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2017 ATS Coupe 2.0T Luxury, formerly 2011 CTS Coupe Performance
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My dealer has a coupon for up to six quarts Dexos 1 oil change (and filter) for $88.

It wasn't that long ago that "quicklube" type places did an oil change for 21 bucks, on sale. This same dealership would run specials for about the same price. The quiklube places run upper 70s themselves, these days.

Granted, this was before synthetics became OEM and dominant, but still. Synthetics roughly double the cost of the oil, which should have taken the price to maybe $50, tops.

I'm kind of thinking everyone caught on to what Germans were charging for their admittedly more labor-intensive oil changes and raised the price accordingly, possibly using the additional cost of synthetics as justification.

I guess I'm getting old enough that the price of many things shocks me now. /yells at cloud
 

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2017 ATS Coupe 2.0T Luxury, formerly 2011 CTS Coupe Performance
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I used to do my own too, when I could still get under cars, which is actually more about how much lower they are now than my expanding girth. Also oil disposal issues have made it more trouble than it's worth.
 

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2016 ATS 2.0T AWD Sedan
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That is 1 question I asked when I brought the car. I was thinking Audi/BMW/Mercedes money for an oil change but they stated it was the same as any other GM car. The dealer I got my car from had a coupon Oil change/Tire rotation for $70. Which was a little cheaper than the Ford Full synthetic oil change from my previous car.
DEXOS1® 6-QT OIL CHANGE PKG
ACDELCO DEXOS1® FULL SYNTHETIC 6 QUART OIL CHANGE WITH TIRE ROTATION
Coupon Code: 210
$69.95*
Expires09-30-2020
or
DEXOS1® 8-QT OIL CHANGE PKG
ACDELCO DEXOS1® FULL SYNTHETIC 8 QUART OIL CHANGE WITH TIRE ROTATION
Coupon Code: 213
$79.95*
 

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2004 CTS Lux Sport and 2014 ATS 2.0T AWD Lux
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876 Posts
In my first car in 1977 ( Buick), I was able to reach in and remove the oil filter from above. Oil was 50 cents a quart and the filter was $2. There was a lot of room around the engine even with AC. Now, there is more stuff all around and you have to raise the car to do the most basic services.

My mechanic did oil and lubes for $13.99. Gas was 60 cents a gallon. My sister had to replace a transmission for $700.

A new Cadillac was about $12,000. How we long for those prices at todays money.
 

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2016 ATS 2.0T AWD Sedan
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One of the main reasons for the Dealer to do it, is to have a track record of service performed and I'm been 1 of the unlucky ones to have a very bad experience at one of the Quick Oil Change places. I had an oil/filter changed on my Dodge and when they did the filter the old gasket was left behind. About a mile down the road the gasket let go and oil went everywhere. They fix it right in the parking lot I was sitting in. Good thing I had an oil pressure gauge.
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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2,768 Posts
Dealerships have long made a much better profit margin from the service shop than the new sales side and they continue to push that avenue harder thus the resultant higher prices. I would trust them more than a quick change place but you still should double check the level once you get it home both to know that it was filled properly and so that you will have a reference point to track usage between changes. Fellow Corvette owners have gotten the wrong filter installed, dry sump system not drained properly, and too much or too little oil added. The lowest level/newest service people typically do oil changes so there is potential for problems.

There are good quick change places out there but they wouldn't be my first choice. I had one direct interaction with one with a previous car when I was making an emergency trip out of town and wanted to save time on an oil change. After the oil change the service manager came in with a dirty blob on a piece of cardboard to convince me that the rear axle fluid also needed changing. Unbeknownst to him, I had changed it less than 2,000 miles earlier AND this axle had no drain plug so there was no way to take a sample short of pulling the differential cover. After being confronted, he admitted that they just keep a "prop" around to show customers. When I took delivery of my 1991 GMC pickup, a less than one year old twin was in the shop for a new crate engine courtesy of a quick change place that checked the filter for oil leakage after the change but neglected to add oil first :(

My 3.6 ATS has a straightforward change procedure as long as you don't brush against the front close coupled cat which is in the access path to the drain plug. The filter itself drops in from above. My diesel pickup is even easier given the huge access area around the plug and filter but 10 quarts of 5W40 synthetic and a large AC Delco filter are on the pricey side. My Corvette usually gets its changes at the dealership because it has to be lifted and level for a change so that oil drains properly from both the mostly dry sump and the storage tank and nothing thicker than a snake could crawl under a Z06 while it is sitting on the ground. I have low profile jacks to lift it and wheel stands for all four tires to support it but it is more of a process than the other vehicles. I have a great Chevrolet dealer that I fully trust and they are especially careful with Corvettes using the alignment rack for Corvette oil changes and a spotter to help guide the tech driving it on the rack AND they encourage the customer to watch the process. When I was a kid my uncle Clarence had a Chevrolet dealership and his service shop had a pair of drive over pits for working underneath a car, that would be a nice setup and his old shop now belongs to a guy who restores classic Mustangs who probably loves having those safe and comfortable pits.

Rodger
 

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2018 ATS Sedan Turbo AWD (stablemates 2019 Corvette Stingray + 2010 LaCrosse CXS)
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In my first car in 1977 ( Buick), I was able to reach in and remove the oil filter from above. Oil was 50 cents a quart and the filter was $2. There was a lot of room around the engine even with AC. Now, there is more stuff all around and you have to raise the car to do the most basic services.

My mechanic did oil and lubes for $13.99. Gas was 60 cents a gallon. My sister had to replace a transmission for $700.

A new Cadillac was about $12,000. How we long for those prices at todays money.
The oil filter on my 2010 LaCrosse is accessed from the top as well.
 

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2018 ATS Sedan Turbo AWD (stablemates 2019 Corvette Stingray + 2010 LaCrosse CXS)
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One of the main reasons for the Dealer to do it, is to have a track record of service performed and I'm been 1 of the unlucky ones to have a very bad experience at one of the Quick Oil Change places. I had an oil/filter changed on my Dodge and when they did the filter the old gasket was left behind. About a mile down the road the gasket let go and oil went everywhere. They fix it right in the parking lot I was sitting in. Good thing I had an oil pressure gauge.
Anytime a dealer does an oil change I get nervous, the guys working there overfill and overtighten everything. Just last week I did an oil change for my neighbour and it was a struggle to get the filter off as it was sooooòo tight. By the time I got it off it was all distorted, fortunately it came off without incident.
 

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2013 Luxury ATS 2.0T Manual
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Oil change prices always made me scratch my head. I go to the store and see a 5 quart jug of quality conventional oil and a 5 quart jug of synthetic oil are about $5 to $10 apart. How can they charge $40 to $50 more just because it's synthetic oil (or, in the case of Cadillac sometimes, synthetic blend). Once my free changes ran out, I went back to doing it myself. It helps that the RWD ATS only uses five quarts of oil and that the town garage disposes of oil (and other fluids and lead acid batteries) for free.
 

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2004 CTS Lux Sport and 2014 ATS 2.0T AWD Lux
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Just be careful of those quick lube places who try to upsell you for everything else.

During a $32 LOF a few years ago, the tech told me my coolant and windshield washer fluids were low and offered to top it off for another $5 each. I turned him down and went home , inspected on my own and found them both to be already above the full line.
 

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2017 ATS Coupe 2.0T Luxury, formerly 2011 CTS Coupe Performance
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Funny thing on the dealer oil changes. My dealer is, supposedly, one of the premier dealerships in the nation. I don't think they're a whole ton better than any other now, but 10-15, maybe as long as 25 years ago, they started the trend of fancy waiting rooms, loan cars, and all that jazz.

They do emphasize quality in all that they do, for sure, touting Malcolm Baldridge Quality Awards, etc. And they now own dealerships with the branding all over the state of Texas. Some will be able to guess the dealership right away.

That said, I got an inexpensive oil change there some time in the 90s on an Oldsmobile with a Northstar V8. A week or two after the change, I raised the hood to check the oil and look at something and the underhood liner was dripping some fluid. I determined that the fluid was oil, looked down, and the filler cap was lying in a niche next to the valve cover whence it came. Thankfully, there was a baffle right under the filler hole, so only about a half a quart splashed/sprayed out onto my hood liner.

I drove to the dealership without making an appointment and my service advisor wasn't there (I think they pioneered assigning you a service advisor, too). So I was sitting there in my car in the service drive. probably with a grumpy look on my face, and who comes up to the window to ask how I can be helped? Mr. X of X Village Cadillac. Well, I told Mr. X what happened and he blanched. They had my car back in 45 minutes with a steam-cleaned hoodliner and a fresh 5 qts of oil.

My car is CPO, so I will continue to use the dealer until that runs out, maybe longer. It is actually fairly convenient and always pleasant. They aren't cheap, but they don't skin you alive, either. The worst part is doing what everyone else does and selling a cabin air filter, or a tire rotation or blah blah blah.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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$88 at the dealer gives peace of mind, too.

Those QuickLube places are scary. There are acceptable ones and others are downright con artists. I do my wife's car at them. Had a young lady tell me recently that the oil they were changing out was "dirty," she recommended an oil cleaner be added. Excuse me?!! They must school their employees on what, when, and to whom they try to scam. Other times, I go, get the oil changed, and they don't try to push anything on me. I only go to them in emergency situations.
 
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2004 CTS Lux Sport and 2014 ATS 2.0T AWD Lux
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For $88, that should include a tire rotation and inspection as well.

I vaguely remember that way , way back, tune-ups were also required at 15,000 miles? Now we go 60 to 100K miles.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Back in '54 we did a points filing and setting plus clean the plugs at 1,000 miles. Ever heard of sandblasting the plug tips ? Filing points ?

Champion plug cleaner/tester -------

spark plug cleaner.jpg


Champion - Albert Champion, the "AC" in AC Delco. Champion Labs now makes a slew of oil filters re-branded for many companies - including GM and several aftermarket names (K&N for one).
Delco - Dayton Engineering Laboratory COmpany.

ACDelco is a brand name. AC Delco Systems was a company formed from the merger of AC Rochester Division and Delco Remy Division of GM.
 

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Charger Scat Pack- Auto/Corvette LS3-Auto
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I am 78 and still do my own oil changes... I buy my oil and filters online. An oil change runs me about $40 on average depensing on if it is on the Scat Pack or the Corvette.
OBTW - the GM 1215 1 qt filter I use to sell cost me $1.99 in bulk.
Here is an old guys way. The first oil change on my 2010 Challenger.
584604
 

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2013 Luxury ATS 2.0T Manual
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If you want a quick lube horror story, I went and looked this one up from a few years ago. A Valvoline royally screwed up the change on an Audi S4:
 

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2013 3.6 RWD Premium - 2006 BMW Z4M
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I am done with quick lube discount places and either DIY or take it to an independent. About a year ago had my wife's cars oil changed at a quick lube, then we headed out on vacation. A few miles down the interstate I found out they connected the rear of the air shield under the engine but not the front so it was dragging down the highway. Side of the road fully removed it with my foot which destroyed it but got us going again.

As for the price, no one wants it done half ass but then we get upset with what companies charge (2 options take it somewhere else or DIY). Synthetics cost a lot more and total price for the oil change has gone up significantly but so has the replacement interval. In 100k miles roughly 10 oil changes (more than most will keep their car), you'll be in it for $750 and spread over 8 years (12,500 miles per year)? Back when I was paying $25 for an oil change and doing it every 5k miles the 100k miles cost $500? 20 years later I will spend $250 more over 8 years? Not seeing this as a big issue.
 

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2004 CTS Lux Sport and 2014 ATS 2.0T AWD Lux
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584612
I only dread the stories when someone you know asks: You mean you have to change the oil before 80,000 miles?
 
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