One question we’ve received a lot lately is “How much do you charge for an oil change?” We usually answer by saying that instead of just an oil change, we prefer to perform a full vehicle maintenance service instead. What’s the difference?
Let us explain! Lots of folks do a great job maintaining 20% of their car. They have good intentions and faithfully bring their vehicle in for an oil change every 5,000-10,000 km. However, a quick scan through your owner’s manual will reveal that your car needs a lot more than just an oil change every 3-6 months. While the oil change takes good care of your engine, there’s the whole rest of your vehicle that needs attention too! This includes the other 3-6 fluids; the other 3-4 filters; your tires; steering and suspension systems; belts & hoses; your brake system; and a lot more.
Because clean engine oil won’t do you any good when your brakes wear out or a ball joint fails during a family drive, we take a full vehicle approach to maintaining your car. Every one of our maintenance service packages includes:
- An oil change using a premium oil and a high quality filter; much better than you’ll receive at a “drive through” lube shop.
- A tire rotation and pressure adjustment.
- A full vehicle inspection, performed by a journeyman technician.
- Lubricating driveline and chassis parts.
- Topping up your washer fluid.
- Lubricating your door locks and hinges.
This very complete service takes about 2 hours to perform, and it’s an amazing value at between $145 and $180 for most vehicles.
The benefits of full vehicle maintenance:
The results of this full vehicle approach to maintenance are very satisfying; for us and for our clients. As a regular client who follows and appreciates this approach, you can expect to experience the following advantages:
- Your car is safer, and drives better.
- Your car is more reliable.
- Your tires and brakes last longer.
- Instead of always having to come up with the funds for an emergency repair, you will know about most vehicle issues 3-6 months before they need attention.
- When it’s time to replace your vehicle one day, your car will be easier to sell, and will have higher resale value.
The negative effects of the 20% approach:
As we mentioned above, drivers who frequent the drive through quick lube shops (or dealership fast lanes) may have great intentions and probably don’t mean to neglect their vehicle. They might believe that they are doing everything their car needs! Unfortunately, a vehicle that has been maintained almost exclusively with these types of businesses can eventually become what we jokingly call “Jiffy Lubed to death”.
What does that mean? These vehicles usually receive regular oil changes; some of the under-hood fluids and filters have been changed regularly – usually too regularly or over-sold – and the rest of the car has never been inspected. In the rather blunt words of one technician:
These cars have brand new oil, a brand new air filter, and they are falling apart.
The “20% vehicle” is typically in poor overall condition, leading to upsetting sticker shock when the vehicle finally visits a qualified technician for an inspection or repairs. Many of the issues that need to be repaired at this point have usually accumulated over the past months or years, and the vehicle owner is faced with a $2000 or $3000 repair bill all at once, instead of an easier-to-handle $400 or $500 repair every few months.
The good news?
We’re very happy to report that through our good reputation in Airdrie, we’ve been able attract several “20% clients” and through proper education, turn them into “full vehicle clients”. These folks now drive safer, more reliable cars and their vehicle expenses are much easier to manage. We’re able to catch little problems before they become bigger ones, which saves the client money in the long run. Would you like to become one of our “full vehicle clients”? Please feel free to reach out any any time, because we’d love to help!