I used to work as a service station attendant, and part of the reason hardly anybody does it anymore is that they think taking care of a car is easy. Even in recent threads here, people say they would love full service “if it didn’t cost too much.” So, how much is it worth to you?
When I was an attendant, full service was:
Pumping the gas
Wiping the outside of the windows
Checking tire pressure, and refilling tires as needed.
Checking under the hood:
a. radiator water
c. transmission oil
d. brake fluid
e. wiper washer fluid
f. power steering fluid
g. filling up the above as needed, free if it was just water, ala carte for all other liquids.
Taking the bill to the customer, collecting payment.
The above took about 3 minutes with a two-person team. The first person would immediately start the windows and tires, and the 2nd would start under the hood. If the hood guy finished first, he would finish the tires. A three person team (hood, left side windows, right side windows) could usually finish before the pump could put out 10 gallons of gas.
When I was working, most people got full service because they didn’t know how to do it themselves and they didn’t want to learn. When gas prices shot through the roof, those same people went to self-serve, but continued not to do it.
So, how much, net, would you pay, in addition to the cost of gas, for full service?
I might be willing to pay a bit more. Not sure how much. IF I could trust them not to do something stupid while under the hood. My last experience having my oil changed ended with the oil filter not being screwed on correctly and my oil blowing out going down the highway.
So, there would likely be a non-negligable chance of an attendant adding oil and not screwing the cap on, or leaving the radiator cap off. So because of that, i’ll continue doing it myself. It’s not like the 50’s when your small town mechanic also owned the gas station and was probably competent.
I would pay extra for self-service.
I don’t want some stranger messing with my vehicle. At most, I’d let a monkey put gas in it, but nothing more. Too many things can and do go wrong. I want to be there and do it all myself. There’s nothing under the hood that I need to do on a trip that will get me too dirty just checking it out. If you need to top everything off all the time, get these things fixed.
Not interested. I don’t believe my fluids need to be checked every two weeks (about how often I go to the gas station), and I check what needs to be checked about every month or so. I think the speed of self-service is a big improvement.
And seriously, with modern cars, how often do people encounter problems with low transmission, power steering, or brake fluid levels? I assume cars in the 1970s leaked like sieves, but shoot, technology has improved.
There’s “classical” full-service that I grew up with as Superhal describes, and then there’s modern full-service. Yeah, there are still some gas stations in my area of SE Michigan that offer (but don’t obligate) full-service. The problem is, it’s an extra 40¢ per gallon, and the only service is the actual pumping of the gas. From my perspective, totally not worth it (that’s an extra eight bucks to fill up my tank from nearly empty). In the middle of winter, though, I’d be happy to pay up to an extra, flat-rate of $3 for that type of service, though. I’d really regard it as kind of a tip.
Speaking of that, where I’m currently working the entire damn country is full-service only (other than a single gas station that I’ve seen close to the US border in Sonora). Unfortunately I have no accurate idea of what gasoline costs per unit, because I don’t worry, because it costs the same everywhere (except close to the borders), and is owned by the government. Roughly, $1000 for 120 liters, so about US$2.51 per gallon. Last time I was home, gasoline was about that price. The “full” part of full-service is a bit variable here, though. In the Mexico City area they always want to upsell stupid fuel additives (I never get that asked anywhere else in the country). In this area they also offer to check fluid levels (I always decline; there’s a sensor for everything). In other areas (that I’ve been to), they won’t offer, but will do so if you ask. They’ll almost always wash the windows for you if they’re obviously in need of such, and will always do so if asked.
I kind of wish I had that option in Michigan, especially at 6 am on a winter morning.
Most of the services I wouldn’t want to pay for or even get for free. The tire pressure check and fillup I would be glad to pay a few cents per gallon extra for. I have used more expensive gas stations in the past because they have free air and I’ll do it again so having someone else do the work would be cool.
The last time I got full service, gas was about 25 cents a gallon.
Like others here I would actually avoid it even if it were free.
When I fill up with gas all I want to do is fill up with gas. If I want some preventative maintenance done on my car it will get done when I take it in for an oil change and performed by a mechanic certified for my make of vehicle.
I was also a pump jockey, but not as long ago as Superhal, obviously, because all we did while the pump was set on “Fill” was get all the glass and then check the oil if the customer requested it. This was back in 1975, my first ever summer job.
Naturally, we did that only on a fill-up. Occasionally we would check a tire if it looked low to us, and report our findings to the driver, and after waving him over to the air pump put air in for him if he needed it. We would check a rad, but only after it had cooled somewhat. We always had a mechanic on duty during the day to check anything else.
I’d probably avoid such a service, even if it were free. I’m not sure why–I really just want to mind my own business and not talk to anyone when I’m getting gas. I won’t fill up at a place that doesn’t have pay at the pump, for instance. I don’t want to have to fend off sales pitches and such, I just want to get my gas and leave.
I’m not interested in all those services, but when it’s sub-freezing and windy I would happily pay as much five dollars if somebody else would pump my gas and clean my windows for me. I only wish one of the local gas stations would offer that.
Like others here, if it were a flat rate instead of an extra XX cents per gallon, I’d pay it in really horrendous weather. Otherwise, I’m perfectly capable of pumping my own gas, cleaning my windshields, checking tire pressure and oil, etc.
I was thinking I would be willing to pay for the service if I were disabled, but then remembered that I’m pretty sure the Americans with Disabilities Act requires stations to provide these services to the disabled, at no (additional) charge.
I live in Northern California and the across-the-border trips to Oregon always weird me out. I thought the gas man was joking the first time he wouldn’t let me pump, and it was a novelty the first few times after that, but now it just seems silly and unnecessary.
Gas is actually cheaper in Oregon even with the attendant pumping for me and cleaning my windows, but I still prefer CA’s self-service. I find it uncomfortable being served unnecessarily.
They wipe the windows and mirrors here in Japan, which is kinda nice, but I’d be happier if they let me squeegie it myself like they do in the states. I feel weird going to full-serve stations and putting in a few bucks like I do if I’m in a hurry.
I would pay the cheapest amount I could buy gas for. They would have to be cheaper than the self serve place. I found I actually hate full service stations when I was on a vacation. It took longer to get out of there as one person was running the pumps. I want my gas as fast as possible. I had forgotten what a pain in the ass slow inconvenience they were.
Under no circumstances would they be allowed to look under the hood or touch the tires.
Same. Keep your careless min wage workers away from my car.
I do wish that more gas stations (ie convenience markets with gas pumps) had real air hoses with real pressure and volume behind them. Those stupid boxes on a post inflate car tires only a little better than I could by mouth. Oh yeah, and a water hose. But not staffed by some clueless dude(tte).