Monday, August 29, 2011

No More Express Lube/Oil For Me

A Sign of The Times?

When I was a young whipper snapper growing up the guys I knew couldn't wait to get under the hood of a car and learn what made it tick. Where I grew up most of the men knew how to take care of their own routine vehicle maintenance. Granted, what was under the hood back then, didn't take a computer interface to tell you which electronic module you 'might' need to replace.

You never thought of going to a mechanic to change your plugs, install and gap new points or replace just about anything else that needed doing. You certainly did not pay someone else to change your oil, lube your chassis and install a new oil filter. It just wasn't done where I grew up. You only took your car to the mechanic for major work such as installing a new timing chain or doing a valve and ring job. Although some of the guys I knew, would have done that on their own as well.

I have a fond memory of helping a buddy, with a few other friends, change out the motor in his '58 Chevy when he threw a rod in his old 348 'mill' as we used to call them. We didn't have the luxury of a garage with any fancy gear to lift out the old engine, and drop in the new one. But is is amazing what creative minds (and perhaps a bit foolish) can accomplish using a very sturdy branch of a big old maple tree and a block and tackle. Worker's Safety Board?? We don't need not stinkin' Worker's Safety Board.

To The Point

The title of this little rant speaks to the skills or lack there of, of the current crop of workers in the oil pit at some of these express lube and oil services. Two times now I have gone to nationally known companies to have my car's oil changed, chassis lubed and a new oil filter installed. And twice now, from two different companies the monkey in the pit missed some of the grease fittings. The first guy missed two, and the second guy missed one. Since I am one of those guys who listens to his car, I think I caught the missed fittings before any real damage was done to my steering components.

But from now on, I will either do the chassis lube myself or take it to my regular mechanic for the oil. lube and filter service. The only reason I have used the express oil change companies, is due to the convenience they offer. You don't need an appointment or make any special arrangements like you need to with your regular auto service, but after these last two experiences I won't be going back to them anymore. I'll either do it myself or book an appointment with the company that does my 'serious' auto work.


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