OMG WalMart Service Department
Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 10 days ago
I was in Miles City yesterday, taking advantage of what I thought was a fair value. Normally I change my own motor oil, but am grayed now, and the ground was still moist despite recent warming. I had discovered that Walmart seemed to have a few responsible guys working there and they would do the labor for a nominal fee if I provided my own filter and oil. Since the first of Jan I have used this service two or three times.

Yesterday was different.... first, I had the wrong filter, and so was paged back to the shop to approve a sale of a filter off the shelf. No problem.
second, I was called back again as the service manager needed to talk to me about the amount of oil I had provided. (this vehicle is a 2008 Grand Caravan with a 3.8L engine that uses a relatively small filter, with the manufacturer's manual calling for 5 quarts of oil when changing the oil and filter) I have always known that 5 quarts of oil does not put one's dipstick on the absolute full line, but is definitely within the upper operating range. The service manager started off with how I absolutely had to be completely on full or he could not/would not release my vehicle to me. Essentially he was stating that with the power vested in him by WalMart, my rights as the owner were suspended, and he was prepared to effectively impound my vehicle for the lack of less than a half quart of oil.

I do know better than to attempt to reason with an irrational person, but I confess to trying. Was I pissed off... damned right.... Did I have some degree of satisfaction... some. It seems that I had kept a half quart of the same oil in the rear of the vehicle... thank God! He lifted the quart, eyeballed the level, and decided that would do.

As I explained later to WalMart management I would have gladly signed off on a release wherein I acknowledged that the oil level may not have been exactly on the full line, but it was still fine with me. I was not given that option. I felt as if the guy I dealt with may have been having a bad day, may be better suited to work as a stereotypical state bureaucrat, or maybe just felt like being difficult. I also explained to management that despite having several licensed vehicles, none of them will be seen in their shop, neither for service, nor for tires.

Anybody else ever had something like this happen to them? In retrospect I think I should have merely called his bluff and asked for the Custer County Sheriff's Department to sort it out. Sheesh....
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Posted by cubby (+1932) 10 days ago
As for someone who works in a shop and has for 20+ years I can tell you it takes about 15-20 minutes for all the oil in your motor to drain down to the oil pan, so you might want to double check your level after letting the car sit for awhile and make sure your not over full. Again just my .02
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+3
Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 10 days ago
That thought has crossed my mind as well. However it was synthetic 5 W 20 so it should have settled fairly quickly.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1650) 10 days ago
I doubt a form exits that you could have signed releasing them of any liability for not properly filling your oil. In this "sue happy country", I would BET
deviations from the S.O.P. regarding ANY work done on vehicles is very strictly forbidden. Sorry you were so inconvenienced, but my sympathy lies with the employee that valued his job over your ruffled feathers.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+8080) 10 days ago
Reply to cubby (#371217)
cubby wrote:
As for someone who works in a shop and has for 20+ years I can tell you it takes about 15-20 minutes for all the oil in your motor to drain down to the oil pan, so you might want to double check your level after letting the car sit for awhile and make sure your not over full. Again just my .02

What cubby said ^^^.
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+4
Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 10 days ago
Keeping in mind that the original operating manual disagrees with the employee?
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+8080) 10 days ago
Reply to jimdeastfork (#371221)
jimdeastfork wrote:
Keeping in mind that the original operating manual disagrees with the employee?

I'm just saying, it appears that the Chrysler 2008 3.8L engine requires 5 quarts of oil. I don't see why it should require anymore than that, especially since the reading on the dipstick may not be exactly correct immediately after refilling it. I would be very upset if any oil changing place said I had to put more oil in than what the manufacturer recommended.
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 10 days ago
As I said, reasoning with the irrational...lol

But this is the guy who went from "give me an extra half quart" to holding my car ransom if I did not consent to the extra half quart.

Appreciate agreement.

I think the best thing I can do is not go back for further services. As I explained to WalMart manager, I used to run a retail shop. Also I am aware that 9/10 of the time you never find out why you lose a customer. I do try to let a manager/owner know why I am deciding to cease being their customer. Sometimes if a situation is spotlighted it will go away and cease being a problem.
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Posted by cubby (+1932) 10 days ago
So tomorrow morning after your van has sat all night go check your oil level, I'll bet you are over full. Then go to the dodge dealer and have them print out how much oil is supposed to fill your engine. Then if you happen to be right and they are wrong then go back to the manager him self and explain it to him or her. Over filling a engine will cause just as much damage as under filling.
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 10 days ago
Thanks Cubby... I am 100 miles from the dealership in Miles so I may just loosen the plug and pull a cup or down. Not sure if my suction tube will fit down the dipstick tube.
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Posted by goo (-1) 9 days ago
I agree 110 percent with what has been said, what gives a "walmart" auto service tech.
the audacity to question the manufacturer who build the car. and me the owner. Unfortunetly walmart is all we got Sucks because you get what you pay for. Wally World. That would of been hilarous to call law enforcement. P.S. double check that oil filter, after all you know your car.
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Posted by Bob Netherton III (+1003) 8 days ago
We're talking about Walmart here! How about next time the weather is too sloppy to change your own oil, save your goddamn oil and filter, go to Walmart, let them just change your damn oil, and when the weather is better and you need a change, use the oil and filter you saved from before.

It's Walmart, people! Doing something like having them use your oil and filter instead of their own is probably akin to going to a surgeon and asking if he/she wouldn't mind using your own surgical instruments to keep down the cost.

OK. Surgeon and Walmart is not a great analogy but you get my drift.
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 8 days ago
If I understand Bob the Third's implication, I set myself up when I chose to use an available option. First I prefer Bosch oil filters, secondly, I prefer to use a specific brand and type of oil. Really? I am sorry, but this is an option that I was offered and one that I have used without problem in the past. I mean, how dare someone expect a degree of uncommon "common sense" from an employee of WalMart? And no, I am not knocking WalMart employees in general, but sometimes the actions of one reflect poorly upon the whole. Just my take on the situation.
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Posted by David Schott (+9605) 8 days ago
Reply to jimdeastfork (#371252)
I'm curious to know if you checked your oil after the vehicle sat overnight and if the oil was at the "full" mark on the dipstick, above it, or below it?

I think Bob's point might be if you take your car to the cheapest place in town you're going to get the level of service you are paying for.

I think most reasonable shop owners would be okay with writing on the service slip:

"Customer requested engine oil change using customer-supplied filter and oil. Service manual states oil capacity with filter change is 5 quarts. Customer was advised that after crankcase filled with 5 quarts of oil, oil dipstick indicates oil level is approximately 1/2 quart below full. Customer declined to have additional 1/2 quart of oil added and requested to take the vehicle 'as is'."
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 8 days ago
Yes I understand the problems with going with the least expensive. However I had received some knowledgeable help from the service department employees in the past. My impression was one of mature competency unlike other WalMart service department. The individual I dealt with this week was a "new face" for me.

The oil level appears to be be approx a sixteenth of an inch too full which should be remedies by replacing the base line filter with an upgraded model. I am disappointed that WalMart is discontinuing the Bosch brand so will have to shop elsewhere. In the past I have made a habit of purchasing my oils and available filters from WalMart. I will probably continue except where I want a Bosch filter. Also when I purchase a used vehicle I try to find out the weight, type, and brand of oil already being used in it. I do not like to change what is working already. Having said that, I do know that in an emergency all oils will mix and weights will blend. However, do you know if synthetic and non-synthetic are a good mix?

I think maybe the thread is getting off track a bit. I do not think it is unreasonable to expect "uncommon common sense". Also my primary complaint is having somebody threaten to effectively impound my vehicle over a half quart of motor oil.
Finally I do not believe that the actions of one individual should reflect back on the whole. But, if the whole condones and accepts the actions of the individual, perhaps it does reflect back on the whole.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+8080) 8 days ago
Reply to jimdeastfork (#371255)
jimdeastfork wrote:
However, do you know if synthetic and non-synthetic are a good mix?

I don't think it matters that much, but realistically, I don't think you should mix them as a standard practice since there really isn't any reason to do so. But, perhaps I'm wrong and someone else here knows more.
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Posted by David Schott (+9605) 8 days ago
Reply to jimdeastfork (#371255)
I have no idea why the guy tried to hold your vehicle over half a quart of oil. If you want to continue doing business with Walmart's service department it sounds like you need to have a discussion with the service department manager and store manager to fully understand their policies and then decide if you want to stick with them.

I favor sticking with the same brand and weight of oil as much as possible. I would only mix conventional and synthetic oil if it was a "no other option" emergency scenario and then I would drain and replace the oil (and filter) at the soonest opportunity after that.

https://mobiloil.com/en/f...el-to-form
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+67) 8 days ago
That is pretty much where I am at with my thinking... normally I have plenty of oil around but sometimes get surprised...lol It is a small family ranch situation so there is a large variety in vehicles...

Finally, think I am done with the service department... time to either suck it up and do it myself or pay more for a more complete service job. Heck with older vehicles it was as important to lube it as it was to change the oil... lots and lots of grease zerks..
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