New Experience #19: Take My Rav For An Oil Change

This could quite possibly go down as the most boring New Experience of 2011.

I debated catching your eye with a really exciting title (New Experience #x! Dye My Hair Platinum Blonde!) [not saying that that could not not happen this year…] just to lure you in today, then pull a bait-and-switch and talk about this car maintenance task. Cuz, frankly, I’m bored already, and I’m the one doing the writing!

Arranging for an oil change for the car is just one of those things that has never fallen into my realm of responsibility. Judge not; some people never have to search for clean underwear. But, as things worked out, the Rav was due for an oil change, I had time, and presto, next thing you know, I’m taking charge of the oil change!

[Sidenote: the Rav was purchased at Heffner, so that’s why we drive ~ 15 minutes down the highway to go there for maintenance; sure, there are closer places, but it’s more comfortable to visit the dealership service dept for Rav maintenance].

At Heffner Toyota, you don’t make an appointment for an oil change. You simply show up. I had severe hesitations about this system. I hate waiting for anything – 2 minutes in a check out line might as well be ten hours (I get my impatience from my Dad; it’s genetic and therefore not my fault). But, that’s the way they play the game, so that’s what we gotta do.

I left the house late morning, figuring I could catch the servicing dept at a quiet time after the morning commuter rush, but before the lunch crowd.

I arrived at Heffner’s at 10:45 a.m.

the rav, looking excited for her oil change!

huge service bays - easy to spot

where the cars queue up...

Kim, the service advisor, was extremely personable. She invited me to leave my keys, and gave me this:

treats to help pass the time!...

I ventured inside the customer service area:

spacious waiting room with tv, chairs, tables

A little product placement, nonetheless…

coffee, paper...and a NEW CAR for you today??!

I was eager for my freebies!

the morning glory cafe offers full breakfasts, lunches, snacks, too; it's also part of an employment skills program - great idea

look at all the coffee choices! i went with decaf

i settled in, and enjoyed some quiet time...

I didn’t take advantage of this room today, but look what else you could make use of:

comlimentary computers + internet; there's also free wifi if you bring your own laptop

is it a gentlemens' lounge or a car servicing centre?!! note magazines are available, too

Kim came and found me shortly after I finished my little photo-taking tour.

The Rav also received a complimentary wash!

this photo did not turn out - i was trying to capture the water droplets!

The time as I drove my car out of the lot? 11:45 a.m.

Not bad at all. That one hour includes the time spent waiting to check in with Kim when I first arrived, and paying my final bill before I left.

Ravvy will next need a check up in December. At that time, more scheduled maintenance checks will need to be done along with the oil change, so I can actually book an appointment! Yippee!

Really, though, I can’t complain about the process today, and I give Heffner top marks for customer service (everyone was helpful and friendly), amenities, efficiency, and cleanliness.

Are you good about staying on top of car maintenance? Funny story: Dad is really anal a real stickler about car cleanliness and care; The Brother and I? Not so much… 🙂

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Comments

  • Nicole  On June 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Yikes! I’m not so good about car cleanliness- especially with the kiddies. It’s actually embarrassing: wrappers everywhere, crumbs, 2 month old cheerios strewn about, DVDs out of their cases, stained carseats. It’s bad! And as for car maintenance, we always have good intentions, but we never get anything done on time- I’ll blame that on the kids too. In fact, just today, I got an emissions test done during my lunch hour so that I could finally get my plate sticker (it expired in May!). I’ve been cautiously obeying the speed limit so I wouldn’t attract the cops!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      i appreciate your honest assessment of your situation, nicole! 🙂 yea, with kids, i’d be like – why bother? it’ll stay clean, what – 17 minutes??! congrats on getting the test done today! now you can drive faster again??!

  • Johanna B  On June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I’m very good about taking care of car maintenance things when the car is new. I get lazy later on. I took a powder puff car maintneance course when I bought my first new car – a sky blue Plymouth Duster back in 1973. Paid just a little over $3K for it fresh off the showroom floor. I took impeccable care of that car. In the course I learned how to do basic things like change my own oil and filters, tires – when they’re flat, windshield wipers, fluids and that kind of stuff. It paid off over the years. Really like the place where you had your service done. Snazzy!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      oh, i hear you on being vigilant when a car is new. at first, with the rav, it was “no food or drink allowed!” um, that didn’t last too long! that is so awesome that you took a course – really a smart thing to do. thanks for sharing your plymouth story!

  • Gina Unger  On June 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Good for you and another “new experience”. You made it interesting even though it’s kinda a boring topic!!! Funny that you couldn’t book an appointment time. We do with our place (dealership we bought at), but your place has a few more “perks” than ours I must say. 🙂 We stay on top of car maintenance (body, engine, etc.) and TRY to keep it vacuumed semi-regularly, washing it regularly. But we also go with whatever time we have and don’t put it at the top of our priority list.

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      thanks, g! so happy that i can book a time for the next appt in december…such a crap shoot – i think on a saturday, for example, the wait would be longer. maintenance is more important than cleanliness, in my book! 🙂

  • Tiff  On June 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I’m very good about it, thankfully. I would definitely be a loyal customer though to any place who gives out cookies and coffee. Score!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      yea, it’s funny: such a small thing, but i bet they experience a lot of customer loyalty!

  • Holly  On June 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I hate bringing in my car too — mostly because of the waiting! And because when I go alone, I feel like I get hassled about upgrading to this, and replacing that, etc. And I don’t know what any of that stuff means! But when I go with Jason? They don’t bother me at all. I wonder if it is because I’m a girl and they think I don’t know and therefore will buy more? I don’t know. Now Jason takes the cars all the time for maintenance, oil changes because he knows how much I hate doing it.

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      oh, i so understand, holly! carbon filter?? say what?! i was happy i dealt with a woman because i do feel intimidated when it’s a guy and i’m not sure if i really “need” what they recommend. lovely that jason has taken over that task!

  • Zo  On June 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I think my recent “triumph” of cleaning out my car and vacuuming it after owning it for 10 years says it all. I’m good about maintenance though!
    I must say, that I am totally impressed by the service area….the last time I went to a dealer for maintenance, well, my experience was nothing like yours!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      i was thinking of you and your april/may car goal as i was writing this, zo! yea – this place rec’d a reno a couple years ago and it’s pretty awesome, happily, the customer service improved, too!

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