal (carefully wrapped so as not to let any leak onto aforementioned new car). Although service stations around here are supposed to accept oil at any time, many are dicks about it and claim it has to be during the mechanic's hours (sometimes it's easiest just to leave it on their front door).

Overall, it just isn't worth the hassle when for $15 (not $30 you JiffyLubby assholes!) I can get the oil changed, new oil put in (granted, it's onl 87¢ per quart at the TrakAuto) and a new oil filter installed, all risk free.

Maybe if I had a service pit handy I might do it myself again.

01-15-2001, 01:27 PM
Oooh! Now I remember why I used to use JiffyLube post vaccuum/air filter incident and new car! Thanks Roachman!
Free topping off! Hah! My old car had a fairly bad oil leak back when I was too poor to get it fixed. Every week or two I'd go in to JiffyLube and get it topped off. Whee! Ok, it still doesn't make up for last incident (barely made their prices at the time competitive) but does make me feel better remembering the look on the service guy's face to whom I had become a regular...

City Gent
01-15-2001, 05:59 PM
My wife got her car's oil changed at the local Wal-Mart once (it's the one in Hilliard, Ohio if anyone wants to avoid it). She brought the car home; later, I raised the hood to make sure they really changed the oil and filled it to the right level...and the FuCKinG CaP wAS LEFt OFf thE OIL FILL HOLE!!! Best part was, when I took the car back Wal-Mart, they couldn't even find the cap, so they had to buy me a new one.

Also, had a cousin who had her car's oil changed at some Jiffy-Lube type place (I forgot the exact name), and she went tooling down the highway and her hood flew up. Guy forgot to push it down and latch it after he was done with the oil change. Fortunately, she was able to pull to the side without killing anyone.

Eo Echo
01-16-2001, 12:25 AM
I don't change my own oil because my car is still relatively new, and there are a lot of murky gray areas with regards to maintenance in the warranty. Then there's the real reason: I'm totally mechanically declined. That handyman gene is not actually encoded on the Y chromosome, contrary to widespread belief (mostly by men handier than myself).

Of course, on my '71 LeMans, I did all the work myself, even once replacing the entire brake system with nothing more than a $50 Craftsman tool kit and a Chilton's manual.

01-21-2001, 12:19 AM
One more quick-lube story to relate:

I stop at the 10-minute oil change place on the way to work, and since I am increasingly paranoid about these joints I hang around to watch them work. One of the "service team" tells me brightly that it's good I came in when I did, because the left front tire is going flat. I look, and it isn't (another "team" member agrees with me). The first guy points out that the gauge pressure is reading well below the proper pressure which he reads off the tire as 42 psi. This sounds goofy to me so I check the recommended pressure from the door well, which is 32 psi. What the service genius was reading on the tire was the maximum pressure rating allowed by the tire manufacturer. Jesus.

Frumious Bandersnatch
01-25-2001, 06:45 AM
My first attempt at a pit rant. Subject: JiffyLube

Jiffy Lube. Pit Rant. I get it.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Best Topics: oglaf spider loose light switch laney intervention update severely dry nose cash deposit envelopes b5 crusade inca wheels magneto and rogue easter jokes dirty excel xfd welltrol tank hummingbird fight dana scully pregnant how to build a sex chair to day is good day to die can i play fallout 4 without playing the previous games how to automatically pay credit card bill bank of america biggest lies in the world be kind everyone is fighting a battle american gods gold coin elvis costello green shirt when will we run out of social security numbers perler beads ironing paper substitute how does a blow torch work beauty and the beast 80s