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Does this only happen to me????

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  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Does this only happen to me????
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:03 AM

It seems that about 3 out of 5 times when doing oil changes to my vehicles, I end up having about 1/4" or close to 1/2 a quart over the fill mark. Doesn't matter where I go, the dealership, my personal mechanic, the tire shops, etc. Most drivers trust that the job is done correctly but as Gomer Pyle said, surprise surprise!!

I always check on the spot after I have an oil change done. Same thing happened to my daughter yesterday. She checked the level when she got home and again, it was close to 1/4" above the line. Back she went to Firestone for them to correct it!

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:30 AM

This is the very reason I do it myself. No one seems to care. If you want something done right, do it yourself. Would you let someone build a model for you? "Good enough" seems to be a trend. Defend yourself! LOL!

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:37 AM

Max I agree with you. I used to do my own oil changes and tire rotations in my garage but then ended up for the next 2 days with back pain. Unfortunately my back problems have cut back on some activities.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:38 AM

If you want a job done right, do it yourself. 

But seriously, I have rarely checked my oil level immediately after an oil change. But when I do check it afterwards, it's in the proper range.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by Toshi on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:48 AM

I go to my local NTB (National Tire Battery) and have had no issues with them.  Especially at $19.99 + tax out the door.  I used to do all my fluid changes with expensive synthetic fluids but since my injury, that's just not possible.

Toshi

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:59 AM

Until I bought a brand new truck, which the dealer does a pretty good job taking care of me, I always did it myself.  I got tired of re-tapping stripped drain plugs and trying to hacksaw off filters that some gorrilla used an impact wrench to install.  Don't get me started about lug nuts.   When I worked as a mechanic, I had a lot of cars come in with problems from bad service practices at minute lubes and oil changes done at big chain stores.  Some of the worse ones were rear end problems because the shop convinced the owner the diff oil needed changed and they ended up putting in the wrong type of oil or leaving out a prescribed addative.

My shop had a indicator on the oil gun that I would set to the type of capacity indicated in the owners manual, yes, I always checked.  It would be accurate within a 1/4, so I'd error on the low side of filling. After the fill, I would start the car, run it for a few seconds, stop it, check, then top it off.  I do not see a lot of lube techs doing this at the discount minute lube shops, hence why the fill is comming up short or over.  There should be no excuse to ever be over.  Its not rocket science.  

Sorry, the old Mr Goodwrench quality speaches we used to get at my shop did matter to me.  

 

        

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:09 PM

Every place I have ever been will show the dipstick/oil level.

Only problem I ever had was when I had a "mechanic" friend do the change for me. It was right before a trip from Phoenix AZ to Leavenworth KS. I developed a leak...went through at least 10 quarts on that trip. Being an 18 year old dumb dumb, I just kept feeding it more oil along the way, rather than getting under there to see where it was leaking. Turned out that my "mechanic" friend cross threaded the bolt. Had to get it drilled out and re-tapped.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:17 PM

The difference is from the new filter. The filter is empty when new, when you start the engine then the oil cycles through the filter. Depending on the orientation of the filter will tell how much oil will drain back into the case after shutdown. Those filters will hold as much as a 1/2 quart. My advice is the same as the mech above, fill to the line, start, run, shut down, let the oil drain back into the pan then check and fill if required.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:47 PM

armornut

The difference is from the new filter. The filter is empty when new, when you start the engine then the oil cycles through the filter. Depending on the orientation of the filter will tell how much oil will drain back into the case after shutdown. Those filters will hold as much as a 1/2 quart. My advice is the same as the mech above, fill to the line, start, run, shut down, let the oil drain back into the pan then check and fill if required.

 

Armor I'm not doing the oil change but automotive shops do and have failed miserably at double checking the level. They rely on fluid specs they use and dial the amount into their oil dispencing equipment that also may be off just a tad.

When I did my own oil changes if it called for 4.4 qts of oil then I would pour in 4 qts, check, add up or close to the line then start engine for a couple of minutes, shut down and recheck in a few minutes and add if required. As Scott posted above, I don't see anyone doing that in these shops that want to keep things moving like an assembly line.

I highly recommend for those of you that don't do your own to check the levels right after you get your keys at the shop.

 

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:53 PM

armornut

The difference is from the new filter. The filter is empty when new, when you start the engine then the oil cycles through the filter. Depending on the orientation of the filter will tell how much oil will drain back into the case after shutdown. Those filters will hold as much as a 1/2 quart. My advice is the same as the mech above, fill to the line, start, run, shut down, let the oil drain back into the pan then check and fill if required.

 

It's still incompetence, It's their job to know this. Maybe the're not changing the filter or whatever. I've been on both sides of this as a mechanic at one point in my life. If they can't do it right don't let them work on your valuable equipment. Inexcusable. Grrrr.

  • Member since
    April, 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:10 PM

I was taught to fill the oil filter with oil & then hand feed the thread on, then fill the engine, run & test, but arthritis & no garage or kit means I have it serviced.

Still check it weekly though

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:15 PM
I've done it myself for over twenty years. Several years ago, however, I took it to the dealer when I bought a new car from them. Twice in a row, they failed to tighten the pan plug. It was lovely to clean up a big puddle both times. I had the dealer tow it back the second time and fix it. Come to find out that they just hired a new oil change guy because the last one had made too many of those mistakes.
  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:47 PM

Max, PJ, I agree it is incompetence that creates the exact problem you discibe. Like most of y'all rolling around on the ground no longer holds the same appeal as when I was younger. I also unfortunately don't check my oil as often as I should. One would HOPE that with the amount of money it costs for the convenience of someone else caring for the lifeblood of our vehicles that they would have the courtesy to do it right.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Friday, April 21, 2017 3:12 PM

That was how I was taught for cars with gravity fed filters.  

Jon_a_its

I was taught to fill the oil filter with oil & then hand feed the thread on, then fill the engine, run & test, but arthritis & no garage or kit means I have it serviced.

Still check it weekly though

 

        

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Friday, April 21, 2017 3:21 PM

mississippivol
I've done it myself for over twenty years. Several years ago, however, I took it to the dealer when I bought a new car from them. Twice in a row, they failed to tighten the pan plug. It was lovely to clean up a big puddle both times. I had the dealer tow it back the second time and fix it. Come to find out that they just hired a new oil change guy because the last one had made too many of those mistakes.
 

I have to admit, I did that once when starting out as the lube monkey at the dealership.  We were supposed to finger tighten the plug then give one tight turn with the wrench.  I forgot the wrench step.  A few hours later, The boss came up to me and told me to grab a bag of floor dry, mop, bucket, soap, water, brush, and kneepads and made me go over to the ladies house, who owned the car, and scrub her driveway clean enough to eat off of it.  I never made that mistake again.  That was back in the day mechanics worked as apprentices, where you started on the lube rack, so every mistake was taken seriously with some sort of remedial training / punishment.  

        

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Friday, April 21, 2017 4:02 PM

All funny stories but frightning! Would you let the least experienced person in the hospital do a transfusion, changing your life's blood while being totally incompetent? That's an engines point of view. I think being a real mechanic in my life made my feel the pain of machinery, lol! I still cringe when I hear the metallic klunk of a connecting rod or the shriek of metal on metal. Ouch! Only when you tear it apart and see the devastation do you develop a feeling for things mechanical. Just raving here, lol, but I have had to fix some stupid things in life for lack of care or thinking, some of my doing, lol!

Max the Wrench.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Saturday, April 22, 2017 2:37 PM

At age 76 I'm not all that flexible these days, but for the past 55 years or so I did practically all of my routine light maintenance chores. Battery level, oil and filter, coolant, etc. Only oil changes were done at shop following major things, like head gasket change or such. Oil and filter changes are such an easy task, except for access, which without a hoist is getting progressively more restrictive with each new model.

Last year we bought a new Nissan Murano, close to $48K list. Nissan literature says to bring it to the dealer for the best service, trained tech's and genuine Nissan parts. Decided I would give them a try and give myself a break, by not crawling around on the floor in a space I wasn't designed for.

Manual says use 0-20 oil, upon looking at the bill I saw they used 5-30, and it's the cheapest oil that Mobil sells, called "Special," which appears to made for foreign markets and has much less detergent action. Insult to injury, they installed an aftermarket filter called "Performax." Their own specs from the internet confirm 50% less filtration of contaminants, anyone can by a case of 12 for $24.00, the dealer charges $9.00 for the Nissan filter, $8.00 for the cheapo one. By the way, nothing was mentioned about it being my option, they just did it. Plus, the level was about 3/4" high on the dipstick. I complained to the manager, he had them drain the oil and install a Nissan filter, off I went.

So, the dealer gouges the customer by using inferior parts and out of spec oil, for the sake of increasing their profit by a few bucks. Of greater concern though, if they will do that to something as basic as routine care, what will they do when more major work is done, like brake fluid, coolant, transmission, fuel injector cleaning and such??? And what means do I have to be sure the maintenance actually gets done correctly, or will they just charge for it and not do it.

I have to wonder what Nissan would say if they knew of their practices, but do I want to infuriate the only Nissan dealer in my city, and then have to go there for a warranty issue?

Guess I'll just go back to changing oil and filter myself, or use an independent shop I have trusted for many years. An Advil and a belt of Johnnie Walker Black should ease the aches after I'm done.

So as all of you related, it's easy to find bad maintenance, either do it yourself, or be really nice and tip the tech that does the job well. He or she is totally worth it.

Patrick

 

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Saturday, April 22, 2017 3:44 PM

Good story Patrick. I too am old and creaky. I think I will give up on tire rotation this time as I always seem to strain my back. Years ago my wife bought a new Camaro and even the width of my head would not go under it. With no lift, it was the first time in my life I couldn't service one of our vehicles. Even ramps wouldn't work because of the long nose. I was at the mercy of the incompetents again. I wasn't surprised when two weeks after an oil change, I opened the hood to see what was leaking and discovered that the oil filler cap was laying on top of the engine where incompetents had left it. This is the same place I'd taken it in for a coolant change and they also drained out my new expensive Mobil One oil change and put their crap in it. I should have just rented their lift and done things myself. More stories but I'm running out of space.

The point is here is these things are not uncommon when having vehicles serviced. Beware or at least be skeptical of such services. There really are competent and honest people that do such things.

One other thing we haven't mentioned on oil levels is that engines have a drain down time after shutting down the engine. Some engines can take several minutes to return oil to the pan. Also hot oil has more volume than cold oil as shown on dip sticks on things like power steering pumps which have markings for both cold and hot.

After an oil change the engine should be ran a few minutes to fill the filter and then be  checked for leaks. The engine can then be checked for dipstick levels keeping in mind the above factors. I recommend checking the level at running temperature and after drain down at least for a few minutes. Overfill can be damaging to engines and even mileage due to crank dipping causing the engine to work harder and/or create excessive pressures that can damage seals and gaskets.

Well I didn't mean to rave on for so long, but engines are another passion of mine. I sometimes write technical articles concerning motorcycles and got carried away as usual!

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Newington CT
Posted by tempestjohnny on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:19 AM
I used to take my cars to Jiffy Lube. Hey it was a cheap oil change. Until I was sitting in the waiting room and the kid comes in to ask if I want my automatic transmission fluid changed. My car was a stick shift but it had a transmission dipstick. Never been back since and that was 25 years ago.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:55 AM

Hi Plasticjunkie !

   I have read your thread an have to say I agree with all of those who replied to your situation . Years ago there used to be a franchise where you could rent a bay ( and the toold for the job ) in a shop for the likes of you and me .

   That saved a lot of us from the familiar mechanic's ground crawl . There doesn't seem to be any of those around now . I get mine done at the Kia dealership and my salesman checks to make sure it's done right . I know this for a fact , because when they said my car was ready , He came over and said he didn't like something under the car .Brand new Kia Soul .

 First oil change . Crossthreaded the plug .Oops , new oil pan that day . I too , like one respondent use my ears and eyes to assure me that things mechanical are well and hearty . It hurts my Damage Control trained soul ,  to see cars and other machinery beat and mistreated this way .

 I made two trips to Hawaii in my retired Coast Guard 65 foot cutter . I was sure enough of my care of her that it was safe to do so . No Problems there and back . and till I sold her she never had anyone but me do any of her service . No yard birds for her ! .  T.B. 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:02 PM

This has become quite an interesting collection of horror stories. It seems that reliable work is far and few even from a dealership who is supossed to be above all others when it comes to their particular vehicle brand but that is also a mith.

I have friends who took their cars for oil changes only to get the car back with no oil at all Indifferent or a loose drain plug or even worse, lug nuts missing from the tire rim! My friend didn't  look at his tires and made it to about 1/2 a block before the rear tire came off!

I would go back to doing all the basic maintenance myself if it wasn't for this nagging back so I have become very sceptical of ANY mechanic shop and check the work to make certain all is good. It seems like this is not just isolated to car repairs but just about any type of work.

TB you are lucky to have a Kia guy that does things like the old days so take care of him. I had a couple of people like that in the past and it was a great experience knowing that things were gonna be done the right way because they were looking out for you.

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