Is it a Dream or a Nightmare?
The runner-ups in the easy-to-service category have been on the list before but missed out on toppling the reign of the GMC pickup. Coming close behind were the Honda Civic, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Operators said that Hondas tend to be extremely consistent with oil filter locations and drain plug access, making them a breeze to service for any trained lube technician.
Concluding the top seven easy-to-service vehicles were the PT Cruiser/Dodge Neon duo (which made an appearance on our list last year), the Nissan Altima and the Ford F-150. All of these vehicles were named because of easy accessibility to filters and drain plugs and because of continual consistency with the location of those items in the newer models. The brands taking top-honors in the easy-to-service category are the reigning champion, GMC/Chevrolet, followed by Honda, Toyota and Ford.
Please Wake Me Up:
You’re drinking your morning cup of coffee when, all-of-the-sudden, the sky turns a dark, ominous grey, thunder roars and lightning crashes violently to the ground. An evil troll approaches your shop. All you can think is, “Am I hallucinating?” as the nightmare continues. Unlike the previously mentioned vehicles, which were a pleasant sight to see, these next cars can be a complete terror to handle. Though these cars aren’t really evil trolls, the task of servicing them definitely takes a toll and isn’t for the faint of heart.
Much like the returning champion that is the GMC pickup, this next car is also making a strong return (but for all the wrong reasons). For the fourth — yes, fourth — year in a row, the Toyota Tundra has the unfortunate pleasure of taking the top spot as the “Most Difficult Vehicle to Service.” The Tundra’s massive skid plate, which tactfully hides the truck’s oil canister, makes it next to impossible for a carefree oil change to take place. Operators also mentioned that the tediousness of changing the oil added to the difficulty.
Nipping at the heels of the Tundra are the Honda CRV and the Volkswagen Passat. Closing out the top seven are the Volkswagen Beetle, Mercedes C300, Audi AX and the Hummer H3. The brand of vehicle receiving the dubious honor of hardest to service goes to Volkswagen, which should come as no surprise. Volkswagen vehicles are a pain in the neck for many lube techs. Some operators said they’re a major inconvenience because the oil pans are aluminum and the drain plugs are steel. Because of this combination, there’s a high potential to strip the drain plug. Some operators choose to evacuate the oil to prevent the possibility of damaging the drain plug or oil pan. Using this method to drain the oil means bringing out extra equipment and spending time that could be used to service the next vehicle. Volkswagens also have canister filters, which can make reinstallation of these filters a little tricky. Add in stubborn skid plates, and you have a recipe for an arduous oil change. Filling out the final three spots of the brands most difficult to service are Toyota, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
An Absolute Nightmare: