Saturday, December 11, 2010

Minor Rant: Oil Can Henry's charges more for four-wheel drive oil changes

This lady says "boooo!"
I usually do my own oil changes. However, since I now have a 9 to 5 job again, it makes finding time to do my own oil changes more difficult (and since I don't have a garage, it's done under my car port. I live in Oregon, which means it rains all the damn time). Anyway, I usually avoid quick lube places like the plague, but for convenience, they're hard to beat.

I'm pretty picky about going to these places, too. I refuse to bring my car to Jiffy Lube due to the numerous horror stories I've heard (including one from my dad where they ended up paying for a transmission replacement on his 1990 Jeep Cherokee). I have taken a vehicle to Oil Can Henry's before, and was fairly impressed. So what the hell—I'll do a price check on a basic oil change from them.

I just got off the phone, and asked how much they charge. The employee asks, "Two- or four-wheel drive?"

"Uh, four wheel drive," I say begrudgingly, knowing there must be an up-charge.

"$42.99," he says.

"And how much for a two-wheel drive?" I ask.


Of course, now I'm wondering what their definition of a four-wheel drive is. So I ask if they consider my Suzuki SX4 a four-wheel drive vehicle. He asks me if it has a switch to move it into four-wheel drive, to which I respond, "Yes ..."

"Then yes, it's a a four-wheel drive," he replies.

"So why do you charge more for a four-wheel drive vehicle's oil change?" I ask curiously.

"It's because there's an extra box we inspect on the vehicle."

OK, so you're telling me you're going to charge me more money simply because there's another "box" on the car you're likely not even going to do anything with? It'd take literally seconds to look at the underside of my 2010 Suzuki SX4 AWD, and that allows you to charge more?

Sorry, that's BS in my opinion. How 'bout you skip the damn inspection and just change my freakin' oil?



Anonymous said...

Um, didn't they have to pay for your dad's transmission because they skipped an inspection of the level? Now you want to do the same?

Andy Lilienthal said...

Totally different situation. In my dad's case, he was paying for a service in which they were supposed to check the transmission fluid each time he was in, and they weren't. And when his trans went out shortly after an oil change, he put 2 and 2 together. Also, his vehicle being four-wheel drive had no bearing on the situation the price of an oil change.

My car has 3,300 miles on it. I don't need to pay for someone to inspect it, especially at this point.

burnitwithfire said...

That's one of the reason I never tell what car I really drive to my Hyundai dealer when I buy filters and parts. I don't want them harrasing me because I do my own maintenance on my 2010. I tell them it's a 2006 base model. Same thing when I ordered parts for my old 1992 Passat Syncro (AWD). I would tell the parts guy it's just a normal FWD passat because even the common parts were more expensive for Syncros.

Anonymous said...

Oil Can Henry's is one of the most reputable quick lube companies in the Northwest. You should be glad they were honest with you and they insisted on doing the job right and charging a couple extra bucks for it. You should rave them, not rank them.

Andy Lilienthal said...

Honestly, I had a very positive experience with them the one time I used them. I am not knocking their service. It would be nice if they simply offered a "basic oil change," no 20 point inspection, etc. for those of us who simply want an oil change and can inspect our own vehicles.

And it is probably the only quick-lube place I would actually bring my car.

Anonymous said...

Jiffy Lube does the same thing, its posted on their price board in the waiting room. I wish we had an Oil Can Henry's in the Longview area, I'd use them over Jiffy Lube. Jiffy Lube guy "checked out" my stereo because he heard the thump of the subs and got grease onthe headliner. They were able to get it out, but I was not happy and will not let them in my car ever again.

Anonymous said...

Oil can henry's rocks !!! Honest people