Mr. Lube — vehicle damaged
In September of 2009 I had taken my 2009 Grand Caravan to the aforementioned Mr.Lube for a quick oil change. I don't usually go to Mr. Lube and had been warned about them by mechanics who are relatives as well as other mechanics. I figured "It's just an oil change... how can anyone screw that up?" Shortly after leaving my engine light came on. I pulled over and checked the oil - thinking that perhaps they had forgotten to put oil back in or maybe the drain plug... oil level was fine and there were no leaks. When I got back into the car the engine light had gone out. Over the next few weeks the engine light would intermittently come on and go off. The engine sounded fine so I figured I'd wait until my next scheduled servicing to have it checked. Never got the chance. Leaving work one night a week before Christmas the car wouldn't start. Good battery, lots of power from the battery but no starter. Towing bill to get to a dealership that night was over $250. As soon as it was dropped off the hook the van started. I live rurally so getting home from the dealership was going to cost me again, I opted to drive it home with plans to take it into the dealership in the morning. Again, the following morning the van would not start. Another $75 to get it towed into the dealer. Cost me a day off work while waiting for the dealer to figure out what was wrong with it - which they did. In the words of the mechanic "Who does your oil changes?...'Cause they've damaged a pigtail connector that's right up by your oil filter. One of the wires is ripped out and the connector is broken." Cost to diagnose $154 and cost to repair $151.
So, an oil change at Mr. Lube cost me $680 including the cost of the oil change and not including a days pay lost.
I contacted the Mr Lube franchise, not seeking compensation but just to let them know that they were either knowingly or otherwise damaging vehicles and as everyone else here has experienced, I got very little sympathy. I was expecting to say thanks for letting them know and that the guys down in the pits would be advised to watch out for wiring and such when removing oil filters... but no such luck. Instead they sang the praises of their employees, offered to have me come back so that they could take a look at my van (They are NOT licensed mechanics so why he'd even consider offering this God only knows), the area manager told me about his own Caravan which is 3 years older than mine and a totally different design, stating that he's never had a problem. What a joke.
I'm chalking this one up to not heeding warnings I was given and do my best to save any one else from the same or similar fate.
I'd like to say that you get what you pay for - but a dealership oil change is actually less than a Mr. Lube oil change, there are no hard sells while you're sitting trapped in your car, the guys working on your car are licensed technicians instead of kids who never finished high school and the dealer warranties their work. Mr. Lube? You're on your own.
If I save just one person from going through my experience with Mr. Lube it will have been worth the $680+.
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