Thursday, September 12, 2013

Motor Oil Matters Part II: The Oil Change

Meet my baby.  Well, okay, ONE of my babies.  This is my 2008 Chevy Equinox.  This is the one car in my entire life that I took for a test drive, after my husband insisted I do so, and I looked at my husband seconds after pulling back into the dealership and said, "I WANT this car."

So, to say that I take the care of my car seriously is a vast understatement.

Well, this last weekend the oil meter in my car went off saying that I needed an oil change and sure enough those three thousand mile calcs I'd been doing in my head matched what the car was saying.  Unfortunately for me my husband was out of town, but luckily my mother-in-law was willing to help me field the kids.  So I went for it and started calling around to see who could get me in for an oil change.  And I ended up with the Chevy dealership being the only place that could fit me in on my limited schedule.

Okay, so I have this THING with dealerships.  Allow me to tell you a tale of woe and frustration.  Years ago I took my current car at the time in to the dealership for an oil change.  A week later the headlight went out and so I got a replacement bulb and went to put said bulb into said car (well okay my HUSBAND went to put the bulb in said no mechanically inclined).  Only to find that my hood would not open.  At all.  It was stuck so tight it took my husband and I worked on the blasted thing for weeks to get it open and prayed (it being the middle of winter) that I didn't get pulled over by a police officer in the meantime asking why I had an out headlight.  When the hood, after much reaming and cussing was had, finally popped it was to find a cap for a container of oil had been left where the hood latch came down and when the hood had been closed at the last oil change the latch had jammed with that nice plastic lid fitting in there so snug.   I called just to let the dealership know what had happened and advised them to warn their staff not to do that in the future as they might end up wrecking someone's hood next time and ending up with a repair bill.  I thought I was being nice, but the dealership acted like something like that couldn't happen, that I was making the entire thing up in some ruse to get money out of them (which I never wanted money and didn't mention monetary anything in the conversation). 

And so, I hadn't been back to a dealership since.

So, to say that I wasn't THRILLED at the idea of getting an oil change at a dealership, especially since I was going in with a checklist of questions to ask, was a vast understatement.  But, I pulled into the dealership, got out of the car, went and checked the car in and then I pulled out the checklist and started asking questions.

And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

First, before I went to the dealership, I not only checked my owner's manual to see what type of oil was recommended for my car, but also checked the oil fill cap under the hood and loe and behold it was there in nice easy to read letters what type of oil my car needed (this picture was actually taken today when the sun was out because the other pictures were too wet and dreary looking).  The mechanic I talked to at the dealership said that in most modern cars the oil you need to use is indeed printed on the fill cap because the manufacturers want to make sure that if you need to add a quart of oil to your car in a, shall we say less than desirable set of circumstances, that you will immediately know what type of oil to put into your car.

Also, he gave me a good bit of information too.  If you are ever curious about what type of oil is put into your car, not only are you free to ask at any time, but you can also look at the sticker that they put up on your windshield (yes, this is my sticker and my "custom awesome graphics" added ;) with the date and mileage of your next expected oil change and there should be what type of oil they used for your current oil change right on the decal.

The little windshield sticky should also have what type of oil they put into your car on it as, not only a way to inform you as to what type of oil they put into your car, but to inform you what type of oil your car should have added to it (as seen above).

I know I sort of punted on where to get my oil changed for this and I have to apologize for that.  I mean if ANY place should know to use good quality oil for an oil change and what type of oil to use for said oil change a car dealership that sells your brand of car should definitely be in the "know" about these things.  But, at least I learned a bit in the process and got an oil change when I needed it to be done.  Which, as any busy parent knows, is worth its weight in gold!

Disclaimer:  The giftcards that were received by me and given away to a reader, as well as the information in the original post found HERE and the checklist mentioned in this post were all provided courtesy of Motor Oil Matters.

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