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Wal-Mart Oil Changes

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$12 oil change turns into $600 nightmare
Posted by Darinfan1 on 03/15/2006
SEAFORD, DELAWARE -- I brought my 1988 Honda Accord into the Seaford, DE Wal-Mart for an oil change. At the time my car was presented to them, it had no oil leaks. I didn’t notice anything when I got back in the car after it was serviced, but I really wasn’t looking either. I got home, parked my car and came out an hour or two later to run some errands and there was a huge pool of oil underneath the car. The oil was so low at this point, it didn’t register on the dipstick.

I called Wal-Mart to complain and was put on hold until the money I put into the payphone ran out.

I couldn’t go to Wal-Mart to complain because I couldn’t drive the car in this condition, for fear I would damage the engine.

I had the car taken to a local shop where they told me that the threads on the drain plug for the oil were so badly stripped, that it appeared the Tire and Lube Tech at Wal-Mart had used an IMPACT WRENCH to tighten it! It costed me $500, three trips to the garage to have this repaired correctly.

When I finally got a hold of Wal-Mart, they passed me on to their insurance company, whom I gave 2 statements to and all relevant paperwork, names and phone numbers of mechanics who repaired Wal-Mart’s negligence.

Afterwards, Wal-Mart’s insurance called me while I was at work, despite the fact that I gave them ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT THEY NEEDED. I was working 12 hour shifts, six days a week, at the time. When I did have the opportunity to call them back, no one was ever at their desk. I sent them snail mail letters letting them know my availability and asking them what additional information that they need, yet they never replied. The worst part is that they only contacted me 2 or 3 times by phone and they would not leave me detailed voice mail messages to let me know what they wanted – only a name and a phone number.

Finally, I contacted the Delaware Attorney General regarding the matter. The Attorney General completely blew me off, saying basically I got what was coming to me because I didn’t call Wal-Mart’s insurance company back IMMEDIATELY the couple of times they called me at work. Well, I’m sorry, but I work in a factory that employs 700 people. I cannot leave the floor to make phone calls to Wal-Mart’s insurance company.

This situation has infuriated me and I can’t get any justice. I never even got the cost of the oil change back!

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Posted by wary-consumer on 2006-03-16:
So why don't you call the number they told you to?
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-03-16:
Give Wal-Mart a break - in a fifteen year old car, with who knows how many oil changes, it was just a matter of time before the threads went. They do make replacement parts to fix just this problem. The new plug goes in and cuts new threads - once it's in place, the center of the plug is removable and becomes the new drain. Less that $10 for the part and thirty minutes labor. Someone hosed you on the $500 oil pan - I would complain about them too.
Posted by PktChg on 2006-03-23:
By not proofing your complaint, you have actually acknowledged you where at fault. You state you drove home and a sometime later went out to run some errands and noticed the oil leak. You then state you called Wal-Mart and stayed on hold until you ran out of time on the payphone. Unless you have a payphone in your ome, sounds to me like you DROVE it to your errands and blew the oil plug. Sounds a little TOO fishy to me.........I won't knock Wallie-World for their cost of oil changes, their tech's or anything like that, I happen to like Wal-Mart. This is your fault for continuing to drive. As for your job.......I come from a factory town and KNOW what it's like to work factory/shift work. Your Super. would understnd if you needed to step away to speak to the Insurance company OR you do get a lunch and breaks. Chaulk this up as experience, take your lumps and move on.......
Posted by BDP on 2006-03-29:
Hello, I am BDP Co-owner of NWAImports.com in Arkansas... I found your complaint while searching google for some walmart related items.
I have a couple friends who work as claim adjusters here in arkansas and have informed them of your situation just to see what they could do. They told me that regardless of what your attorney said you have 2 years by Delaware state statute to have your claim satisfied and that the adjusters are not responsible for leaving you detailed messages on your email or answering service as they NEED to speak to you in person to assist.
What needs to happen is you need to find time to call your adjuster during business hours or plan some time with them where you can discuss this. They will help to the best of their abilities to resolve the issue as long as it is recent and they have all the information. You will need to find time for them to contact you as they are Extremely busy with everyone else and cant just call you on a certain day and time because you are available then. They are required to return each days voicemails so if you leave them a message they will get back with you as soon as they can.

Here is the number they gave me for you to call, and if you talk with the operator - they can pull your case number and all that. 1800-527-0566
Sorry to hear what happened, hope everything works out for you
Here is my profile if you need to contact me
Posted by BDP on 2006-03-29:
Another thing I failed to include, in situations like this where a drain plug was stripped, the last person to service your oil is at fault (walmart) because it is their responsability to check and cover their back for problems like this. The Oil pan threads are prolly aluminum and the drain plug is steal or vice versa and being an 88 model it was prolly bound to happen, but they still should have checked and install proper crush washer. Your Repair shop will be contacted by your adjuster to ensure walmart saftey protocols were done on your oil change as well.

Yeah, you got screwed a little on your pan as that should only be $200 or $300 max with laybor as it is easily accessible (depending on your region and demographic).

I work for a Honda dealership and had a 97 Kia Sephia given to me, I took it next door to our KIA dealership and had them change my waterpump and timing belt along with an oil change. I got it home and noticed oil leaking everywhere, they had crushed my crush ring all up in my threads and really did a number on my plug and pan, but thats just something to take up the rear when you take a car to someone you dont know. You Should ALWAYS do it yourself if you can or take it to a trusted person who will back the work. My case was a free car so I didnt care but I always do my own work on all my other nicer cars.

Posted by viperpa33s on 2006-04-15:
I heard about a bad Wal Mart auto care story. This happened a couple of years ago. A guy and his family were suppose to be going on vacation. They took there car to Wal Mart auto care to get the usual oil change and checkup. The guy picked up his car and drove down the road. The car immediately broke down. Come to find out, the guy who did the oil change at Wal Mart forgot to put oil in the engine. So the guy was without a car and leaving to go on vacation. I have to say Wal Mart did offer to pay for the family's rental car and part of there vacation.
Posted by spasticdog on 2006-05-03:
My saying is -if you want it done right do it your self.Go to your local autoparts store (not walmart)and buy you some oil & oil filter and change it yourself.It's not that hard and this way you know fresh oil was put in and the filter changed(you would be surprised how many places leave the old filter to save a few bucks).Then you know it was done right.Wal-mart employees don't give a rip about you or your car,so the hell with them and change it yourself.Problem solved.
Posted by Southern on 2006-05-13:
Why don''t you just cut to the chase and file a local small claims case against them and let it be thier problem.
Posted by firstrateconsumer on 2006-05-16:
I don't think it's advisable to have any car work done at walmart - I can't imagine any GOOD mechanic being willing to work for Walmart. This is just another example of walmart trying to cut into yet another business. They can't be satisfied selling junk. They move into groceries and now into automotive - what next - maybe one day we'll be sending our utility payments to walmart. Wake up America - Walmart is a monopoly in the making and needs to be stopped. Once they eliminate all competitive options you can kiss those so-called cheap prices goodbye.
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Oil Change gone bad
Posted by Copperworker on 08/24/2005
GILBERT, ARIZONA -- I went to WalMart for an oil change as I usually do. In the past they have been quick and done without any problems. This one went bad. After 1 hr 45 min they paged me that the car was ready. I got there and it was still in the bay with the hood up. They then told me the threads were stripped in the oil pan and they tried to put in a larger drain plug to see if that would hold. They wanted to know who did the last oil change and was willing to blame it on them. I gave them the date that they had last changed it... The car was towed to a local shop where a new oil pan was installed. This all happened on Friday morning... It was 1pm before the tow truck showed up. WalMart did not want to pay for the damage. They expected me to pay for the repairs and then they would send a check from corporate in about 2 or 3 days. After talked to a few managers they decided if the bill was split they could pay it directly at the store since they havea cap on the amount they can pay out. On Sat at 3:30 they called to say that I could pick up the money, even though they knew the repair shop closed at 3:00 pm that day. I did pick up the money. On Monday the claims adjuster called and I gave him the information thinking that I would be paid for loss of time, inconvience, etc.. yeah right!! I picked up the car on Monday and the claims administrator called Monday afternoon stating that the claim was denied since they were only responsible for damage done to the car. The did not care about how inconvienced I was or if the weekend was completly ruined. I was told that they have powerful attorneys on retainer so if they pay what they think their responsible for there is not much further I can do. Soooooo... All I can do is spread the word and tell everyone I know about my horrible experience. I've written to every newspaper, television station, website I can find.
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Posted by Dr. Jeecheroo on 2005-08-24:
You were reimbursed for your car. They can't do that all in the same day. You should be thankful. They could have just claimed that they're not responsible for any of the damages done to the car, which I think they already do.
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-24:
They could have least given you a case of Sam's American Choice soda manufactured by the find people at Cott Corp (NYSE:COT). This is good soda and Cott is fine company whose stock is a real bargain right now!
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-25:
You went to Walmart for an oil change? I hear 7/11 does great tune ups.
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2005-08-25:
zzrok - In Rural Areas Most WalMarts have a gas station and a auto shop (Believe it or not). In fact, in a few places Wal-Mart has begun selling cars, as well. They're into everything.
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-25:
I heard they were getting in the sale of automobiles. My question is considering the quality of service that you get in the store why would you trust Walmart with your car?
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2005-08-25:
Lacke of options - price point can't be beat; take your pick.
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2005-08-25:
HEY! Look at that spelling, folks! Aren't I great!?
Posted by AZJEM on 2005-08-25:
Mad Eye:Actually, I think your kinda funny. :-)
Posted by spasticdog on 2006-05-17:
Would you go to the vet for heart surgery?Why go to wal-mart for an oil change?THINK ABOUT THAT!
Posted by abobo on 2006-05-23:
You got your car fixed and a lesson, don't trust car repair to high school children. You're relatively lucky, most of the other customers who posted reviews here only got the lesson.
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Rude and Bad Service
Posted by LAGMAN on 04/04/2013
BURLESON, TEXAS -- Per service order 485700-44690 on 04-04-2013 at 2:43 pm I had my oil changed in my truck. I was the only one there. The only one! It took them till 3:54 pm to do this simple task. Their excuse was a man went to lunch. The store manager had a " firewall" in place and all I got was a run around and 10 more wasted minutes.

Again, no customers were there and a truck came in way after me and he almost got 4 new tires installed before my 10 minute oil change.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-05:
I just expect poor service at WalMart, because that is what they are known for and I've always found it that way. Low prices and no service.

I personally wouldn't trust WM with my vehicle - their "technicians" don't have the best rep.

If you want a fast oil change, maybe one of those places that advertises a certain turnaround is in order. An hour and ten minutes isn't that bad.
Posted by ok4now on 2013-04-05:
Not that I recommend them but Jiffy Lube would probably do a better job and be faster. Why would you ever trust your car to an $8.00 dollar an hour Walmart employee?
Posted by onlooker on 2013-04-05:
Does the shop have appointment system? If so the other customer might have had a scheduled work order.
I'm not sure that walmart owns the shop, so not sure if complaint to the mgt would help - perhaps that was why the firewall.
After that experience, I would be going somewhere else for work.
Posted by JAKFK on 2013-04-05:
ok4now> The average Jiffy Lube technician is paid minimum wage as well, so that line of reasoning won't get you any better service. Same pay and experience working at Jiffy Lube as Walmart.
Posted by biomajor on 2013-04-05:
I will never take another vehicle to Walmart. In late 2002, we took our 2000 Kia in and they forgot to put the oil back in it. It needed a new engine in early 2003 and I think it was due to this,
Posted by Obsfucation on 2013-04-05:
When I purchased my car, it came with two free oil changes from the dealer. I had always used Jiffy Lube in the past, but JL was getting expensive and these were free. I was blown away by how fast and easy it was to get the oil change at the dealer, so when I needed the third one, I decided to go to the dealer again, simply because it was so easy. Guess what? The cost from the deal was close to half of what I was paying Jiffy Lube. I never looked back. It's my dealer every time now.
Posted by ok4now on 2013-04-07:
JAKFK: You are correct. Jiffy Lube also pays minimum wage which is why I didn't recommend them. My comment was from personal experience they do a better job faster.
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Bad Oil Change!
Posted by Rainman1999 on 02/06/2013
POCOMOKE CITY, MARYLAND -- About 2 months ago, I took my 2010 HHR to Walmart in pocomoke city Maryland for a oil change and tire rotation. I have used Walmart for oil changes for years and never had a problem. I noticed that my front wheels were vibrating more so than normal, so I was in process of taking to local mechanic to get it squared away, looked under my hood and discovered that apparently their mechanics didn't put the o-ring back on the oil filter causing a large oil leak. Luckily, I caught it in time and I will never ever take my car to Walmart for anything again! Don't trust your car to Walmart, they don't know what they are doing.

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Posted by JAKFK on 2013-02-06:
Rainman1999> If you've taken your car there for years without any problem, why would you let one bad incident ruin all the other times you've left a happy customer? Give em' a shot at rectifying the situation. Nobody is perfect. If they don't remedy the problem, then I'd give them the old heave-ho! Best of luck!
Posted by clutzycook on 2013-02-06:
If you've taken your car there for years without any problem...you got lucky.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-06:
Though I underdatnd the spirit of the first reply, I beg to differ. You've been lucky that your car wasn't messed up a lot sooner. WalMart does not employ mechanics I would ever work on my car. It isn't worth going cut rate on "routine" work like this, especially since these days cars can go a lot farther between oil changes. Put in synthetic and you can go even longer.
Posted by Bill on 2013-02-06:
I wouldn't trust Walmart to oil the door hinges let alone change the oil.
Posted by JAKFK on 2013-02-11:
trmn8r> The issue isn't whether or not you trust Walmart to work on your vehicle, or the overall disdain you carry for the company. The OP has trusted them in the past, and that is all that matters. The fact is that the OP has only had a single bad experience over the span of several years. I think they should be given another chance. Not for your sake, or mine (I don't care for Walmart either), but for the sake of the OP who has otherwise had exemplary service there.
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Oil Change
Posted by Mattwwhitaker on 08/03/2012
CONWAY, ARKANSAS -- I brought my car to Walmart in Conway, Arkansas on Dave Ward Drive for an oil change. I dropped off the car and fifteen minutes later they called me back and said my oil pan plug was stripped. They told me they didn't do it, but I am 100% certain they did because I was the last person to change my oil.

I then took it to OReily's Auto Parts to get a new drain plug. When I told the manager what I needed and what had happened he said that WalMart always bought a large quantity of drain plugs from them because this happened so frequently. I went back to Walmart to discuss what I had found out at OReily's and they had me file a claim, and I was told by store supervisor DeCarlos that unless there were evidence to prove they didn't do it that the insurance would pay for it. NOT TRUE!!!

The insurance adjuster from CMI, called me today and said he needs proof that they actually stripped the plug before they would pay. I plan on taking them to small claims court as soon as possible.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-03:
If I had a dime for every complaint that WallsMart, PeepShowBoys or GypeeLube stripped their oil plug, I'd have.. well I'd have enough to buy a #7 at BK.
Posted by MRM on 2012-08-04:
Use the bolt extrsctor. It works wonders.
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Oil Change and Tires Rotated and Balanced!!!!!!!!
Posted by Sasebug on 07/17/2012
GARDENDALE, ALABAMA -- I got to Walmart on July 16th at 10:00 AM to get my tires balanced and rotated which I get free for life and a Oil Change for my VW bug which I use Synthetic Oil... There were not but 2 cars ahead of me... When I was going to check out they were charging me for tires rotated/balanced, 2 oil changes, and a LABOR Charge which I did not pay... My bill was only for the Oil change but the biggest problem I felt was that I walked out of Wal-mart at 2:30PM in the afternoon!!!! I sit there for FOUR AND ONE HALF HOURS FOR SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN IN THE LEAST MAYBE AN HOUR OR SO...... I was not a very happy customer and I have used them every time for my service on my car and bought my tires at Wal-mart about a year ago... The service should be better and if you don't have enough employees you need to hire more......
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-07-17:
I've come to expect lousy service at WallsMart, and they rarely fail to meet my expectations.

I've seen what goes on in the "auto service" area, and it strikes me more like "The Three Stooges" than a speedy oil change outfit.

I'm imagining that someone walked off for lunch while in the middle, and nobody else worked on it in the meantime. That could sop up an hour. It could take another hour to balance and rotate the tires. Oil change at WallsMart? Hour, including cross-threading the plug and figuring out how to make it look undamaged. That's 3 hours. Tack on 1-1/2 hours to wait for 2 cars in front of you.
Posted by onlooker on 2012-07-18:
Please do not impugn the Stooges.

Your timeline seems very wallmart
Posted by ok4now on 2012-07-18:
Why would you even allow a minimum wage (probably disgruntled) Walmart employee to even touch your car? You are just asking for trouble. Don't walk....RUN!!!
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-07-18:
The problem with getting your oil changes/tire rotations at places like Walmart and Costco is that they purposely take longer so that you will (hopefully) shop in the store and spend more money. I bought my tires at Costco a couple of years ago and I have taken advantage of the free rotations exactly twice. Any other time I attempted it, I was looking at 2+ hours for ONLY the tire rotation. Now I go to CarX, get both done for about $40 and it usually doesn't take more than an hour ( I go early in the mornings).
Posted by KevinTX on 2012-07-18:
You use synthetic oil, so obviously you care about your car. Take the time, do it yourself. What if one of their flunkies leaves the oil drain nut loose.. goodbye V-DUBBUG. Also, did you witness them putting in synthetic? I bet you got el cheapo oil instead.
Posted by biomajor on 2012-07-18:
When I was looking at where to get the oil changed in my husband's new car, I discovered something very surprising. It was cheaper to get the oil changed at the dealer than anywhere else. It is only $22.99 . I get my car's oil changed at Jiffy Lube. My time is worth more than the added $10.00
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Oil Change and Fuel Injector Clean Suppose Too Make Your Car Idle Smoother and Run Smoother
Posted by Tosaka on 06/04/2012
MICHIGAN -- I took my 2001 Tahoe for a Oil change on the 6/2/2012, I noticed a billboard with a offer of OIl change and Fuel Injecter clean SPECIAL for only 40.00 ....the sign said that the fuel injector cleaning would make your vehicle idle smoothly and ride smooother....after the procedure my vehicle idled loudly and sounded like it was hesitating...which it did NOT do before procedure. The Very next day I returned to Walmart the staff did not know what was wrong. They called manager {Johnny) the manager was RUDE, told me to drive it fast too clean out the injector's, that this has happened too him before. I asked for that in writing in case my vehicle does not get better and I need too sue Walmart at this point he said He was no longer obligated too talk too me and didn't.

The staff Barb the cashier and Dave the technician both were friendly and tried too help me. Dave the technician had too take his lunch break so he could come out and scan my vehicle and told me it was not firing on all cylinder's I am going too a Mechanic today. WALMART MANAGEMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE CUSTOMER'S....MY ONLY MEAN'S OF TRANSPORTATION IS DAMAGED AND NO ONE CARE'S.....AND THEY MADE SURE I KNEW THEY DID NOT CARE!!!!!If you want too avoid my stess DO NOT GO TO WALMART FOR EVEN A OIL CHANGE....MY VEHICLE SOUND'S LIKE IT IS ABOUT TOO DIE ANY MINUTE...AND IT RAN FINE BEFORE.
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Posted by Alain on 2012-06-05:
I prefer to use my local independent car repair shop instead of a large store with a car service center attached as an afterthought. He doesn't charge me any more than a franchised auto repair facility and he uses mechanics, not technicians.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-06-05:
Once you threaten to sue, my understanding is an employee can stop interacting with you. You shouldn't do that without considering the consequences. That's when the technicians go away and the lawyers come out.

The sign may have advertised that they could make you vehicle run better, but you have to consider the source - WallsMart. I wouldn't trust a WallsMart service center to properly inflate tires. This is why they couldn't tell you what was wrong and made the suggestion to "clean out" the injectors - they don't know what they are doing. The process they DID was supposed to clean them out!
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Shoddy Service
Posted by Les254 on 05/24/2012
ENID, OKLAHOMA -- Took my fairly new pickup in to get an oil and filter change and the character changing the oil spilled oil all over the engine. I had to take it to the car wash and clean the entire engine compartment. Didn't complain although I should have. Took my almost new Mercury Mariner in to get an oil and filter change and guess what, they did it right...... except for one thing. The mechanic had greasy feet and got it all over my carpet. A half day cleaning the carpet. They also advertise 49.99 for a fully synthetic oil change and it was $67.00. My opinion is they hire idiots in the automotive dept and I will never return.

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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-24:
I wouldn't take any car to WallsMart for servicing. I'd take my neighbor's there though - that guy irritates me.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-05-24:
Lesson learned. If you were to read some of the horror stories about their TLE on this site, you'd realize you got off pretty easy in both cases.
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Oil Change
Posted by Lmoore51 on 05/14/2012
TOMBALL, TEXAS -- Went to this Wal-Mart on Friday 5-11-2012, just wanted a simple oil change. They gave me more than that, spent 2 hours walking around the store, checking in 2 times with the automotive to see if my car was ready. I could see my car in the garage with the hood up. WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT and kept waiting, a total of 3 hours. When I finally asked got tired of waiting I asked about my car again. All I got was a blank stair and they did not know were my car was. Seems the bone head that was working on my car stripped my drain plug. Not only that they just rolled it into the parking lot and refused to fix it. NEVER NEVER AGAIN. TOMBALL, Texas WAl-Mart.
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Posted by jktshff1 on 2012-05-14:
Walmut sells stuff, not service. NEVER get your car serviced at a walmut. Even the "quick change" oil places are better than walmut.

Good review
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-14:
Sadly, this is exactly what I would expect if were ever to take my car to WallsMart for service. Nothing more, nothing less.
Posted by BigAl on 2012-05-14:
Many a do-it-yourselfer- strips his oil plug then takes it to an oil change facility to get his oil changed so he can conveniently blame the business for doing the damage. This of course was not this OPs reason for taking it there. However, many do and just MAYBE this Walmart suspected this is what happened.
Posted by Annie on 2012-05-14:
If the oil plug was stripped before Wal-Mart did the oil change that might be their reason for refusing to fix, but if it wasn't then it would be pretty clear to them whose fault it was and they were just trying to get out of the blame and the repair cost. Typical.
Posted by heather on 2013-06-28:
went walmart and they stripped my oil drain plug also. They said it was the guy that did it who did the change before. I think the walmart tech stripped it. naples florida juliet blvd store
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Bad Experience - Oil Change
Posted by Elizsjary on 01/20/2012
TEXAS -- I did my oil change at Walmart, several months later I had an oil leak. I took it to a trusted mechanic (Has been using his service for more than 10 years), and was told the oil leak was the result of a poor quality oil filter. (my car is only 3 yrs old, with 33 k )

Usually I do oil change at other places, and never experienced any problems -- but I thought to give Walmart a try. I am not going back to Walmart for oil change, again.
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Posted by MRM on 2012-01-20:
I dont think the oil leak was result of poor quality of oil filter. It was result of the oil filter not tightening all the way. Ive used all kinds of oil filters and never had a problem.
Posted by redmx3racer on 2012-01-20:
Mrm, sometimes a poor quality oil filter does not seal properly, no matter how tight it is. Seen it a lot, used to work in a service department.

The OP would be wise to avoid Wal-Marts "service" department, IMO.
Posted by sabletaz on 2012-01-20:
I would have gone to your trusted mechanic in the first place.
Posted by old newfie on 2012-01-20:
First of all I hate Walmart, but here in Canada they use Fram filters. That is one of the better brands out there>
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2012-01-20:
Walmart uses Fram filters in the US as well, but there have been a lot of issues in the US involving Fram (Filter Ruins A Motor) oil filters, mainly because they can put bits of filter material in the engine, as well as leak. Some Walmart customers insist that a Super Tech (Walmart store brand) oil filter is better than Fram. Others insist on using OEM-type filters, such as AC-Delco or Motorcraft. I would also advise not to use Walmart for oil changes; a local mechanic would be best, with chain quick lubes second (the quick lubes do try to hard sell you on services you may or may not need, such as coolant and transmission flushes, fuel injector cleaning, serpentine belt replacement, etc.)
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