Percy was due for another oil change as we reached the 25,000 km reading on the odometer. I don’t know if Toyota has some GPS or something connected to the car but about a week after, the casa called in and told us we were due for an oil change (but come to think of it, it’s pretty much a regular thing now. from daily driving, it takes about 6 months before we need an oil change. i guess that’s where they got it? 😀 )
A asked for a quote for everything and this is what they came up with: 5,000 for the oil change and 6,100 for the aircon cleaning. we were like: WUUUUUUTTT???!
since the aircon is still doing well, even in this summer heat, we thought of dropping the cleaning. that’s 6,100 off… but then, there’s the oil change estimated at 5,000… which is still a pretty big amount for a little task. so after asking around the office, A was told that gas stations can do the same thing at an immensely cheaper price!
well, i know this to be true since when you bring your car to a casa, it’s not “just and oil change” that’s happening… they replace a ton of stuff that frankly doesn’t need replacing, and put in stuff that, frankly, you don’t really need that much. the only benefit, perhaps, is that once you drive it out of the casa, it’s always in top running condition since most of the parts are now new!
since the 5,000 bucks is not an option, I drove to the Shell Helix service station along C5 to have the basics covered: have the oil and oil filter changed. since it was a holiday weekend last friday, i called to ask if there was a mechanic around. after confirming that there was, and inquiring how much a synthetic blend vs. fully synthetic oil would cost, i just finished breakfast and drove to the service station.
it was a good thing there weren’t any other cars being serviced so as i drove up to the garage, i was it! mechanic was there to assist and align the car properly for the lift. they were all smiles which made me really feel comfortable bringing it there. (great job, Shell!)
i was with my son at the time so i wasn’t able to ask a lot of questions regarding what’s included, what’s getting done, and what are the other services i could avail of as we headed for the lounge area. (i asked about a tune-up, and said it’ll cost P700 and that’s basically all the questions i got to ask. likot ng bata eh! hehe…) i availed of the ‘package’ for the synthetic blend… which only costs P2,000! that’s a huge… HUGE (i’m getting Trump-y here. LOL) difference from what the casa offered.
based on my previous service records/bills from the casa at Toyota, what really adds to the cost are stuff like new drain plugs, air filter (the old one is still pretty usable though), tightening of bolts/inspections, new spark plugs (again, usable), and the fuel and engine treatments/additives they put it. well, you could actually ask them to have them removed but they sales talk you into it. i didn’t have the patience for that. (also read some ‘horror stories’ about it. but not all casas are bad though.) but the basics: oil and oil fiter? that’s covered. that’s what REALLY needed to be done.
and the other good thing about having it serviced here: i saved a ton of time! usually, it takes us half a day when getting the car serviced at Toyota… at Shell, it was 1 hour, tops! maybe i was just lucky. but at toyota, even you have it scheduled, arrive on time… it easily takes up 3 hours waiting… that’s excluding driving to and from the casa.
so far, 5 days after the oil change, i can’t really complain. Percy is still running smoothly (though i noticed i might need a battery replacement soon based on the previous service at 20,000 km). even drove it to pampanga this weekend and back and he’s still being driven happily. 🙂
so remember, you have options… cheaper options than your casa/dealer but not necessarily a compromise on quality and on service!