Is Walmart Oil Change Good? Yes, but don’t ignore this top tip


The American Petroleum Institute regulates oil products in the United States following the American National Standards Institute accreditation process. Third-party accreditation laboratories conduct the technical accreditation to the API standards as required by federal regulation.

The Walmart house brand oil, Super Tech Oil, is tested and approved via third-party accredited laboratories to API standards as required by federal regulation. At $20 for a basic oil change and $50 for advanced oil changes, Walmart oil changes offer outstanding value.

A Consumer Satisfaction survey conducted in August 2021 awarded 3.9 stars out of 5 for a sample of 272 reviews. The highly acclaimed J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Study for Quick Oil Changes ranked Walmart seventh with a score of 701 out of 1000, 45 points below the industry average, and 107 points below top-ranked Take 5.

How Good Is Walmart Oil?

Only a few large oil refineries in the U.S. produce all base oils, synthetic oils, and additives pack specific to each API standard, for the U.S. market. One refinery may bottle for several famous brands from the same stock.

The traditional oil brands have spent a fortune establishing their brand reputation to get an advantage in the market. The Walmart house brand Super Tech does not have to invest in its brand strength as the Walmart brand is the determining factor.

Super Tech doesn’t have to spend money working on it from this angle. They produce oil that matches the standard and compete because they are one of the lowest-priced options.

Walmart can order in massive volumes and can thus offer their customers the benefits of economies of scale. Super Tech Oil has to comply with the minimum standards as all other brands of the same grade have to comply. Oil has become a commodity traded on volume, and the most significant volume buyer will get the best prices.

The Walmart value proposition is very attractive as they offer their customers their vehicles services while doing their shopping. Under the Super Tech brand, Walmart has developed a full range of service components such as oil, fuel, air, cabin, and other parts required for minor services.

Walmart serves the large DIY community and those customers without the tools or know-how to do their vehicle servicing. The seventh place in the quick change oil service survey is quite commendable. There is always room for improvement in the service industry, and Walmart seems committed to providing quality oil change services.

How Good Is The Oil Service At Walmart?

With more than 2500 Walmart Auto Care Centers in the U.S. all having access to good quality oils, parts, and equipment, Walmart is well set to do very well in this segment.

Walmart, however, does not require their lubrication technicians to have any formal qualifications and certifications. Walmart will be well served to implement some in-house standards and training. Paying minimum wage is not inspiring anyone to be the best.

Lubrication services are not complex and do not require advanced training, but rather doing the basics well and being thorough, and giving the customer what they expect. Having a customer’s car on a hoist offers the opportunity of upselling other items such as tires, brakes, and shocks.

Since oil services are straightforward and very little can go wrong, Walmart undoubtedly has many satisfied customers. From the comments on the customer satisfaction survey sites, it is evident that they do have many complaints. Most of these are due to poorly motivated employees and a lack of process controls designed to catch poor workmanship.

In general, most Walmart customers are satisfied with the service received at Walmart Auto Care Centers.

What To Expect At Walmart Auto Car Centers Oil Service

You are mistaken if you think that a qualified automotive technician does your oil service at the OEM Dealerships. They mostly use young trainees to do these elementary procedures. The difference is that the trainees will do the work under the supervision of a qualified technician.

Walmart has modeled their Walmart Auto Car Centers on the best practice facilities and processes of other oil change centers like Take-5, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Kwik Kar, Express Oil Change, Jiffy Lube, and Grease Monkey.

You will be greeted by a Lubrication Technician taking down your vehicle and personal information and advising you on the service options and duration. You will be required to leave your keys with the technician. You can either watch or go and do your other shopping at Walmart.

Your car will be driven to a service bay by the technician. They will take care of your vehicle and install some disposable seat covers and steering wheel covers to ensure that your vehicle remains clean. You should remove all loose items or articles of value from the car beforehand.

Depending on the type of oil service selected, your oil will either be topped up or drained and replaced with new oil of the correct API grade. The oil change will either be done via draining on a hoist or be vacuumed out via the dipstick tube. Both methods are acceptable, but the vacuum method prevents the need to replace the drain plug washer and the risk of not tightening the drain plug or forgetting to replace it altogether.

The technicians would also conduct other checks as part of all but the most basic oil service package. The replacement of the oil filter is standard on major oil change services.

Conclusion:

Oil quality is regulated by the API and monitored by third-party accredited laboratories. The Super Tech house brand sold at Walmart and used during their oil change services is good quality and presents excellent value for money.

Consumer satisfaction surveys rank Walmart Quick Oil Change service slightly below the industry average, but not poor. The one-star rated reviews are mostly related to inconsistent work quality by the Walmart lubrication technicians.

Mechanics Top Tip

You can use Walmart oil service, and enjoy the inexpensive prices, but just make your own checks to verify the quality of service before driving off. It only takes a few moments to check the following:

  • Check oil cap is secure, and fitted correct way up
  • Check oil level is correct
  • Check for oil leaks under the car, around oil filler and around the oil filter

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John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty-five years, and I've worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Landrover, and Jaguar dealerships. My passion is cars. I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of car ownership, including buying advice, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

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