March 12, 2018

A Life Changing Trip To Jiffy Lube

Today I went to Jiffy Lube for a standard oil change. I always dread this experience because I know I’m about to come straight into a barrage of upsells. And while the oil change only took 17 minutes before I was on my way, it got me thinking: If they can check and change all of these parts and go through their process so quickly, there isn’t much of an excuse for me.

I was told about some things I ought to do to maintain my car, this time the list was:

  • tranny oil change – $130
  • brake fluid flush – $60
  • radiator flush – no price mentioned
  • headlight cleaning – $29
  • replace cabin filter – $20
  • replace radiator cap – $20
  • rotate the tires – can’t remember
Your friendly local auto tech. Jiffy Lube

Taking It Home

I took note of of the respective prices quoted to me and declined them all on the spot. Later, after a quick Google search found that most of these things I could do myself in a few minutes at half the cost:

  • I can buy my own ramps to perform oil changes for $40, along with my own oil being about $15 less expensive, meaning these ramps will be paid for in 3 oil changes
  • I found the radiator cap and cabin filter can be replaced quickly and cheaply for about $10 each.
  • When I bought tires for my car I researched a bit and went with the nicest all around tires possible from Discount Tire, at the recommendation of my grandfather. They will also rotate the tires for free, all you have to do is schedule an appointment.
  • As for the headlight, it can be cleaned with toothpaste according to DIY videos
  • Finally the brake fluid and radiator flush. These things I cannot do myself most likely, but there happens to be a semi retired mechanic in my neighborhood.

I am using this experience as a catalyst to learn more about car maintenance and become more self reliant. Many of these routine tasks American’s outsource completely, and sometimes it is worth it, but many times it is not. Between Youtube and online manuals, you can do more than you think. It is worth thinking about consciously anytime we outsource something and consider what we can do to learn and take care of ourselves.