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Industry hacks Dealership Edition: Oil Change
A friend of mine called me last week and began to express concern over the dealership he was using for service the past few years, basically said he doesn't trust them based on some of their actions, and if I could do the 30,000 mile service on his vehicle he would appreciate it and compensate me for my time. So needless to say I was more than happy to help out a friend and so I set about last Friday after noon completing the service on his Nissan SUV which consisted of an oil change, tire rotation, and basic inspection of filters and brakes. After changing the cabin filter, which looked like it was the original filter that had never been replaced, I went ahead and began the oil change.
I set up my items, 1/2 rachet with a 14mm socket, oil catch pan set on top of some paper bags in case I happened to spill, some paper towels, rubber gloves, the replacement new oil, filter, and copper washer.
I've done this sort of thing so many times that it has become second nature, loosen the oil drain bolt and then give it a good spin with the finger so it goes rotating off with a whoosh into the catch pan like a pebble skipped across a calm lake. No oil on your hands, no mess.
I quickly grab the drain plug out of the catch pan before it gets lost under a sea of dirty oil.
Ah ha, my friend was wise to suspect the dealership. Upon inspecting the drain plug immediately obvious was the fact that some two-bit lazy hack lube techs had reused the copper crush washer at least once. Those veteran do-it-yourselfers know what I'm talking about, that copper crush washer that has been used so many times that it is squashed and beginning to curl up around the threads at the base of the bolt with the actual washer beginning to separate into two pieces.
The problem with reusing copper crush washers is that each time it is done you are getting closer to stripping out oil pan drain hole threads, because each time the copper washer is crushed down you need to tighten it a little more to get any "crush" sealing effect from it, putting more stress on the oil pan drain hole threads.
Now, whether this was done on purpose by the dealership tech so as to eventually create more labor hours for themselves by adding oil pan replacement to a work order, or maybe it was simply laziness on the part of the tech who wasn't even smart enough to think that far ahead, I don't know, but clearly this Nissan dealership were (are) employing hacks.
How do I know it was a Nissan dealership? I don't know for sure but the oil filter was a Nissan printed OEM part. So unless this was the work of an independent shop or a previous owner using OEM parts, I wouldn't know unless I checked the service history.
After wedging a small screwdriver under the washer to give me some space to get under it I was able to cut it off with a pair of dykes/clippers and then slip a new copper washer on, I was good to go. Wiped up the small amount of oil residue on the pan near the bolt hole, tightened the bolt back on to spec, replaced the oil filter and cleaned up the surrounding area and was on to the tire rotation and brake inspection. And yes, I do put oil inside the new oil filter so that I'm not dry-firing the engine upon first start.
The next time you hear someone say, "dealership serviced" in their for sale ad, take that with a grain of salt, because many dealerships employ hacks who don't really care about your vehicle. Half way through of working this washer off I thought, I'm going to photograph this for records sake.
If you would like to share your dealership hack job experience, feel free to do so.
So you don't actually know it was a dealership that did the work, but yet you then say that "many dealerships employ hacks".
Another worthless thread by you.
Ask your friend for the paperwork of the last oil change to see who did it.
Originally Posted by Caspian3.2
He bought it from a Nissan dealer "certified" pre owned. Don't dealerships say that they have some 100 point inspection they perform for certification before putting a vehicle on the lot for sale?
So this vehicle should have had the oil changed along with a new copper washer put on. It takes less than ten seconds to remove a washer and slip a new one on. It took me less than a minute to work this damaged washer off and put a new one on.
In fact, many years ago I was a lube tech, I must have changed oil and rotated tires, clean & adjust on rear drums, brake inspection, cabin and air filters, battery cleanings, etc on at least sixteen vehicles per day at the rate of two per hour during an eight hour shift. Until I got bored of that and moved on to being a technician. So I've seen some of the crap that the usually young kids do to cars. Sometimes it's accidental, sometimes just careless.
If you're not a hack then you shouldn't he offended. The fact remains, there are hacks in every industry.
Wow, a true statement from you for once.
Originally Posted by Caspian3.2
But no, just because it was certified doesn't mean the oil was changed at the dealer. I don't know Nissan's CPO process, but the oil might have been changed just before it was traded in. In which case, they would have no reason to change it.
I still can't believe you were a tech.
Last edited by Tech; 09-24-2019 at 06:05 PM.
I used to work with a guy at a Volvo dealership who did actually replace the crush washer (Volvo uses aluminum crush washers) at each service but he torqued THE HELL out the drain plug. When a car he touched came in for service, we could always tell if he had his hands on it the previous service because the drain plug required an extra long ratchet to break it loose and the crush washer was always curled over like that and had to be cut off.
We would tell him to stop overtightening the drain plugs but he insisted "I never had one come back leaking". The guy was just an animal with cars. I never saw anyone break so many things on cars as that guy. We were all so glad when he left our shop.
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