Lucy Randell and her grandfather were up for an expensive repair bill thanks to a service station attendant’s lack of knowledge.
Lucy Randell and her grandfather were up for an expensive repair bill thanks to a service station attendant’s lack of knowledge.

Oil change slips up servo staff

CAR ENGINES can be a confusing business at the best of times, so when someone at a service station offers to help most people jump at the chance.

But a British visitor is warning local motorists to be careful who they trust with their vehicle's maintenance, after a quick stop for an oil top-up left her engine in ruins, with a repair bill of more than $1000.

Lucy Randell was driving her grandfather's Daewoo Matiz from Hervey Bay back to Childers when she stopped off at a local service station to refill her oil for the drive ahead.

She said an attendant at the service station offered to top up her oil for her and, because she had no experience working with cars, she gratefully agreed.

But the attendant poured the entire contents of a five-litre bottle of oil into the Matiz's engine, which only takes around three litres.

Ms Randell said she only got about 200 metres down the road before the car broke down.

“I drove out of the station and just as I was pulling out, I got on to the roundabout and there was smoke everywhere,” she said.

In the end, Ms Randell had to get the RACQ to tow her car back to Childers, where it was out of action for almost three weeks before the engine was finally repaired.

Colin Rivers, Ms Randell's grandfather, said the cost of the damages amounted to more than $1000 and, when he contacted the service station to seek reimbursement, he received abuse.

He said the service station owners had said it was not their responsibility and their staff were not mechanics.

“I said ‘No, I don't expect you to be mechanics, but it is a service station',” he said.

“You do expect a little bit of knowledge. You shouldn't let people mess around with cars if they don't know what they're doing.”



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