Archive | February 24, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due

I can’t remember whether I’ve talked at length about them or not, but this is about to be my love letter to Express Oil Change. Prepare yourselves.

I’ve always been .. I don’t know, a car girl? Like, I like cars. I don’t know a whole lot about them – I can’t change my own oil or anything – but I like cars. I like figuring out how they tick and I dated a street racer for a long time in my youth and so I’ve always kind of .. I don’t know. LET’S JUST SAY I’M A CAR GIRL SO I CAN MOVE ON.

As such, I’ve done a fair share of car shopping and car repair in my time. And I’ve come to dread it.

One time, I stopped in at a car dealership (that is no longer in business –  SURPRISE!) to look at a very specific model of car. I was 22 or so, single-ish, and a guy met me when I got out of my Mustang. He did the basic 20 questions that any salesman does, and I specifically said, “I’d like to look at a gas-efficient four door.”

And he led me to a station wagon. Which, technically, has four doors .. but it was just me. No significant other to cart around, just me and Mabel, my dog. And he said, “But you’ll need room for a stroller.”

…?

I said, “I’m not married. I have no children.”

And he said, “But you will!”

…!

I still get angry about that.

I also had – while shopping for said Mustang – a guy turn me away from a 5-speed because I’d “need a free hand for applying lipstick”.

So .. as much as I hate it, I know that stuff like that still happens. Even today.

There is an Express Oil Change down the street from my parent’s house, which is also incredibly convenient to my office. I started going there with the Mustang, mostly because I was too lazy to get out of the car. But when I bought my (piece of CRAP) Suzuki Forenza, my loyalty to the shop was forever cemented.

I can’t tell you how often I’d have some issue come up and not only would they perform diagnostics (often for free), they would also teach me how to fix it myself. When I had an a/c line clog and leak water into my cabin? They showed me how to clear the line. FOR FREE. When I learned that the model of car had a systemically bad throttle-body? They showed me how to get a cheap maintenance procedure done that would temporarily fix the problem.

My husband often huffs that I’ll drive to this one shop for repairs – even though it’s 45 minutes away from our house – but this week is a perfect example of why. Plagued with a squeaky turn-radius AND a check engine light, they performed the diagnostics, a smoke test (to test for evaporation issues, which is what spawned the check engine light), and gave me several options on how the squeak might be fixed. They ended up comping the smoke test altogether when we learned it was a faulty gas cap.

Y’all, I cannot put into words how nice it is to have MEN in an AUTOSHOP treat me like an intelligent human being. Sure, I don’t know the ins and outs of car repair, but I know enough about cars to understand them. And I never, ever feel like I’m being taken advantage of or being swindled. In fact, I often feel incredibly lucky to know they’re there.

To Bear, Brandon, Casey, Corey, and Jody – y’all are an amazing team, and I swear I tell everyone on earth about your store. Keep up the good work!

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