Automotive

Mr. Lube... How can they stay in business?

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May 10, 2005
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toguy wrote:
Sep 23rd, 2012 9:17 pm
I have taken my car there more than a few times (not ashamed to specifically mention that it's not a luxury model) and I didn't find any particular problem with Mr. Lube. Sure, it's not the cheapest oil change there is, and they try to upsell left and right, but other than that I think they do a decent job. So what's the actual problem with them? Not one person in this thread has had the ***** to get into specifics, so let's go, I'm all ears (and no, I don't work there!)
Mark77 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 12:58 am
My sentiments exactly -- and I'm certain that folks could recite plenty of "dealer" horror stories as well. Like VW dealers that receive shipments of 'bulk' 5W-30 oil in totes and drums -- even though practically no VW built in the past 2 decades uses that particular grade in its owners' manual.
You may be all ears but you certainly are not all eyes.
Did you read on this thread anywhere that some one was crapping on Mr Lube? I think most were defending their usefulness. Most were trying to answer the question and the topic got sidetracked into British cars and air filters. Maybe 2 out of 30 posts question Mr Lube, but other than that....?
Not sure what thread you guys are reading.

VW dealers get oil in drums? Where did that come from?
It’s not how far you fall that counts. It’s how high you bounce that counts! General G Patton
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Nov 8, 2005
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toguy wrote:
Sep 23rd, 2012 9:17 pm
I have taken my car there more than a few times (not ashamed to specifically mention that it's not a luxury model) and I didn't find any particular problem with Mr. Lube. Sure, it's not the cheapest oil change there is, and they try to upsell left and right, but other than that I think they do a decent job. So what's the actual problem with them? Not one person in this thread has had the ***** to get into specifics, so let's go, I'm all ears (and no, I don't work there!)
Because in an industry where I have to have a high level of trust in the service provider, do I really want to go to a company whose profits rely almost entirely upon selling unnecessary and often potentially harmful services that my car manufacturer does not recommend?

Everytime I've gone to any oil change place whether it be wal-mart, canadian tire, mr lube, pro oil change etc. I've been warned about the dangers of not getting an engine flush. One guy went into great detail and showed me why my engine coolant was no longer good and said it needed to be changed. I declined again of course and took it to my mazda dealer who ran a simple test for free and informed me that the coolant in my 14 year old ford was still good and didn't need to be changed.

Now I'm sure you can find a thousand people who say that their dealership ripped them off, but like I said before, I'm skeptical of a company whose primary goal is to upsell you products or services that are either a) unnecessary) and/or b) harmful to my car. Especially when the people working there are not mechanics.

We are traveling in 1500kg masses of metal at speeds in which we could easily be killed by the fault of our own vehicle or crushed by another 1500+kg piece of metal. That's not even considering the fact that we've spend tens of thousands of dollars on these vehicles and rely on them for work/school/family/whatever. Why would you take such an important tool to be worked on by people that aren't licensed or properly trained? Most people (including myself) are not knowledgeable enough about cars to perform our own oil changes, or know when a service provider is lying to us, so we rely on trusting those that we pay to do it for us. Why would I trust a company that I know is trying to sell me something completely unnecessary or harmful?


A related aside: My old mazda required a specific oil filter wrench to fit properly. Canadian tire did not carry the tool to fit it, so why would it would probably be a safe assumption that their "mechanics" didn't have one either.
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May 8, 2005
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toguy wrote:
Sep 23rd, 2012 9:17 pm
I have taken my car there more than a few times (not ashamed to specifically mention that it's not a luxury model) and I didn't find any particular problem with Mr. Lube. Sure, it's not the cheapest oil change there is, and they try to upsell left and right, but other than that I think they do a decent job. So what's the actual problem with them? Not one person in this thread has had the ***** to get into specifics, so let's go, I'm all ears (and no, I don't work there!)
I'd go back to what Pete_Coach alluded to to earlier.

Going to a Mr. Lube is like going to McDonald's....nothing wrong with having a meal at McDonald's once in a while, but you certainly wouldn't want McDonald's food to form the bulk of your diet. ;)

All other things being equal - and ' up-selling ' issues aside - I'd prefer to have an experienced and licensed tech look at my car as often as possible.....instead of some guy who just got fired from a minimum wage job at McDonald's, has ' zero ' auto experience and yet managed to land another minimum wage job at Mr. Lube changing oil.

To illustrate, when my shop does an oil change, while it's there and up on a hoist, an experienced licensed tech does the following....

[INDENT]Inspect air filter and cabin filter.
Electronic battery test.
Check automatic or manual transmission operation. Lube and grease chassis.
Inspect all bulbs and headlamps.
Lubricate all hinges, locks, and latches with multipurpose grease.
Inspect tie rod ends, steering gear box and boots.
Inspect suspension components.
Inspect driveshaft boots.
Inspect parking brake adjustments.
Inspect brake hoses and lines (including ABS).
Check and top up all fluid levels, condition of fluids, and check for leaks.
Inspect cooling system hoses and connections.
Inspect exhaust system.
Inspect fuel lines and connections.
Inspect the underbody.
Inspect tire wear and tread depth.
Inspect drive belts.[/INDENT]

...and I'll defer to the resident mechanics on this site for this next point, but I think certain suspension components can't be properly evaluated unless a vehicle is on a hoist ( i.e no weight on the wheels )....Mr. Lube doesn't use hoists ( i.e it's a simple drive through...there's always weight on the wheels. )

All of which is to say, these Lube shops are primarily driven by " tunnel vision " - they focus on fluids and upsells ( wipers, filters, flushes,) but don't really care about doing a proper inspection to assess the overall condition and safety of your car.

I put a LOT OF VALUE in the skill and experience a competent licensed automotive tech can bring to the table ...but that's just me. :)

So, I think for an ' informed ' consumer, these Lube shops can be very convenient - once in a while - but for those out there who are utterly clueless about cars / maintenance and or think a Lube shop can meet most their automotive preventative maintenance needs ....going to a Lube shop on a regular basis is like leading sheep to the slaughter. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Sep 22, 2009
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Markham
Long ago, before my girlfriend met me, she had her vehicle oil changed at Jiffy Lube.
After we met, I started working on her vehicle.

When I first did her oil change and tire rotation, I found:
- the plastic cover on top of the engine wasn't secured. It was rocking back and forth as the vehicle was moving.
- the drain plug was super tight and I had to jack up the vehicle and put both arms on the wrench. I am not a weak guy. I can loosen and remove the drain plugs by simply lying on the floor and reaching in.
- the oil filter element was crushed because the "mechanic" just jammed the oil filter in there....
- And Canadian Tire sold her tires that have different size front and rear.....WTF....

Its hard to find someone you trust these days. I just do everything myself...
My time is valueable. I can do oil change anytime and it only takes 10-15 mins from start to finish....and it is done right.
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Sep 22, 2008
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who is crapping on Mr. Lubie? They have their type of clients and specialize in a certain area of vehicle maintenance. Maybe sunday driver grandma sees value in the services they provide? But still they must have a certain level of competency or they will be screwing up cars left and right, won't last very long in business too? Like I said in my third post on this thread, time is money and if you are busy, don't have time to schedule an appointment at the stealers, need your car asap, Mr. Lubie is there for you. I.E. Hewlett Packard is known for price gouging of it customers too, they have like 3 prices to repair your computer, you got according to them 3 levels of service, you can get 1 hour on the spot onsite service but at a cost of 500 bucks, then they got another 48 hour service for 300, and lastly the 1 week service for 100. You decide your urgency on what to pay for.

Personally the services they provide I do it myself and save the money like many rfders. If you don't like Mr. Lubie then don't go to them.

Wasn't the thread about air cleaner? :facepalm:
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May 16, 2007
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I'd like to change the oil on my car myself, I realize it's not hard but 2 questions come to mind:

A) how do you do it in winter
B) is it worth doing if you only have one car, after you go out and buy the necessary tools (oilpan, heavy duty jack lift thing, etc).
Sr. Member
Dec 2, 2005
925 posts
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Markham
I sometimes bring my car to Jiffy/Mr/Midas/whatever-lube when I don't feel like waiting for two hours at the dealer for a simple oil change and have to book like 2 weeks in advance. It's not that expensive with a coupon. Like others said it's mostly the convenience.
Of course when they try to sell me anything else, I just tell them I'll get it checked out at my mechanic's/dealer, which 95% of the time turns out it does not require any work.
Changing oil myself is just not worth the hassel/mess for me.
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shuffler wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2012 8:11 pm
Seriously. $89 for a Cabin air filter replacement ($19 parts + 3 minutes labour?)

I only went in since I had a coupon. But WOW. There must be a whole lot of people with too much money to waste in Canada.
Dealers charge even more than that.
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Starkicker wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 9:31 am
I'd like to change the oil on my car myself, I realize it's not hard but 2 questions come to mind:

A) how do you do it in winter
B) is it worth doing if you only have one car, after you go out and buy the necessary tools (oilpan, heavy duty jack lift thing, etc).
A) The same as you do it in summer.
B) A pan is cheap, don't need anything fancy.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4 ... ?locale=en
And ramps are $50.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4 ... ?locale=en

So your up front cost is about $60ish total.
That will pay for itself within the first year.
[OP]
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Jul 10, 2012
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thrifthunter wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:31 am
A) The same as you do it in summer.
B) A pan is cheap, don't need anything fancy.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4 ... ?locale=en
And ramps are $50.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4 ... ?locale=en

So your up front cost is about $60ish total.
That will pay for itself within the first year.
Where do you dump the oil? Btw I really like the ramp idea - far better than jacks.
packardbell wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 8:47 am

Wasn't the thread about air cleaner? :facepalm:
Yes and no. it was about how much of an upsell they have, and how I can't trust a company that has a 400% jack up on a simple air filter replacement.
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woodstock827 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 9:34 am
I sometimes bring my car to Jiffy/Mr/Midas/whatever-lube when I don't feel like waiting for two hours at the dealer for a simple oil change and have to book like 2 weeks in advance. It's not that expensive with a coupon. Like others said it's mostly the convenience.
Of course when they try to sell me anything else, I just tell them I'll get it checked out at my mechanic's/dealer, which 95% of the time turns out it does not require any work.

Changing oil myself is just not worth the hassel/mess for me.
+1
" The placebo effect is the most powerful supplement of all "
" The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of neglect weighs tons "
" The best training in the world can't overcome a lousy diet "
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Mar 21, 2004
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I usually do an oil change myself which is reasonable but when I do not have access to the equipment or the time to do it myself then I would take to a mechanic. I took to Mr.Lube once and damn they are expensive for a basic oil change. They offered me an air filter for $30.00 that my mechanic sells me for 14.99. My mechanic charges me less than Mr.Lube for the basic oil change as well. That being said, I have to make an appointment and it does take them a little longer, so if you are looking for convince then Mr.Lube is fast and will take you right away.

For the most part, I always just get the air filter myself as it is super cheap and just change it once in a while. I don't have the equipment for an oil change/place to do it myself so I just take it to a mechcanic rather than Mr.Lube. They always pressure you to change other fluids at crazy prices. I am not even convinced that they know/are honest. The time I went there they said my transmission fluid was terrible and needed to be changed but I had been having transmission problems and a common problem in my car can occur where the coolant can leak and mix with the transmission fluid (which did not happen) so I had it checked out and the transmission fluid changed which solved the problem I was having. They are telling me to pay $99.99 to have another transmission fluid change.... I lol'd. That was pretty much double what my mechanic charged me anyway.
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Aug 24, 2007
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shuffler wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 11:12 am
Where do you dump the oil?
Bottle it back up with the jug that came with your new oil (assuming you emptied that bottle) and take it to any canadian tire. Speak with a tech there and see where they want you to put it. It is free to dispose there. IIRC, it's illegal for them to charge you a disposal fee because when you bought the oil, you paid an environmental fee that should cover disposal.... dont quote me on that though.
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Dec 28, 2010
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Ottawa
If I didn't feel like changing the oil myself or the weather was especially cold and miserable (I have a bad back and getting under the car in the winter leaves me in pain for a day), I would happily go to a Mr. Lube. My last oil change there cost over $90 but that was with Mobil 1 synthetic and a Motorcraft filter and they topped up the washer fluid for no additional charge. The oil costs $11 a litre (unless it's on sale) and the filter costs $8 from a Ford dealer, so the cost of parts to do it myself can be over $80. ((6x $11 + $8) x 1.13) Considering the gas and time to buy the parts plus shop towels, putting the car up on ramps, crawling under it, dealing with the dripping oil and having to pour the used oil from the drain pan back into the oil containers and dispose of the old oil and filter - is it really worth it to save $10? Probably not for a lot of people.

The majority of the time, I buy the oil when it's on sale, pick up a filter when I happen to be at or near the Ford dealer and self schedule my oil changes to the spring and fall. This saves about $25-35 per oil change and is worth it for me to do the work myself.

For those of you that take your cars to the dealer because you think an experienced licensed tech is doing a 50 point inspection on your ride while doing the oil change, think again. Dealership mechanics get paid at a flat rate per job, not by the hour. If the book allows 30 minutes for an oil change, they only get paid 30 minutes to do an oil change. If they spend 45 minutes on the job (don't forget the time it takes them to wash up, get the keys from the service advisor, go out to the lot to get your car and drive it into the shop, raise the car on the hoist, etc...), they are losing potential wages. An experienced oil changer will have two cars going at once, if they have access to two hoists, so that while one car is draining, they are bringing the last job out to the lot and getting the next job into the shop. They probably do a quick visual inspection while under the car and under the hood but they are certainly not doing a thourough inspection of the suspension, fuel lines, etc. Furthermore, the experienced licensed techs are not doing oil changes in the first place, they are doing the harder and better paying jobs. The guy doing your oil change is likely a part-timer working for 1.5 times minimum wage. YMMV but this info is based on me working part-time in a shop for 7.5 years (started while in high school), doing mostly oil changes, tires, exhaust, cooling systems, charging systems and talking to lots of dealer and non-dealer mechanics.
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shuffler wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 11:12 am
Where do you dump the oil? Btw I really like the ramp idea - far better than jacks.
I just use a funnel and dump it back into 2L pepsi bottles or dump it back into the jug the new oil just came out of(assuming the new oil was all used up).

And i bring the old oil to CT for proper disposal.
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