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I'm a DlCK! So what?
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Discussion Starter #1
After seeing the thread about the guy who let the Walmart guys work on his car (without proper communication, apparently), I figured I’d offer some advice to those of you who don’t want to crawl under your car, get oil on your hands, or worry about dealing with oil in general.

I went to a local tire and oil change place and I POLITELY asked for the manager. I told him I was looking for a reputable shop for oil changes, to which he proudly boasted that his shop was the place. I made to sure POLITELY inform him that I'm really finicky about my car and I’ve had some bad experiences with other places in the past. He was understanding and said they would gladly accommodate any requests I had.

Here’s where I really got his attention: I told him I would gladly push more business his way if he guaranteed my car would come back in perfect condition.

I let him know I would provide my own oil and filter and asked if I could speak with the technician who would handle my car. I POLITELY asked the technician to rub a little oil on the new O-ring for the oil filter housing cap so it wouldn’t roll or pinch, asked him to not over-tighten the drain plug or oil filter housing cap, and also showed him the Blackstone Labs oil sample kit. He was understanding of everything and even verified proper torque specs with me on the drain plug and oil filter housing cap.

I ended up paying the shop $16 (that does not include the cost of the oil and filter) and I have had zero issues from it.

That's worth it to me to not have to crawl under my car, deal with a Mity-Vac with improperly sealing joints, or deal with transporting and disposing of oil.

All you have to do is communicate a bit and be polite about everything while still reminding them that your car is your baby. Fortunately for me, the guys who work in that shop are also car guys, so they understand how finicky I am about my car. They told me if they could, they would gladly let me use the lift to do the work myself. I laughed and said, “Nah. It’s worth the money to not worry about it.”

Once the job was done, I even pitched him a couple extra bucks as a thank you for doing exactly as I requested. All in all, I think I was out $20 (plus the cost of oil and filter).

If you ask me, that’s well worth it.

TL;DR: Talk to the shop manager (and the technician if possible) about what you need and BE POLITE ABOUT EVERYTHING.
 

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Damn, I thought I was doing great using my Motive extractor and not having to get under the car to change the oil.

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02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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Damn, I thought I was doing great using my Motive extractor and not having to get under the car to change the oil.
You were. You are. There is a reason they are working at Jiffy Boob where speed is of the essence.

Read H. G. Rickover on “Responsibility; It is an unique concept ...”
 

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You were. You are. There is a reason they are working at Jiffy Boob where speed is of the essence.



Read H. G. Rickover on “Responsibility; It is an unique concept ...”

I will never be able to fully trust a mechanic, unless I can watch them every step of the way.

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I'm a DlCK! So what?
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Discussion Starter #5
You were. You are. There is a reason they are working at Jiffy Boob where speed is of the essence.

Read H. G. Rickover on “Responsibility; It is an unique concept ...”
Maybe they want to get their foot in the door for mechanic work.

Maybe they want to pay their bills.

Maybe they're happy doing nothing more than oil changes and topping off fluids.

Dude... don't be so harsh on them. If you drive over the pit and say nothing to them and let them do what they do, then yeah... they'll have you out of there in five minutes with an over-tightened drain plug.

Try to find the places where you have to drive up and actually get out of your car to talk to them. After a little polite conversation and some basic instructions, you'll see them baby your car like it's their own. Fortunately for me, the place I go to has giant windows in the lobby so you can peek in at the service area.

The guys who work at the place I visit recognize me and understand I'll gladly keep giving them business as long as they don't screw me over with something as simple as an oil change.

Actual mechanic work, though? It's either me or smolck.
 

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Totally agree and find the concept valid for nearly any labor anyone pays for; from the tire guy to the car detailer to the plumber to the knee surgeon.
Up front, cordial discussion about the details of the job / requirements / expectations makes for a better outcome for all.


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Polite doesn't always work. If not, you know you're dealing with a ****ing ***hole, and it's time to move on. You might get "I know how to do my job." People who say that a lot usually don't... know how to do my job. Move on.

Certain jobs in the automotive maintenance profession require less skill than others, specifically: washing, oil changes, tire work, and towing. I do my own for the first two, washing and oil changes. I'm highly selective who I deal with on the second two. When having a single tire repaired or replaced, I take it off the car, and wash the tire and wheel before taking it into the shop. That eliminates one more idiot having access to my car, and a clean wheel and tire lets them know I'm particular about my car.

An acquaintance (old girlfriend's stepfather) had a string of quick oil change stores as his "retirement job." His "real" job was tear-assing around in F-16's. He said that quick oil change places like to do the oil sucking to eliminate the chances of one of the minimum wage knuckleheads working there under-tightening, cross-threading, or breaking an oil drain plug. If they do, that could trash an engine and cost them $10k or more. A $10k damage claim either makes their insurance rates go through the roof, or wipes out the profit on about 1000 to 2000 oil changes.

There was an incident a few years ago where the ignition switch on the car stuck with the car running. Rather than telling the customer this and loosing a sale, the quick-lube place decided to change the oil with the engine running, and then return the car to the customer with the engine running so that the customer would think the switch got stuck for the first time when they got to their next destination. The engine seized during the oil change.. well, duh.

I have access to a large military base near my house. I change my oil there in the automotive hobby shop. But, we're moving next year, to a place with no military bases nearby. So, I'm putting a high-ceiling bay in the new garage and installing a lift. The lift is going to primarily be for car storage, but also necessary for oil changes. My future neighbor up there has asked if he can use my lift for doing his oil changes. Another bay will have a sloped floor and a drain and wall lighting for 24/7/365 car washing. The third bay will have a perfectly flat floor for jacking cars up.

A friend of mine has a Quick Jack. I get the creeps thinking about crawling under that thing to do an oil change. But, it would be the schnizzle for brake work and tire rotations.
 

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I'm a DlCK! So what?
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Discussion Starter #8
The second the words, "I know how to do my job" leave the other guy's mouth, it's no longer a polite conversation. If I get any kind of hint that the person is questioning their own abilities or the shop does some shady shit (you can usually get that vibe), I immediately GTFO.

I can only dream of having a big garage with my tools neatly organized, work bench off to one side, a proper oil suction machine, a lift, a sloped bay for washes...

I guess it's time I go buy some lottery tickets...
 

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The second the words, "I know how to do my job" leave the other guy's mouth, it's no longer a polite conversation. If I get any kind of hint that the person is questioning their own abilities or the shop does some shady shit (you can usually get that vibe), I immediately GTFO.

I can only dream of having a big garage with my tools neatly organized, work bench off to one side, a proper oil suction machine, a lift, a sloped bay for washes...

I guess it's time I go buy some lottery tickets...
I'm not quite there yet. But, I'm marking up the architect's drawings today. Having clean car in good mechanical and cosmetic condition minimized my and Frau Putzer's desire to get new ones.

This garage mahal of mine is the result of both hard work, pure dumb luck on my part, and a stroke of genius on the part of my late mother. She figured out the investment potential in a maker of generic Prozac before just about anybody on Wall Street did, and made fortune.

My immediate goal in life is to outdo my friend, Ray.

Note the sleek looking brackets holding up the garage doors. Lift Master doesn't make them anymore, but I stockpiled 14 of them.

You know those little wires that are tacked to the wall for the garage door opener. That drove Ray nuts. So, his new house has conduits built into the wall.

This is his second house with a true three-holer. When he sold his last one, it sold for full price on the morning of the first day it was on the market. A doctor and his wife came to look at it. The doctor never made it into the house. He just stood in the garage, in awe. His wife made a lap of the inside of the house and said she liked it. The doctor said "We'll take it."

Ray gave me first dibs on that second house. But, the garage wasn't perfect and Frau Putzer absolutely hated the inside of the house. I've learned over the years that Frau Putzer's unhappiness is highly contagious. So, that was the end of that.

Ray installed that curtain because the... wait for it... garage air conditioner isn't powerful enough to cool down all three bays.

Ray was running out of room on the lot and that was screwing up the driveway approach to the garage. I suggested turning the side-loading garage 15 degrees to fix the approach problem.

Ray's garage is still too cluttered for my taste. That's and the lift will be how I kick his ass in our garage wars. My goal is to have nothing in the garage except cars and:

Roll-away trash cans
Utility sink
Two work benches
Lift

Everything else will be in either the "automotive tool room" or the "garden tool room." There's also room for a detached one-holer in the back corner of our trapezoidal lot. I made the architect call the garage the "automobile gallery" on the house plans.

When either I or the then recently widowed Frau Putzer go to sell this new house someday, we'll start by handing out flyers at the local BMW, Porsche, and Corvette club meetings. Hopefully, that will get the thing sold quickly without having to give some real estate agent and broker a cut.

I still run the office lottery pool, even though I've been retired for years. Everybody mails me checks, and I e-mail them scans of the tickets and the accounting spreadsheet. When I was working, we had almost 100 people in the pool. I had collectors in several buildings who'd bring me envelopes of cash, sort of like on the Soprano's. One of the collectors would shrug his shoulders up, make a funny face, and then look left and right before coming in my cubicle and giving me the envelope and list. I'd take the envelope and say "Ehhh, Silvio, it feels a little light today."

Pool membership dropped down when I got transferred to a high-security building where I couldn't have visitors, and I told everybody we had to do things by mail from then on. People need that human contact. We still have 19 members and bought $1152 of tickets in 2018. Anybody with an e-mail account is welcome to join. You can't win if you don't play.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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I'm not quite there yet. But, I'm marking up the architect's drawings today. Having clean car in good mechanical and cosmetic condition minimized my and Frau Putzer's desire to get new ones.

This garage mahal of mine is the result of both hard work, pure dumb luck on my part, and a stroke of genius on the part of my late mother. She figured out the investment potential in a maker of generic Prozac before just about anybody on Wall Street did, and made fortune.

My immediate goal in life is to outdo my friend, Ray.

Note the sleek looking brackets holding up the garage doors. Lift Master doesn't make them anymore, but I stockpiled 14 of them.

You know those little wires that are tacked to the wall for the garage door opener. That drove Ray nuts. So, his new house has conduits built into the wall.

This is his second house with a true three-holer. When he sold his last one, it sold for full price on the morning of the first day it was on the market. A doctor and his wife came to look at it. The doctor never made it into the house. He just stood in the garage, in awe. His wife made a lap of the inside of the house and said she liked it. The doctor said "We'll take it."

Ray gave me first dibs on that second house. But, the garage wasn't perfect and Frau Putzer absolutely hated the inside of the house. I've learned over the years that Frau Putzer's unhappiness is highly contagious. So, that was the end of that.

Ray installed that curtain because the... wait for it... garage air conditioner isn't powerful enough to cool down all three bays.

Ray was running out of room on the lot and that was screwing up the driveway approach to the garage. I suggested turning the side-loading garage 15 degrees to fix the approach problem.

Ray's garage is still too cluttered for my taste. That's and the lift will be how I kick his ass in our garage wars. My goal is to have nothing in the garage except cars and:

Roll-away trash cans
Utility sink
Two work benches
Lift

Everything else will be in either the "automotive tool room" or the "garden tool room." There's also room for a detached one-holer in the back corner of our trapezoidal lot. I made the architect call the garage the "automobile gallery" on the house plans.

When either I or the then recently widowed Frau Putzer go to sell this new house someday, we'll start by handing out flyers at the local BMW, Porsche, and Corvette club meetings. Hopefully, that will get the thing sold quickly without having to give some real estate agent and broker a cut.

I still run the office lottery pool, even though I've been retired for years. Everybody mails me checks, and I e-mail them scans of the tickets and the accounting spreadsheet. When I was working, we had almost 100 people in the pool. I had collectors in several buildings who'd bring me envelopes of cash, sort of like on the Soprano's. One of the collectors would shrug his shoulders up, make a funny face, and then look left and right before coming in my cubicle and giving me the envelope and list. I'd take the envelope and say "Ehhh, Silvio, it feels a little light today."

Pool membership dropped down when I got transferred to a high-security building where I couldn't have visitors, and I told everybody we had to do things by mail from then on. People need that human contact. We still have 19 members and bought $1152 of tickets in 2018. Anybody with an e-mail account is welcome to join. You can't win if you don't play.
Now THAT`S some wild shiznit….I can see why the new owner squirted in his pants upon seeing that garage...."Who gives a fcuk what the inside of the house looks like !" is probably what he was thinking at that point....:rofl:
 

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Meanwhile, at my carport...
Hey, at least it's a carport in Alabama instead of North Dakota. My aunt and uncle had a little "Florida house" built in the 1950's. The washing machine was in a little room off the carport.

Our current digs have what I call a 1.75-car garage, a.k.a. punk-azz garage (PAG). I can get two cars in, but I have to back in, and only the hoods, trunks/tailgate, and driver's doors are accessible inside the garage. When we go somewhere together, I always drive. So, if it's cold and raining, Frau Putzer is the one who must endure the weather.
 

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I'm a DlCK! So what?
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Discussion Starter #13
Hey, at least it's a carport in Alabama instead of North Dakota. My aunt and uncle had a little "Florida house" built in the 1950's. The washing machine was in a little room off the carport.

Our current digs have what I call a 1.75-car garage, a.k.a. punk-azz garage (PAG). I can get two cars in, but I have to back in, and only the hoods, trunks/tailgate, and driver's doors are accessible inside the garage. When we go somewhere together, I always drive. So, if it's cold and raining, Frau Putzer is the one who must endure the weather.
That's how ours is. It kind of sucks, but whatever.

We looked at a house with a garage that could fit three cars (two on one side, one on the other), but it was about $30K too high for our budget.

Apparently, this thread is now about garages rather than how to get a shop to give you a proper oil change. :lmao:
 

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That's how ours is. It kind of sucks, but whatever.

We looked at a house with a garage that could fit three cars (two on one side, one on the other), but it was about $30K too high for our budget.

Apparently, this thread is now about garages rather than how to get a shop to give you a proper oil change. :lmao:
There was a true three-holer for sale down the street when we bought our current house in 2003. But, it was another $50k and that was a big deal at the time. The three-holer also has a tool room and a mechanic's pit in one of the bays just like Jiffy Lube.
 

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Hey, at least it's a carport in Alabama instead of North Dakota. My aunt and uncle had a little "Florida house" built in the 1950's. The washing machine was in a little room off the carport.

Our current digs have what I call a 1.75-car garage, a.k.a. punk-azz garage (PAG). I can get two cars in, but I have to back in, and only the hoods, trunks/tailgate, and driver's doors are accessible inside the garage. When we go somewhere together, I always drive. So, if it's cold and raining, Frau Putzer is the one who must endure the weather.
I love your Frau Putzer anecdotes. I really do.
 
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