2012 Honda CR-V: Airport Parking Oil Change Follow-Up
November 21, 2012
Unbeknownst to our airport parking oil change technician, I set a trap under the hood of our 2012 Honda CR-V to see if they really did do the work I paid for. Well, no, actually, I didn't set a trap intentionally, but the underhood mess created by my escapades on a temporarily wet dry lakebed in Nevada a few weeks back amounted to the same thing.
Yes, I'll wash it off, of course. The point is this: the technician either didn't spill a single drop that he needed to wipe up around the cap or he didn't actually add any oil or do the work.
A check of the dipstick revealed the golden hue of uncontaminated new oil, so it would seem we are dealing with a mechanic that is proficient at not spilling much.
Meanwhile, the sight of that yellow Pennzoil filter down below confirms they did indeed do the whole job because the one it replaced was a blue Honda factory unit I installed myself. But the dribble of oil on the new filter and around the drain plug made me wonder if they were tightened properly.
So I checked. Turns out they're both plenty tight enough, and the darkness of the residual oil suggests this is an old-oil clean-up issue, not a new-oil leak. That said, there's no way of knowing if the drain plug washer was indeed changed, per Honda recommended procedure.
I wiped both areas clean so I can check back in a couple weeks to see if the dribbles return.
On the face of it, they did the job I paid for, the price was reasonable and I dig the convenience aspect of having my oil changed while I'm busy elsewhere.
But the use of the wrong oil -- 5W-30 instead of the 0W-20 I clearly specified (and that's molded into the oil cap itself) -- is a deal breaker. I'll put the question to them and see what they say when I go back to park there early next week, but my trust has flown out the window.
This is the kind of thing that makes me want to change my own oil. I'll know if the washer was changed, if the aftermarket oil filter fits as well as the factory one. I'll know if everything was tightened properly. I'll know if the dribbles mean anything or not.
Mostly, I'll know it was done right. Trust is everything, and at this point I'm in short supply with respect to Wally Park's work, and it all started to come unraveled with the notation on the oil service label they stuck to our CR-V's windshield.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,196 miles