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When Is A $19.99 Oil Change $27.87
Posted by Spi9959 on 11/29/2008
BROADVIEW, ILLINOIS -- When you are the victim of deception and misinformation. I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. I needed a simple oil change. Upon getting to the service desk at Pep Boys, I was asked what service I needed and the make, model, and year of my vehicle. I was offered two types of oil changes and I chose the least costly, the price of which, was quoted as $19.99. I ended up being charged $27.87. Here is the cost breakdown: parts were $21.13, labor was $2.55, "other" (shop fees) was $1.89, and tax was $2.30.

At no time before the car went into the bay was I informed that the price of the oil change would be greater than $19.99. When the car was ready, I inquired why the price had escalated to $27.87. I was told that the car needed "a little more than five quarts" and the $19.99 oil change was based on up to five quarts. I was also told that the oil filter was a more expensive type necessitating an extra charge. Of course, the charge for the shop fees were not included in the $19.99 quote. Wouldn't you think that, with all their self-espoused knowledge and expertise, Pep Boys and their employees should have known the actual cost of the oil change and quoted me an accurate price before the car went into the bay?

It was a rip-off as far as I'm concerned. Never again will I go to Pep Boys and the word from my mouth to others will be to avoid them like the plague.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
I bet there is a disclosure on the service contract that outlines everything you were told. $27.87 seems pretty reasonable to me, mine cost almost $80 at the VW dealership.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
JC is right. $19.99 sounds like the basic oil, oil filter and labor. In California there are added charges (not included in the price) for oil recycling/enviornment charges. I think that is what bumped up your price. Check the service order. I am pretty sure you will see these items disclosed there as well as your final receipt.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2008-11-29:
It would be easier for the oil changer/garage to charge a "flat out-the-door fee" for the oil change. Wal-Mart does this, as well as many quick-lube places. One chain, NTB, proudly advertises "$16.99 Oil Changes", but then disclaims the "plus shop and disposal fee". They should just charge a flat out-the-door fee for any vehicle up to five quarts, and include the disposal and shop fees in the final price. I know that some trucks, vans, and SUV's take 6 or more quarts, and that Cadillacs with Northstar V-8's take 8 quarts. However, some auto service/oil change places could not do flat fees, since shop and disposal fees could vary with the vehicle.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2008-11-29:
And does the Cobalt use a cartridge-type filter instead of a spin-on? My 2004 Cavalier, which probably has the same engine as the Cobalt, uses a cartridge-type oil filter. However, I always patronize Lube Stop, and I'm charged a $32.99 flat fee, less if I have a coupon.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
JC, I hope you're using synthetic at that price!
Did you get a lube job too?

Pep Boys is the master at all those little fees. If you buy tires there you will really get a laugh. I went for the buy 3 tires and get the 4th free one time. Tires were $59 each and the total was $379. I had to go out to look, and make sure I wasn't mistaken on how many tires are on a car. lol.
Pep Boys sucks! Don't go back.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
It is synthetic C2O..so my car can go 5k miles between oil changes instead of 3k..my service also includes checking of all the other liquids, tire balancing, etc...it's a little steep I know, but I'd rather pay more then trust my car with a chain.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
I'm sure a fit, smart, and energetic gal, like yourself, could change your own oil, JC.
I can swing by and show you how to lube it. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
C20? JC? I feel so dirty now. LOL
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
John, C2O has a true knack..he can turn ANY comment into a dirty comment..LOL
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
LOL I've noticed that. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
Yes, and politely ignoring them doesn't stop them either! LOL
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-29:
Get The Knack!..... THAT was a great 8 track tape! lol!

I'm sorry for the way you feel there, John. JC is a dirty girl, despite what she'll lead folks to believe.
I offered some cost saving measures, and once again, it blew up right in my face!
Yep, it's high time I learned that JC is gonna blow it for me every time I pop up. Geeeezzzz....
Posted by beauford on 2009-02-19:
Most of these places state right on the ad up to five quarts.
Sounds like a good price to me. Go to jiffy lube where they charge almost 40 dollars for basic oil change
Posted by Rick on 2012-04-01:
Yes the oil change is 19.99 uo to five quarts and like you said there are shop fees for storing the used oil out of your car, labor for the guy changing your oil and yes your car does take a cartridge filter which is more expensive. I work for pepboys and at our store, we use castrol oil. I don't know where you would find a cheaper oil change using castrol or any other name brand oil. Hope this solves your problem
Posted by Goodman5225 on 2013-08-13:
If you go to Pepboys, it is ok. Here is the "big but". If you are buying tires, do your homework and know your prices. Get an idea how much the total is to the closest dollar. They can pull tricks on you. Also I when the offer you the "3 for 4 " deal with rebate, they will never tell you it is a "Mail-in". The customers is baited by the " 3 for 4 offer" and assumed it is instant rebate. I just happened to asked "how does the rebate work"? It is then he told me it is a mail-in. So I did a quick math, with the "jacked -up" price on the tires, it is not a good deal. Also they charge (estimated) almost $20 per tires on all the fees and parts. I did a lot of homework. It is much better to go to a specialized tire palce like "America's Tires" because you can go to their website, pick you tires of you choice and affordibility, do a total and it will give you the "out-the-door" price. I like that. As to Pepboys, the service is hit-n-miss, depending on stores. I also caught them cheating unwatchful customers. I had a Sienna 2007. I know previously, Firestone charge me an extra qt of oil for the oil charge special with included 5 qrt. I had this coupon from P.B. from the mail for 19.99. So I took it there. During the estimate writing up, the guy checked 7 qt of oil ( with means I have to pay for two extra quarts of oil at $ 5 each.) With the added disposal fees and tax. I confronted the rep and asked why 7 quarts? He said that's how the program is set up for Sienna. That's a blatant cheat! If I didn't catch, I would have paid $5 extra. And I don't know how many extra quart of oil they cheated off the customers. If you totaled out the oil change service and surcharge for the speical filter at P.B. it would have been over $45. I would have been better off to take my van back to Toyota dealership when they off the service special for 29.99 with everything included. Buttom line is, when you go to P.B. or any auto place, you should know what you pay for and ask questions. There are honest people but there are also people with no concience!
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Vehicle Comes in Worse Shape Than Going In
Posted by Tantunk on 01/19/2013
SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI -- I went in for an oil change, they did not check fluid levels of anything and charged me the full price. Immediately after leaving I had a coolant leak. I took it back and they said they had to charge me to test the coolant system. They did not even pull it in and came back saying I needed a new radiator and it would be 600 or so bucks and it was not their fault.

I asked how they did not see it when they did the service and they said it must have blown a seam in the radiator when I left. They are scamming to the highest degree and no one should trust them for even the simplist of procedures.
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Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-19:
Your first mistake was even taking your car to Pep Boys. They make very little profit on an oil change so they scammed you for a radiator. Deal with a reputable auto repair and you won't have these problems.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-19:
Pep Boys is on a par with WallsMart, in terms of the risk that you take that they will damage your car.

From your description, it sounds very suspicious. If I were in your shoes, I would have demanded the radiator and had it examined by a competant (eg not Pep Boys) mechanic for "tool" (wink wink) damage.
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Pep Boys Is A Total Ripoff
Posted by ChrisRuby on 03/21/2008
JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY -- These are the facts I am waiting to hear back from the District Manager. I am very disappointed in the service and feel completely taken advantage of:

I brought my 2001 Dodge Durango on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 around 9 AM. I asked for an oil change and said I thought the "valves or belts might need to be
checked as the car is making a screeching noise when the car starts." The gentleman at the desk told me he would do the oil change and that the check on the car would cost an extra $17.99 and that the car should be ready at approximately 11:00 A.M. I said this is O.K. and left the store.

Around 11:20 A.M. I returned to the shop and was told the car needed $555.59 in repairs including a new "power steering switch, power steering fluid leak, new coolant, new belts, and new brake fluid" and that "everything else is fine." I asked if the car would run for awhile after it was fixed and the gentleman said "Yes." I left the car at the shop until 5:30 that evening when I picked it up and drove it home, approximately 1/8th mile from the shop.

On Thursday, March 20, 2008, the car was driven by my boyfriend to work, approximately 22 miles each way. Upon departure from our residence the engine light came on and the car started to make a clanking noise we have never heard before. He returned home from work around 5:45 P.M and we took it back complaining of the condition of the car. They agreed to keep it overnight and told us they would call us when they
knew what was wrong.

Around 11:30 A.M. on Friday, March 21, 2008, I received a call from one of the mechanics at this location. He said that the problem is with the engine
and was most likely the valves. I explained to him that the valves were checked and were fine according to the person who took my keys yesterday. The Pep
Boys mechanic then said the check we paid for only covers maintenance and they don't open the engine unless a 'diagnostic' is ordered and that if I "knew
it was the valves to begin with then I should have seen it coming." I expressed extreme frustration from the situation as I was told the valved were checked
and the only thing wrong with the car were the power steering issues, especially the fact that I spent over $500.00 and have a car that sounds worse than before I brought it in and an engine light that NEVER came on until I brought it in to their shop. He said there was nothing he could do. I told him I would be right

Upon arrival at the store I asked to speak to the manager, [snip]. He explained that 'he doesn't know who I spoke to" but "something is wrong with the engine" and the check I paid for "only covers maintenance."

Not only do I feel the service I received was dishonest but unprofessional and frustrating. If I bring my car in for repair I expect to get everything
the mechanics say they are going to do to the car to be done. I also feel the manner in which the information was presented to me was extremely
unprofessional and manipulative. I trust that someone will contact me as well as [snip] and amend the situation. Also, I took the car to another mechanic who said that most of the repairs on the car, including a fuel injector and power steering flush, were either not performed, although I was charged for
them, or unnecessary. I do not feel this is good business practice nor motivating to me to bring any of my cars back or refer the services of Pep Boys in the future.

I think the only way to rectify this situation is to refund my money or hold up to what was promised. I merely want a car that runs and an honest quote for
repairs needed and repairs performed. Even though I am in the medical industry and am well versed in medical terminology and etiology I am very unfamiliar
with mechanical issues and feel I was taken advantage of, not uncommon in the vehicle repair industry.
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Posted by dude in lude on 2008-03-21:
yeah they would have to pull the head to check the valves, I know they didnt do that, PLEASE take your vehicle to another mechanic, those "mechanics" at PEP boys are minimum wage workers who dont know anything about cars, they will tell mess up your vehicle on the smallest repair.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-22:
Your complaint is much like the one above, about the Volvo dealer. I wonder if the $550 worth of 'repairs' was really needed? Your situation may be like the lady who goes to a bad doctor for a sore throat and ends up with a tubal ligation. It is 'possible' that your care was about to go toes up anyway. Pep boys may have 'fixed' all of the wrong things and overlooked a much more serious problem. Good luck! This is a real mess.
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Oil charged
Posted by Andurocruz on 02/04/2013
FRUITVILLE PIKE LANCASTER -- I came in for oil change for maintenance. I hardly use my car because we have another car. After a month my oil gauge light came on indicating oil low. It was new year and Pep Boys were closed. I added a pint of oil to top it and drove to Philly. All the while now it says oil high. Next day took the car for oil check. Was told must be computer glitch for the light to come on but there was overfilled oil so they drained and filled oil again. Coming home car was smoking bad, turned around back to Pep Boys and complaint about the smoke coming out of the exhaust and smell of oil burning. They drained and fill it up again with oil. I was told it is ok now to drive. There was some spills of oil when I overfilled it and the car should only get better. This time cruise control driving home I heard funny sounds. I said something is not right.

Decided to take the car back the next day. Driving back the sound got worse big clunk sound and the car stopped. I was in Rt 283. Started the car and slowly got the next exit and called Pep boys. They told me if the car is running to drive there. This time I called Mercedes and they towed the car to the shop. I was told the wrong fluid was drained and new oil added to the old engine oil.

To make the story short $5000.00 damage to replace the deffender that blow up and other issues that cause it.

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Posted by Obsfucation on 2013-02-04:
Time for a lawyer!
Posted by clutzycook on 2013-02-04:
If I were spending a lot of money on a car like a Mercedes, I wouldn't be taking it to a place like Pep Boys. But, I would do what Obsfucation suggests and consult a lawyer.
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Very Satisfied Customer
Posted by Writecommunicate on 01/23/2013
My car unexpectedly needed service on a Sunday afternoon. I needed it for work. I took it to PepBoys. I have continued to take it there. Richard the Mgr is very fair, the employees are also honest & they back their work. I would highly recommend them for any car.

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Posted by Alain on 2013-01-23:
You might want to drop a note to Pep Boys letting them know that this franchise location does a good job. http://www.pepboys.com/customer_care
Nice of you to take the time to compliment them!
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Scam Artists! Never Let Them Near Your Car
Posted by Melow08 on 12/15/2012
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- Took my car in for a routine oil change. when I left their lot, my clutch started drifting to the floor without catching. I took it back to them and asked if they did anything to the clutch. Of course they didn't touch it!!! But by sheer coincidence, the clutch cylinder went bad and needed replaced, just as I was leaving. After a lot of complaining that I was being ripped off, I had to pay it so I could get my car on the road. The next day I couldn't start my car. Still sitting, can't figure out whats wrong, but won't go near their store. I've had this car for 1 1\2 years and never had a problem at all, one oil change at Pep Boys and two things just break within 24 hours. Just coincidence? I talked to the service manager and concluded that the clutch thing must be a coincidence, since they weren't near it for the oil change, but now that it won't start too, that's just too much coincidence to believe.
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Posted by Tezrien on 2012-12-16:
Depending on the year your car could have a neutral safety switch that won't allow it to start w/o the clutch depressed. It could be they unhooked it as they "repaired" your clutch cylinder.

Posted by trmn8r on 2012-12-16:
Going to Pep Boys for auto work is like going to WallsMart, IMO.

People may think it is ok for "just an oil change" but your complaint shows why that is faulty thinking.
Posted by At Your Service on 2012-12-16:
It may be just a coincidence, but I'd still never take my car to PepBoys.
Posted by WorkAtPepboys on 2013-07-20:
coincidence, boy you have to have an old vehicle and yet people always say its fine. I bet you never have a problem before you took it to them, right.....
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2 New Tires, Free Oil Change, & 10% Discount on the Tire Installation
Posted by Mopinion on 06/02/2012
FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA -- I went into the Pepboys' store and ordered 2 new tires since they didn't have it in stock. The customer service tech told me that he'd order it and that the truck from warehouse would be delivering them to the store by 10am the next day. I called the store the next day and spoke to a manager who got my tire info, but it seemed like he didn't get the info about my order of new tires from the previous day. He got my phone number and told me he'd call me when the truck arrives. After a few minutes, I got a call and was told that my tires had been delivered. After I printed out a 10% discount coupon from the store, I went to the store and got it installed. I noticed that they had a promotion "buy 2 tires and get a free oil change," but the manager who took my service order did not even mentioned that to me when he went to check on my car. So then I had to wait in line until I was able to talk to another service tech. I told him that my purchase of the 2 new tire installation package included the free oil change. He told me that he'd take care of it. I was lucky that I was able to talk to the tech before my car was serviced or else i'd probably have to wait at least an hour that day for the oil change after the tire installation. The tech who did my oil change told me to watch for leaks since someone had put silicon on the cover beneath my car. He said he had to problem closing it, but told me to check as a precaution. I thought that was good customer service to let me know that.

After the installation and oil change, the tech had trouble scanning the 10% discount coupon to give me a discount on the total amount. He tried at least 4 times scanning different coupons, but ended up having to type the discount in manually on the computer. I was patient about it since it's not his fault that there's something wrong with the different coupons at the store. They should do something to fix that though because they could save customer time if they were able to scan it and get it right the first time. In the end, I got roadside warranty with my installation package and a 10% discount along with free oil change. I went away very happy with the savings even though I had to remind the service tech to do the free oil change, and remind another tech to apply the 10% discount toward the end (my final sales change was handled by another tech).

My advice is to check website for any discounts and print out the coupons if need be. When you arrive at the store, also look out for additional promotions/discount for the service that you need. Don't expect the tech or managers to remember that there is a promotion going on. Remind them and check to make sure that you get all the discount and promotional extras for your hard earned dollar! Oh, and after the oil change, I made sure to open my hood and check it to make sure everything looks good and that they had applied a sticker to my windshield. I also checked and made sure that they had installed the correct type of tires to the rear and that the tires are inflated properly.

The last time I didn't do that, I went in for $25 oil change and came out with dark color oil and wheels out of alignment. I notice that that tech that messed with my oil change and alignment did not work there anymore. So happy to see him gone and another better tech who did provide me with good customer service to take his place.
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Posted by ok4now on 2012-06-03:
Nice to hear hear that Pep Boys treated you right. Good review.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-06-03:
"The last time I didn't do that, I went in for $25 oil change and came out with dark color oil and wheels out of alignment."

This would be high on my list of reasons to NEVER go to Pep Boys for service. In my opinion, we as consumers should have faith in the shops servicing our vehicles. I'm glad you are happy with your service and took the time to write a compliment.
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Don't Trust Pep Boys (Hyattsville & Germantown Maryland)
Posted by 98Bird on 01/18/2012
HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND -- This happened years ago but still bugs me. I go in for a transmission fluid & filter change (Pep Boys in Hyattsville, MD). This job requires removing the tranny oil pan to empty the fluid...but the filter is in a hard to reach place, all the way up the tranny. When the car was done, I asked the mechanic to show me the old tranny fluid filter to prove that he changed it. He turned white (his normal skin color was brown) and started looking frantically for it in the trash bin w/o any luck. Then another mechanic went up after overhearing what I wanted, said "don't worry I saw him change it". Really? So this other mechanic just happened glanced over at the exact time to see my mechanic do this one, specific step of changing the filter.... when the whole place was crazy busy with everyone working? What are the chances?

Fast forward years later, my then, girlfriend's car was badly out of alignment...dumb biatch climbs curbs and crap all the time while driving. And this was when she wasn't even putting on any makeup while driving (as usual). Went to Pep Boys because they had a sale on alignments and was conveniently right across the street (Pep Boys, Cornerstone Mall in Germantown, MD) from her home. After getting the car back, nothing changed. Same horrible steering wheel that pulls to the left. My guess was, they were extremely busy and just didn't do the alignment at all while pretending to. Went back and talked to the manager. Manager's first response was....."I saw him do it". What a coincidence. From such a busy day like that with all of them running around nonstop, the manager just happens to remember our car and what was needed to be done and remembered it right off the bat. We asked for a refund. He didn't even argue and just gave it to us. Went to NTB right after for an alignment and it was completely different. Car felt stable right away. It was night & day different.

This seems to be Pep Boy's CANNED RESPONSE when they get accused of not doing something properly or not doing it at all! One of the co-workers will step in and vouch for his mate immediately. My mistake with the transmission filter change was that I should have told them from the beginning that I wanted to take home the old filter. This way, it would have forced them to change it in the first place rather than putting them on the spot where they either had to tell me to F off or have to admit that they lied, which they won't.

To not replace parts that are difficult to get to is more common in this business than we think. Ie. my friend who's a mechanic from a dealership, admits to me that he would just not change the rear most spark plug in cars like mine with an LSx motor because that plug is located in a horrific location to get to. I think that the best bet is to have it written on the work order that you want all used parts, filters, etc. kept in order for you to diagnose potential problems with your car. Kind of a non-intrusive, less accusatory request.

And find a good, reliable and honest mechanic and keep him. Accept paying a little more is better than paying less to get porked.

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Posted by Alain on 2012-01-20:
I agree with your recommendation to use a trustworthy local mechanic rather than a franchise.
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Lack of service
Posted by Gondaine55 on 09/26/2011
I went to this location based on reviews. I don"t know how they had four good reviews because their mechanics suck. The service advisor Terrance is very professional and should be working in a better place. He is truly better than they deserve. It took an hour and a half, as I stood and watched [snip] do everything but work on my car. I know that he knew it was my car because I was staring right at him. He went to socialize and give a hug to the cashier as he went to get washer fluid. He drank his soda, and talked with Elvis, (another mechanic?) sitting on his ass, playing with his phone. The thing that pisses me off is it should have only taken 45 minutes. I was the only car in the stall except for one other which had a mechanic who was actually constantly working on his customers car. [snip] should not call himself a mechanic. He is lazy and uncaring.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-09-27:
Even though Pep Boys is a franchise, you can let their corporate office know about this (maybe they can speak to the owner) via http://www.pepboys.com/about_pep_boys/contact_us
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Oil Change
Posted by Netz on 04/16/2011
WEST BERLIN, NEW JERSEY -- I took my truck for an oil change to the Pep Boys in Berlin NJ and paid more than $45. then when my regular mechanic was looking at the truck for another problem, less than a month later, he saw that the oil filter looked old and corroded. Apparently the tech didn't take the trouble to replace the oil filter.

It was a bit difficult to remove and was full of gunk! No more Pep Boys non-service for me!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-04-16:
I'm not sure where I would have my oil changed if I didn't do it myself, but I would try to have a mechanic that does work I choose not to do change it for me. No quickie lube, Pep Boys, WalMart for me.

Vehicles today go farther on an oil change - often 5000 miles. It would be worth it, IMO, to pay a little more and have it done by a qualified mechanic. Even though it isn't rocket surgery, the wrong person can easily screw things up.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-04-17:
These are teh chances you take when you take it to someone to get changed....I woudl be sure to call and complain, and also be sure to do waht you just did and let others know about their shady practices. I also list stuff like this on Yellowpages.com and yahoo local for people looking for their phone number.
Posted by Skye on 2011-04-17:
Does your regular mechanic do oil changes?
Posted by Olivander on 2011-04-17:
That sux. You should learn to change your own oil. It's cheaper.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-04-17:
Some people don't like to do oil changes, and I don't blame them. It's a dirty job. A lot of people don't even want to own a wrench. Those of us with stockpiles of tools balance it out. I don't own golf clubs. If I change my friend's oil, maybe he'll let me use his clubs. And his Mercedes to drive them to his country club.
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