Quick lube says, "No modified cars." WTAbsoluteF?

r3dn3ck

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Yeah, wall-o-text-y but it's a funny story, there is some helpful info in it and it just happened yesterday.

It's been a solid 5000 miles on the last oil and filter change on the 01 Cobra, 2500 of which was cruising at 2400rpm. So, I figured pick up some Mobil 1 Extended Performance and run over to a quick lube I managed almost 30 years ago for a nice 10 minute oil change. The hood tech starts calling out filter and gearbox fluid specs to the pit tech. The pit tech yells, "Hey! There's no filter on the engine. Where's the filter on this thing?" just as I holler out, "Hold on there, bud! This car is not stock. It's got a filter relocation kit and a giant oil cooler kit on it. It may not take the book filter. It could be a PH8 or an HP1 or PH16 or a PH820. Whatever is on it, use that same filter." And boom, service paused and they start talking about not being able to do the car, that I'd have to take it to a mechanic. Right then my internal rage button lit up just begging me to press it but I decided to sally forth.

They start yammering on that they can't tell what filter is on it, just that it's black and they can't see the numbers. So I'm asking them, "Is it about 4 inches tall or about 7 inches tall?" and the hood tech holds up a PH47 and tells me, "It's like this." To which I reply, "No. It definitely is not." and was just about to start really raising the volume when I realized, these are not gear heads. They're people that couldn't get a better job because they didn't know anything about anything. So, let's show some patience and empathy. I myself was that ignorant once. I realized I was ignorant when I started as a quick lube tech so I memorized the whole Goshe book (listed air/oil/cabin/fuel filters, PCV valves, fluids, capacities, etc... for all cars from like 1970-present along with a part number cross reference for other brands of filter than the Warner's we used) during the first week. I became a store manager after 3 weeks and after a year I became the store troubleshooter. They'd send me from underperforming store to underperforming store to have me figure out what was wrong with them and fix them. It was always bad staffing.

Anyway, since I used to run that exact store and the guys there recognize me from prior visits where that fact had come up, I said, "Let me come down and take a look. I'll bet you a dollar that it's just the stock book filter and it's been moved to behind the bumper cover." and they agreed. So I go down to the pit shine my flashlight on the oil filter's stock location and follow the -10AN lines around the side of the radiator and there it is. I shine the light up at it... short, fat filter, gasket recessed from the can's edge a decent bit. I look down at the filter rack and, spotting a line of filters marked 4561, I grab one up and hand it to the pit tech telling him to use that one and that 4561 and 820 are the same filter, just different filter brands use different part numbers. He looks aghast. I rotate the filter 90deg and show him it says ph820 on it, just like the factory filter for 96-04 4.6L V8 mustangs all take. I wander back up and then the most bizarre thing happens, the hood tech brings my filter and a new 4561 and puts one on top of the other so as to compare gasket locations and tells me that that's the best way they know to check compatibility. I look aghast and tell him that that's insane and dumb and, "Let me save you from getting fired." so I hop out of the car and wander over to the hood tech bench, grab up the parts reference and show him the back of the book where there's filter specs and cross references. I then show him that there are a number of different filters that will fit the gasket diameter, width & thickness, thread pitch, pressure relief bypass setting, anti-drain-back valve requirements and exterior dimensions. He's jaw open. They finish the service in just under a total of 90 minutes since I got into the service bay and shut'er down. So much for 10 minutes or less.

I did find out 3 pieces of helpful information: 1) The car still takes PH820 stock filters. 2) The car takes at least 7 quarts if you don't drain the cooler's heat exchanger so probably closer to 10 if you do. 3) There's still a difference, even in our all-the-information-literally-at-your-fingertips world we live in, between factual knowledge and procedural knowledge. This is why "years of government training" has the nerve rattling connotation that it does. They almost refused service because they didn't know enough to realize it was just a by-the-book change with a different appearance.

Side note that I think you'll all like because it'll save you money: Using the Mobil 1 EP oil that I use, and I've tested this in the past on a turbo car a hybrid and a prior mustang, I can very much go well over 10k miles between changes. Sometimes even the full 20k. The oil stays looking pretty new on high performance engines that get driven hard even on turbo engines well over 10K miles. Ring gap matters just as it always has. On my now crashed hybrid, I could do 40k mile oil changes with it since the gas engine only ran about half the time the car was in motion and it wasn't really possible to drive it hard.
 

weendoggy

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No different than going into the "chain" parts store, telling them what you want, and them asking what year/make/model it is so they can check the computer. Not a book, the computer! Fun part is telling them I have a home built car. ;)
 

ttocs

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after I got my car back on the road a few years ago I needed to get the alignment done and scheduled an appt at a local small shop. When I got there I explained I put an air ride system on it and that was why it needed the alignment. When the girl came to get my keys I told her that I would show her where the air ride controller is and how to use it in case she needed to raise/lower it. She looked at me with confusion and said to hold on a minute. The guy I originally talked to came back out and asked me what was up and I told him I just wanted to show her the air ride system so if she needed to use it she could. I shit you not now knowing it was a mustang they were working on the dude looked at me and said "We have our factory manuals to explain it all". When I explained that mustangs never came with factory air ride and it was an aftermarket system I had installed and it would only take a second to explain, suddenly his machine to do the alignment broke about an hour before I got there. I asked how long it might be down and he said it might take weeks to get a tech in. Needless to say he never did any work on the car and isn't it strange that the shop went under 3 months later if he is turning simple stuff away?
 
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r3dn3ck

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No different than going into the "chain" parts store, telling them what you want, and them asking what year/make/model it is so they can check the computer. Not a book, the computer! Fun part is telling them I have a home built car. ;)
It's exactly that which is the problem. Back when I wrenched on cars for a living we had books full of helpful information so you could substitute a part that would work for one that no longer will. Computers allow people to forget how to think and still not die. That's why I hate computers. Yeah. An odd thing for a professional computer nerd to say but being good at something doesn't mean you have to like it and vice versa. My wish for the world in the next 20 years is for people to remember that being good at a job is supposed to be a qualifier for having it in the first place.
 

weendoggy

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It's exactly that which is the problem. Back when I wrenched on cars for a living we had books full of helpful information so you could substitute a part that would work for one that no longer will. Computers allow people to forget how to think and still not die. That's why I hate computers. Yeah. An odd thing for a professional computer nerd to say but being good at something doesn't mean you have to like it and vice versa. My wish for the world in the next 20 years is for people to remember that being good at a job is supposed to be a qualifier for having it in the first place.
I hear ya! Loud and clear. I feel the same way and the post was more in tune of "funny" than serious. Although the employees ARE serious! I still have books and test equipment from my early years in the business dating back to the CaveMan era. Lots of good info there and when someone can't find it on the Internet, they call me. Ask someone today about a set of points or conderser and they think you mean a relay or the AC system. o_O
 

lwarrior1016

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I asked for a grooved idler pulley from a 2005 town car so I could put it on my 2014 coyote engine in my 98 mustang. The fellas looked at me like I was stupid and told me repeatedly that it wouldn’t work. I argued a little then eventually told him that it was his job to sell me the damn part, not tell me how to work on my car, and if he’d like to watch, I’ll be changing the pulley in his parking lot.
 

ttocs

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I had to leave autozone and to to oriely's to get spark plugs because the guy I guess didn't believe me that I put trickflow heads that used a different plug, or he probably just was afraid to do anything other than what the computer said. I told him 3 times exactly which plugs I wanted and all he wanted to know was year/make/model.......
 

Slice

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Yeah, wall-o-text-y but it's a funny story, there is some helpful info in it and it just happened yesterday.

It's been a solid 5000 miles on the last oil and filter change on the 01 Cobra, 2500 of which was cruising at 2400rpm. So, I figured pick up some Mobil 1 Extended Performance and run over to a quick lube I managed almost 30 years ago for a nice 10 minute oil change. The hood tech starts calling out filter and gearbox fluid specs to the pit tech. The pit tech yells, "Hey! There's no filter on the engine. Where's the filter on this thing?" just as I holler out, "Hold on there, bud! This car is not stock. It's got a filter relocation kit and a giant oil cooler kit on it. It may not take the book filter. It could be a PH8 or an HP1 or PH16 or a PH820. Whatever is on it, use that same filter." And boom, service paused and they start talking about not being able to do the car, that I'd have to take it to a mechanic. Right then my internal rage button lit up just begging me to press it but I decided to sally forth.

They start yammering on that they can't tell what filter is on it, just that it's black and they can't see the numbers. So I'm asking them, "Is it about 4 inches tall or about 7 inches tall?" and the hood tech holds up a PH47 and tells me, "It's like this." To which I reply, "No. It definitely is not." and was just about to start really raising the volume when I realized, these are not gear heads. They're people that couldn't get a better job because they didn't know anything about anything. So, let's show some patience and empathy. I myself was that ignorant once. I realized I was ignorant when I started as a quick lube tech so I memorized the whole Goshe book (listed air/oil/cabin/fuel filters, PCV valves, fluids, capacities, etc... for all cars from like 1970-present along with a part number cross reference for other brands of filter than the Warner's we used) during the first week. I became a store manager after 3 weeks and after a year I became the store troubleshooter. They'd send me from underperforming store to underperforming store to have me figure out what was wrong with them and fix them. It was always bad staffing.

Anyway, since I used to run that exact store and the guys there recognize me from prior visits where that fact had come up, I said, "Let me come down and take a look. I'll bet you a dollar that it's just the stock book filter and it's been moved to behind the bumper cover." and they agreed. So I go down to the pit shine my flashlight on the oil filter's stock location and follow the -10AN lines around the side of the radiator and there it is. I shine the light up at it... short, fat filter, gasket recessed from the can's edge a decent bit. I look down at the filter rack and, spotting a line of filters marked 4561, I grab one up and hand it to the pit tech telling him to use that one and that 4561 and 820 are the same filter, just different filter brands use different part numbers. He looks aghast. I rotate the filter 90deg and show him it says ph820 on it, just like the factory filter for 96-04 4.6L V8 mustangs all take. I wander back up and then the most bizarre thing happens, the hood tech brings my filter and a new 4561 and puts one on top of the other so as to compare gasket locations and tells me that that's the best way they know to check compatibility. I look aghast and tell him that that's insane and dumb and, "Let me save you from getting fired." so I hop out of the car and wander over to the hood tech bench, grab up the parts reference and show him the back of the book where there's filter specs and cross references. I then show him that there are a number of different filters that will fit the gasket diameter, width & thickness, thread pitch, pressure relief bypass setting, anti-drain-back valve requirements and exterior dimensions. He's jaw open. They finish the service in just under a total of 90 minutes since I got into the service bay and shut'er down. So much for 10 minutes or less.

I did find out 3 pieces of helpful information: 1) The car still takes PH820 stock filters. 2) The car takes at least 7 quarts if you don't drain the cooler's heat exchanger so probably closer to 10 if you do. 3) There's still a difference, even in our all-the-information-literally-at-your-fingertips world we live in, between factual knowledge and procedural knowledge. This is why "years of government training" has the nerve rattling connotation that it does. They almost refused service because they didn't know enough to realize it was just a by-the-book change with a different appearance.

Side note that I think you'll all like because it'll save you money: Using the Mobil 1 EP oil that I use, and I've tested this in the past on a turbo car a hybrid and a prior mustang, I can very much go well over 10k miles between changes. Sometimes even the full 20k. The oil stays looking pretty new on high performance engines that get driven hard even on turbo engines well over 10K miles. Ring gap matters just as it always has. On my now crashed hybrid, I could do 40k mile oil changes with it since the gas engine only ran about half the time the car was in motion and it wasn't really possible to drive it hard.
I am sorry, could you repeat that?
 

RAU03MACH

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I had to leave autozone and to to oriely's to get spark plugs because the guy I guess didn't believe me that I put trickflow heads that used a different plug, or he probably just was afraid to do anything other than what the computer said. I told him 3 times exactly which plugs I wanted and all he wanted to know was year/make/model.......
because that is all these kids know
went asking for a points kit for a chevy
all i got was what's that
 

LEGALLYFAST

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Different world today for sure. Common sense makes you look like a genius at times.
 

ttocs

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because that is all these kids know
went asking for a points kit for a chevy
all i got was what's that
actually the guy helping me was older than me. Probably should have been retired old. I have learned to avoid him at the store because while he wants to help he doesn't seem to know where anything is.
 

Daryl

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Great thread! We can all relate and have similar stories. I lucked out when I found the nearest NAPA store. It’s staffed by guys that have been there for decades and they, like r3 did formerly at his oil change place, have SO MANY parts, combination of parts and can cross-reference viable solutions memorized, that it amazes me! Diamond in the rough. I will NOT go to the local O’Reilly’s and only buy from VatoZone when they have killer oil/filter deals or killer wash/wax deals. Oh, and I do take my used oil to be recycled there.
100 years ago I learned that at the dumb-ass stores, just tell them the part you need if it’s a Frankenstein build and avoid the “year, make and model” routine. Helps keep me from popping’ my lid like r3 was referring to!LOL
 

MyLittlePony

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Books are just like computers, only they can’t really be updated. Just thrown out and replaced. So I would trust a computer more than an outdated book. HOWEVER, I will only trust things so far. You see the worst experiences involving mechanics that I have are people who claim they are specialists. People with certification that documents that they somehow know absolutely everything. I like the tech that comes in, watches a how to video on YouTube, then goes back into the garage. They aren’t afraid to question things, and seek out answers. But specialists, well, OBDII reader won’t work on a 94. 96 or newer only. You need four O2 sensors, not two. You need a sealed beam headlight (different car) not a bulb (convertibles apparently were different). Some holy text told them this, and you do not question the holy text!

Discount Tire wouldn’t sell and install my husband tires for his truck because it wasn’t in the computer. It was a 1955 GMC truck. They would sell him tires for a 1971 GMC, because that was in the computer, but not the specific part number he requested because it won’t fit if the computer doesn’t say.

And we go back to the book issue. That book wouldn’t have 1955 GMC. It might have the Chevy variant, but that’s a different manufacturer. If it does say 1955, it would be the early body style, series 1, not the series 2.m, which is EXTREMELY different. Then the store would have to sell the wrong tire for the wrong truck, because 1956 is different, the actual body style, but we told them 1955, so it has to be the other. It’s just a stupid policy, book or computer, but when even the manager stands his ground, what do you do?

Anyway, other examples: I had a late model mustang specialist unable to open my hood because 94s are different, and Heaven forbid the latch be anywhere else than every other car they specialize in.

Also had a lube place where, after waiting AN HOUR to get my cars oil changed, I was told that they couldn’t service it because they couldn’t get the filter off. They were the ones who put it on!!! My husband ended up doing everything by hand in the driveway because the professionals couldn’t.
 

Daryl

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The level of ineptitude is staggering sometimes. Sometimes I absolutely shudder when I think of the next generations. Scary.
 

weendoggy

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Books are just like computers, only they can’t really be updated. .... Some holy text told them this, and you do not question the holy text!

Discount Tire wouldn’t sell and install my husband tires for his truck because it wasn’t in the computer. It was a 1955 GMC truck. They would sell him tires for a 1971 GMC, because that was in the computer, but not the specific part number he requested because it won’t fit if the computer doesn’t say.

And we go back to the book issue. That book wouldn’t have 1955 GMC. It might have the Chevy variant, but that’s a different manufacturer. If it does say 1955, it would be the early body style, series 1, not the series 2.m, which is EXTREMELY different. Then the store would have to sell the wrong tire for the wrong truck, because 1956 is different, the actual body style, but we told them 1955, so it has to be the other. It’s just a stupid policy, book or computer, but when even the manager stands his ground, what do you do?

Also had a lube place where, after waiting AN HOUR to get my cars oil changed, I was told that they couldn’t service it because they couldn’t get the filter off. They were the ones who put it on!!! My husband ended up doing everything by hand in the driveway because the professionals couldn’t.
I feel your pain. I was in this industry for over 40yrs and with all the changes that happened, the book was better than the computer. However, the computer is the "word" according to the newly appointed intellectual technician at most places that doesn't know what a book is, let alone a condenser for a 1966 289-V8. Reminds me of the BMW sales(man) that told me I couldn't change my own oil in our new 2020 330i when I purchased it. I had to politely tell him he was full of (fill it in) and said, "if I can't, how are your technicians going to do it"? Oh well, chalk it up to modernization. :rolleyes:
 

92wastheyear

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Lol. It is even more basic than that sometimes. I took my 96 vert to Jiffy Lube. At Jiffy Lube you pull into line and give them your keys....so that's what I did. After about 15 mins they come in and ask who has the Mustang? Raise hand and they ask: "Can you pull it into the bay? No one here can drive a stick"
 

ttocs

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THAT's the shop ya want working on your car. I would have picked up the keys and just left which I am sure would have just left them standing there wondering for I bet a good 10 mins.
 

weendoggy

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I'm thankful for being able to work on every car I've ever owned. Yes, blessed to have a garage full of equipment and a lift, but doing it myself makes me happy. I remember when I had my '04 Z06 my Vette club said I'd have to take it to a dealer to have work done because of all the computers. OMG! They were dumber than owl snot! This industry has given me so many fun and funny times. Best part is fixing someone else's mistake.
 

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