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Jiffy Lube

Contrasting experiences from Sister Stores

Jiffy Lube - 7443 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710

A senior editor stopped in for an oil change and fluid check before embarking on a long trip across country recently and, early the following morning, loaded his wife and small child into the car in order to get a predawn start heading east. No sooner had they hit the on ramp of the freeway however when the engine started losing power and making a chugging noise upon any acceleration. After white knuckle driving for a few tense and below freezing hours, it got light enough to pull over and open the hood where they found a Jiffy Lube screw driver with a loose bolt in it sitting in the engine well. Not knowing the first thing about automotive upkeep or maintenance, they tried the bolt in a few places and then limped the rig along the shoulder all the way to Albuquerque where they found another Jiffy Lube and pulled in to see what the Hell. A conscientious employee of the new store came out to assess the situation and informed the staffer that the other Lube had left the air filter unattached and put about two quarts too much oil in besides. The editor reports that he had been stopping at the same Jiffy Lube on Broadway on his way home from work for years and although they are constantly trying to sell you clean air filters and other crap you don't necessarily need just like a lot of places do, he found them convenient and figured if he took the car in before the long trip, he could rest assured that his journey would be uneventful at least as far as general automotive maintenance was concerned. What he didn't expect was to have nine miserable hours on the road and another in a strange city looking for a sister store all because the people entrusted to maintain the car weren't even competent enough to complete a simple task. He says if he stops in to the Jiffy Lube on Broadway in Tucson again it will be to punch somebody in the mouth. 

Jiffy Lube - San Mateo Blvd NE in Albuquerque NM

 Our staffer pulled into the Jiffy Lube near the freeway in Albuquerque NM pissed off, stressed out and wanting some answers about what kind of procedures in a standard oil change might result in the loss of engine power and a loose bolt and screw driver being left under the hood right before a long trip. He spilled out of the car, which, with the stuff strapped to the roof and the 350 lbs of dogs that spilled out after him, must have created the kind of scene that would likely have sent many a garage attendant skipping towards the restroom so someone else would have to field the inquiry. A young man working under a hood looked up immediately however, took in the whole scene, and instead of acting busy or retreating into the pit, came striding forward and asked how he could help.

"Well I'll tell you," said the staffer. "You can help by taking a look under my hood here and telling me where this bolt goes and who's screwdriver this is and why I might be losing power on acceleration right after leaving one of your sister stores."

"OK, lets take a look. Well first of all your air filter cover isn't on correctly. That would definitely cause you to lose some power. I certainly apologize for this. Even though our stores are independently owned and unrelated to each other save by name I hate to see a man out on the highway with such cool looking dogs and having to worry about something that never should have happened." He wiped the dipstick, which he had extracted while he was talking, on the tail of his shirt and reinserted. "Looks like they over filled your oil by about two quarts as well. Why don't you pull your car in and we'll check everything out again. We'll drain the oil, hook you up with a new air filter since it looks like they didn't change that either, and get you back on your way"

And he did just that. About ten minutes later he was pulling the car around and handing off the keys. The windows had been washed, the floor mats vacuumed and the engine was purring like it had before the previous visit to the Jiffy Lube in Tucson.

"Why don't you come in for a sec so I can get some information," said the young man. The staffer was more that happy to pay for such service and had his credit card out fully expecting to compensate this Lube especially after hearing that the shops were privately owned. No reason why an unaffiliated garage in a place he would probably never come through again should eat the price of a filter along with oil and other fluids just because a bunch of jackasses back in Tucson couldn't manage a simple oil change. The young man, however wouldn't hear of it. "Come on, are you kidding? I'm not charging you anything," he said holding out the screwdriver. "And hey, you got a free tool out of the deal. I'm sure that's not much of a consolation but I just asked you to come inside so I could get the info on the store that did this to you. I'll be can calling to give them a piece of my mind. This is inexcusable. It was in Tucson you said."

"Yeah, out on east Broadway."

"Ok there it is. That's all I need from you sir. There's some coffee over there if you want to fill up your traveler mug. Have a great trip and if you ever pass through Albuquerque again stop in and see us."

And we have no doubt that this particular staffer, and any other Goliard sojourners that happen anywhere near that part of New Mexico, will make it a point to do just that. Because, although none of this may seem like that big a deal, genuine good service and cool guymanship is getting rarer and rarer these days and it should be rewarded and encouraged before it falls completely by the wayside.

So good job Erik Debaud and the boys in the Al-bee-Q Jiffy Lube. The Goliard appreciates it.

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