EZ Lube Still Sucks
I've been to EZ Lube twice, and both visits were a little unsettling. The first time, they were all about upselling the merch. Fancy premium motor oil with synthetic cherry-scented whatever (of course I wasn't listening). The salesman seemed irritated when I refused the upgrade. Do they get paid on commission or something? Is EZ Lube run by the people who manage Hooters?
The second time, the mechanic called me over to look under the hood. He pointed at something and told me that it needed to be fixed, and he could do that today for an additional charge. I know I'm being vague here; he was too, and I could barely hear him because of all the noise in the shop. I asked him to explain what needed to be repaired. He said, "Well, um," and paused, and then quickly mumbled that every so many miles, the transmission fluid needed to be flushed. I asked him how much it would cost. He said he wasn't sure, depends, he'd have to see, and then he punched some numbers into his tricorder (whatever that thing is) and said it was around 80 dollars. I said OK, I'll have my mechanic look at it (I love my mechanic, he's just too busy to do oil changes). The EZ Lube guy told me I really shouldn't wait. He implied danger. But he was not willing to explain thoroughly or give me a written estimate… or have the balls to look me in the eye while trying to pull a fast one.
So I was not surprised yesterday when KCRW reported that the Bureau of Automotive Repair may be shutting down all 76 Southern California EZ Lube shops. According to NBC4, this has been going on for some time. It's good to know the state is trying to keep drivers from getting screwed every 3 months or 3,000 miles, but apparently EZ Lube is not the only dirty operation in town. So caveat emptor, and if anyone wants to join me, I'll be in my driveway learning how to do this shit myself.