: another shop pulling a scam?



ponyboyt
04-07-11, 10:25 AM
So im at a new shop. More secure than my other shop, i had a lot of damage done to vehicles at the old place so i moved to a high traffic area. There is a shop accross the street, probably the biggest, most expensive (as in, value) place in town.

I sent my car over there for an oil change. (my 99 STS) I always get someone else to do it. Dont like disposing of the oil, and if anything goes wrong i have someone to blame.

They called me while they had the car, recommending that "since your car has 160,000 km's and the oil was pretty black, it needs an oil system flush"

Jakes studs were put in 4900 km's ago. Whats it been, 5 weeks?

I said no thanks. They took a sample of the coolant, he said it looks old. I said no thanks, its only 5 weeks old. Then he told me the power steering fluid is black too and should be flushed. I said maybe thats cause its full of trans fluid and that pump is on its way out. No thanks.

My coolant resevoir is empty. I check it every other day. Since i picked the car up from Jakes, (after purging/refilling) its been on the full line and never moved. I asked them how much they took for a sample, he said minimal amount, maybe an ounce.

The resevoir is dry...

What the F did they do with my car. They have my truck in there too, for allignment.

Edit: The only thing that got me thinking yesterday that there is no way this place would try to pull something on me, is that the owner is a cadillac lover (owns 2 convertible Alante's) and if they look out there front window they can see 9 Cadillac STS's in front of my shop. They would have to think "hey this guy might know what he's talking about". But why would he try to sell me high-mileage engine service after im pretty sure i told him the engine was rebuilt a month ago.....

stoveguyy
04-07-11, 10:48 AM
maintenance based on mileage. shop looks at odometer and tells you every damn fluid in car should be flushed. does not matter one bit that all fluid is fresh. they want your money. they do not test any fluid. they go by appearance/color. thats the extent of their testing.

Submariner409
04-07-11, 11:06 AM
I would think the shop could scam Grannie, but if you're a conscientious Cadillac owner and Northstar driver I would hope that you knew the exact level and condition of all fluids BEFORE the car went into ANY shop -dealer included.

"Black" engine oil at 3,000 miles ??? Impossible, unless you idled the entire 3,000 with the stick in D.

If I need the dealer to do some maintenance that I cannot accomplish, I always Word and print a note to the Tech and leave it on the passenger seat - to the effect that fluids, filters, tire pressures, yada, yada, have been checked and are satisfactory. This prevents calls like "Sir, we discovered that your engine oil is low and black".

Ranger
04-07-11, 11:16 AM
They called me while they had the car, recommending that "since your car has 160,000 km's and the oil was pretty black, it needs an oil system flush"
That is nothing but a money maker scam and a red flag to find another shop.


They took a sample of the coolant, he said it looks old.
Another BIG red flag. The Northstar is aluminum. It may corrode, but will not rust and thus the coolant will look the same on day 1 as it will 10 years later. You can't tell jack by looking at it. Find a REPUTABLE shop! I would not trust this place any farther than I could through your car.

ThumperPup
04-07-11, 01:13 PM
If I need the dealer to do some maintenance that I cannot accomplish, I always Word and print a note to the Tech and leave it on the passenger seat - to the effect that fluids, filters, tire pressures, yada, yada, have been checked and are satisfactory. This prevents calls like "Sir, we discovered that your engine oil is low and black".

i don't to much myself but i can do my own oil change
and if its just pads ill do those i don't know why i don't like to take the rotors off or mes with them for some reason

there are a few things i can do but not much

but just like you weather i take it into a shop private or dealer
if they use a computer to type of work info
i make sure they put it on there for the mechanic to look at the work order
on what i don't need checked what is the problem
what not to fill with
like if oil looks even a little low
let them know what oil weight is in there even what brand even though that does not really matter as long as they use the same kind of oil

or if i have Green in a car that should have Dex i make sure thats on there incase they need to add more if its low then i have something to fall on if they fill it with the wrong stuff and that causes issue also just so they know what not to fill it with

i won't sighn the work order untill that stuff is in the msg area and notes area of the work order

ejguillot
04-07-11, 01:25 PM
What Ranger said: RUN, don't walk, and find yourself another shop! Considering the trouble you're having finding a good shop, you may want to reconsider DIY oil changes.

ThumperPup
04-07-11, 01:44 PM
in the winter when i dont want to do a oil change when its colder and snowing and freezing outside
and i don't have to go to a shop or don't have some sort of insentive to have a shop do it i just find someone on craiglist they usualy will do it if you bring your own oil for like 10 dollars

ponyboyt
04-07-11, 10:42 PM
the car has idled a lot.

i dont like doing the oil, dont know how to dispose of old oil.

i had a god caddy dealer for this, they sold the property to a dodge dealer.

stoveguyy
04-08-11, 11:56 AM
we have a closed target store on 1 side of street. other side has wal-mart. target moved 2yrs ago to new building. old site is a ghost town. huge parking lot. they just built a rapid oil change shop on corner. techs were standing on sidewalk with big signs. WE ARE OPEN. bet $100 they close in 3 months. funny, WM gets tons of traffic. what store owner would not love to be across street from them? of course they need to have the same cheap price shopping customers.

Submariner409
04-08-11, 12:02 PM
i dont like doing the oil, dont know how to dispose of old oil.

ANY local shop, of any type, which uses a waste oil furnace for winter heat would be delirious, at today's fuel oil prices, to take your waste engine oil off your hands for free.

Using Pennzoil Platinum synthetic and a WIX filter I do a "$110" oil and filter change in my garage for about $58 and a cup of coffee. Charlie the Transmission Man is happy to take the waste oil, and if necessary I'm allowed to use one of his two lifts for free ! Whatever it takes...............

97EldoCoupe
04-08-11, 06:48 PM
Mason, that engine did not have a full rebuild, but regardless the oil should not be black and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you EVER have a shop do a flush on the oil system. Never, ever, ever. I don't warranty the whole engine when all I do is stud and reseal it, but I also don't want to hear of engine failure afterward. They get their nasty hands under your hood, pretty soon you'll be looking for another Northstar.

My 2010 Sierra - I do all oil changes myself. The only thing I let the dealer so is change and balance my tires. I did the first oil change from new at 1,600 miles. The oil was pitch black. I have been worried about that engine ever since. So far so good but I'm not so sure that engine was correctly built. I'm getting lifter knock at start-up, even when it's not cold outside.

Oil's job is to lubricate but also clean the engine at the same time. All the carbon that gets trapped in the oil from blowby, etc., causes the engine oil to become dirty and discolored. Don't be too concerned unless you can see metallic (either shiny or evn bronze/copper in color) particals in the oil. Then it's time to worry.

This is why it's important to do the oil changes yourself- you can evaluate the condition of the oil at every 3,000 miles. The 16 year old at Jiffy Lube who's working for $8/hour probably won't check for metallic particals, won't check the viscosity, may not check the seal on the drain plug, may not even bother to change the oil filter. This stuff is very important for the life of your vehicle and for the health of your engine.

I don't even have to jack my truck up- it takes me ~10 minutes.

Mason, PM me their shop's name if you don't mind. I'll tell my customers from that area where not to have their vehicle serviced.

Can't any garages ever understand this simple fact:? Be honest, do good work, don't rip anyone off- and they'll never, ever, run out of work. And they won't have to advertise much either-

Reminds me of the one customer I had who took his Caddy to Ricky Ratchets. "I tasted antifreeze on the spark plug"- one washed down cylinder, clean piston. Guess what it was? - A stuck open fuel injector- not antifreeze/coolant.

ponyboyt
04-08-11, 08:54 PM
it has lifter tick on startup warm or cold, for 3 seconds, but only if it sat for a bit. In and out of the store, no tick.

I topped up the oil cause it was low when the life meter was at 45%. When i checked it then, it wasnt black. But since then i was babysitting my shop (2 smashed windshields, kicked in door on my pearl 97.... jimmied door lock on my black 97.... *******s...) and idling the car quite a bit. I wont do that any more, its warm out.

I am leaving this shop, renting a spot with a hoist. Ill do my own changes from now on.

No need for PM's on this, im sure there is someone who works there, is a member here. Sucks eh:

Everything Automotive, Brantford Ontario.

After seeing my resevoir dry, after telling them the gaskets had just been done, after checking the coolant level every other day for the last .... weeks... im not impressed. Im sure its the biggest, most expensivly equiped non-dealer shop in the county.

ponyboyt
04-10-11, 12:52 AM
My rad has sprung a leak. Somewhere near the upper hose at the passenger side. Saw steam in pass headlight tonight. It has steamed there before, i always figured it was snow/rain hitting the rad. Never lost coolant before because of it. Since i topped it up after picking it up from Jake, it has not moved a single milimeter. Since this oil change it drops drasticaly fast. From what ive gathered, blown headgasket can create enough pressure in the system to crack the rad. Is this true? It may have cracked before and got worse now.

Swapping the rad tomorow, hoping for the best.

The rad in my 98 has extra coolers, z-rated umm.. do they add the oil cooler or the trans cooler for that? Is it worth putting them in my 99 if it doesnt have them?

MoistCabbage
04-10-11, 06:32 AM
in the winter when i dont want to do a oil change when its colder and snowing and freezing outside
and i don't have to go to a shop or don't have some sort of insentive to have a shop do it i just find someone on craiglist they usualy will do it if you bring your own oil for like 10 dollars

Find someone on craigslist?! I'd rather do it myself and get frostbite.

Submariner409
04-10-11, 10:11 AM
The rad in my 98 has extra coolers, z-rated umm.. do they add the oil cooler or the trans cooler for that? Is it worth putting them in my 99 if it doesnt have them?

The engine oil cooler and associated fittings are added - the transmission cooler remains the same.

No, unless you intend to race the car or do extensive heavy trailer towing.

............and, if you do decide to install the different oil filter adapter with the oil cooler fittings and cold bypass, good luck finding the oil lines to/from the adapter/radiator !

Moist Cabbage is correct - An oil change on Craigslist ??? That's 3 rungs down the ladder from an oil change at Oil Doodle........."y'all c'mon back in 3,000 miles, y'hear??"

ponyboyt
04-10-11, 11:30 AM
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............and, if you do decide to install the different oil filter adapter with the oil cooler fittings and cold bypass, good luck finding the oil lines to/from the adapter/radiator !

I have them, when the engine was done in my 98 they replaced the rad and all the lines. It was an insurance claim (road hazard), the car was driven through a few feet of water so they billed the insurance company for everything. Was almost $14,000. So there is ~20k miles on all of it. I need the car running so as little down time as possible, ill just do the rad and sell the other lines.



Moist Cabbage is correct - An oil change on Craigslist ??? That's 3 rungs down the ladder from an oil change at Oil Doodle........."y'all c'mon back in 3,000 miles, y'hear??"

I used to get it done at this quick oil change place where they allowed me to stand and watch. Drain it, change the filter, fill it, done. No messing around.

Im taking the old rad to a guy i know whos been doing rads for 40 years, to see what he can find. Maybe he can tell me how old the leak is.....

ejguillot
04-10-11, 11:32 AM
Not sure what the rules are in Canada, but here in the US (i'm in Tampa FL) the shops that sell new oil must take back used oil at no cost to you. So all the auto parts stores have a used oil collection tank, you just bring in your old oil and dump it in their tank.

Around here it doesn't get cold enough for anybody to install a waste oil furnace in their shop.

ponyboyt
04-10-11, 02:21 PM
FFS!!!

Its the mounting bracket top passenger side, the pin is split on the rad. How does that happen? By pulling on the rad. Top of the plastic on the end has a pin that sticks up, maybe an inch thick, then the metal bracket goes over it and bolts to the rad support. I gave it a tiny *TINY* tug and you can see the split, fluid came out.

Jake, im sending them a bill for a rad. Is there anything you can do for me to say that rad was good when you had it?

They had to have been pulling on the hoses or something to wiggle the rad enough to make it split there......