My wife’s car needed an oil change. It had around 70,000 miles on it and it was overdue. The owners warranty says to get an oil change every 5,000 miles for regular conditions and 3,500 for extreme conditions. She just uses it for picking up the kids from school and errands so that is just normal use (the salespeople at Hendrick Honda tried to tell her she needed to get an oil change every 3,500 miles and tried to convince her that Charlotte NC is extreme conditions – I called the manufacturer on that one and they said Hendrick Honda was full of shit and was just encouraging more unneeded sevices).
After that and the fact that they do that with all services there and they don’t ever fix anything at all – they just replace and charge you a mint, I started going elsewhere to have our cars serviced. For this oil change I decided to try the Texaco Havoline Xpress Lube located right across from UNCC in north Charlotte. Here is the exact address info:
Texaco Havoline Xpress Lube
9608 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262
When I got there to the Texaco Havoline Express Lube I thought it was closed for repairs. Apparently, they were having the chipped paint on the roof and entrance way fixed. There were ladders everywhere and they would move them aside for each customer’s car to pull in. The wait was about 15 minutes before it was my turn.
The one guy came out and tried to sell me on high mileage or synthetic oil for my change. The synthetic was around $60 and the high mileage around $50. Because I am a UNCC student they gave me a 10% discount (that was pretty cool and places them competitively with Walmart for oil change prices). Some car dealers have lower prices for oil changes to lure you in, but you will never leave with just the oil change (they will pump you for all sorts of unnecessary “repairs” and parts replacements – like the service advisers at Hendrick Honda do down on South Blvd.)
The two guys that worked on my car were very good and quick. They also checked things like my cars brake fluid and headlight lenses. When they were done the one guy asked me if I wanted my fuel filter changed and that they would do it for $35. He said that it was recommended to replace the fuel filter every 15,000 miles (I don’t remember seeing that in the owners manual for either of my cars). I told him no, not today.
He tried a couple of more times to push the fuel filter change on me, but that was it. I wasn’t having it until I could find out whether the manufacturer really did recommend this fuel filter change at every 15,000 miles or not. When I got home I searched the internet and got several answers.
Apparently, the fuel filter is not a regular maintenance item. It’s change as necessary. There is no recommended change out at 15,000 miles or any other mileage. So the guy at the Texaco Havoline Xpress Lube completely made that one up to try and sell an unnecessary part replacement.
I then called the manufacturer to see what they would say. Here is exactly what they said – the fuel filter should be checked only as needed and as part of a major maintenance. It should only be checked at most every year or every other year. The only time you would have to check or place it more often would be if you had an old car with a rusty gas tank. That was clearly not the case here.
I have a Honda and here is the customer service number and other contact information I used to get the most up to date info straight from the manufacturer:
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Honda Automobile Customer Service
1919 Torrance Boulevard
Mail Stop: 500 – 2N – 7A
Torrance, CA 90501-2746
Overall I still recommend this Texaco Havoline Xpress Lube on University Blvd. here in Charlotte, NC. And if you are a student at UNCC its a no-brainer – 10% discount on oil changes.