Midas oil change services are pretty reliable and affordable and so are Walmart oil change services as well. If you got extra cash you can spend an extra $20 for Firestone oil change services or services from other high-end auto repair and maintenance shops all over the country.
For the most part, you’ll want to spend that extra few dollars. There is the saying that you get what you pay for and this goes very true when it comes to oil change services. There are dozens of local auto shops around your town, most likely privately owned by one or two people, but when they make mistakes the issue can easily escalate out of proportion.
Checking if the Oil Change Was Bad
One way to check if the oil change was done properly is to do a mileage test. You need to first set a standard variable before you get the oil change. The best way to do this is to do it manually.
Set your trip odometer to zero, fill the gas tank with the same amount of gas every time it empties, then drive a few miles. The average is calculated by dividing the total number of miles per tank by the total number of gallons used to the next fill. This will be your standard gas mileage.
After getting an oil change, take some time to repeat the test. You’ll immediately see a drop in mileage if the oil change job wasn’t done right. You’ll need to drive back and have this fixed immediately before your car sees further damage. If the auto shop got it wrong, they’ll have to remedy it for free.
One obvious sign is if the indicator light still turns on right after you’ve had the oil changed. After driving a few miles it should shut off but if it doesn’t then turn back around and ask the mechanics to see what could have gone wrong.
Causes of a Bad Oil Change
So what could have gone wrong? The common reasons involve using the wrong grade of oil and failure to properly replace the oil filter.
Oil grades are important because the viscosity required is different for every car and every engine. The oil filter ensures that the oil can properly do its job of cleansing the engine of sediments and other particles.
The wrong type of oil placed in your car can lead to all sorts of damages. The engine won’t be running properly and it may even exert too much effort and heat to the point where it breaks down and requires replacement. That’s one of the most expensive repair jobs so don’t let it get to that point!
Sometimes it might be caused by accidentally going over the oil level. A dipstick is a pretty standard measuring tool to check if the engine has the right amount of oil in it but temperatures and position of the car (it should be on level ground) can lead to inaccurate readings.
The oil change job might have been fine but other parts might have been disconnected during the oil change process. Very often coolant temperature sensors and oxygen sensors get cut off while mechanics work on the oil filters. These will need to be properly plugged back in.
Sometimes it might just be an issue of poor tire pressure. Most auto shops, even Walmart’s auto services, include tire pressure services along with their oil change services for free. Check if everything else is running fine and is properly maintained.
If everything is fine and you’re still losing mileage then there are only a few issues left possible. There could be something wrong with the fuel system, with the engine, or with the new oil. Always start with the most basic remedy and ask if the mechanics could check if the oil change was done correctly.
Back to the Mechanic or Do It Yourself?
When the oil change was done incorrectly, never try to fix the issue by yourself. Even with the right experience and skill, you might miss something because it was someone else who last handled the vehicle.
Another reason is because the auto shop will be responsible for all expenses and consequences of a bad job. If one of their mechanics botched the oil change then they will remedy the issue for free.
Getting the Best Oil Change Jobs
There are domestic auto repair shops that can be really trusted but if you want guaranteed quality then your best shot is to go to a trusted place like Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, or Walmart. They have some of the best equipment, best training and certification for their workers, and they’re not that expensive.
One would think that getting an oil change at Jiffy Lube would cost more than getting the job done at a local shop but it isn’t. The difference in price is so small you probably won’t even notice it.