Changing your oil is certainly one of the most important things you can do to maintain the performance and longevity of your vehicle. There are a wide variety of places to get an oil change.
- Quick Change Oil Change and Lube Centers
- Local garages
- Big box stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, Wal-Mart Service Center, and even K-Mart.
If you walk into any of these stores, you can often get on a mailing list to receive coupons via email or postal mail. You can also check those big bundles of coupons that come in the mail. These often have discount coupons from more than one vendor. Val-Pak is a popular service many repair centers use to promote their discounts and offer oil change coupons.
A lot of the big nationwide “Quick-Change” type places offer coupons right on their website, which can be printed and downloaded. Optionally, with many of these chains, you can sign up to receive others in the mail, as discussed earlier. Oil changes on a standard vehicle averages around $20-$35. $5 and $10 discounts on oil change specials is common, so think of it like getting a free oil change every third or fourth time you go!
Asking The Right Questions Often the most successful businesses have catered to our convenience – from fast food to ATM machines to Ticketmaster. It is no different with auto service centers. Admittedly, there have been horror stories about quick oil change stores. We’ve all heard them before. Perhaps a customer is convinced to buy more services.
More appropriately, some oil change personnel are recommending service that didn’t need to be done, all because of pressure to “upsell” the customer on services they may not even need. This is not smart. The service center should look at a coupon-wielding customer as an opportunity to show their commitment to customer care and performing superb service and building trust.
Unfortunately sometimes this is not the case. Some mechanics have reported getting cars into their repair shops after going to a quick oil change location due to stripped oil drain plugs, oil filters wiped clean but not replaced, wrong oil filters, cars not filled to their recommended levels with oil, and so forth. Bear in mind part of this is simply the nature of the business model. Many of these companies use oil change coupons as a way to lure customers in for an inexpensive service – the oil change.
This is a sales tactic to “get people in the door”. Honestly, there is really nothing wrong with this model. It is a tried and true model and is used in many other legitimate businesses as well. The majority of quick change motor oil business are legitimate and only recommend necessary changes or service in addition to the oil change. But occasionally, there are service companies that do things described at the beginning of this article. Naturally none of us want to be scammed by an oil change company.
So here are a couple things you can do to ensure the safety of your vehicle and keep your pocketbook safe. Get your vehicle serviced regularly and keep a paper trail Whatever service is done to your vehicle – like tune ups, tire rotations, belt replacements, fluids, and so forth should all be done per the vehicle manufacturer’s specs. It’s important because it seems to be the nature of auto service techs to blame the vehicle problem on ANY service you might have had done to the vehicle, and especially if you DIDN’T have a service done that needed to be done. So get your vehicle serviced per the manufacturer and save all your paperwork. Don’t be afraid to ask targeted questions and write down the answers. For instance, ask what type of oil they are putting in the vehicle.
Ask what oil filter they will be using. Ask them to write these items down on the invoice. Ask them to write down the oil level before draining. Ask them to write down how many quarts of oil they used to refill the engine. Keep your paperwork. There are many other things you could also ask an auto technician, especially if you are someone who knows your way around under the hood of a car. If you wish to do so, find your local friend who is an auto repair nut and ask them for any other questions you could ask the oil service center. Your local friend could possibly recommend a good location they are familiar with. A paper trail with everything regarding your vehicle is important and can save you thousands of dollars. Besides, if you are interested in oil change coupons, it is likely you want to save every penny you can when it comes to caring for your vehicle in the first place. And really, who can blame you?