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View Full Version : Rental Car - Check Oil?


tms295psu
03-07-2012, 02:03 PM
I'm completely new to car renting!!!

So, I've figured out the whole reserve, insurance, pay portion...
Now my question is: After I'm done at the counter, I figure it would probably be smart to look at the "rental" before speeding out of the parking garage. Make sure there are no scratches, brake lights work, etc.

But do you open the hood and check oil??? My luck the "rental" would be bone dry... and I would end up buying a new engine for them. Then again... I'm sure it would "knock" if it were that low!

Please help me... I'm new (and completely freaked out) to renting a car!!!

Thumper_Man
03-07-2012, 02:18 PM
I've personally have never bothered to check the oil. It's the responsibility of the rental car company to make sure all maintenance is up to date with the car.

When we rent a car, we do the following:

Do a walk around the car and note any damage to the car. I will often take pictures of the car regardless if there are damages or not. If there are damages, I will take a close up picture of the damage as well. This way I have proof the damage was there before I took the car, should they ever come back and try to say I damaged the car. We also check to make sure the lights, blinkers and air conditioning work. We also check for interior damage as well. One time the plastic was cracked by the speedometer in a car we rented. Also check for torn seats and carpet.

It takes us about 5-10 minutes to check the vehicle, but well worth the time. Especially since we don't purchase the damage waiver and any damages would have to be covered by my insurance. Make sure and report any damages to the staff. They will often try to hurry you on through. Take your time and make sure they note everything.

MAYNARDS99
03-07-2012, 02:24 PM
Be sure to adjust your mirrors, seat, etc. before leaving the parking lot.

Be aware of other rental drivers around the airport, they are also driving an unfamiliar vehicle. The same goes for out on the road - all of us excited tourists not knowing exactly where to go!

snesguy
03-07-2012, 02:36 PM
The car rental company is responsible for maintenance. You don't need to worry about checking under the hood. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do it.

I think for all of the national chains they will bring a new car out to you free if your rental dies on you. I've never had it happen to me but I've read one or two stories about it.

wings91
03-07-2012, 06:34 PM
My last rental had a slow tire leak, the HESS stations have free air connected the the vacuums.

Lewisc
03-08-2012, 03:05 AM
I always pop the trunk and make sure I have a spare and jack. I don't want to be charged when I return the car if it's missing. I don't want to get a flat and find out I don't have a spare.

seashoreCM
03-08-2012, 08:15 AM
You are responsible for the rental as if it were your own car. This includes checking the oil.

Item to add to checklist before driving out of the rental lot: While checking the lower edge of the body for dents, check underneath for puddles suggesting leaking oil or fluids.

A slow tire leak can be a little slower or a little faster depending on where it is relative to where the tire touches the pavement when the car comes to a stop.

Lewisc
03-08-2012, 01:43 PM
You are responsible for the rental as if it were your own car. This includes checking the oil.


I don't agree. I don't check my own oil level on a daily basis. The rental agency should have checked the oil level prior to renting the car to me. There is no reason to check the oil level during the course of a 1 or 2 week rental period. Obvious signs of an oil leak would be an exception. Checking the oil might make some sense if you're going to drive more then 1,000 miles, but even then I don't think it's essential.

Gumbo4x4
03-08-2012, 05:32 PM
I don't agree.

I'm with you. Unless you're putting thousands of miles on your rental, there is no reason to expect a late-model car (as used at 99.9% of rental agencies) would burn enough oil to cause damage during your rental timeframe.

That said, it's not uncommon to hear rumors of rental cars having never had the oil changed EVER as long as it was owned by the rental car company. It's said that buying a used rental car is akin to going to a house of il-repute in search of a wife :rotfl:

lost*in*cyberspace
03-08-2012, 06:11 PM
I have to agree that it is not the renter's responsibility to check the fluid levels of a rental car. Just make sure you know how everything works and check the body for damage.

Darbymac
03-09-2012, 07:18 PM
A must of course! :cool1::thumbsup2