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$70 for an oil change? WTH?

LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
I took my car to the dealership for an oil change last week. It cost a little more than $70. WTH? In the past, it was only $29. I have no idea why it was so much.

I am currently responding to a survey from the dealership and before I comment on the cost, I want to make sure than I'm not out of line. An oil change shouldn't cost $70, should it?
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  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,380Registered Users
    Ours run about that much because we have to use synthetic oil. On the plus side, my car only needs oil changes about every 7000 miles so it's works out.
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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    My car takes synthetic oil too--I get it changed once a year and it costs about that much. I just accept it as one big hit vs. getting it changed more often for less money.
  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    They mentioned that they used synthetic oil, but I don't know what that means. I only get oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. It sounds like it's not a big deal then.
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users
    Ok...I'm going to assume that in the past for the $29 oil change you used conventional oil. Did you ask for them to switch you to synthetic oil?

    Please note that since the dealership has started using synthetic oil, that you can't switch back to conventional oil (well you can but its not advised).
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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    Ok...I'm going to assume that in the past for the $29 oil change you used conventional oil. Did you ask for them to switch you to synthetic oil?

    Please note that since the dealership has started using synthetic oil, that you can't switch back to conventional oil (well you can but its not advised).

    I didn't ask them to use synthetic oil. They just told me they were going to, and I had no idea what that meant. Then I picked up my car and they told me the bill was $70 because they used synthetic oil. I probably should have asked what was going on at the time, but I was shocked at $70.

    And now I find out that I can't use regular oil? :angry5: I am feeling very taken advantage of right now. They probably saw me coming; female driving a German car who doesn't have a clue about that stuff. It sounds like I should give them a negative review on the survey.
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Synthetic oil is way more expensive (but worth it in my book). It will last you much longer between oil changes.
  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    My regular oil change (wally world) went from $18 to $30. looks like oil changes are going up
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    Ok...I'm going to assume that in the past for the $29 oil change you used conventional oil. Did you ask for them to switch you to synthetic oil?

    Please note that since the dealership has started using synthetic oil, that you can't switch back to conventional oil (well you can but its not advised).

    I didn't ask them to use synthetic oil. They just told me they were going to, and I had no idea what that meant. Then I picked up my car and they told me the bill was $70 because they used synthetic oil. I probably should have asked what was going on at the time, but I was shocked at $70.

    And now I find out that I can't use regular oil? :angry5: I am feeling very taken advantage of right now. They probably saw me coming; female driving a German car who doesn't have a clue about that stuff. It sounds like I should give them a negative review on the survey.

    at the very start, the technician should have asked you if you know about the synthetic oil option, educate you about it, including its cost, then ask you if you'd like an oil change using that oil. only then would you have been an informed consumer. you were duped, they made a profit at the expense of your ignorance, and on principle, you shouldn't have to pay for the service, this time.
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  • mandyvmandyv Posts: 2,437Registered Users
    That happened to me once and I never went back. I go to Jiffy Lube or Firestone for their $20 oil changes. That's BS. I know there's some provision that the dealer has to do the work or the warranty will be invalidated, but an oil change is not a serious procedure, and I would argue that point if I ever had to, but nothing ever went wrong with my Mazda while it was under warranty. And still hasn't, knock on wood.
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    Always ask questions.
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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    rainshower wrote: »
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    Ok...I'm going to assume that in the past for the $29 oil change you used conventional oil. Did you ask for them to switch you to synthetic oil?

    Please note that since the dealership has started using synthetic oil, that you can't switch back to conventional oil (well you can but its not advised).

    I didn't ask them to use synthetic oil. They just told me they were going to, and I had no idea what that meant. Then I picked up my car and they told me the bill was $70 because they used synthetic oil. I probably should have asked what was going on at the time, but I was shocked at $70.

    And now I find out that I can't use regular oil? :angry5: I am feeling very taken advantage of right now. They probably saw me coming; female driving a German car who doesn't have a clue about that stuff. It sounds like I should give them a negative review on the survey.

    at the very start, the technician should have asked you if you know about the synthetic oil option, educate you about it, including its cost, then ask you if you'd like an oil change using that oil. only then would you have been an informed consumer. you were duped, they made a profit at the expense of your ignorance, and on principle, you shouldn't have to pay for the service, this time.

    I agree. I have had things added into my services by the dealer--I followed up with a complaint (the car company calls and surveys you after you get a service) and of course the dealership called to find out what was wrong. I know the feeling of getting the bill, seeing the total and thinking "WTF just happened?"

    My car came with synthetic oil and I was already accustomed to the price of an oil change. They should have informed you beforehand.
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users
    I get my oil changes at no charge as part of a customer loyalty program. Wish more mechanics would do that. I've been with this firm through 3 cars and more than 10 years.

    I'm going to ask them about synthetic, because my mileage is high and the car's using up oil faster (no leaks).
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users
    SBB...from what I've been told, it is recommended that high milage cars use synthetic oil vs conventional oil. Synthetic oil is better at lubricating the moving parts of the engine and preventing wear and tear...which in an older car/high milage car can start to manifest its self in premature engine failure, parts wearing out, over heating, ect.

    They also make special oil blends for high mileage cars, but I don't know how good they are. I'll ask my BF though...he's a car guy and drag races, so he would know how different oils/oil blends affect engine performance.
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  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users
    SBB...from what I've been told, it is recommended that high milage cars use synthetic oil vs conventional oil. Synthetic oil is better at lubricating the moving parts of the engine and preventing wear and tear...which in an older car/high milage car can start to manifest its self in premature engine failure, parts wearing out, over heating, ect.

    They also make special oil blends for high mileage cars, but I don't know how good they are. I'll ask my BF though...he's a car guy and drag races, so he would know how different oils/oil blends affect engine performance.
    Thanks, NCC. Past 2 oil changes I had to put 2 more quarts in at around 2500 miles. I mostly do highway driving
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  • YolyCYolyC Posts: 3,758Registered Users
    Oil has gone up but not that much. A 6pk case of synthetic runs about 35.00 wholesale.

    Actually, you can go back to regular oil on your next oil change. The oil is drained and the oil filter changed so basically you'd only have traces of the synthetic oil. You wouldn't be mixing the two.

    I remember hearing at one of our marketers meetings that high performance cars are the only ones who really benefit from synthetic oil. And not too sure on the exact comments but also that it does more harm than good on older high mileage cars. Something about it being thinner and there being internal leaks in an engine which the thicker regular oil wouldn't be able to leak in to. .
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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    SBB...from what I've been told, it is recommended that high milage cars use synthetic oil vs conventional oil. Synthetic oil is better at lubricating the moving parts of the engine and preventing wear and tear...which in an older car/high milage car can start to manifest its self in premature engine failure, parts wearing out, over heating, ect.

    They also make special oil blends for high mileage cars, but I don't know how good they are. I'll ask my BF though...he's a car guy and drag races, so he would know how different oils/oil blends affect engine performance.

    I use synthetic blend or something (recommended by the dealership for my car) and its always 35 to 39.00 depending on which dealershp. If I go to a new place, I'd ask which oil and how much. At the dealership they make u sign and pay before the service so there's no confusion.
  • gekko422gekko422 Posts: 4,869Registered Users
    If you didn't know what it was, why didn't you ask? I don't see it as duping when they asked you and you said yes. No offense, but it's your car, why would you agree to something involving your car if you didn't know what it was?
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  • tinicurlydtinicurlyd Posts: 1,053Registered Users
    Its hard being a women and getin duped on car stuff like something so simple as an oil change. Thank god i know alott friends in the car biz to help me on anything. Oil changes have gone up , a place i have gone since 3 cars before just went up $3 , not too bad. I use to pay between $19 and $21 for my suv , it was like $25 this time. My mom works in the car biz so i just found out i can get my suv done for an oil change for $10 there instead now, much better!
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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    gekko422 wrote: »
    If you didn't know what it was, why didn't you ask? I don't see it as duping when they asked you and you said yes. No offense, but it's your car, why would you agree to something involving your car if you didn't know what it was?

    I definitely have culpability here. The guy told me they were going to use synthetic oil and I didn't ask more questions. I was in a hurry to get to work and just signed the work order. Frankly, I thought I was having a 40,000 mile maintenance done when I saw the $70 quote.

    The dealership used to be locally owned and had good service. It was purchased by a national company, and ever since then, they try to push extras like tires, car detailing, and apparently, synthetic oil. Their conduct seems pretty self-serving, and I'm just trying to figure out if I got screwed or was taken advantage of. Not to mention the fact that I've never heard of synthetic oil or a $70 oil change before now.

    Hopefully, this bill will slide by DH or Lolo will have some 'splainin' to do.
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
    No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    I've had German cars for years--VW, BMW, and now two Mercedes--and I think $70 is high. Many places choose not to work on Mercedes, even oil changes, so we sometime go to the dealer. Even there, I think it's $50 max. The BMW and VW generally ran $39.95. On the plus side, the oil doesn't need to get changed as often so it's probably a wash.

    You didn't say what kind of German car you have. If it's a VW, this doesn't really apply; but if you have a Mercedes, I highly recommend only having it serviced (including oil changes) by either a dealer or a place that specifically says they work on Mercedes. The last time we had the oil changed by a non-Mercedes shop, they put the wrong oil filter in and we burned through oil way too quickly. I'm not certain if the two things were related, but it's been fine since we went back to the Mercedes guy. We've been burned a few other times on things like brakes, so now I just stick with the non-dealer Mercedes mechanic.

    Before anyone asks, I have no idea why it's harder to find places to work on Mercedes than BMW. It might not be like this in other cities.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Also, I'm not sure how old your car is, but our German cars have all used synthetic oil. It should say in the owners manual what kind of oil they recommend. I don't think that was dishonest.

    Our old Ford Explorer used regular oil and lower octane gas and we could get the oil changed for $20. I think my old Honda was the same way. I've had to get the $39.95+ synthetic oil change since I had my 2000 Passat.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    It's an Audi. And it's turbo-charged, so I don't know if that matters.

    Ironically, the maintenance warranty expired in December. The warranty paid for every other oil change. It seems questionable that they decide to recommend the expensive oil now that they don't have to pay for it.

    I don't know much about cars and mechanics, etc. If I'm in the wrong here, let me know and I'll shut up about it. But I feel a little taken advantage of, and I don't know how to respond to the survey. Plus, Audi USA always calls to ask about my experience, and I don't want to bash the dealership if it didn't do anything inappropriate.
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
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  • hayseedladyhayseedlady Posts: 646Registered Users
    Lolo which dealership did you use? Many of the dealerships in DSM have been bought by Lithia, which isn't that bad of a company. They have been headhunting my husband to work for them. I think in the near future they will buy the Honda dealership he works for.

    The service advisor should have explained to you what the differences are between regular oil and synthetic. We switched over to synthetic years ago, it is much better than regular.

    I think $70 is a bit much but I don't know how much is normal for an oil change. DH does all that at home, he refuses to pay for something so simple to do. I think what part of the price you paid was due to the high cost of oil a few months ago. Dealerships buy barrels of oil in huge amounts, so if they bought it last summer when it was over $100 a barrel the customer pays a higher price. Plus synthetic is more expensive period.

    I would let Audi know about your complaint, don't feel bad about it. That's why they ask you to do it. Maybe they might pay for your next oil change.
  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Posts: 4,940Registered Users
    At the very least, they should've briefly explained what advantage/disadvantage to synthetic oil. Since they do not have to pay for the oil change anymore, yes, it looks self-serving to me. I think you got duped, but it might not be a bad thing in the long run. You don't need to change the oil as often, so it might be a savings in the long run.
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  • gekko422gekko422 Posts: 4,869Registered Users
    Well, without having been there, I wouldn't know if you were taken advantage of or not. However, they asked you a standard question, one that I have been asked in the past, you said yes, and they gave you that service based on your answers.

    I know more about cars than the average person, thanks to a mechanically minded Dad and I have seen people get totally hosed by mechanics. One told my friend she needed her tires rotated and aligned that they were wearing, I said please show me, and he said oh, you can't see it yet. :rolleyes: I told her don't do it, she did it anyway.

    But, in this case? It's hard to say. If you had asked about it and they talked over your head or talked down to you, I would say yes. But this seems pretty simple to me.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    I was curious, so I asked my sister what she pays. She has a 2006 Audi A6. She said it's around $50 at the dealer, every 8,000 miles. She said she tried to get it done at Jiffy Lube in October and they told her after they took everything apart that they didn't have the right oil filter. Unfortunately, they didn't put the car back together again properly, resulting in a $200 repair bill.

    ETA: She also said that she got the impression that Audi doesn't sell Audi parts for newer models to non-Audi dealers or certified mechanics.
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  • hayseedladyhayseedlady Posts: 646Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    She said she tried to get it done at Jiffy Lube in October and they told her after they took everything apart that they didn't have the right oil filter. Unfortunately, they didn't put the car back together again properly, resulting in a $200 repair bill.

    Jiffy Lube, Wal Mart, Sears are not worth the money you save. I've heard so many horror stories about people who do take their cars there. There isn't enough oil, to much oil, wrong filter, forgot to put in the drain, didn't tighten everything, over tighten the filter just all sorts of issues. Then want to fight you over the problems and don't have the facilities to fix the mistake.

    A dealership is more expensive but you know if there is a problem they will fix it. The shop rates are high sure but dealerships have to carry insurance, pay for training, carry a huge inventory, pay the mechanics and their benifits. I think the standard shop rate in DSM is well over $120 an hour.

    If you do want to save alittle money go to a small mechanic shop. You know they don't want to ruin your car, don't want bad word of mouth, and want your repeat business.
  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users
    YolyC wrote: »
    Oil has gone up but not that much. A 6pk case of synthetic runs about 35.00 wholesale.

    Actually, you can go back to regular oil on your next oil change. The oil is drained and the oil filter changed so basically you'd only have traces of the synthetic oil. You wouldn't be mixing the two.

    I remember hearing at one of our marketers meetings that high performance cars are the only ones who really benefit from synthetic oil. And not too sure on the exact comments but also that it does more harm than good on older high mileage cars. Something about it being thinner and there being internal leaks in an engine which the thicker regular oil wouldn't be able to leak in to. .

    I was under the impression that synthetic oil doesn't contain petroleum distillates...which conventional oil does contain. When conventional oil is heated, because of the distillates, it swells and expands...which engine seals also swell and expand to accomidate. Synthetic oil is thus thinner....because it doesn't contain the distillates...which can lead to leaks because many of the engine parts have swollen and expanded (those that can...such as gaskets and seals) have expanded.

    I did a bit of research and it appears that they now "engineer" synthetic oil...and add petroleum distillates to it to prevent the leakage issues that used to happen from switching from conventional to synthetic.

    Now in my linear rational mind, I'm think that if you are engineering synthetic oil to contain petroleum distillates so that it too can swell and expand when heated, what makes it better than conventional oil? There must be something about the performance that makes it the better choice to justify the added expense of using it?

    I'm going to have to about this. My BF is gonna love me tonight....cause we get to talk about cars....lol.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Can you report back tomorrow, NCC? :D
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • curlee4lifecurlee4life Posts: 219Registered Users
    Hubby and I have German cars (I live in Germany so we try to support the local economy :lol).

    We either verify per our owner's manual what oil should go in or we ask up front the cost and if Hubby thinks it is too much, he will purchase the oil in advance and bring it to the dealership.

    We always have our cars serviced at the dealership because if any problems occur, we have recourse with the manufacturer.

    HTH

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