So, I take my car to Mr. Lube for the requisite oil change. I have been there a few times and things have generally gone well. Well, not this time. First of all they advise me that they have stopped ordering Subaru oil filters because only 1 out of 100 cars are Subarus and they assure me that their oil filters are just as good and that they provide a warranty. Seeing as I was already over on kilometres I decided to go ahead.

I feel the tech tug at the bottom of my car and assume all is going fine. I began to get a little suspicious that something was up when they did not do the normal things like check the tire pressure, lube the hinges etc. I am starting to notice two of the techs scurrying around and looking at books. I know something is up but I just sit there and wait. After about 10 minutes of sitting there one of the techs comes over to the window and advises me that the ‘downstairs’ tech accidentally drained my automatic transmission fluid instead of my oil. Now, I am not a tech – but you would think that one would know the difference between the transmission and the oil pan. Apparently, I was wrong. I guess in Subarus the transmission is exposed and the oil pan is behind a plate.

Then the tech tells me that Subarus take a special kind of automatic transmission fluid and that his ‘Area Manager’ has been on the internet and apparently they can use their fluid with an additive and it will be just like the Subaru fluid. He further explains that I can bring the car back tomorrow and his ‘Area Manager’ will go to Subaru and get the correct filter and fluid. I don’t believe them that their concoction would be good for my transmission. I asked him what would happen if there was damage done as a result of this that did not show up for a while would they take responsibility. The bottom line was that I would have to prove it. No go on the Mr. Lube fluid for my transmission!  I leave the car, which they assure me will stay in the bay it is in and opt to come back today to pick it up. I take a cab home – they state they will pay for it if I give them the receipt.

Now, all of this was a pain in the ass but I guess this kind of stuff can happen (not sure how but whatever). Next we get to move into the realm of insulting sexism where women are treated as stupid. They called at about 10:30 to tell me my car was ready to go. Deb and I go to pick it up at about 11:30. I get there and they tell me the invoice is in the car and that the oil change is free. I ask them if the invoice reflects what happened and I look at their copy. Nope, you guessed it, the invoice just shows a free oil change. I tell the manager that this is not acceptable and that the invoice must reflect what had happened. He says well go and get your copy out of the car and I will write it on there. I say, no that will not be acceptable as anyone can write anything on an invoice and it will not mean anything. I again insist that the invoice must reflect the accidental draining of my transmission. He says: “It is noted in the computer and I have already done the invoice.” I laugh and inform him that he will need to officially note it on the invoice. He gives in and goes and does it.

I do not normally rail about sexism. For the most partm  I am an  intelligent, well-educated woman who has lots of privilege in society. But there is something that happens with men, cars and women. Many men seem to think that women know nothing about cars and can be bamboozled with their crap. The same thing happens with computers. I have noticed a distinct difference in the way I am treated by a male sales person once he realizes that the woman standing in front of him likely knows more about computers that he does. I get a little tired of this but sometimes, I must confess, I do enjoy playing with them.

Back to Mr. Lube – He managed to correct the invoice so it now indicates that they accidentally drained my transmission. At least now if something goes wrong I have some hope of holding them accountable. Now, I won’t hold my breath for the cheque to reimburse me for the taxi fare. 

23 thoughts on “My Mr. Lube Experience

  1. Oh God had they only known that they were SO messing with the wrong Dyke. Christine “knows” things, a lot of things, and she does not hide her light under a bushel. The “don’t worry your pretty little head over it” doesn’t work with a highly intelligent Queens grad who also has remarkable people skills.
    Poor dumb guys, they must not have known what hit them.

  2. When we bought our Subaru in 2002, the salewoman [sic] told us that Subaru oil filters are different, and that we’d have to be careful if we went to one of the quick oil change places. Now I know for sure I won’t be going. We’ve had ours serviced by Don Docksteader from the start, and I’ve never been sorry about that. But maybe you don’t have a dealership close by.

  3. I had a bad customer service experience at Mr. Lube as well. I waited an hour for an oil change and then they told me they didn’t have the 10-40 oil my Dodge truck required. At least they knew not to put in the wrong oil.

    Anyway, they didn’t offer me any apology or offer to come back when they had the oil. I asked the attendant to have the store manager call me and they never did. Left a message at the regional office for them to call and they never did either. Yikes – be careful.

  4. As a Lower technician Employed by Mr. Lube, I just wanted to make it known to all of the above that first of all the situation at that particular location was dealt with improperly in almost every respect. I am a licensed automotive technician, with many years of schooling and work place expirience. I can understand how in working on a subaru the transmission oil pan can be easily confused with the engine oilpan, as it is hidden away by more then one skid plate.In this respect subarus are very poorly designed from a maintanence stand point.

    However that location should have had plenty of the subaru fluid in stock as it is a regularly moving item.The fluid I’m refering to is also used in Vw’s audi’s and BMW’s. And I make sure we keep at least one or 2 extra cases readily available.

    What concerns me equally as much as the mechanical work itself that was done, was the manner in which it was conducted.I do agree with the fact that your oilchange should have been for free.And not only that but the mistaken fluid change should have been provided for free as well.The incident should have been documented on the invoice for you,as anything that is written on the invoice is then stored in the computer as well.Had they done this properly or at all, you would have had the written copy on your invoice the first time around.

    Now as far as the sexism thing goes, yes I agree you shouldn’t be treated as anything other then a customer, male or female should not matter.However in assuming that as a female your knowledge of automotive issues is partially valid. The automotive industry has been dominated by males pretty much since it’s inception,and generally men have a better grasp of how to maintain their vehicles.This is a trend that is changing.

  5. I have had a few experiences at Mr. Lube.

    Generally they are pretty good. If there was a mistake they fixed it, but I’ve had fewer problems at Mr. Lube than I have had at my dealership. I generally find I get ripped off more at the dealership, and they assume that I will not question their superriror standing as the dealership hehe.

    I had doubts about their oil filters and products until I did some research on my own, and found out that the company that makes their aftermarket stuff also makes OEMs like Mopar, and high performance stuff like Royal Purple etc.

    I used to work in the automotive industry when I was younger. It’s not that we assume women know nothing about their cars. It’s that MOST people men and women know very little about their cars. The sexes are pretty much equal when it comes to ignorance about their vehicles… It’s just that men like to pretend they know stuff.

  6. This review reflects the experiences I’ve had with this location over the last couple of years. I find many of the employees don’t know how to read what the computer and the oil cap say on what kind of oil to put in the car so many times they put in the wrong oil. One time, an employee put coolant into my washer fluid tank. (Good thing not into where the oil goes.) I complained to the assistant manager the next day and he said to write down what happen, which I did, and I gave him the paper. They never ended up doing anything to make up for the mistake. Sometimes they put on the wrong oil filter and then all the oil leaks out. The wiper blades they sell are junk. One time I bought a pair and they only lasted me 3 months. The manager said that they have no warrenty so that was a waste of money. So if buy wiper blades from them and they don’t wipe after a week then your out of luck. You can buy much better ones at the dealership for the roughly the same price or buy cheaper ones at Canadain Tire. The ones at the dealership will last at least 2 years. Some employees smoke while working underneath your car. The place sells cabin air filters but no one there knows how to install one. Don’t risk your car by taking it to Mr.Lube. You can an oil change for less at the dealership as long as your not driving a BMW or a Benz. If the managers only hired people that have at least a high school diploma then the customer service would greatly improve.

    1. where to start?
      well I am an Mr.lube employee everyone on my team have high school diplomas some even have college or university degrees and are not presently in management no dropouts (too many issues).

      Wiperblades are NOT warrantied at any automotive institution or automotive retailer because it depends on how much the driver uses or abuses them (forgetting to deice them if frozen to windshield before use)

      cabin filters not available on all cars and if they are we have shop manuals and computer databases contain their whereabouts on your vehicle

      we are a convienence business with a massive reputation we have extensive training for new employees. Since febuary 2008 it is illegal to smoking in any enclosed working enviroment (Ontario law!)

      and if a wrong filter is installed on your car it will pop off on restart of yor motor in our double checks. if all your oil leaks out your car will stall or seize immeadiately!

      and the reason out oil change costs a lil more is that we use quality filters and name brand motor oil not the cheap dealer brands ( here’s a clue auto manufacters dont have the means to refine their own oil they get the cheap stuff and rebrand the bottle) plus we do the oil change in 15 min not 2 hours plus you get free topups

      thanks for reading have a nice day

  7. I took my car into Mr. Lube and they did great service… I dont know how you came up with these conclusions… I would go to Mr. Lube anyday anytime… WOW, you guys must have had BAD luck. They inform me if anything is wrong with my vehicle. Im a fully trained mechanic and I know good service when I see it. (I sometimes do Oil changes on my own, but I get lazy) They top up everything free of charge. you guys Had VERY bad luck. Too bad.

    1. You might go to Mr. Lube until they accidentally drain your transmission instead of your oil! I have never been back and I have had great service elsewhere. Don’t forget, this was a brand new Subaru with less than 15,000 kms on it!

  8. I currently am employed at Mr. Lube. We do great work and don’t cut around the edges. That particular store I can tell didn’t do there job properly. Whatever the above said negatively about the workplace don’t even understand. I disagree. We do great work and efficient. Like “Anonymous” said. “you guys Had VERY bad luck.” lol!

  9. The tech try to convince me to add transmission fluid—(2006 subaru) , as he believe it is low. guess what happened after I said no. the tech did not put the thing—(the stuff you can check the level of the fluid) back in, only half way. When I was at home, I met my friend and chat on service of Mr lube. we checked everything together , that is how I find out the transmission fluid is leaking and it is still full. Oh! my! what if I did not meet my friend. I will never back to Mr lube again.

    1. how does this comment even make sense seriously on did you check your transmission with the engine running? was the car on a level surface? (on the street not in your driveway they tend to be on an incline) and if your transmission was leaking how could it be full (too many holes in your story to be true) and is your friend a certified mechanic or auto tech?

  10. I have always taken my cars to mr lube until now i just bought a car thought i would get an oil change a month early.All went good at mr lube oil change engine flush good service, always ask to see the dip stick if they dont show you i ran my car for three days with no oil now im havig issues thank fully my motor didnt seize. I dont pretend to know everything about cars but its bad. I called the store talked to someone who passed me too someone else then the manager. Who was rude on the phone, i was at a shop having my car looked at for the engine issues and he wanted me to drive to mr lube with no oil i said no so he came to the shop i was rude to me and the mechanic and the service guy then told me my 6 year old car has issues and they are nt a result of the oil issue or lack there of. MR LUBE sucks well at least the one here does so now the battle and repair costs and who gets the bill

  11. Good Afternoon,

    I am an employee of Mr. Lube and would like to respond about some of the comments and the initial quote itself. First off, I have received the highest standard in training and am a certified store manager.

    The first issue I have read about on the complaints is that a mistake was made on the vehicle. Mr. Lube Services over a million vehicles a year across Canada, so mistakes are bound to happen. What you will be interested to know is that most mistakes happen on the same type of vehicle, and more often than not, this is due to a manufacturing mistake. (The best example is the unlabelled drain plug on the subaru transmission.) This has since been corrected on later models by the manufacturer because we are not the first or last people to make this mistake. The stores are constantly being sent TSB’s (Technical Service Bulletins) by the manufacturers informing us of these problems.

    One thing I want to mention is that dealerships and other mechanics make as many mistakes (if not more) but you will never hear about them. This is because you are not there to witness your service being done. At least Mr. Lube owns up to their mistakes up front.

    Now should the main situation have been dealt with better, absolutely. However, to lump all Mr. Lube locations in with one is incorrect. Mr. Lube is a Franchise program and the locations I am involved with are not under the same ownership as the ones in Vancouver or Toronto. I suggest that if you have an issue with Mr. Lube, please put on the location, as all locations are not owned by the same person.

    Mr. Lube employees do not smoke in the basement. I’m sorry to whoever wrote that, but you are out to lunch. Lower technicians do fuel filter services and get fuel on their hands and clothes. Please assume that our employees at least have a sense of self-preservation.

    As a general rule, very few people actually know anything about their vehicle. Jane and John Q. Public know nothing other than; put your key in, if it starts great, otherwise I’ll call somebody. Mr. Lube employees will do their best to educate their customers, especially when there is an issue with that customer’s vehicle. So if it sounds like an employee is being condecending, it is really that we don’t want you to feel dumb when discussing your vehicle. We will give you the “Magic School Bus” version and hope that helps.

    At the end of the day, we will try our best to make sure every customer feels their experience was the best that they could have had. We are the industry leader in Quick Lube for a reason, because we constantly strive to be better in everything we do.

  12. I had a oil change 3 weeks ago and just noticed since it is not raining for weeks straight that I am leaking oil on my driveway out of my newer Eclipse with only 80,000 that never leaked before. I checked the dipstick and it shows dbl what should be in there and since I have driven on the highway over the last 3 weeks I asume I have now blown a seal.
    I am going to that Mr Lube first thing in morning and hope they can make this right and pay for a real garage to ensure no engine damage is done. My wife has cancer surgery next week, my basement got 2 ft sewage in during the rains and is gutted …I dont need more bad news.
    Mr Lube I hope you can make it right.

  13. The most horrible place to get a tire rotation done.

    First time the whole car came down and my front bumper crashed.
    It took them a month to get my car fixed probably more.

    Second time I should have known better the tech who was supposed to rotate my tires broke the lock on the glove box which taking out the lunge nuts.

    For starters the rate they are charging on tire rotaion is like a whopping $50 which is unheard of anywhere else, and on top of that you need to go through this incovenience ( I have been carrying my important documents which I usually locked in the glove box).

    I called the area manager and he say’s ” Well life incovenient sometimes” those were his very words.It has been three weeks since that has happened. Instead of giving me a break on this incovenient tire rotation they are saying that we can refund you if you get the glove box fixed yourself.

    Are you kidding me!!

    It has been like 3 weeks they still haven’t managed to get the glove box lock , they won’t pay for the dealership to fix it.!!

    I am so through with them period!!


  14. I have gone to Mr Lube several times in the past for oil changes. Each experience was relatively positive, except I always get upsold on services I did not intend to get.

    Yesterday, I told myself that I will go get an oil change and refuse anything else they try to suggest. As expected, I asked for my oil change and they suggested I change my transmission fluid. Now, I have a fairly older vehicle, ’98 Acura EL, which I don’t intend to keep too much longer so I want to just do the minimal maintenance required. I declined. The employee said OK and continued doing the checks. He then came up to me again, and said I should change the transmission fluid again. I politely asked how much ($169) but then declined. He walked away but came back again with the same suggestion. This time he showed me how the fluid should look and how mine currently looked…followed by comments that implied my car would not work at any time if I don’t do this. (I’m starting to cave now) I still hesitated but he seemed so concerned and sincere that I finally agreed when he also offered to discount the service. THIS WAS MY BIGGEST MISTAKE!

    After I paid the bill (just under $200), I only drove about 4 blocks when I noticed some things were not right. My car was driving really loudly and I could not accellerate to reach 50km even when the metre read that it was already at over 5000 rpm! I have never needed to apply that much power to drive on level roads in the city! I drove right back and told them what was wrong. They started reviewing their work and did a few things and told me it should be fine. I took their word and drove off again-still the same. All in all I spent several hours waiting and they could not undo whatever damage they have done. I asked for a refund and that I would bring my car to a mechanic to look over. They refused me the refund and said would only consider it if I can prove it was something Mr Lube staff did errorneously.

    I am 9 months pregnant and could not handle this stress! I did not stay to argue. My car was driving fine until I went in for their service. I have spoke to a few others and they suspect that Mr Lube ruined my transmission somehow.

    I also did not get a detailed invoice of all the work they did, just the initial one without the additions.

    I will bring my car in to get it looked at by a real mechanic today. Fingers crossed that my car can be salvaged. I am doubtful that I will get any refund or compensation from Mr Lube.

    1. I would immediately call the manager, district manager, hell call Jim Treliving but get a proper invoice. I demanded that when they accidentally drained my transmission. You are entitled to this information because you paid for the service and they screwed up. I think they target women personally.

  15. I mistakingly send my daughter to a Mr. Lube in Brampton with a $30 coupon and told her to get an oil change on her car that had 25000 KM. She came back from the shop with a $169 bill. They changed a perfectly good air filter and did three types of engine flushes plus did the more expensive oil change even after she handed them the coupon.
    These shops are scam artists. Always refuse the extras they try to sell you and get the work done by a competent honest mechanic. Engine treatments are total garbage. Anyone honest in the business will tell you that. The auto companies don’t have them in their maintenance schedules.
    STAY AWAY FROM MR. LUBE. The name alone should tell you what they are all about.

  16. Do your own oil changes. Its easy and takes about the same time as driving it to Mr. Lube and saying no to all their upsells. Believe me its a lot less aggravating.
    Anything we can do to put the scam artists out of business is a plus. They don’t deserve your business.

  17. They broke my glove box right off the hinges on my Subi trying to get at the cabin air filter. Did they tell me nope. I went to open it today and it fell off in my hand. I wish I had read this article before last week. Sigh.

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