I took my car in for an oil change at another business on December 2, 2016. In that appointment I was informed that the prior oil change did not use the correct drain plug in the oil pan and used an oversized plug. This caused a complete stripping of the threads of the oil pan and thus the plug could not be put back in and a completely new drain pan was required. The cost to this repair was $599.82 and had to be done at that time.
Once my car was fixed and I had the invoice and the oversized plug that should not have been used I called Complete Auto Service to inform them of the mistake they had made. Prior to the December oil change I took my car to Complete Auto Service on 9/9/16 and 07/09/16. When I called to inform them of this error the initial person I spoke to advised that I would need to bring in the plug and invoice and discuss further. I told him that I did not expect resolution in the first phone call and that I would stop in on Saturday with the plug and invoice. I informed him that at this time I wanted to just call to let them know I would be coming in to further discuss the issues I had with their service.
I received a call back a few hours later from the owner. I proceeded to explain to the owner what happened. The owner told me I had to be wrong because there is no possible way his staff would have used an oversized plug. He proceeded to tell me that since there is no way it was his shop I should to go back to all the other places I have had my oil changed as it must have been one of them and not him. He told me this was a very common problem and that I should have known about it (My family and I tend to drive our vehicles to 300,000 miles and have NEVER had this problem before…I find it hard to believe this is such a common issue yet in 30+ years of owning cars for long periods of time we have never experienced this). In fact, he reminded me that they told me about the cracked windshield and so I should have known about this issue. I am not sure how telling me about a cracked windshield tells me I should have known about this issue but I explained to him that knowing about the windshield is expected because I can see it when I drive, but that since I am never the one under my car doing the oil change there is no way for me to this issue was going on. It would be up to his mechanics to tell me if there was a problem. If indeed this was done at a prior location (by the way I have all my oil change records and this was never brought to my attention) his mechanics should have advised me of the problem that was being created. The only way to know this is a problem is when the plug is taken out…so I can only conclude that it was put in at the oil change immediately before the current oil change. Can I prove this 100% without a doubt…no…but neither can he prove that his shop was not the source of the mistake. When asked if his mechanics always do exactly as he asks he was not able to provide me with an answer and he dodged the question. Regardless if his shop put the problem plug in or not, they should have, at a minimum, advised me that a problem was being created so I can prepare for the eventual repair. Instead, they never mentioned a thing and it was not until the subsequent oil change that I was informed of the problem and by then it was too late to find a more reasonable price for the fix.
He never was willing to even consider that a mistake had been made…he was very clear that this was someone else’s fault and he wanted nothing to do with the conversation. The conversation ended by him making a comment about my coming back and I stopped him in the middle and said…I won’t be coming back to his business. He said “after this conversation I am not surprised and actually I wouldn’t invite you back.” Instead of trying to be of help to me and even considering that a mistake could have been made at his place he was derogatory toward me, used a tone of voice that I clearly didn’t know anything about vehicle maintenance, and explicitly stated he did not want my business.
My conclusion…if he doesn’t want my business…he doesn’t need yours either. Even if it wasn’t his shops fault…he could have helped and offered to consider the possibility vs just dismissing it on the phone before I brought in my evidence.
After our previous discussion where you blatantly accused us or one of our Employee's of installing the over-sized drain plug into your oil pan. Previously you had us perform two basic oil changes. You refused to listen to the facts that it is not only our shop's policy not to use these type of oil drain plugs since they are not the proper repair because they eventually leak. You continued to question how do we really know what our employee's actually do during an oil change when were not watching. You claimed clearly to me on the phone that we must of caused this to your cars oil pan since we previously worked n your car last. We went as far as to ask our employee's who serviced your car before we also called all of our local parts suppliers and not one of these suppliers have ever sold us any over-sized drain plug for any make or model car much-less yours. I also gave you accurate and factual information that oil pan threads do eventually wear out based on the design in the cast oil pan since it is made out of aluminum. These cast aluminum oil pans in high mile cars like yours tend to have more wear on the threads based on the steel drain plug is stronger than the cast aluminum oil pan. Furthermore in all fairness I advised you not to just take our word for it since you demanded that we pay or reimburse you for the cost that you paid to have the oil pan replaced at another shop for about $600 when you were trying to play us for something for nothing. You also explained that you had been going some where else for the majority of your oil changes in the past before we ever even performed any services to your car but you had not reached out to that company as you explained. You also questioned if the over sized drain plug was in place before we serviced your car and if so why we never brought it to your attention and if so we would still be liable even though we never sold it to you and you never paid us for it. We are human and we are not above making an mistakes but we do not give out parts for free. Yes we could of missed this but most car owners who have had these oversized plugs installed continue to use them until the plug no longer works. If we would of brought this to your attention if we would of caught this concern just assuming that you are being honest the actual repair cost would of still been your responsibilty period. I alos took the time to explained to you that your make and model of car is also commonly known for this concern over time and I suggested that you check with one of the ford dealers for verification because I did. Obviously someone who serviced your car in the past and over tightened and or stripped out the drain plug threads did not bring this to your attention. If you search some of the online forums regarding your make and model of car you can verify this information for your self. If you would of came back to our shop before you had the repairs made some where else we would of been able to verify your claims and would of considered working with you with in reason. You demanded that we pay for your oil pan and stated that if we did not that you were going to report us to the Better Business Bureau besides to give us negative online reviews. You wanted some one to blame and you blamed it on Complete Auto Service when honestly your car issues are your problem not ours. The oversized drain plug and or the stripped out oil pan is also not considered evidence. Honestly know one can tell when the damage occured or who did it but we did not since we do not stock these drain plugs and have never bought one period. Yes I did state to you on the phone that we do not want your business based on the sole fact you wanted something for nothing which equals taking advantage of others for your own gain besides threating to give us negative reviews unless we agreed to pay you money for your own car issues.