Man talking(l+r), Oil being poured into engine(c)

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‘Dads teach your daughters’: Woman vows to return with a man after being charged $455 for oil change

‘She was totally taken advantage of.’


Amara Thomas


A woman said she was charged $455 for an oil change, and a seasoned mechanic explained why she was probably charged so much.

TikToker Norm G (@Mechanic of The Stars) is the owner of OK Tire in St Albert, Alberta, Canada. He has built an online community of 163,000 TikTok followers by sharing educational mechanic-related tips. 

In a recently uploaded video, Norm responds to creator Kat Braden’s (@kat_braden) viral video in which she says she was charged $450.50 for an oil change—breaking down how a typically $25 service could be $450.50.

Braden begins the video by saying “From now on, I will be bringing a man with me anytime I need an oil change. How did my oil change come to $450.50?” 

Auto shops are a male-dominated space

It is not uncommon for women, LGBTQIA+ folks, and others to feel intimated in auto shops, an often male-dominated space. A study by The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) revealed that only 19% of automotive employees identify as women. 

Yet, there are advocates such as Mechanic Shop Femme working to make the automotive industry more inclusive. They are providing classes and resources for folks to become more confident and knowledgeable when taking their car to the shop. 

Braden’s video serves as an example

Similarly, Norm G, uses Braden’s video as an example of how to navigate mechanics and avoid upcharges. He unpacks every unnecessary “extra” charge and add-on Braden was given by the mechanic. 

Braden explains to viewers that she brought her car in for an oil change. “From now on, I will be bringing a man with me any time I need an oil change,” she vows at the start of her video.

The first “red flag,” she says, is the mechanic asking her what kind of oil would she like. She then asks viewers, “There are different types of oil?”

The video then cuts to Norm G. “They are trying to upsell you on the type of oil—synthetic, mineral. … There are a bunch of different types,” he explains. 

Braden says she instructed the mechanic to use the oil “you put in last time.”

Then, the mechanic, she says, returned with her air filter and said that she had a hole in it, which he allegedly said happens. She says he suggested she replace it. 

Norm G is quick to share a rebuttal. “Typically that does not happen. You do not have a hole in it, you have dirt. … And if it’s that, you can change it, yes, but that sounds like an upsell again.” 

Braden says she allowed the mechanic to replace the filter because it was only $39.99. She says he later returned and shared, “’I don’t think we can legally do a tire rotation on your car. Your front tires are a little too worn. The tread is really low.’” 

She says she then asked, “’If I drive on these tires for a few more miles are they going to explode?’”

She says the mechanic told her she “’will probably be fine until the end of the winter, but I would change them now ’cause I would hate for anything bad to happen.’” 

Norm G points out another “red flag” and warns viewers against the fear tactics that this mechanic is using in Braden’s video. 

“As a moral person, … you don’t say that,” he shares. He explains that the mechanic should share information on all types of tires and get a better understanding of your needs—how often you drive, how old is the car, what your budget is, etc. 

Braden concludes the video, “Anyways, almost $500, and two hours later, here we are. I know have a premium car. Premium fluid, premium tires. … I should just start getting premium gas.” 

“I am 100% not picking on poor Kat. She was totally taken advantage of because she doesn’t know anything about her car,” he shares.

He explains why his approach to the work is different.

“We take the approach of maintenance management,” he shares. “I will explain why this needs to be done, why it’s becoming a problem, and why it costs so much.” 

@mechanicofthestars @kat_braden Some helpful advice from your friendly neighbourhood honest mechanic. Hopefully this helps some folks undersrand ‘cost’ vs ‘value added’ … sometimes the cheapest option can end up costing you more! #oktirestalbert #mechaniclife #valuecreation #carrepair #themoreyouknow @jeffcompton7 @enrightauto @checkenginechuck @Brandon Sloan ♬ original sound – Norm G

Norm G’s video has 665,000 views and thousands of comments. Many viewers found Norm G’s advice and information helpful. 

“Legend for explaining all this for people step by step and let’s be honest most men can benefit from this knowledge too,” one commented.

“I like how you broke this down and gave an education. Well done good Sir,” another praised.

Other viewers shared a desire for this information should be universal. “Another subject I think should be required in HS, auto mechanics, just the basics of how to care for a vehicle,” they suggested.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Norm G via email and Kat Braden via TikTok.

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