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Discussion Starter #1
We got one free oil change when we bought our 19' terrain denali.. So I took it in just shy of 3,000mi. last Oct and they did the service.. I got home, let the car cool down completely and checked to the dipstick.. It was just barely shy of the full line.. I was happy and assumed they'd done a good job.. I also climbed under the car to check to see if they actually gave me a new oil filter (I marked the old one with an X scratched into it).... yep, new filter... I just got done doing the second oil change on the vehcile. I didn't take it in because I believe the dealer uses a bulk synthetic blend and I want full synthetic. The OLM was down to 24% after just 2,400mi. but 9 mo. time had elapsed.. If they OLM counts calendar time this would make sense.. I put the car up on my ramps, climb under it to see what size socket I will need for the drain plug.. To my surprise, I find a very marred 15mm drain plug, as if the tech who did the 1st oil change had used and adjustable wrench. I then see I can't get my 15mm socket on the bolt w/o first removing a cross member aft of the drain plug... I believe the tech didn't want to be bothered to remove the cross member so he used either an open end wrench or an adjustable or maybe an SAE wrench instead of metric. The drain plug was extremely tight, I don't know what the torque on it is suppossed to be but the guy went gorilla on it. I was fortunate to get it loose due to the fubared plug.. Next was the oil filter which was also way over tight.. I couldn't believe a tech would do that. I'm sure if I complain they will accuse ME of buggering up the drain plug and then probably tell me the oil filter is meant to be over tightened as well as the drain plug.. This the first new car we've bought from this dealer and it's a bummer because they are close to home and convenient.. Oh well, same old story with dealers I guess, at least this one..
 

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The exact reason I opt to change my own...my 1st free change they left my 2.0T 1 qt low as mine requires 6 not 5.

Thanks for sharing...
 

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30+ years, the only trip I make to the dealer is to purchase the vehicle. After that, forget it! Not going anywhere near a dealership ... even if they give me free oil changes ... I don’t care ... they’re not touching my car even once.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, I'd say I'm leaning that way now... I remember buying a new honda crx in 91'... dealer said "Free inspections" so what did I have to lose?.. I take it in for my free state inspection and when they are done they tell me to go see the cashier?Cashier said I owed 47.50 for "adjusting the rear brakes"... The car had self adjusting rear drum brakes and I knew how to manually adjust them if I didn't feel like driving in reverse and hitting the brakes. They were not out of adjustment at all.. When I informed her of this I got a blank stare.. An hour of arguing with the service manager later I left with my car w/o paying but it was a fight. That being said, there was a dealer in Harrisburg PA where I used to bring my silverado that did good work for a fair price and never tried to up sell me or do unnecessary work. We don't live there anymore and sadly I haven't been impressed with the GMC dealer here after just one visit.. The worst dealer experience was with my wife's BMTroubleyou... Those dealers should be shot. I could tell stories but I'd be rambling more than I am right now :)
 

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I change my own oil to make sure it is done right with good quality oil and filter. I had a similar experience to the OP on our second Sonic. I had to get a new oil drain plug when I did the first oil change after purchase since the dealer had over tightened the plug and rounded the edges. Also had to run out and get an extractor to get it off. The Sonic has a small plug drive (10mm if I recall) with a large flange. Cast right on the oil pan is the torque spec (14 ftlbs I think). Dealer must have had 4X that on it. Luckly the pan was OK and the threads were not damaged.
To the OP, I assume you have the 2L since I have no problem getting a socket on the 1.5L in the Nox.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, it's the 2.0.. With out the cross brace it would be easy to fit a socket on the 15mm bolt but it's no big deal to remove the brace. Remove one bolt, loosen the other and pivot the brace out of the way.. Also I found it took a little MORE than six quarts to fill .
 

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I'm sure if I complain they will accuse ME of buggering up the drain plug and then probably tell me the oil filter is meant to be over tightened as well as the drain plug..
I would go in and tell the service manager or shop owner. You could have shown them the plug.
Over the years there have been a few mistakes make by my dealer and I always go in and have a calm polite conversation with the service manager.
The service manager would always talk to the tech, most of the time while I'm there.
Good chance the oil and tire guy is new and needs to know if he's doing something wrong.
A good shop will want to know when there is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agreed.. I did see the tech that did the work. He didn't appear to be just the tire and lube guy but of course I could be wrong.. It might have been his first day.... The guy was in his 40's I'd guess, not a kid. If he's been wrenching on his stuff all these years I'm guessing he's buggered up a lot of stuff. I wish I'd remembered his name so I could talk to the service manager about it but I didn't notice the issue until I did my own oil change so it was 9 mo. ago that the car was at the dealer.
 

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You know ... if I'm the Service Manager, and we've just hired someone new, I'm checking his work .. at least for things like oil levels and stripped plugs ... and probably doing it for a few weeks if it's a younger person. There's no excuse for stripping a drain plug. No excuse at all. You've got computers right there with all the information ... you can build your own "quick look-up" tables of socket sizes (if that's what works for you) ... I'm guessing it's just laziness: the guy knows what the correct socket size is, but he doesn't have it at his station because - either another mechanic took it, or he misplaced it ... so he uses the SAE socket instead ... close enough, right? Then he over-tightens it (because he never uses a torque wrench, but should because he's one of those "overkill" people) ... and then you've got a rounded head on your drain plug!

I haven't rounded a drain plug head in 30 years! But you take your brand new vehicle into one of these dealerships and they'll do it for you in 30 minutes ... or (even worse) cross the threads in the pan! Terrible!
 

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You know ... if I'm the Service Manager, and we've just hired someone new, I'm checking his work .. at least for things like oil levels and stripped plugs ... and probably doing it for a few weeks if it's a younger person. There's no excuse for stripping a drain plug. No excuse at all. You've got computers right there with all the information ... you can build your own "quick look-up" tables of socket sizes (if that's what works for you) ... I'm guessing it's just laziness: the guy knows what the correct socket size is, but he doesn't have it at his station because - either another mechanic took it, or he misplaced it ... so he uses the SAE socket instead ... close enough, right? Then he over-tightens it (because he never uses a torque wrench, but should because he's one of those "overkill" people) ... and then you've got a rounded head on your drain plug!

I haven't rounded a drain plug head in 30 years! But you take your brand new vehicle into one of these dealerships and they'll do it for you in 30 minutes ... or (even worse) cross the threads in the pan! Terrible!
I agree that a new person's work should be checked. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the reality. I have noticed over the years that the Service Manager at most dealerships spends his/her days in a closed office. The only time they emerge is to react to an issue or a customer complaint. Instead of being proactive, they are reactive, and rely on the Service Advisors to handle most of the issues.

I just wish the service department, in general, would treat customer cars like they would treat their very own vehicles. Would they strip bolts, over torque, forget fasteners, under/over fill fluids, skip steps, cut corners, etc. on their personal cars? Certainly not. Then why do it to other people's cars that you are fixing/maintaining each and every day for your livelihood? I know, they are given quotas, paid flat rates, and have time limits. That's well and good, but at the very least they should be able to properly remove bolts, fill fluids, and put things back together.
 

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I doubt very much that a tech even looked at the car, here in my local Chevy and GMC dealership, they have a concession with the local lube company that does that. Those are usually kids who are doing this and nobody is checking their work. I had it happen when the time came for my first oil change on my new to me 2000 Firebird. My word did they have the filter on tight and the oil pan bolt on tight. I needed to spear the filter with a screwdriver to get it to turn and I had to use a breaker bar on the bolt. I was not impressed by the shop that did that job. (not the dealership)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Or maybe a tech didn't tighten a drain plug enough, it worked it's way out and the dealership was on the hook for a new engine so now all techs are told to hammer them on with an impact driver.. I just know my new terrain will NOT be going back to this dealer for another oil change.... ever
 

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I doubt very much that a tech even looked at the car, here in my local Chevy and GMC dealership, they have a concession with the local lube company that does that. Those are usually kids who are doing this and nobody is checking their work. I had it happen when the time came for my first oil change on my new to me 2000 Firebird. My word did they have the filter on tight and the oil pan bolt on tight. I needed to spear the filter with a screwdriver to get it to turn and I had to use a breaker bar on the bolt. I was not impressed by the shop that did that job. (not the dealership)
Wow, I have heard of dealers subcontracting alignment work but never lube/oil/filter work. The dealers around here do the lube/oil/filter work in-house, but the charges vary drastically from dealer to dealer. The Buick/GMC dealer 4 miles down the road from me charges $100 for oil change and tire rotation. The Chevy dealer I bought my Equinox from is 25 miles away and charges $53 for the same oil change and tire rotation service. The Chevy dealer is also a Cadillac dealer, and for some reason Cadillac owners pay $120 for a basic oil change and tire rotation. It is crazy. Now, I am pretty sure the last time I was at the Chevy dealer they didn't actually change the filter and didn't rotate the tires. The oil was clean and indicated full on the dipstick, so I at least know it had clean oil. I changed it myself recently just to avoid the frustration of going to to the dealer, so I know it got a fresh filter and quality oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Anything I pay a mechanic to replace gets marked before I bring it in... My neighbor across the street had the same dealer do an oil and filter plus tire rotation on his Sierra... They did NOT change his filter.. He was pretty mad.. They gave him two free oil change certificates and comped the incomplete service but he still hasn't gone back to collect.. Can't wait to tell him about my drain plug, he'll never cash in his free oil changes
 

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If I ran the Service Center I’d be scanning the VIN# to bring up the Owner’s personal record showing every piece of information I’d learned about their vehicle over the time they’d had it serviced there. Make it super easy for anyone servicing the vehicle to have all the custom information right there at their fingertips ... picture of the vehicle, plug size, filter number, torque settings, etc. ... but you still gotta actually read it, too...
 
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If I ran the Service Center I’d be scanning the VIN# to bring up the Owner’s personal record showing every piece of information I’d learned about their vehicle over the time they’d had it serviced there. Make it super easy for anyone servicing the vehicle to have all the custom information right there at their fingertips ... picture of the vehicle, plug size, filter number, torque settings, etc. ... but you still gotta actually read it, too...
I know that when a customer checks in at a GM dealer, the vehicle's service history is generated for the Service Advisor based on VIN. It shows the full service history (provided the customer has been going to GM dealers), where it was serviced, any outstanding recalls, etc. The only drawback is that some dealers code services differently than others. I went to a different dealer one time for routine maintenance, and the new dealer said while I was checking in "I see you were at dealer X last time, but they coded the service differently than usual. What was that service?" This same Service Advisor came out to me in the waiting room an hour later and tried to upsell me on $600 in additional services on my car that only had 20,000 miles on it at the time (fuel system cleaning, tire balancing, full 4-wheel alignment, etc.) They were trying to turn a $90 oil change and tire rotation in to a $600 cash grab. I told them no, and they had the nerve to put on the service record that the "customer refused additional recommended maintenance." They then proceeded to call me once a week for the next 3 weeks to schedule an appointment to "take care of" those services I refused. That was the last time I ever went back there.
 

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$90!! That would be another reason I do my own oil changes. I use AC delco full synthetic and AC delco filter so I'm about $40 (CAD) in for a change and 30 minutes of my time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's $59.00 at my dealer and includes a tire rotation.. I think that's a fair price but not when they bugger up the drain plug and overtighten the oil filter
 

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$90!! That would be another reason I do my own oil changes. I use AC delco full synthetic and AC delco filter so I'm about $40 (CAD) in for a change and 30 minutes of my time.
Yes, $90 is crazy. That is another reason I stopped going there. I was trying to use them since they were closer for me than my original dealer (4 miles vs. 25 miles), but between the prices and the needless upselling they lost my business. I now go back to the original selling dealer 25 miles away when I need to. They charge $53 for oil change and tire rotation. Interestingly, though, they charge Cadillac owners $120 for the same basic oil change and tire rotation.

I recently did my oil change myself using an ACDelco filter and STP dexos full synthetic for $36 and an hour of my time.
 
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