Why an Ultra-Express Oil Change is a Bad Idea

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If you’re the average American, you’ll identify with the feeling of always being in a hurry. 

There’s always somewhere you need to be, something to do, and there’s no time to wait. The feeling is so prevalent in North American culture that a term has been coined for the symptoms: ‘hurry sickness’. You always jump to a shorter line or forget one of the tasks you’re doing while ‘multi-tasking’. 

You might even sleep in your clothes to save time in the morning. 
The automotive industry is quick to adopt many time-saving technologies and practices to accommodate busy customers. For most things, that’s precisely what’s needed. A more efficient and faster sales process. A smoother, less time-consuming F&I process. Streamlining the service drive for vehicle check-in. Customers appreciate when their time is valued. 

The Concept of an Ultra-Express Oil Change

It’s fostered the idea of an ultra-express oil change. The goal is to take as little time as possible to complete an oil change, getting the customer back on the road fast. There are even vendors who design equipment that speeds up the time it takes to drain oil!

But there are problems with implementing an ultra-express oil change:

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•    It reduces your time with the customer. The service industry is about building relationships. A shorter service visit for an ultra-express oil change doesn’t allow time to build a trusting relationship with the customer.

•    Customers expect a fast visit EVERY visit. “It only took 15 minutes last time!” Imagine trying to follow a maintenance schedule when a customer is trained to use your ultra-express oil change service. You’ll sell yourself short – literally – when a customer gets used to super-fast services.


•    There are missed opportunities. In a ten- or a fifteen-minute oil change, can you do a good, thorough job? There are no seconds to waste. The complimentary inspection might not be quite as thorough or the washer fluid might not be topped up all the way. In the end, speeding up the quick lube will probably result in lost opportunities to sell repairs. 
Customers visit the dealership primarily because of your expertise. Being efficient and timely is fantastic, but don’t compromise your position as an expert to trim a few minutes off an oil change.