Did the quickie-lube guys try to pull a fast one on me?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I finally had to try out one of those quickie-lube-type places you see on every
corner. I've changed my own oil and filter for about 50 years, but a recent
pinched nerve in the back brought this activity to a halt. The only good thing
about it is the doctor told me not to wash windows either. Anyway, I bit the
bullet and took my car to one of those places, I handed them a genuine Toyota
filter and five quarts of oil, and they generously said they would give me $6
credit on the bill.

After the car was in their garage, the attendant brought me my air cleaner, and
insisted that it needed changing since it showed some dirt. After lots of talk,
I finally convinced him that the filter was doing exactly what is was supposed
to do, and that I had replaced it less than 10,000 miles ago.

From the waiting room, I could see my car through the glass door, and never saw any movement under the front where the filter is located on my Camry V6. Suddenly, I saw the attendant begin pouring oil into the engine. I went out and said, "Wait a minute. I want to see the old oil filter." When he asked the "underneath man" for it, the guy came forward, unscrewed the oil filter and put on the new one.

They claim they always drain and change the oil, THEN change the filter.
Frankly, I have never done it this way, and have never heard of this sequence.
I think they were trying to pull a fast one. What do you think? -- Bill

RAY: I don't think they're trying to put one over on you, Bill. Of course,
you'll never know now because you barged in too early. If you had waited until
they said, "It's all set, sir," then you would have had 'em dead to rights.

TOM: The reason the rest of the civilized world changes the filter BEFORE
refilling the crankcase with new oil is simple. When you're changing the oil,
you put the car up on the lift (or get underneath it if your a
screw-it-up-yourselfer). And while you're underneath the car, you drain out the
old oil, and change the filter. Why? Because you're already under the car!

RAY: Then, when you take the car down off the lift, you have easy access to the
engine, and you pour in the new oil.

TOM: But if you work like these guys, and you have an "on-top guy" and an
"underneath guy," the order isn't very important. The filter can be changed
before or after the new oil is added without doing any harm or contaminating
the new oil in the crankcase.

RAY: Of course, there are other things you can watch for, Bill. If you see them
put the new oil in before draining the old oil out, go ahead and barge right

* * *

TOM: Hey, do you think you're taking good care of your car? Are you sure?

RAY: If you're like many of our customers, you may be RUINING YOUR CAR WITHOUT
EVEN KNOWING IT. Yes, even you! Find out how. Send for your copy of our
informative pamphlet, "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even
Knowing It!"

TOM: Send $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No.10 envelope to Ruin
No.1, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.

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