We Don’t Do Oil Changes at Tom Dwyer
Actually, we never have…
We know how it is. You’re driving when you notice the crusty old window sticker says you’re 2000 miles overdue for an oil change. You look around and see a Quick-Lube on the corner. It’s right there, calling to you, and it seems so cheap and easy… don’t give in! Convenience oil changes are like fast food- they’re OK in a pinch, but a steady diet of them isn’t healthy. Your vehicle’s long-term health depends on this most basic of maintenance services being done regularly, and most importantly, done right. Many things the convenience shops skip over are standard here at Tom Dwyer and they’re standard because we don’t see much value to changing oil without them. We long ago stopped using the term ‘oil change’ because it’s misleading. Our ‘Minor Interval Service’ is NOT THE SAME THING as a convenience oil change, and the difference is critical to your long-term vehicle ownership and satisfaction…
Lubrication Services are Critical
There are few maintenance tasks as important to your vehicle as proper and consistent lubrication. Particularly in today’s high-temperature-high-tolerance technology, oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Without enough oil to provide a slippery sheen of protection grit would build up on moving parts, friction would increase heat and wear, and your vehicle’s engine could easily suffer major damage. It certainly leads to a shorter usable life for any vehicle!
Since many people either grew up changing their own oil or watching Dad do it they assume it’s easy. Just changing oil is easy, but properly lubricating and caring for your vehicle is not.
Convenience Oil Changes
A typical convenience oil change has three major selling points… it gets oil into your engine, it’s cheap, and it’s fast. On the downside, the ‘technician’ may not have any experience at all (see right) and is being paid for how fast they change your oil instead of how well they do it. Then there’s the “upsell” at the front desk… convenience shops don’t make money on oil changes but they do make money by selling very expensive additional products and services, needed or not, on a commission basis. For everyone involved the goal is to get you in and out as fast as possible with as much of your money left behind as possible. Quality services, much less detailed vehicle care, don’t enter into the picture.
Our Minor Interval Service (MIS)
We require appointments for our Minor Interval Service (MIS) because each one requires us to schedule up to an hour of shop time, supplies, and equipment for a small team of professionals. Before anyone ever touches your oil plug, our Service Advisors will review your vehicle records so the Technician will be aware of any ongoing issues we’ve noted for monitoring. An ASE-Certified or ASE-Master-Certified Technician will do the actual work using Original Equipment Specification filters, oils, and materials and our state-of-the-art shop equipment. They won’t just change your oil; they’ll take the time to review the rest of your vehicle beyond the oil pan. Finally your vehicle goes through our Post-Service check of lights, fluids, and tire pressures. Maybe best of all, when you come back to pick up your vehicle our NON-COMMISSIONED Service Advisors will review our services with you and tell you anything you should be on the lookout for WITHOUT a high-pressure sales pitch.
You Get What You Pay For
Our Minor Interval Service is a little more expensive than a generic ‘oil change’, but not a lot. Our price for a MIS (for most vehicles) is about $60 with conventional oil and about $100 with synthetic. As an example, Jiffy Lube oil changes range from about $30-$45 for conventional oil to about $60-$110 for synthetic. (BTW, we highly recommend you switch to synthetic oil if you haven’t already. There’s a detailed article below explaining why.) But value is more than just a low price; it’s a low price for what you get. And you get a completely different set of services with our MIS than with a convenience oil change anywhere. We think that difference is worth the price.
If you’re in a pinch and have to have oil, the convenience and price of a Quick-lube can help. But, if you have time to plan, then the perceived values of low price and convenience are poor trades for the real value of quality “peace of mind” service done right.
Real-Life Automotive Horror Stories- NO OIL CHANGES! (With Pictures!), Tom Dwyer Automotive Newsletter, Jul 2012
When Will YOU Switch To Synthetic Oil? It’s Better For You, Your Vehicle, And The Planet, Tom Dwyer Automotive Newsletter, Jul 2014