We Don’t Understand How Walmart Oil Changes Keep Going Terribly Awry, But Here We Are

There’s something afoot in the oil at Walmart. Or least that’s what one could believe as we hear yet another story of your average customer bringing in a vehicle for an oil change at the store and leaving with a headache-inducing damaged car situation.

It seems so simple: Car needs new oil. Bring car to place that has oil and people who know how to change it. Drive away in said car. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that there’s always room for a disaster. This time it’s a woman who was stranded at Walmart after an oil change rendered her car undriveable.

A South Carolina woman brought her car in for an oil change, but instead her car was “heavily damaged” after going through the garage door and hitting a guardrail, reports WLTX.com.

“It was time to get my oil changed anyway, my oil light came on, so I took it on in to Walmart. 10,15 minutes later they’re calling me to come back,” she said at the time. “The manager walked in and he’s like, ‘I really don’t know how to tell you this,’ he said ‘But, one of our techs has just crashed your car through the bay door and ultimately into the guardrail behind the store.”

That left her without a car, a situation that is extra complicated due to the fact that she has kids she needs to get to school. She couldn’t afford a rental car, either.

“Not having a vehicle here and knowing you need to go somewhere, I felt helpless,” she explains, adding that she felt Walmart had basically washed their hands of her. Getting her insurance company to talk to them was like “pulling teeth.”

But since her story first hit the news, a local auto shop that sold her the car has been “absolutely wonderful.”

“They are in the process of trying to find a vehicle for me, they have given me a loaner car that I could drive today, so I could get the kids to school. They’ve gone above and beyond,” she said.

When the local station got involved and called the insurance company as well as Walmart corporate, the news is even better.

“They had left me voicemails stating that I would be approved for a rental car for three days until they can get an adjuster out to look at the car, so I’m just ecstatic,” she said.

Which again, is all well and good — but what is going on in the oil change department? Is it haunted by the ghost of a vengeful mechanic?

Woman Gets Rental Car After Walmart Employee Crashes Her Car [WLTX.com]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    i always used to have cars i paid out of pocket for, old junkers. so i had the bare minimum insurance. when i finally financed a car and had to get comprehensive coverage, i learned about the existence of rental car reimbursement. and on my current coverage, if i use hertz they bill my insurer directly. best ten bucks i spend per month, and it was a huge help when my roommate crashed my truck.
    aside from maybe not trying to get oil changed at walmart if you can help it, don’t miss out on getting rental car reimbursement on your policy if not having a car would interrupt your life significantly

  2. arbyrb says:

    Time to change her oil because her “oil light came on”?? Sheesh.

    • Thorzdad2 says:

      I thought the same thing when I read that. Sadly, I suspect a lot of people use that method.

      As for WalMart…Anyone know what they pay their mechanics? I can’t imagine they’re hiring the finest trained wrenches available. I also suspect that the mechanics are under the gun to complete something like an oil change in a minimum amount of time. And when you hurry, mistakes can happen.

      • Snarkapus says:

        Mechanics? I still remember a Jiffy Lube ad. “Mechanic wanted: No experience necessary.”

        That being said, if they can identify WalMart in this story why not the dilatory insurance company?

  3. Cheapocabra says:

    I learned the hard way, years ago, that the Walmart auto service bay is a separate legal entity, often run with contractors. Long story less long: my poor car was used as a “training” vehicle for a battery replacement. I wanted to do it myself, but they were so eager to do it for free! Their trainee reversed the leads and fried my car’s electrical. Then they stalled and lied about it until it was time to close, and they pushed me out and locked the gate in my face. I had words with many, many people at Walmart after that. My car was repaired, barely, but it was never the same again.

    An oil change? They can’t even be trusted with a battery. I wouldn’t let them install wipers, they’d find a way to break something expensive and leave you without a car.

  4. APK1080 says:

    How many Walmart service centers are there? Isn’t it likely that the perception in this article is simply due to scale, and that if you take the same number of any random service shops the percent of issues would be the same?

    • PhillyDom says:

      Driving your car through a garage door is not an “issue.” Pouring oil into your transmission is not an “issue.” That’s sheer stupidity. That’s well below the minimum level of competence one would expect from an auto center.

      • APK1080 says:

        That’s really not the point of my post. If it would make you happy, reread my post while replacing “issue” with “sheer stupidity” and then maybe you’ll be able to focus on what I was saying.

  5. C0Y0TY says:

    The oil change department is haunted by underpaid and undertrained employees.

  6. FusioptimaSX says:

    I once has a “certified” auto body and parts repair shop put coolant in my transmission. I’m still trying to figure out the hows and whys. Luckily they figured it out before I did, but I still had the car for a day before they called me about their mistake. They had no business touching my transmission as there was no issue with it!

    I used to bring my car to Walmart and Tire Kingdom, but I don’t trust either one anymore. My dealer has great deals and charge me less. I get my tire rotations done during my oil changes.