Originally Posted by Decipher
But...it's a what makes a Subaru, a Subaru! I never understood this logic employed by other car companies safely obtaining longer intervals than Subaru.
Anyways, I'm glad you did what you did. We'll see if SOA agrees with Gary Lang. By his own explanation, his logic is still bad. It doesn't explain the reason for shorter intervals in the winter. It's crap. It's a scam and he still doesn't own up to the bad information since they sighted the need to change more in winter. I really despise that stealership. Keep us updated!
I'll definitely post SOA's response when I receive it!
For those who may be interested, this is the letter I sent in:
Subaru of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 6000
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-6000
Attn: Customer/Dealer Services
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to inform you of what I consider to be disingenuous and predatory behavior occurring in the service department at Gary Lang Subaru in McHenry, Illinois.
First, some background:
I purchased my 2012 WRX from Chaplin's Subaru in Bellevue, Washington, in November of 2011. I could not possibly be happier with my purchase and maintenance experience with Chaplin's, which is who serviced my car for the first year/10,000 miles. My last trip to Chaplin's was for a 10,000-mile oil change, which I later found out was an incorrect interval due to the wrong reminder sticker being printed for my car. This was not a concern for me as it was a simple mistake.
I left Washington State and moved to Illinois in October 2012. It is a 2,000-mile drive and after putting another 1,000 miles on, my sticker told me it was time for an oil change. I made an appointment with Gary Lang in McHenry. When I arrived for service, I mentioned to the service representative that Chaplin's did my last oil change at 10,000 miles. It was then he told me I was too early for a scheduled oil change; since the interval is every 7,500 miles, I should come back when I reach that mileage.
Three months later, I was close to the 7,500-interval, which brings me to the reason I'm writing this. At mileage 16,600 I made another appointment with Gary Lang for an oil change. When I checked in, the service advisor, Joseph Jesky, asked if I was there for the 15,000-mile service. I was surprised because I didn't realize I was supposed to take my car in at 15,000 miles. I said yes, if it is due, let's go ahead with it and by the way, I have pre-paid maintenance. Mr. Jesky told me my pre-paid plan doesn't cover their 15,000-mile service. Again, I was surprised because that wasn't my understanding of the plan. I asked him what was included in the 15,000-mile plan that isn't covered. He responded with a list of items, including PVC valve, air filter, throttle body, and more. These items are not what are listed under the 15,000-mile service on My Subaru. I asked if this was a Subaru policy and if so, why wasn't it in my service / maintenance schedule. He said there are different plans for different cars, but never really answered me. Finally, I asked him to look online at what my car needs at 15,000 miles. He then told me he was unable to access the Subaru website where that information could be found. We proceeded with the oil change and he told me that I wouldn't need to come back for another 7,500-mile (the regular interval).
After I left Gary Lang, I looked up at the reminder sticker to see my next appointment was due in 5,000 miles. I immediately called back to the dealership to ask why I was receiving conflicting messages about the service my car needed and when I needed oil changes. The person on the phone said 5,000-intervals are recommended. I asked if that was a Subaru guideline or a dealership guideline. The person I was speaking to couldn't answer, so I asked to speak with a manager.
When the manager answered the phone (I believe his name was Adam, but I'm not entirely sure), I pushed for an answer as to why I need to change the oil more often than the 7,500-mile interval. He said it was because of the cold winter weather we experience here in Illinois, that cars lose oil over time. I asked him how do they lose oil, specifically, how would my car be losing oil. He said the older cars with higher mileage do, especially in the cold weather. My car is one year old and has 16,600 miles on it. It does not have an oil leak, but still, he insisted that I needed to bring it in more often. I asked again if that was a Subaru guideline or a Gary Lang guideline. He said it was an oil industry guideline.
When I got home I went to the Mobil Oil website to review their recommendations (link below). Mobil One is the brand of oil used at Gary Lang. This is what the Mobil One website states:
"We recommend you follow the oil and filter change frequencies shown in your owner's manual. Generally, this means changing your oil every six months when using Mobil Super™, Mobil Super High Mileage and Mobil Super Synthetic motor oils, and every year when using Mobil 1™ or Mobil 1 Extended Performance synthetic oils."
To verify the Subaru 7,500-mile interval, I reviewed my car's service manual where I found:
Use only 5 W 30, synthetic, replacement interval 7,500 miles."
I trust that if Subaru thought their cars needed more frequent oil changes in colder temperatures, that would be outlined in the manual and it would have also occurred at my dealership in Washington as I owned the car there during the winter. In an attempt to verify with one more source, I called Chaplin's in Bellevue and asked them what the oil change interval is for colder climates. They stated, 7,500 miles.
Now that I've confirmed the oil change interval for my WRX and that the oil industry defers to manufacturers, my concern is Gary Lang is taking advantage of people and Subaru, in the name of Subaru. They're taking advantage of individuals who pay out of pocket for oil changes more frequently than needed. They're taking advantage of Subaru, by billing for oil changes more frequently than needed. They are also attempting to sell customers services that may or may not be standard.
Again, I have had such a fantastic experience with Subaru that I cringe to think there are people being taken advantage of by Gary Lang, operating on behalf of the brand. To me, that is the antithesis of what Subaru is about.
I hope this letter finds its rightful home, with someone who can review Gary Lang's service policy, procedures, and practices before too many either prospective or current Subaru-owners are caught in the same trap. I will never return to Gary Lang, even though they are the closest Subaru dealership to my home.
Mobil Oil Website: