By on July 6, 2016

statefarm

Ever wonder exactly how the various “quick-lube” places in your city made a profit?

The price of motor oil rises and falls — mostly rises — but the pricing stays at $19.95 or $24.95 or whatever your local market will bear. As fate would have it, most of my vehicles aren’t compatible with the quick-lube business model of having some sweaty dude waving your air filter in your face and telling you that it has the Zika virus while an actual rhesus monkey cross-threads your drain plug using an impact gun. My 993, as an example, has two oil filters, while my Boxster requires a 32-step process to get to the air filters. Nor would I trust my mighty Accord V6 to somebody whose path in life hasn’t qualified them to work above ground.

Not all of us have the luxury of doing our own oil changes at home, however. You might not have the space, the tools, the ability, or the time that’s required to do it correctly yourself. That last factor is perhaps the biggest. If you’re working two McJobs to make ends meet, the Valvoline Oil Change down the street might be your only practical choice. The good news: it’s cheap. The bad news: some of that cost savings comes from another way the shop makes money on you, without you even knowing.


snitching

Yesterday, a Twitter user posted a letter he’d received from State Farm informing him that his “low mileage discount” would be removed. The reason? State Farm, also known as “the scumbags who let their ‘approved repair shop’ joyride my first wife’s SRT-4 for 210 miles back in 2005 during a singularly inept attempt to repair the dashboard after a break-in and then sent a hatchet-faced female representative who literally laughed about it with the body shop manager,” had received information from a third party about the user’s odometer reading.

After some back-and-forth discussion between this person and various other individuals on Twitter, one user determined that the quick-change oil place had probably sold the information to CarFax, which had then sold it to State Farm. CarFax makes no secret of this; it’s a selling point from their perspective. But it’s worth noting that CarFax is just as happy to sell data in bulk to an insurance provider as they are to help you uncover odometer fraud on that sweet ’97 Mitsubishi Eclipse you’ve been considering. Probably more so, in fact.

So what’s the issue here? Surely it’s wrong to lie to your insurance company about your mileage. It’s just as wrong, however, for auto service providers to use their customers’ information as a revenue source. My advice: Learn to do your own maintenance, or learn to live with being double-fleeced by the guy at the Valvoline Oil Change. Perhaps this justifies a mild update of the Internet Age’s most truthful adage: If you’re not paying (much), you’re the product.

[h/t to a bad magician from Ohio who really, really likes for potatoes]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

212 Comments on “Your Quick Lube Place Is Probably Snitching on You to Your Insurance Company...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “the quick-lube business model of having some sweaty dude waving your air filter in your face and telling you that it has the Zika virus while an actual rhesus monkey cross-threads your drain plug using an impact gun. ”

    I’ve never personally seen this, but I’ve been around enough where I could believe it’s happened.

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      After my one and only visit to Jiffy lube (wherein they lost the screws to the air filter housing on a Taurus!!) I only let the dealer change the oil while is pay with one of their frequent coupon deals. At least they have the right filter and oil and MAY have replaced the drain plug correctly in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        anti121hero

        My girlfriends brother got his oil changed at a jiffy lube and they never tightened his drain plug… About 100 miles away, his motor seized right up. Luckily they got him a rental car and paid for a whole new engine somehow.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          That’s a common, longtime problem with these quick-change places. Round about 1986, I had an oil-change at one of the change places of the time…it was in a leased Ford Escort. Back then having receipts and changing your own oil was not enough proof or defense; and anyway I was planning for a trip from Ohio to Georgia.

          The oil was changed and I began the trip. And…as the miles wore on…I seemed to be hearing some odd gear noises I never did. And some tactile feelings through the steering, that never were there.

          It was a snowy/rainy Sunday when I made the trip, and there was no practical place to stop to examine everything. Oil was up where it should be. Temperature…well, the idiot light wasn’t on. No funny smells.

          In Atlanta the next day I took it to a recommended Ford agency. Turns out the transaxle was WAY down on fluid; and evidence showed the drain plug had been messed with. There was some traces of oil around the plug opening.

          Pretty obvious what happened: The pot-addled moron who was working in the pit opened the wrong plug, before he figured out it wasn’t what he thought it was. Maybe the color of the fluid tipped him off. He quickly capped it up and found the right plug; and then didn’t bother to say anything to anyone.

          No further damage came out of it – I was lucky. Put over 100,000 miles on that thing, in an era when that didn’t happen so frequently; but ever since then I don’t trust those places. I use them but I check everything.

          Now, I may have to stop using them.

          • 0 avatar
            scrubnick

            My friend did this on his Mercury Tracer twice! First time, the trans locked up coming off the freeway after about 30 miles of driving. Second time, he figured it out half way through and called me to bring him gear oil to put back in.

    • 0 avatar
      rcx141

      Confirm – that happened to me

      • 0 avatar
        Piston Slap Yo Mama

        Opposite for me: the Abbott & Costello morons at upstate NY’s Albany Honda DOUBLE FILLED my Honda Insight. The tip-off that I should’ve double checked their work was when one of them spent 30 seconds sounding out my 24 Hours of Lemons Concours bumpersticker. Instead, I hopped in my car and literally drove it 1800 miles to Austin TX, spent a couple days there then drove another 1200 miles to Orlando FL. It did seem a bit sluggish but I ignored it.

        When I finally did open the hood I discovered oil coming out around the dip-stick and a mess in my engine bay. The Honda dealer in Orlando measured the oil they removed: 6 qts from an engine that holds 2.75. They contacted the shop in NY – who told me to pound sand. To Orlando Honda’s credit they did comp the oil change …

        While I haven’t noticed permanent damages, it still amazes me that the pistons didn’t hydro-lock at the bottom of their arcs.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Perfect!
      I’ve never been to a quick change oil shop. Now, I want to get my video camera and drive over to the closest quickie lube and see if I can catch a glimpse of the aforementioned Rhesus monkey with the air powered impact wrench.
      But, then again, it’s too hot for that today.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a humorous way of illustrating the scare tactics many of these shops use to fatten their bottom line selling you stuff you don’t need.

      Amerilube in Weirton, WV., a Valvoline Oil Change place, has increasingly become this way. They have an in-house repair bay next to the two oil change bays and will try to frighten you letting them work on your ride. They’re priced compatibly with other shops but I’ve seen substandard work from them…a main brake line held together with a compression fitting instead of flare fittings, for example.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Aunt Bev had the “no drain plug” situation on her Mazda B2000 Ranger clone after a Jiffy Lube visit. They did buy her a new engine, on a truck that had 100,000 plus miles. That kept her going long enough that rust was the deciding factor in taking that sucker off the road.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I’m told that if you can’t spot the sucker in the room it probably is you.

    • 0 avatar
      ReSa

      And with that I take away two great expressions from this thread. Thank you sir!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Unfortunately, to the government, we’re all suckers. Any state that has mandatory smog inspections keeps a record of the mileage, and can make it available to insurance companies that operate in that state. Who needs Jiffy Lube when the long arm of the law is watching?

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        And, a much bigger problem in practice: They write and “interpret” laws for no real purpose, aside from feeding productive people’s money to ambulance chasing leeches. “At-fault” nonsense, mandatory “liability” insurance blah, blah. which does nothing but allow the ambulance chasers to continue seeking ever higher rent, paid at gunpoint by all motorists.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    The money saved by doing your own oil change isn’t worth the bother, at least for “normal” cars. There are places that do it reasonably that are a few more dollars than the quick lube place, but are still reasonable.

    Save the DIY for brakes or struts.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This. Especially when you count the time of going to the parts store once to buy the oil and then a second time to drop off the used oil. It’s a messy, nasty job, and it’s so cheap to pay a real independent mechanic to do it. It’s not even that expensive at the (shudder) dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Independent shop, bingo answer.

        My mom continually takes her cars to quick lube and Wal-Mart, and they continually mess them up. Once, they drained the oil from her Caravan, and didn’t quite remember to put any more in. Luckily she only drove a few miles home, and my dad checked it later in the day.

      • 0 avatar
        operagost

        It takes me an entire 10 minutes to get to the parts store and buy oil and a filter. To get my oil changed, if I don’t go to a jiffy place I’ll be sitting in a waiting room for at least two hours while they get ’round to it. My wife doesn’t drive, so I’m stuck there. And the parts store is open late, and on Sundays.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          Yeah. And then it takes hours…days…weeks…to appease the Apartment Manager or Homeowner’s Association – where the lease or by-laws forbid repairs in parking lots, driveways or common carports.

          If you have your own home, and a garage, and tools…obviously doing it yourself is the smart plan. Not everyone has that option.

          Add to that…that it isn’t JUST quicklube places selling odometer data. I expect a lot of garages are doing the same thing with more-involved repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Testacles Megalos

            I’ve changed oil (and done full service) on old cars in hotel parking lots on cross-country trips. Hasn’t been a problem as long as one is discrete about it and cleans up….

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            My new house has a tornado shelter in the 3rd garage bay, which is just perfect for changing one’s oil.

            However, I will still take mine to an independent. It’s just easier.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            With my luck, the tornado would come and I wouldn’t be able to get the third car started to move out of the way.

          • 0 avatar
            econobiker

            I’ve also used the “stealth” oil change in the self service car wash. No, I did not dump the oil in the drain, I brought my own recycling container.
            This works especially well on a rainy evening in areas prone to rain. Anyone in the southwest USA is probably out of luck on this technique…

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Great point. It often takes longer to use a “quick” lube chain vs. DIY.

          Alternative method: Amazon stocks most brands of filters, and you can always add oil to your shopping list on the next visit to Target or Walmart.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s another good thing about doing your oil change at your indy. You can make a freaking appointment.

          • 0 avatar
            NeilM

            Kyle writes: “My new house has a tornado shelter in the 3rd garage bay, which is just perfect for changing one’s oil.”

            So how much oil does that tornado shelter hold, and how long before it overflows?

            Enquiring minds…

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        We have several franchise tire shops around us that will do it with a tire rotation for under $30 on a coupon, and I’m in the greater DC area, so not a low cost of living place. If a place will at least put the car on a lift, it’s good enough for me. We just did my wife’s car last weekend – in and out maybe 20 minutes slower than Jiffy lube, but at least I’m reasonably sure they did it right.

        • 0 avatar
          John

          I’ve had bad luck with the franchise tire shops – specifically lug nut torque. Had everything from not even finger-tight to over 200 ft/lbs. If I have to have work done at a tire shop, as soon as I get my car home, I loosen the nuts and tighten them with a proper torque wrench.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny ro

        So sorry but its only one trip. Drop off old oil and buy new plus filter.

        Use a 5 gallon gas can labeled for waste oil. Use a mityvac. Far faster than using a shop.

        My drain plugs are never removed, hence no worries about even me cross threading them.

        I would never ever use a franchised oil change place for anything at all.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it depends. if your car needs (or you want to use) a higher end synthetic oil, then it can be worth your while to DIY ‘cos the quick lube places have HUGE mark-ups on up-sells like that.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        My G8 GXP used 9 quarts of synthetic. The oil alone cost over $50 retail. My independent did the oil change on that car, using the proper 10W30 synthetic, for $89. Well worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        anti121hero

        Yeah I’m too picky with my stuff to have a shop fill up my vehicles with no name oil and Fram filters. I use shell Rotella t6 5w40 and Motorcraft filters.. No shop is going to have that on the shelf to change it for a reasonable price, and most would look at you like your crazy for asking for that in a jeep. Oh well I’m ASE certified even though I don’t work on vehicles for a living, so I’ll just do my own work that I can trust.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Isn’t Rotella that tasty stuff with peppers and spices in it, comes in a little can?

          /s

        • 0 avatar
          IAhawkeye

          Rotella T6 is diesel oil.. why are you using diesel oil in a Jeep? Unless it’s a diesel Liberty or something, please do tell.

          I used it in my CBR just fine, and it’s what most guys recommended to do. I’ve just never heard of it being used in a gas SUV.

          • 0 avatar
            FlimFlamMan

            I’ve used it in my Subaru WRX for years. Lots of WRX/STi owners do as well. The EJ25 loves it… and many oil analysis’s prove it out as well.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I’ve used it in my Subaru WRX for years. Lots of WRX/STi owners do as well. The EJ25 loves it… and many oil analysis’s prove it out as well.”

            “not bad” is not the same thing as “good.” spark ignition and compression ignition oils have been diverging for some time. back when I was a wrench, most motor oil was API certified for both gas and diesel engines (at the time the certification level was SF/CD.) But things have become so tight where oils are certified separately for spark ignition and compression ignition engines. Rotella is only certified CJ-4 and has no “S” certification so I’m not sure what you think you’re gaining by using it.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Im not an expert but you can read for days about Rotella on BITOG.

            The jist is, S ratings are energy saving ratings, which as of late require compromises in wear additives in oil. The fact that Rotella is not S rated can be a benefit if you value longevity over a slight decrease in fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            FlimFlamMan

            ““not bad” is not the same thing as “good.” spark ignition and compression ignition oils have been diverging for some time. back when I was a wrench, most motor oil was API certified for both gas and diesel engines (at the time the certification level was SF/CD.) But things have become so tight where oils are certified separately for spark ignition and compression ignition engines. Rotella is only certified CJ-4 and has no “S” certification so I’m not sure what you think you’re gaining by using it.”

            Rotella T6 5w40 is API SM certified, so its rated for gas engines as well. It is a robust oil with excellent shear stability, which works well with the turbocharged EJ25 boxer engine, especially if you beat on it as do I. At $5 a quart its a very good deal as well.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I disagree. If you really care about your car, changing your own oil is worthwhile.

      First, I am particular about what oil and filters I use. I talked to an oil company rep once. He said that any name-brand oil that is rated for the vehicle’s requirements is good today, but cautioned to pick a brand and stick to it. The additives packages used by different oil companies aren’t guaranteed to be compatible. Every time you change brands you invite sludge and depot build-up in your engine.

      Second, even independent shops can be incompetent. Once I was pressed for time and going away on vacation. I took my own oil and filter to an independent shop to change. I told them how much oil to pour in…. and the guy ignored me and dumped in the whole 5L bottle.

      Third, being under the vehicle to change the oil is the perfect time to inspect items such as exhaust hangers, heat shields, engine mounts, hoses and brake lines, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      I take my car to a local mechanic, $20 if I provide the oil and filter. For that, he puts it up in the air and wiggles all the parts that can’t be wiggle on the ground, plus deals with the dead oil and filter. I can’t think of a better way to get it done, plus he’s nice guy and good to visit with.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      Can’t really agree. I buy the oil ahead of time when at Walmart or whatever, save the used oil until my next trip past pep boys. Takes less than 15 minutes , no driving to the shop and waiting. And I know EXACTLY what oil and filter went in.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    This is why I come to TTAC. Nice work, Jack. I rarely use the QuickieLube, but never again.

  • avatar
    RHD

    An oil change takes less time to do it yourself than to take your car to a Quickee Lube and have some high school dropout do it… and it costs less. You know exactly what kind of oil is going into your engine, and what filter is being put on. It’s a great chance to inspect the undercarriage as well.
    My first experience with a Walmart Auto Center oil change was my last. They checked off the list of inspection/cleaning items and did none of them. Never again.
    I realize I’m preaching to the choir… but who would want to pay double or more for wiper refills, taillights, air filters or whatever other add-on they pressure you to buy?

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Agreed – I spend far more time washing my cars than I ever did changing the oil. A set of race ramps, an oil disposal canister, and some Craftsman tools makes it just about the easiest thing you can do to a car.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yeah, except for “somehow finding stupid oil recycling containers for disposal” and “dealing with the oily mess”, and “doing all the shopping” vs. “just stop in at lunchtime and be done in 20 minutes”.

      No, thanks.

      I’ve done it, and I hope to never do it again.

      (Also, hilariously, at various points QuickLube places have charged me less for air filters than NAPA does … including installing them, and with no detectable change in filtering ability.)

  • avatar
    dal20402

    How about, well, not lying to the insurance company about the mileage you’re driving in the first place?

    It’s a risky habit. Your policy says somewhere in it that it won’t cover you if you knowingly falsified information you provided to the insurance company. If you get in a collision and need to make a claim for, oh, I don’t know, $200,000 of medical bills for an elderly widow pulling out of a parking lot whom you T-boned while exploring the upper reaches of the mighty J35Y2’s rev range, under your policy they will have a perfectly valid reason to stick you with the bill and, on top of that, decline to pay your legal fees.

    This sort of data provision is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can hurt you if you lie to your insurance company. On the other hand, it can help you at resale when your car’s CarFax has all those oil changes on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “How about, well, not lying to the insurance company about the mileage you’re driving in the first place?”

      Heh… yeah, JB’s “Help! I’m Being Techo-Nazi Police Stated Here!” leitmotif is gettng a good stretch with this installment.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        IF YOU’RE NOT BREAKING THE LAW YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Right, because the government and an insurance company in a competitive market are the same thing.

          It’s your choice to lie, with full awareness that your lying will be found out in any claim situation and essentially makes your insurance policy worthless according to terms you yourself agreed to when you signed up for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            dal raises a very good point; if you want the discount it’s hard to bitch about the insurance company making efforts to verify your “low mileage” status.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The issue is bigger than this particular instance, the issue is your personal information is being gathered and sold without your consent.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Alright. Let’s say that, like me, you drive your primary car a shit-ton of miles in the winter but not at all in the summer. If I go to the Quik-Loob in April, I’m obviously cheating the insurance company, right? Because my mileage, at that point, happens to exceed the annual adjusted?

            I remind you that many insurance agencies, including Progressive, will refuse to insure a summer-only vehicle like a motorcycle for just summer. They insist that you insure it year-round, because they have a keen sense of how to make billions of dollars from shooting fish in a barrel. Whatever tears you are shedding about this fellow’s putative fraud are unjustified.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Did you miss where I stated that State Farm in particular contacts me twice a year to get the exact mileage? They can easily estimate annual usage after only two such calls… one if you give them the exact mileage when signing up for coverage.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Jack, I’m absolutely certain you wouldn’t get one of these letters partway through a single year in which you were on pace to exceed the mileage but hadn’t done so yet. It wouldn’t be worth the insurance company’s time and hassle when the owner inevitably called to complain.

            I’d put some quality scotch down that the letter showed up after someone who had been paying for 5,000 miles a year racked up, say, 20,000 in two years or 25,000 in three.

            I pay for 10,000 on the C-Max (and the Forester before it) and 7,500 on the LS460. For the last two years I’ve been considerably under those amounts. But in 2013 we put about 14,000 on the Forester thanks to a couple long road trips. The overage didn’t even occur to me until after the fact. All service was done through the dealer and reported to CarFax etc. Geico, never one to pass up a rate increase when it sees one, surely knew about the overage but never hassled me about it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Vulpine

            Unless your state doesn’t collect this information annually, I see no reason for any third party to need it. They *want* it because all firms are data hungry, but they don’t *need* it.

            Btw, I had State Farm for several years but I never heard from them in this regard, and I was told I had the “low mileage” plan (7500 max).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            My state is not one to collect that data annually. In fact, about the only opportunity it gets to collect that data is the semi-annual (meaning every two years) vehicle emissions check and the one-time vehicle inspection on purchase (unless new from dealership, from which the registration application includes indicated odometer mileage.)

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Anecdotal, but I insure through USAA. I moved from a place ~32 miles from my office to a place ~7 miles from my office, which should have been a lower risk zip code. I updated my address and updated my anticipated yearly usage, and my policy changed by <$5.

            So I determined there was really no good reason to lie about my mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “I’d put some quality scotch down that the letter showed up after someone who had been paying for 5,000 miles a year racked up, say, 20,000 in two years or 25,000 in three.”

            Dal, I’ll have to take that scotch. The odometer reading in the letter is 017670. State Farm, to my recollection, doesn’t offer anything less than 7500 miles per year.

            I also don’t recall them sending me a refund when my 911’s odometer showed 88,000 miles at the 22-year mark :)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            dal20402 – I have to agree with Dal. Lying to the insurance company is fraud.
            I’m sure that somewhere on the form you sign for the oil change there is fine print stating they can sell your data. It may be deceptive on their part not to point it out to you but it is your responsibility to read anything you sign.

        • 0 avatar
          ScarecrowRepair

          Is that you, Hillary?

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “IF YOU’RE NOT BREAKING THE LAW YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT”

          OMG funny.. this shout has been languishing here all day cuz I been busy and, most best, I already agree with it!!

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Again, another example that it is Corporate America, not Uncle Sam, that is the real threat in the race to remove everybody’s right to privacy – all in the name of robbing you blind.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Laws are for the little people.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            “Again, another example that it is Corporate America, not Uncle Sam, that is the real threat in the race to remove everybody’s right to privacy – all in the name of robbing you blind.”

            Negatory, there, dawg. It’s government hiding BEHIND corporations that are doing this.

            In a free economy, with government jammed back in its cage, it would be a simple matter to tell State Funny Farm to pack sand. AND to smack the punk at Jiffy Loob in the face when he tries to take the digits. AND to change oil yourself in your driveway.

            That is not permissible. First, insurance companies are hamstrung by government regs – that’s why there’s little competition; because starting one today is well-nigh impossible. AND…they cannot charge different rates based on quantifiable measurements. I am a Martian asexual with two heads; and we don’t have many traffic accidents. USED to be they’d give Martians with two heads and no third leg, a better rate – but now that’s not legal.

            One way that still IS legal is essentially charging by the mile driven, approximately. Well, I resent the hell out of that – because being an older Martian, I don’t have accidents the way young Plutopians do. And I don’t think it’s the business of State Funny Farm to force me to subsidize those Plutopian punks with two penii and a taste for strong mead while they drive.

            Government corrupts everything it gets into. A corporation is just a business charter; but government holds the power of life and death, success by crony-connections or destitution by tax-man, over each of us.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Negatory”

            Lord, speed the day when the dried-up ’60s enlisted-rank knobheads who say that are gone.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            JustPassinThru,
            As someone with 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, I can state categorically that nothing in your rant is in any way true.

            The Federal government has nothing to do with insurance rates.

            Starting an insurance company requires capital, but is easy to do. Entrepreneurs tend not to focus on industries that are flat or in decline, but we still see the occasional start-ups.

            No one is forcing you to get your oil changed at QuickieLube. We just want to see that you dispose of the used oil responsibly.

            Sorry that reality is so contrary to your world view.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
            At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service.
            After work, I log on to the Internet, which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on TheTruthAboutCars.com about how the government can’t do anything right.”

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            VoGo:

            “JustPassinThru,
            As someone with 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, I can state categorically that nothing in your rant is in any way true”

            What you say is in no way true.

            If I can show that people who live in my zip code, who drive the brand of car I drive, who do the kind of work I do, have far fewer accidents than someone who lives in zip code 90222, is named Tyrone and who drives a Lexus four-door with heavy aftermarket hardware and who has no visible means of support…

            …charging me less is RAY-CYST. Even if I can statistically show that I, and types like I, have fewer accidents.

            Even if I can show that me and Tyrone are genetically and racially alike.

            THAT…is GOVERNMENT.

            And government denies its heavy hand even as it crushes those underneath it…it sells the weak-minded that it’s “fair.”

            Kenmore: “Lord, speed the day when the dried-up ’60s enlisted-rank knobheads who say that are gone.”

            What, you no like working-class blue-collar white-trash trucker talk? We weren’t the Peace-Love-Pot brigades; we were the ones busting the Yippies’ heads.

            Unlike your elitist fake-radical, pro-tyranny professors, we actually believed, and still do, in personal freedoms.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “What, you no like working-class blue-collar white-trash trucker talk?”

            Except for comedic effect I pretty much abandoned it around the age of 13. By then I had seen its correlation with go-nowhere puds.

            “we were the ones busting the Yippies’ heads”

            Only ’cause they wouldn’t let us do that to coloreds no more.

        • 0 avatar
          bachewy

          Seriously? So it’s alright for everything you do to be monitored and shared, without your consent, with anyone who offers up enough cash?

        • 0 avatar
          bachewy

          Is that a quote from Stalin, Hitler, or Kim Jung Il?

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    CBC Marketplace did a good expose on a quick lube chain around here. The usual bit of showing what and wasn’t done despite charging for it. I wonder if the personal data sharing bit was something they considered.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      My favorite is the Monro around me loosening people’s tie rod nuts and then showing them how they need replacement.. Or the random dirty old air filter they keep around that they will show you after your oil change saying that it came out of your vehicle and needs changing now or there will be imminent doom… Or my favorite… Power steering flush/performance enhancer

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        The local Monro shop tried to scam me once for leaking rear brake cylinders during a state inspection. Problem was that I had changed said cylinders a few weeks before.
        I raised hell with the manager who refused to admit to the fraud. He was just lucky that I was fresh out of Molotov cocktails. I made him write down that the rear brake cylinders were leaking on the receipt. Next day, I called Harrisburg and sicced the DMV on him.
        As a coworker once said, “he picked the wrong marine to eff with”.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          Midas tried the old “moisture in the brakes” trick and really went to Academy Award level with the “we cannot let you drive this with this problem” schtick. I guess they thought my wife was clueless. Big problem that she cured by calling the local police and asking them to A. repeat what they just said B. explain why they kept her keys to the nice officers. On a two year old Audi 200. Truly pathetic

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    We’re all piling on QuickLube here…but there’s enough blame to hit State Farm on this.

    In my 29 years as a SF customer, I’ve seen them go from being a service-oriented value insurer to a font of crapola and intrusive Big-Brother behaviors.

    No more drive-through claims. No more even bringing the damaged car TO them. THEY…INSIST on coming to YOU.

    Since I work on-call and never know where I’ll be or when, that doesn’t work.

    They want to install real-time monitors on customers’ cars – for a promised discount on rates. How long before the promised discount becomes a penalty for NOT having these things? Soon.

    I am shopping for another carrier. Once, long ago, in Ohio, it was possible to meet insurance requirements by putting up a surety bond with the Secretary of State of Ohio. That option was later limited to fleet owners only; and in many states there is not any provision for self-insurance.

    Seems 1984 arrived, just 32 years late.

    • 0 avatar
      Joebaldheadedgranny

      Within ten years we will all have telematics devices in our cars. Why?
      1.) The new tax scheme to pay for the infrastructure will be based on Vehicle Miles Traveled and the authorities will need/mandate a way to measure.
      2.) Insurance companies have an interest in defining risk parameters and annual mileage is clearly one of them. So is driver behavior, and most of them (hard turns, seatbelt use, reversing, speeding) can be captured.
      3.) NHTSA is dead-set on reducing the 35,000+ road fatalities in 2015.
      We will have to learn how to go with the tide on this one.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Those telematics devices are teaching insurers which behaviors are risky, and which are benign. In turn, they will teach and incentivize value-seeking consumers to drive better. Win Win.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          So far, they seem to be programmed to throw an alert on heavy throttle openings, brake events, and lateral g loads. They don’t have enough information to know which ones are risky. I don’t want to pay higher premiums just because I hit it going up an empty onramp or took a flyover a bit faster than recommended.

          • 0 avatar
            TriumphDriver

            On Star tracks heavy braking, acceleration rates, speeds exceeding 80mph and driving late at night.
            Their definition of heavy braking appears to be any time you stare hard at the brake pedal, and of course they have no way of knowing that you pressed the brake pedal slightly harder than usual because some dip$hit in a minivan cut you off.
            It’s an interesting tool, but why it should result in insurance rates going up when you’ve driven 45 years with no at-fault accidents and no speeding convictions is beyond me.
            Oh, and I’d cut my arm off before I’d take any of my vehicles to an oil change place.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        You may be okay with that kind of intrusion and Big-Brother management and tracking.

        I am not.

        As one opinion leader of the Liberal faction once said on TV…”Resist, we much!”

        And by any and all ways possible.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Yeah, but how much longer will we Boomers be driving, anyway?

          At least I *hope* you’re a Boomer otherwise your cerebral arteries got some splainin’ to do.

          • 0 avatar
            Testacles Megalos

            until they’re all run off the roads by cell-wielding millenials?

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            “until they’re all run off the roads by cell-wielding millenials?”

            Truer than you know.

            I’m living in a small mountain city, home to a major university and a USFS installation. LOTS of FedGov employees; professors; rich college kids.

            Driving in this town is enough to give you PTSD. Between the Smartphone addiction and the dazed-and-confused demeanor that SO MANY people have here, today…it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get across town without losing one’s temper. Between close calls, idiots driving at 20 in 45 zones, side-by-side while they text…and the kids with Bro-Dozers who love Rolling Coal…it’s enough to make a rational transplanted Midwesterner just take the bus.

      • 0 avatar
        Testacles Megalos

        4.) State Revenue generation in an era of increasing gov’t debt. Go to renew your registration and/or driver’s license will require plugging in the car and downloading the wheres and whats. Every event of mismatch of traffic law/rule and GPS coordinates will be met with a fee to be paid before renewal is granted. “That’s 16 times you drove over 45 mph in the 35 mph zone….$1640 please. Twice you ignored the red flashers on school buses, that’ll be 25 hours of community service, go to the next desk to schedule your service times”

      • 0 avatar
        Testacles Megalos

        JustPassinThru – “rational Midwesterner” is redundant

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      State Farm is evil. They raised my homeowner’s insurance premium 54% over a five-year period, despite the fact that I never filed a claim. I’m now with an independent insurance agent and my homeowner’s premium is back to 2009 levels AND I saved a little on car insurance, too.

      Guess they have to pay Aaron Rodgers quite a bit to do those stupid discount daaaaaaable-check commercials.

      Like a date rapist, State Farm is there.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Beautiful.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          And what happened to the value of your home over that 5-year period? Did the auditors note that your $50K home is now worth $150K? You may not have made any claims, but if the county assessor says the property’s value has skyrocketed, then the insurance company WILL adjust its rates.

          I’m betting your real coverage is now far lower than what you had with State Farm… unless you signed up with another quality company and not some no-name that will deny any claims you might make in the future.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “And what happened to the value of your home over that 5-year period? Did the auditors note that your $50K home is now worth $150K? You may not have made any claims, but if the county assessor says the property’s value has skyrocketed, then the insurance company WILL adjust its rates.”

            That doesn’t necessarily make any sense; insurance companies aren’t going to buy your home, they’re going to rebuild it. Unless construction materials and rate prices skyrocketed, the rebuild cost should be mostly flat. House values go up because of of land/location desirability, not because of a big jump in commodity pricing.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Depends on the company then. I know my rates went down when the assessor lowered my property value.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “Depends on the company then. I know my rates went down when the assessor lowered my property value.”

            That doesn’t really make sense. Your insuring the value of the structure which is not the same thing as your property value.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            In this sense, the property value includes the structure on it.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “In this sense, the property value includes the structure on it.”

            But again, the market value is not the same as the replacement value, and the replacement value is what the insurer is going to be paying 99 times out of 100 (baring some extreme catastrophe like a hurricane that makes an area unliveable). If my house burns down, they build another one with the same specs, they don’t “total it” and cut me a check so I can go buy another house somewhere else.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            My house is insured at market value because if it burns to the ground a contractor would build and sell the same house at market value.
            Good luck finding a builder to construct something at a price predetermined by insurance.
            Insurance companies will buy someone a new house if that option is cheaper. If my house burns down they cover my rental costs until they get me into a new home. In the “great white north” nothing gets built from November to March” unless they can get a foundation in and the shell constructed before winter time hits.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “My house is insured at market value because if it burns to the ground a contractor would build and sell the same house at market value.
            Good luck finding a builder to construct something at a price predetermined by insurance.”

            I’ve talked to my insurance company about this at length, because they quoted me a “rebuild” cost substantially lower than market value (about 50%). The land my house sits on is relatively valuable; my 75×100′ lot would probably sell for $150-200k vacant. My house cost me $350k. The land (location) is what is valuable, not my house. If you live somewhere where land is inexpensive, you’re right, but in suburban/urban areas where the value is the location, construction costs are fairly irrelevant compared to house values.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      JustPassinThrough – Check out AMICA. I know everyone should check competing rates every year and all that. In my 32 years with them they’ve always been competitive, but better yet they continue to offer superior customer service.

      We have 4 cars; my wife’s car and my daily driver both put on 20-25k a year; the convertible puts on <2k a year; and the Trooper about the same over 3 weeks of driving on vacation. Adding and dropping the Trooper as needed is no big deal to them.

      We've had a few accidents and tickets over the years….AMICA has always been great about fair pricing.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Ah good old State Farm. Back in 2002 I had renters insurance with them. They wanted to severely jack up the premium because of a slight decline in my credit rating and a speeding ticket or 2 that indicated to them that I was a “high risk”. I said “eff ’em” and never looked back.

        My current insurance agent is one of the independents who represents several companies. He once asked me if I wanted to try one of those “snapshot” type devices. I looked at him sideways and said: “You think that’s wise for a guy who thinks a radar detector is a must have item?” He never brought it up again.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Dealership and BMV(bureau of motor vehicle) visits are followed by numerous out of state calls within a week…quincidence? And I’m on the do not call list.

    Same goes for aftermarket warranties in the mail. Someone is selling and buying our info.

    • 0 avatar
      CincyDavid

      I like it when one of the kids has a wreck, and the attorney letters arrive in the mail within 48 hours. The good news is, they all have a copy of the police report attached, so I don’t have to order a copy.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I used to do some insurance claim work for the Jiffy Lube franchisee in STL…they budgeted about $1 per oil change for “oops” moments like oil in the transmission, trans fluid in the engine, driving through the glass garage doors, etc. They reportedly did 50,000 oil changes a month in the whole market, and spent $50k a month on repairs.

    Settling those claims was always a nightmare because the car owners always had a fit when you told them they were entitled to an LKQ/salvage/junkyard transmission or engine, and they wanted brand spanking new crate motors and transmissions for their 90,000 mile car. If they wanted new components they could pay the difference. I don’t miss those days…

    By the way, statistically they were pretty good…if you figure they damaged 10 cars in a given month, out of 50,000 that’s amazing, unless you happen to be one of the ten.

    Valvoline Instant Oil Change advertises that they teamed with CarFax to make car owners aware of recalls…they don’t like to talk about selling other information TO CarFax.
    http://www.aftermarketnews.com/valvoline-instant-oil-change-teams-up-with-carfax-to-offer-customers-recall-info/

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      If I had a well cared for higher mile motor/transmission that was ruined by Jiffy Lube (all hypotehtical, I’d never go there, and never drive the car with the oil pressure light on) I would absolutely throw a fit if they offered me something from the junkyard or reman, and for good reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I had a Safari van and since it was older I was getting WallMart tire centre to do the oil changes. They stripped the drain plug. WallMart was good and immediately filed a claim. The insurance company was a huge PIA. It took a few months before I got it resolved. All they wanted was two quotes on a new pan with shop rates. I went to a Chevy and a GM dealer which happened to be the most expensive. I faxed them the two quotes and got a cheque in the mail. I was totally blow away that they did not want a few quotes with instructions to go to the cheapest place. I went to the local Canadian Tire and pocketed a few hundred dollars.

  • avatar

    These are the same guys who write five or six digits at random down for the odometer reading, right?

    Because everytime I pull a CARFAX with an odomeer discrepency, its a quick-lube place. And its always ridiculously off.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Because everytime I pull a CARFAX with an odomeer discrepency, its a quick-lube place. And its always ridiculously off.”

      No doubt that their “seasonal hires” don’t demonstrate ‘ciphers as a strong suit.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    “Surely it’s wrong to lie to your insurance company about your mileage. It’s just as wrong, however, for auto service providers to use their customers’ information as a revenue source.”

    I don’t see how the two are equal, unless the auto service provider has not provided any kind of disclosure that they will be selling the info. The dude was in clear breach of contract with his insurer, case closed. But if the oil change place did not let the dude know, either verbally or via contract, that they were gonna sell his info, they might have just opened themselves up to a class action lawsuit. So in the end, everyone will get reamed.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Here’s an idea.

    Don’t use a junky insurance company. Im pretty sure my insurance firm doesn’t care about what Jiffy Lube recorded for my mileage.

    USAA user, BTW. A firm so awesome it almost justifies serving active duty to get in.

    Off topic anecdote : I brought arranged financing to my last used car purchase. The sales rep started in on her spiel about dealer financing yadda yadda. That’s when I dropped the Big One: I’m a veteran and I’ve financed through USAA.

    It was like someone pulled the plug. Instant end of pitch, followed by a frustrated frown. We immediately began the purchase paperwork.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Wouldn’t that be the case with any time you already have financing from somewhere else? On my last purchase, I sent the MINI dealership what they’d have to beat to get my business versus my credit union. They told me to go with the credit union.

      I’ve had State Farm since I’ve been out on my own. I’ve not had any issues with them… especially when they gave me more than I expected when I was hit by an unlicensed, uninsured driver head on. The Rav was totaled, they easily gave me enough to go buy an exact replacement plus the taxes and fees. I made my own spreadsheet of what I’d expect to get to be satisfied and they exceeded that number. They called multiple times after the wreck about pain and suffering (which I declined… the Rav did its job and I was unharmed). They were also very easy to deal with when my wife took delivery of the new MINI before we sold the old one. They basically gave us a 4 week grace period where both cars were covered on the same policy to get the old car sold but still have it insured.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’m a USAA member as well. Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      43 year USAA member. I have always been straight with them and they have always been great with both prices and service.
      I’ve had the same reaction from F&I workers when I bought a new car. They can’t match the price and service on loans. I’ve taught my kids to NEVER believe the F&I guy about he’ll get you a better deal. A week later there’s the phone call that you don’t qualify for that loan, but they can fix you up with a different lender for only a much higher rate.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I also pull preapproval from USAA before buying a car, they usually hover in the 2-3% range. I keep it in my back pocket if I need it. Last three cars I’ve bought, at 0%, 1.9%, and .9%, were financed through captive financing arms through Honda and VW.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Happy USAA customer. They’re everything GEICO ever pretended to be.

  • avatar
    JMII

    How is the information getting back to CarFax? I assume that means the quick lube place is pulling your VIN. I have NEVER seen them do that. They do however use my license plate as my customer ID to look up my information. This information appears to only be available to local shop, because they couldn’t find my previous visits within their own chain (Mobil 1).

    I take my vehicles to the quick lube because as mentioned its a dirty, messy job that requires getting under a car and often removing many bits (under-tray pieces). Now I do my own brakes because its WAY easier and the savings are considerable. Plus I track my car which means I change brakes like most people change socks.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Seriously, it’s really not dirty or messy. It doesn’t matter what you drive. And please tell me one of your cars has a quarter-inch skid plate that needs to be removed just to get to the oil filter. I still won’t agree with the assertion, but at least I’ll understand the “removing bits” argument.

      I’ll agree that it’s not for everybody, and if you don’t like to do it – well, that’s the only reason you’d ever need to give. But for your cars’ sake, please stay away from Quick Lubes places. I’m one of those unlucky bastards who lost a transmission that way.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Many quick lube places will just use a hand held scanner to catch your VIN from the bar code on the door or dash. They use that to tell which engine you have and thus which is the filter they have that is closest to what should be on there.

    • 0 avatar
      statick89

      And even if they do not scan the VIN, it is easy to merge the quick-change data to a database of registration numbers which links a person’s license plate number to its corresponding VIN and identifying owner information. Polk continuously collects vehicle registration data from every state’s DMV, and I’m sure CARFAX has access to that information since it is part of the same company.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    I presume there’s something in the doc you never read when you sign for the work that allows them to do this.

    I live in a very large, dense urban area, and as much as I’d love to do my own oil changes, I don’t have a garage, nor are there public garages in the area (anymore, there was! *sniff*) I can rent to do such.

    I’ve used the local Jiffy-lube a few times, but mostly I just let the dealer deal with it – their prices are reasonable, I use their detailing service once a year anyway (same problem, no driveway to do that stuff myself), and they offer a free shuttle service if I don’t feel like waiting around for the car (especially for detailing or when I have a yearly maintenance or whatever). I’m actually surprised how few times I’ve been in a position where I felt like the third-party was an option.

    Anyway, what I’m wondering is, surely the dealerships are also likely to forward information to insurance as well? Isn’t the moral here “If you don’t want your insurance company to know something, don’t bring your car *anywhere* for service”?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The dealers will absolutely provide service information to places like CarFax, which is probably where the insurer got it.

      The moral is “don’t lie to the insurer about your annual mileage and you’ll be fine.”

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “The moral is “don’t lie to the insurer about your annual mileage and you’ll be fine.””

        Agreed. Both my Sierra & Tahoe are insured through State Farm for under 7500 miles annually. I’m starting to stack stuff behind and under the Tahoe in the garage if that tells you how often I drive it. The Sierra does’t get driven unless I’m loading something in the box that won’t fit in the Volt or towing w/it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Where I live we don’t have a mileage cap on insurance. Some zones are higher risk. If you live in Vancouver the premiums are higher than a small rural town. We have clauses like, “personal use, part way or full way to work”. It allows occasional work use and occasional “high risk” i.e. teenager use. It also has a cap on distance to work. Anything over 30km (one way) requires additional insurance. I can put as many km on it as I want as long as I’m not driving to work with it.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The flip side of this is when whoever changes your oil reports it to CarFax, it gets into your car’s file, which may be good come resale time, proving regular oil changes without a pile of paperwork.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    New York State reports my odometer at every inspection. So who really cares if Jiffy lube were to do it too.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Cheaters deserve to be caught. State Farm calls me at least twice a year to ask the mileage of my three vehicles. I always go down and give them the to-the-mile reading from each one rather than trying to estimate annual usage. As a result, I’ve had my rate go down on two vehicles and up on one… but only marginally.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Cheaters deserve to get caught?

      What RIGHT do they have to this information?

      How is it what a private owner does with his own automobile, somehow data the insurance company or other third parties, need to know and collect?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @JustPassinThru – when you buy insurance you are signing a contract which gives you specific coverage for a fee.

        Read the fine print or better yet hire an accident lawyer to explain your insurance contract to you.

        “What RIGHT do they have to this information?”

        The moment you sign that contract you yield all sorts of “rights” to them.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          No, you never give up your rights. Back in my anal-retentive days I actually did try to read all that fine print, and I never once saw anything expressly requiring me to surrender mileage data on the insured car.

          I suppose it’s possible it’s in there now. But to find it, given the REAMS of fine print, on paper, not on computer document, which means I’d have to get my reading magnifier and pour over the ten pages of tiny print…if it’s there, and if I find it’s there, and if it’s not there in a competing insurance policy…it will be Change Time.

          May be anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Remind us which amendment to the constitution provides for the right to cheat on your auto insurance policy?

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    PA records mileage twice a year; once during registration (owner provides) and once during the annual inspection by the service provider via the OBDII reading.

  • avatar
    YetAnotherHobby

    When my cars used “conventional” motor oil it made no sense to DIY, but I did it anyway. Now that my fleet requires synthetics exclusively I can save a bundle!
    1. My last trip to the Valvoline place ran to $72.
    2. Shop the sales at PeppyAdvancedZone to get high quality synthetic oil and a filter for $25-$30. No need to read the paper – they send you email coupons and you are looking at your email anyway. Get it shipped to your house and there is zero time involved in procuring the necessary products.
    3. Let’s say its an hour to get everything out, do the deed, and clean up. It doesn’t take me that long, but just for the sake of discussion….
    4. Delivering the used oil to the town garage can wait for my next trip in that direction. Included in the hour.

    Do the math – I am making $42 an hour doing my own oil change, equivalent to an $87K annual salary. If you consider that it usually takes AT LEAST an hour to drive to the oil change place, wait in line, wait for them to do the work, and drive home…..I am not seeing the value here. You give up the same hour of your time AND you pay an extra $42 for the privilege?

    How many oil changes would you need to pay off a filter wrench and some ramps? Two?

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Oh come on, that was a pretty soft reaction by State Farm. What they should have done is disclaim coverage during the overage miles. As a matter of fact, had there been an accident, they might just have done so.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    For all those claiming that DIY oil changes are the way to go, what do you do with the used oil. In Ontario it is considered a hazardous waste and you have to take it to a hazardous waste disposal station. These are only open at inconvenient times and generally have a line-up.

    And disposing of your used oil filter is also a problem as it is hazardous waste and therefore not allowed in either the general garbage or metal recycling.

    And there are by-laws about using your driveway as a mechanic’s bay in the better areas. Just as apartments and condos have rules about the same thing.

    Better to go to a good, independent garage. Have them complete your oil change, check your other fluids, brakes, belts, tires, etc. They get to know your car and can spot any possible upcoming problems.

    Mine charges $49.00 for this using OEM filters and good quality (not fully synthetic) oil. We have it done every 5,000kms to 6,000kms depending on upcoming trips, etc. And he does it on Saturdays.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      In Massachusetts, whomever sold you the oil has to be willing to take back used oil.

      Also, a lot of garages are happy to take it in the winter – they use it for heating.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        No longer allowed to use old oil for heating in Ontario. Dealers used to do that but there are new emissions/scrubbing requirements and air emissions permits required.
        And no requirement that I know of to take back the oil, either but I may be out of date on that. Not all stores that sell oil have garages, etc attached including most Wal-Marts in Ontario.
        So we are SOL in both counts and back to square one.

        Is anyone else getting the Jiffylube banner across the top of this page? Isn’t that Jack biting the hand that helps feed him?

        • 0 avatar
          BigOldChryslers

          Crappy Tire will take back used oil, but they have a limit of 10L or something. That’s probably OK for most people, but I buy Rotella 15w40 by the 20L pail because it’s cheaper that way and my pickup uses 11L at a time, so I hang onto it and take it to the waste transfer station.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            My nearest Canadian Tire doesn’t seem to have a limit on used oil returns. They have a big oil barrel in back that you can walk up to and dump whatever you have. I usually buy a few gallons and a handful of filters at a time, and dump ten to twenty gallons every couple of years.

            I do my oil changes when I do seasonal tire changes. I wouldn’t want to inspect the vehicle any less than that frequently anyway. $20 for oil and a filter ($30 in winter for synthetic 0W-20), and a couple hours of time in my garage listening to music. It’s unimaginable that I would ever want somebody else messing with my vehicles, even if it were cheaper or easier.

            I got a couple of free oil change coupons from the dealer when I bought my Mazda3 new. I never even considered using them. Instead, I went to the bulk Esso distributor and bought a few years worth of Superflo 5W-20 and M1 0W-20.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m a terrible person, then. I dump the waste oil in a barrel to be used for painting hay racks or other wooden structures (we used to use creosote). The oil filter goes in an old cat litter bucket and will eventually get thrown into the burn barrel. The burnt-out husk then gets put in the scrap dumpster. Sometimes it’s nice to live outside of town.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @drZhivago: and continuing practices from the previous century?

        But then as kids we used to play with mercury, paint with lead based paint and make things at school out of asbestos.

        And as young adults drinking and driving was viewed as at worse a misdemeanor and the police used to look the other way at most domestic violence cases.

        Society has changed largely for the better, including safety and pollution regulations.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          I remember when it was common practice to degrease your engine with the car parked in the street. Hose it off and let all that crap drain into the city storm sewer. Growing up in Minneapolis it eventually found it’s way into lake Harriet, Calhoun, ect. Crazy!

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I’m not debating that. Notice I said “sometimes.”

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        ” I dump the waste oil in a barrel to be used for painting hay racks or other wooden structures (we used to use creosote).”

        So you stopped throwing it on the gavel road in front of the farm to keep the dust down?….LOL

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          At least his oil is unlikely to be contaminated with Dioxin.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Beach,_Missouri

        • 0 avatar

          Ah, the good old days of dumping used oil on dirt. I raced flat track motorcycles in my youth & 90% of the tracks were oiled clay. A great racing surface unless you got a sudden rain storm.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Our neighbors do that, but on a larger scale–a truck comes by and hoses the gravel down with soybean oil.

          IMO, it’s great for about two weeks, but then it turns rancid. And the township can’t grade an oiled road, so it gets potholes in it which last all through the winter. I’m glad that this year has been just wet enough that our neighbors decided not to do it (if they haven’t by the end of June, it’s probably not happening).

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Carlson Fan – LOL.
          I remember that or guys dumping a quart of oil into the septic lagoon to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
          My dad and even my brother used to say that one way to deal with beavers damming up culverts was to go up stream with a 5 gallon pail and pop a pin hole in the pail. The oil would leak into the creek over the course of the year and it would keep the beavers away.
          Oil changes just got dumped on the ground or used with tires for lighting off wet slash piles.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Drz, what you do is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for many in my area. We recycle the used motor oil for one thing or another. It’s also great for killing weeds, along with an LPG flame thrower.

        I’ve been doing it for decades, and still do it to this day. Just about everybody where I live does the same thing.

        Oh, and we also burn our trash. Good use for used motor oil and gasoline used as a solvent.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Thankfully, we’ve had less and less trash every year as our recyclers have become less restrictive, and we’ve got a compost bin now. The only things that absolutely must get thrown away to the burn barrel now are sensitive documents, oily rags, styrofoam, and old twine.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Every auto parts store in every state in the U.S. I’ve lived in will recycle used oil. In theory the service is only for buyers of new oil but I’ve never seen one check a receipt.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      @Arthur

      That sounds like a real dystopian hell you live in. I’m picturing “Demolition Man”

      Get ‘yo Dr. Cocteau lovin’ butt outta here!

      So far in my new neighborhood I’ve done a few oil changes and brake rotors. I don’t see too many other folks wrenching but that’s okay. No by laws against it or any such nonsense. Old filter goes in the trash once it drains, old oil gets dropped off at Autozone. In my old neighborhood it was a regular thing to see rusty j bodies and other domestic detritus from the turn of the century being worked on, I’ll honestly miss that aspect of the old ‘hood.

      As for this:
      “Have them complete your oil change, check your other fluids, brakes, belts, tires, etc. They get to know your car and can spot any possible upcoming problems.”

      That’s my own job as the car’s owner!

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      People on this site love to hate on California, but in San Jose the garbage collector/recycler provides gallon jugs for used oil and heavy ziplock bags for filters. Fill the jugs, drain the filter and put it in the ziplock bag and leave them on the curb next pickup day–once/week–with new jugs and bags provided.

      As for State Farm, I’ve had them for 30+ years for (up to) 3 autos, and 20+ years for homeowners and umbrella policy and never had an issue (currently <$200/mo for all, including a classic car). Once, my agent called and said since I hadn't had a claim for a while why don't I get a new windshield (unfortunately, couldn't find an installer to do the Healey). They’ve never questioned my mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      My town has a household hazardous waste drop-off facility open to residents about 2 miles from my house. It’s free to use if you already pay for trash pickup. Open on Saturdays & Wednesdays.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “what do you do with the used oil.”

      My local landfill take all used auto fluids and is close to a dog track, strip club, and liquor store so I’m golden.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Dump it in the fire pit, oh wait, nvm that can’t happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I used to do my own oil changes but it has become a PITA with disposal of waste. I’d rather pay someone to do it than crawl around on my arthritic azz.

    • 0 avatar
      TriumphDriver

      I made it a point to check condo by-laws for restrictions on working on cars. We walked away from one deal because the by-laws said you could not do any work on cars even in your garage with the door down.
      I wouldn’t know anything about “better areas”, not the kind of place I’d want to live.

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    I don’t think people are reading the State Farm notice correctly.

    It isn’t saying he lied about the number of miles, it’s saying that they were giving him a reduced rate based on an estimate of low annual miles (maybe from his previous vehicle) but that when they got the report from wherever the miles were too high for him to continue to qualify and they were removing the low mileage discount.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      State Farm could be eligible for a libel suit if they openly claimed the owner lied to them. There is little data to indicate that this is a newer or older car so we can’t even guess as to the circumstances behind the event. However, people are known to attempt to cheat the system whenever possible and the circumstance could be as basic as this being a relatively new customer to State Farm switching from some other insurance agency and lowballing the mileage estimate to get a lower rate.

      Personally, I don’t care what the ultimate reason is; State Farm has very specific mileage ranges for their different discounts and if you exceed that breakover point, you will be charged a higher rate. Conversely, you pretty much have to prove it to them when you report lower than average mileage on a vehicle as I did with my Jeep. I went from a 11K average to a 4K average in one year because I picked up a different vehicle to use as my daily driver.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    For what it’s worth I had the transmission grenade on my 1986 Caprice. Seems the Quickie Lube dudes pulled the plug on the transmission fluid, thinking it was the oil pan, emptying the tranny dry. It was really something to have a 1985 Caprice with 193200 miles on the clock and have a brand new transmission. I ended up with over 300,000 miles on that car (small block V8 engine) before the car suffered a catastrophic failure in the electrical system (as in car fire as a result of a total failure of the alternator resulting in arcing and sparking under the hood.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I subsidize your low cost policy despite your high yearly mileage? Nope. If you’re too dumb to also lie to the oil change guy about your odometer while getting away with a reduced insurance rate then you deserve to get busted.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    BUt BUT BUT the average driver only drives about 25 miles per day ..how is this possible. I get sick of the electric car folks saying this everyday. Almost as much as I hate the “minivan is a better choice for everyone’s needs”. I have been saying for years that nearly everyone lies about their mileage to the insurance companies. Alot of them say they drive 17 miles to work but really drive closer to 55 one way. My drive to my office is 24 miles one way but i never go there since I can work at home however I drive nearly 500 miles per week.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Quite a few service places, not just QuickLubes, report your mileage to carfax. Spend any time looking at Carfax reports and you’ll see that many dealers do as well. So this isnt just a QuickLube issue.

    Personally, I dont give a s**t.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I wouldn’t even take my tainted, soon to be bought back TDI to a quickie lube chain. I do it in my garage, with a Pela oil extractor. Takes about 30-45 minutes and I never have to leave the house since the oil and filter comes from Amazon.

    Surprisingly my Progressive policy is up for renewal in a month and my rate went down a whole 8 dollars! Although if I had one of their big-brother OBD readers my rate would probably jump up drastically.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I’ve wondered about ponying up for one of these. If you own something like a Subaru, you’d hardly even get dirty or have to climb underneath the car!

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Unfortunately, not even the dealers know how to change the oil on the Tdi. You either do it yourself, or a very trusted independent diesel mechanic only. The 17 year old kids working for VW would use same gasser oil in the Tdi. 507 spec? What the hell is that?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        The good news is that you never have to change the oil on that TDI again. You can turn it back to VW for more than fair value long before the engine sludges.

  • avatar

    Dear Mr xxxx,

    We noticed through third party sources that your car odometer reading is less than the anticipated annual mileage for this vehicle. So we are pleased to inform you we have automatically applied a low mileage discount to your policy.

    Please find enclosed a check for $xx.yy as a refund for overpayment of your premium.”

    Yeah right…….

    Ain’t gonna happen.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’ve never used a quick lube place for an oil change, but years ago I used one to lube the front end on my cars. On one of those occasions, the lube dude remarked, “Hey, do you know you’ve got a big bubble on the inside of your (left front) tire?” It turned out to be a golf ball-sized lump of EP lube, squirting out of the way overfilled lower ball joint. After that, I bought my own grease gun.

    I know that some day, I’ll be too old to do oil changes, and I’m not looking forward to that day. Although I won’t miss the oil filter setup on my wife’s Sienna, with its cartridge-in-a housing-with-a-filter-drain-valve.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Welcome to Jiffy Lube and Stasi!”

  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    We live in the information age…it isn’t the oil change guys fault. We want the ability to have an easy document…a CarFax….to document that we dutifully changed our oil according to OEM specs when we sell it….so WE can reap the reward of a few extra bucks on the back end of the ownership experience. When WE choose to give that information to a another party, WE can’t decide that they can’t use it for any other legal purpose…

    The insurance companies can buy a Carfax membership, do the VIN# searches on any car they want (and probably that is how they started out…some carguy insurance analyst realized he thought of a way to see if people were cheating on their premiums. Hope he got a nice bonus out of that idea…) Then once they figured it worked, they called up CarFax and asked them to send a nice tidy report in electronic form so they could upload the history and splash it against the VIN;s of the vehicles they insure for less money due to lower mileage. Pretty brilliant, basically.

    Hey, if you want to try and cheat your insurance company, so be it…but all they are doing is protecting themselves from people who cheat. How is that wrong? Sounds like people are grumbling because they got caught, and weren’t smart enough to realize that they were handing out the information THEMSELVES that the insurer is using to hold them accountable for their falsehoods.

    I’d bet that the fine print on the back of the invoice for any car repair these days contains language acknowledging that the consumer is giving away information, and the information can be used by the shop or shop’s owners any way they want….and we sign that when we sign give the shops permission to do the work. (No, I’ve never read it either.)

    We live in a society where everyone is trying to put it over on everyone else, for a buck. Why should we be surprised when we are caught? Have people stopped teaching their kids it is wrong to commit fraud? If you are an honest person, you pay your way in life and abide by contracts…and that is what an insurance policy is…a contract.
    “I promise to drive fewer than x,xxx miles per year if you promise to provide me insurance coverage for $yyy dollars a year.” Why is it wrong for any party to a contract to verify that the other party is abiding by the terms of the contract?

    Now, if I were Carfax, what I would start doing is….give each customer of any shop an $5 opt-out checkoff option to NOT REPORT the repair or oil change being done…they can get the money from both sides then.

    It’s the American way….

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    I thought “Shit Magician” meant something totally different.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    Never again. Took my ’90 Camry Wagon to one of those places because I had a coupon. Was lazy, it was Summer, and again had a coupon.

    As part of their “routine check” they checked the A/C system. Not only did their gauge’s tip not fit but they let enough R-12 out to kill the system.

    I was young and should’ve killed time with a lawsuit rather than reefer.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    My independent mechanic who is a great, highly respected guy and charges 84/hr labor also inputs data into some software. We shall have a talk next time I go. I normally bring my own quality parts and he just changes for labor. Depending of what I need done, I either buy OEM from online dealers or very good quality non OEM parts. He doesn’t mind.

    As for oil changes…I’ve had bad luck at the dealer as well. Had a 2001 CRV. I always checked the oil upon completion of oil change. Once I found about 5,5 qts in a car that only took 4,2. Went straight to the manager. He started to contradict me. I made him take out the manual out of the glove box and read it out loud. He mumbled something and place it on the rack again and drained 1,5 qts. Never went to that dealer again. My local, small town Walmart is very decent. Same kid changes the oil all the time. I bring my own crush washer ( most places don’t know Honda requires a new self-collapsible washer each time), buy the 15,000 miles Mobil One group IV PAO Oil for 24 dollars, buy the Bosch long distance syn oil filter for $10 and they charge me 9,95 labor. I am good for another 10,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Hondas don’t REALLY require a new drain plug washer with every oil change. Make sure the faces of the pan, washer and plug are clean so there is no grit that could gouge the washer, and don’t overtighten the drain plug causing the washer gets badly deformed, and it will last almost indefinitely in my experience, just like any other vehicle.

      I was religiously stopping by the dealer to buy new washers before changing the oil, manual trans fluid and rear diff fluid in our 2006 CR-V. Then I thought, “I’m going to try reusing this one!” and just left the replacement in the glovebox. I’ve been reusing the same oil drain plug washer for three years, maybe longer, and reused the same washers last time I changed the trans fluid and diff fluid too. No leaks! …and we put enough miles on the CR-V that it needs 3-4 oil changes a year.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I don’t trust auto mechanics because I used to be one.

    I worked professionally for three of the big national chains, and each job was laughable on so many levels – the pay, the work hours, the weather, the standard corporate bullshit and the australopithecine vaudeville act that was my coworkers.

    It’s why I learned to fix everything on a car myself short of an automatic transmission – only because it never came up – because I refuse to place myself at their mercy.

    I’ve seen cars fall off lifts due to improper loading, co-workers stealing tools & supplies because “they’re just poor workin’ stiffs who can’t catch a break,” managers pressuring us to sell unnecessary work, incentive thresholds you could never quite make it to, customers who don’t retighten aluminum wheels (got fired because of that one) and having to work EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SATURDAY because that’s when people with respectable, well-paying jobs had time to get their cars worked on.

    Fixing cars for a living was a complete shit show.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      “Fixing cars for a living was a complete shit show.”.
      .
      As a Journeyman Mechanic who worked his way through Farms, Gas Stations, Dealers, Used Car lots, Junk Yards, Field Service and so on up to Indie Garage Owner , I can attest that it’s often not pretty but not a complete shitshow either .
      .
      Agreed that the Dealer ‘ Mechanics ‘ were hands down the worst ~ they simply didn’t care about anything except trying to nail the hottie who answered the ‘phone and beer/dope .
      .
      -Nate

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    My Dad took his Accord to a quickie-lube place a year or two ago, and they cross-threaded the drain plug. Got the car home, but the next morning, was presented with an oil slick on the garage floor!

    Had the car towed to a Honda dealer, where they scoped the engine, pronounced it good, filled the crankcase, ** and sent the bill to the quickie-lube! ** (And the place paid it! They are a locally-owned “indie” place doing business under a major oil brand name, and not a franchise like Jiffy Lube! The employees, nevertheless, are still the stereotypical stoners and wasteoids you expect, so their quality still sucks! And they’re $20 over my dealer’s cost, to boot!)

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    I managed/owned a auto repair shop for 2 decades starting in the late 70s. It was pretty clear when the quick oil change shops got started. We saw many more oil drain plugs with stripped threads, very rare to find that before. In the ’90s the manager of a nearby quick oil place brought in a few cars to get fixed as their techs had damaged them.
    One I recall was a Cressida, top of the line for Toyota then. The rear axle/diff oil had been changed, but the fill plug was not tightened and fell out. Apparently the manager’s heart rate dropped to less than 5 beats per minute when he learned what Toyota priced a new axle/diff at. He found one off a low mileage wreck and had us install it,did not trust his ‘oil changers’ to do the job.
    Another technique, not mentioned yet, is the oil sample from trans or rear axle on a clean paper towel supposedly showing the customer how contaminated the oil is and the necessity to change it immediately before the earth plunges into the sun.
    All the vehicles in my current fleet have aluminum oil sumps. I’m not trusting that drain plug torque to an untrained inexperienced person who thinks “Tight is right and one more turn never hurt”.
    Also here in Commiefornia there is a fee added to engine oil purchases. Last I heard $0.05 per quart. This subsidizes the collection of waste/used oil. Most places that sell oil here Autozone, Pepboys, O’reilly, and the quick lube stores will take old oil and filters.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    You absolutely have to QC their work in the parking lot, and check for a trail of oil leading up to it. But they’ll put down what ever mileage you tell them. It beats going out to the parking lot to take a reading.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Standalone quick lube places interest me. They advertise loss leader oil change specials, yet the average repair order is over $100. Some of these franchises cost multi millions to set up in higher density areas, yet can still make a go of selling things the dealer forgets to check and recommend.

  • avatar
    skloon

    Now how do they not know that he will park that car for the remainder of the year to meditate ? so his annual mileage will be less

    • 0 avatar

      @skloon.

      They don’t know and don’t care.

      The insurance will refund the money if the owner can prove he did less mileage at the end of the billing year, in the meantime they made bank.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • volvo driver: California is: 6th largest economy in the world 8th fastest growing economy in the US. 5th largest per...
  • DC Bruce: Having owned a Z3 for ten years, I will certainly agree that there’s nothing like a ride in a roadster to...
  • BigOldChryslers: > if kerosene is so clean why is it not used in standard ICEs? You can run it in a diesel engine....
  • chuckrs: States are allegedly the laboratories of democracy. If one state can get something to work, maybe others...
  • FreedMike: Some of the best father-son bonding moments you can have take place in cars. For me, it was 1975, after my...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States