: Best Oil Change Chain?

05-20-05, 12:12 AM
i am planning on taking my STS to get it's oil changed and filter changed. i was wondering what chain does the best oil change? ie: quality, reliabilty, honesty etc... i will also tell them to make sure they put 7.5 quarts of 10w30 in no more no less.

05-20-05, 12:53 AM
JiffyLube gets my vote. They do what I want without argument and a couple of days later I get a follow up call on the phone to make sure I'm happy.

05-20-05, 12:56 AM
I've heard bad stories about all of them..... leaving the drain plug off, and having the customer get 20 miles away when the engine seizes... I don't trust anyone with my baby. But that's just me.

05-20-05, 01:21 AM
I worked at a local one once. A guy came in, said his car was a 84, so we put (not me, the pit guy) put on the filter for a 84. Come to find out it was an 85. That was the year they changed to metric threads. It spun on, but apparently not well enough and fell off and seized the engine 5 miles up the road. My manager was like "oh well, you told us the wrong year".

You get what you pay for. Me? I do all my own changes, else, dealer. No other place. Not taking chances with my car....

05-20-05, 09:50 AM
I admit to using chains and other places where I am near or have a coupon.....so far so good. But I know of people getting screwed, like destroying the drain plug threads by jamming wrong plug etc....I recently got a ramp and drain pan so I am gonna go back to doing it myself.

Its a crap shoot no matter what, the dude that actually does the job could be good/bad/on-crack whatever and you can't jusdge by the chain.

The thing I hate is that they do this "inspection" to try and upsell you on junk you dont need. Its a real hassle. They also broke my airfilter box retainer clip by jerkin on it to "inspect" the filter......

05-20-05, 02:06 PM
The best is to do it yourself. While you are changing the oil do a check of coolant, trand fl, tire pressure, etc. In the long run you will be better off. If you can't do it yourself it's a crapshoot. It comes down to who's in the pit rather than the chain itself.

05-22-05, 11:28 PM
I went to Wal-Mart today and they seem to have done a nice job. I watched them like a hawk while it was in the bay and then checked everything before I left the lot. It cost about $29 for 8 quarts of castrol and the 15 point check. I use castrol because that is what the previous owner used and the car's N* doesn't leak or burn a drop at 72K miles. I do agree that it is the tech who is much more significant than the chain.

05-23-05, 02:39 AM
Do it yourself if you want to save money and not have to worry about it being done wrong.

05-23-05, 03:44 AM
I had a very bad experience at Wal-Mart, well actually twice.

First time, I brought my own oil (I didn't want "mystery oil in my car"), brought 8 quarts, my own AC delco air and oil filters.

They overfilled it. The oil was way above the dipstick marks... above the whole marker altogether (not just the max).

They said they left the remaining oil in the container (I had way more than a half quart in there, so they must have started to pour their generic oil in before realizing I provided it).

I let it slide.

Second time, they lubed the car, inside and out. There was oil on the radiator, on the engine, on the bumper, on the door handle inside, outside, on the door seal, on the windshield, on the seat, on the steering wheel, the shift knob, and even on the window sticker.

I called management that same day as I was purchasing leather cleaning supplies... the manager paid for the supplies. They later gave me a $20 gift card. Good work with management recovering from such. I'm going to purchase an oil pan container, and will be performing the job myself from now on.

05-23-05, 10:37 AM
It seems like changing oil yourself is the way the go. What supplies will I need purchase since i probably dont own a thing, to change the oil and the oil filter and do the lube? and approximately how much will all these items cost? and where would I be able to purchase these items? thanks

05-23-05, 10:47 AM
It seems like changing oil yourself is the way the go. What supplies will I need purchase since i probably dont own a thing, to change the oil and the oil filter and do the lube? and approximately how much will all these items cost?

I don't know about the "lube" part--the guys at Walmart told me there are "no lube points" in my car--with my experience record with them I'm not sure if I believe them--someone please chime in.

Regarding the oil change-- you need ramps (Wal-mart), and 10 qt oil drain pan (I would say the ones with a lid so you don't spill it when taking it to be recycled). You also need an oil filter remover tool--and of course the wrench for the oil plug.

You can get the ramps for $20, the pan for another $10 or so, and the filter wrench for $5. All of these @ Walmart are cheap. Get some eye protection goggles $1, just to be safe.

Filter--I got my AC Delco air and oil filters @ dealership, but you can probably find them at a local retailer www.acdelco.com (http://www.acdelco.com)

Remember the oil will be hot, so take every precaution not to be burned!

It is not difficult, but it can be a little messy. I would recommend going to one of these places and telling them you want to watch because you want to learn how to do it on your own.

I'll be doing one myself soon, my Oil Life Indicator says 89% so maybe not so soon.


05-23-05, 10:55 AM
Sears is good for hand tools but stick with Craftsman. Still have a no reciept required policy.

Filter wrench etc you can get Autozone, Checker etc. Look at harbordreight.com but until you get some experience you might as well get locally as you need. Cost varies...go take a look.

05-23-05, 12:25 PM
I like to use a disposable pair of neoprene or latex gloves when changing oil. They're cheap and you don't have to wash 'em when you're done. Just throw them away. Make sure you get the right size socket for the oil plug. A slightly larger socket will actually remove and install it, but you'll round it off in no time. I don't use an oil filter wrench. That's too easy! I use a piece of crappy sandpaper and remove it with no assistance from tools. If that fails for some reason, it's time to jam a screwdriver into that bit%# and brute force it off!!! Yeah!!! Be a man!!! Well, OK, that's probably not the best or cleanest way to do it. Just make sure you drain as much of the old oil out of the filter as you possibly can before you put it in the garbage. I wrap them in grocery store bags so it doesn't get all over everything in the trash can. If you have cats like I do, those plastic litter buckets make great used oil storage containers and they're easy to carry to Jiffy Lube for disposal. Just make sure that lid is on tight. Geez, that sounds like Martha Stewart doing an oil change. The difference being I've never worn a prison uniform...

As far as chassis lubrication, the only grease fittings I've found are on the outer tie rod ends. That might not be the case on cars other than a '96 SLS. There is a hole on the lower ball joint socket as if a fitting is supposed to be in there, but neither side has a fitting on my car.

05-23-05, 12:58 PM
One of the techs on my team, came from one of those service chains (one i will not mention the name). He's come a long way, but in the beggining he did unbelievable things. I mean he was always in a rush, and wired. I would tell him calm down, and he would get all worried, because the car was a waiter. He has told me stories about his previous employer, I mean, like techs selling work on cars that didn't need it, only to put the parts on their own cars! Because a customer brought in the same vehicle they owned. Or how they worked the techs so fast, they didn't care if you stripped the threads or even changed the filter, as long as it was in and out, Because to them 90% of their customers are 1 timers anyways. :eek:

05-23-05, 02:07 PM
Ive only tried Pennzoil 10 Minute oil change, and I will never go to them again... Completely incompetent when working on vehicles and thieves... My wife called once on her cell phone while she was gettign her oil changed, the 'Tech' told her that her car needed a 'Fuel Injection Service' or that it would stop working in a few hundred miles.. I told her to tell him to just change the oil and filter and thats it. He then stuck his hand in the engine bay and came up with grease on his fingers to show my wife how bad it was, I told her to tell him no once again.. When she came back home I looked under the hood and found two finger marks on the side of the oil pan... Now, you tell me how a thin layer of oil film/road grim on the side of the oilpan has anything to do with the fuel injection. Damn thieving bastards, I just wish I was the one he pulled that @#$% on.