Five Routine Minutes: Just Say No To Valvoline

When I go to have the oil changed in my car, I practice saying no before I get there.

The employees at the place I have this service performed are always trying to sell me something more than an oil change. They seem particularly interested in flushing and refilling stuff. I just don’t see the need for that or the other things that they want me to have. With practice and experience I have gotten pretty good at saying no to them.

They also ask me what kind of oil I want in the car. Is there that much of a difference? I tend to like the black slippery kind. Just dump some Jed Clampitt Bubblin’ Crude in and send me on my way. 

I think motor oil manufacturers just put the same stuff in different color bottles. The brighter the bottle color and more outrageous the car on the label is, the more the oil on the inside costs. Someday I am going to ask for something really exotic.

The big up-sell on this visit was “green oil”. Supposedly, seventy percent of this product consists of recycled oil. The oil change guy showed me charts and graphs depicting all the ways my car and this oil would love one another. Together, my car, green oil and I can save the earth. Without us teaming up, you’re all finished.

So, naturally, I said yes. I would pay extra for green oil. I said yes while my mind screamed no. There was no accounting for it. It was almost like I had not been at the intense “just say no” practice session I’d held just minutes before.  I sat in the lobby and let my buyer’s remorse fester.

It is good to help the environment. If we all don’t get serious about doing so we are certain to be in an awful fix very soon. All the same, it bugged me to pay extra to do it when seventy percent of what I paid for was recycled. They didn’t even have to get out the drill to get the oil.

I think I am the one who got drilled.

My car is saving the world. It is very socially and environmentally conscious, but I feel a little awkward driving around.


33 Comments on “Five Routine Minutes: Just Say No To Valvoline”

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Love your drawings! You weren’t as weak-willed as you think – you didn’t sign up for the Eternity service agreement and the Lifetime rein-car-nation contract, did you?

    • omawarisan says:

      Thank you. For what it is worth, I am not bald, I just dont draw hair very well and I didn’t want to mess up my intricate creations.

      My yes was a momentary slip. I said no to having my upholstery flushed.

  2. madtante says:

    I took my car to them once–I was killing time with Brother for some reason and we decided to drop my car off, head to a bar (these things always go this way with us) and it should be done, then we’d go do whatever it was (prolly see whatever Star Trek movie was out that day).

    Came back and they’d found like $400 worth of “stuff that needed done or your engine will drop out on the way home.”

    I opted for the oil change and a serpentine–cos it really did need to be replaced but that was quite the “oil change!”

  3. planetross says:

    I usually get scooped at the 2 year car check … with undercoating or massive eye-check stuff being included in the bill.

    My van bleeds oil, so I just buy the cheapest crap at the DYI and suck it up for a few years before I have to take it in and get the severe brow-beating … like at the dentists.

  4. You’d say “No!” to cherry pie, but “Yes” to recycled oil? I’d like to extend a formal invitation for you to join our “Doormat Club”:


  5. Jane says:

    I am seeing a trend.
    When tending to your car, you encounter uncomfortable situations.

    Of course, it’s your own fault: You seem to care about other people’s feelings (a commendable fault), so instead of internally berating yourself, start telling the station attendant that you are going to say yes because you care about his feelings and his needs. Then, go on to tell him (or her, of course) that you are always paying for things you don’t need so that others can feel good. When she tries to walk off, continue talking about how the extra money you spend today will come out of your children’s college fund, but you know that they won’t mind because their money will be putting food on someone’s table tonight.

    All of the above will be very convincing because it’s more or less what all of us are thinking when we join the “doormat club.”

    • omawarisan says:

      Ok, I’m going to buy this windshield wiper flush you’re selling me. I’ll just pay for it by not buying my son any books for next semester at college.

      Is that the way youre saying I should do it, because I think that might stop the upselling!

  6. Elly Lou says:

    I wonder if grape seed oil would work. It smells better than olive.

  7. Laura says:

    Olive oil has a fairly low smoke point — you might want to try peanut oil.

    I was in a car once that used recycled vegetable oil for fuel. It ran great, but (this is true) the exhaust smelled like french fries.

  8. Thypolar says:

    Love your illustrations. I would love a car that ran off of peanut oil. Now if I could just get the exhaust to smell like the deep fried oreos they have on Fremont Street……..

  9. Katybeth says:

    It use to be so easy, didn’t it? I just learned about walnut oil but that had to do with radishes. Recycled oil. Nope not going for it. I want new oil. Clean new oil with apple pie.

    Peace! V

  10. Betty says:

    Today I “just say Moe,” because I got my hair straightened. Whenever I get it done, I look like Moe from the 3 Stooges for the next two days.

  11. Kim Pugliano says:

    You turned down hummus? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?

  12. Spectra says:

    I am really very attracted to that guy who sold you the recycled oil – can you maybe give him my number?

    (in order to insure I get a date with Mister greasy-balls, try to “up-sell” me, so he won’t feel like he’s been duped afterwards…I now tout myself as Veronica Lakes reincarnation, if you think that’d help)

    • omawarisan says:

      Sure, which version of him do you want, the one who is partially bald, or the way i drew him later when I forgot his hair?

      • Spectra says:

        Oh, I really love the side-burns thing, especially when they burn a hairy skid mark right the heck around your entire head! Also, makes a nice sponge-port for the landing of the dripping hot oil I plan to rub on his naked skull.

  13. jaerae1971 says:

    Again, I’m amazed at your pencil skills.

  14. Jeane says:

    I am so horrible about no at oil check-ups, I always convince my “Mean” friend drive my car in and then I let her tell them no. Seriously, I get all flustered practicing the no. But…perhaps you would let your first picture with me and just pretend I am mute and point at the picture. The other pictures I will display proudly on my wall.

  15. thejaggedman says:

    I change my own oil but had to say no to recycled oil and you nailed it: They don’t have to drill for it AND we DYIers have to take our oil to the recycle center for “disposal”. I want a mileage allowance or $ 3.68 a gallon off the price of recycled oil. I also want to be six foot tall, have a full head of hair and world peace. Great post and love the pics!

  16. I thought it was just me! I stopped going to the chain places – got tired of the panic attacks while practicing my “Just Say No” pre-change routine.

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