Mis-adventures With 3rd Party Service

Today was the day I had finally been able to find the time to get my long-overdo Mini service. I was about 1000 miles behind needing an oil change, and was not looking forward to having my Mini serviced at the dealership. I like my Mini dealership a lot, but I can’t stand the hassle of making an appointment which ends up being an entire day of waiting. Also, it seems that the dealerships charge a LOT to do simple service.

So, off I went to the local JiffyLube. I’ve always had good service from JL at a reasonable price. Well, sorry, Charlie, JL doesn’t service Mini’s. The guy who greeted me wasn’t quite sure why, but I was soon to find out.

My next stop was a place where I had not been before called Lube ‘n Go. A nice gal greeted me and I asked her if they serviced Mini’s. She was sure that they could as long as the Mini was wide enough to drive over the underground service bay.

So, I pulled Jack in and popped the hood.

The guy down below commenced to drain out my nasty old oil, as the lady, I found out her name was Stephanie, asked me if I wanted her to check my air filter. I said yes. She looked around the shop and found that they did not have an air filter for a Mini, but said she would check the old one anyway. She made a good effort to open up the cover and found that it required a special tool to get it open. This was not looking good.

Then I heard grunts and groans fro the guy below. It seems that he couldn’t get the oil filter cover off either. Again, a special tool was required.

Stephanie made a couple of calls to find these special tools, but no one seemed to have them.

Then the guy down below said that he couldn’t get the oil filter swapped, and that I probably needed to go to the dealership for the service.

Since my car was already emptied of the old oil, Stephanie said that they would re-fill it with new oil so I could get back on the road.

I would need to go to the dealership after all, and wait for an entire day in that luxurious BMW lounge.


I told Stephanie that if her shop ever got the tools needed to work on Mini’s that I knew several hundred Mini owners in Northern California that would love to give them the business. Hopefully, Stephanie will get back to me with good news from the owner of Lube ‘n Go.

By the way, I was not charged a dime by Stephanie, even though I got almost 5 quarts of synthetic oil poured into the Mini.

I hope she calls me!

In the mean time, if you know of a Sacramento area shop that does oil changes on Mini’s. leave me a comment and let me know!

2 Replies to “Mis-adventures With 3rd Party Service”

  1. Well, East Bay MINI in Pleasanton can do no-reservation, drive-in, oil changes. They have one of the largest service bays for a BMW/MINI dealer. You won’t save any money, but at least you can get it done while you wait.. and hopefully not wait too long.

  2. Just a quick update:

    Today I returned to Lube N’ Go, with the correct tool in hand ordered off of eBay (Thanks, Al!). The service went fine, except they didn’t have the right oil filter in stock. But, one of the guys sped down to Kragens and bought one. The manager did the service himself, itching to play with the Mini. I found on the net how to reset the service interval indicator:

    1) Press and hold the trip button
    2) Insert key and turn to position 1
    3) Watch for RESET to appear
    4) Release the button, then press & hold it again
    5) Wait for the RESET to flash
    6) Release the button, and then press & release (once only)
    7) Service interval should then be reset to next interval

    I received a discount too!

    Lube N’ Go
    7644 Sunrise Blvd
    Citrus Heights, CA 95610
    (916) 726-3344

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