Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Annoying Oil Change

Dear Jiffy Lube,

Thanks much for leaving the air intake disconnected after my last visit to one of your establishments for an oil change. No really, thanks. That helped me detect the smell of burning transmission fluid quickly. The fumes were getting sucked in to the seating area very quickly. Why were there fumes? The dipstick wasn't inserted properly and fluid was coming out, running down the lower part of the engine, and dripping on the hot exhaust manifold and burning. The smell let me pick it up quickly before the smoke coming from under the hood got too bad. I only went in for an oil change, so coming out with a transmission fluid leak was a bonus.

I returned and complained. I explained the situation to the manager and asked him to check everything they did. He said he'd fix it and clean up the mess. I pulled over a block after leaving a second time and checked the area where the leak was. It seemed to be fixed.

But I hadn't learned my lesson. I didn't check everything like I should have.

Two days later, after driving about 800 miles and parking in a spotless garage, I pulled the car out the next morning only to discover a fluid spot on the floor. Yup, I was leaking oil. Not a lot (thank goodness), but enough to be worrisome since I had never lost any oil before my visit two days before. Another bonus when I went to look under the car. The rubber flap that allows access to the oil drain plug and oil filter was sagging down because only two of the four clips that hold it in place were installed after the last oil change.

To make a long story short, a visit to a mechanic to put the car on a lift to check the drain plug at least slowed the loss. He didn't have clips, but used zip ties to secure the flap. When we got home I went to my Subaru dealer to get it fixed. They informed me that the filter used was an after market brand that doesn't seat well and leaks. A replacement from my dealer fixed the issue and my car is back to normal.

Was I bad for not checking the work done on my car after visiting one of your establishments? Yup. Did I expect quality service from Jiffy Lube that I wouldn't have to check and that wouldn't create problems? Yup. Did I expect the use of proper parts? Yup. If you don't have the right parts, should your mechanics say sorry, explain the situation, and not change the oil? Yup. Have I lost trust? Yup. Will I now drive miles across the metro area to visit my dealer for an oil change rather than visit the Jiffy Lube about a mile away? Yup. In the long run, it will be a time saver for me.


Erika Jean said...

omg, that sucks! I always get paranoid about things like that happening - but have lucked out so far. I'll stay away from jiffy lube! I usually used Valvoline in Cinci. and had no problems... wish they had one here :-(

Anonymous said...

Earl, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. As a member of the Jiffy Lube customer service team I encourage you to contact our Customer Service department at 1.800.344.6933 or email Customer Service can put you into direct contact with the operators in charge of this service center.

Anonymous said...