Car maintenance is not everyone's cup of tea. Not to mention, we usually don't have the time to work on our machines. We have people who do this for us: mechanics. But there are some mechanics out there that always "discover" a serious problem in your engine, for a few dollars more. Here are the 5 ways in which you can be scammed during vehicle maintenance, whether by your mechanic or at a vehicles dealership:

#1 Engine flushes

Let's start with a trivial procedure, but one that can easily cost you up to $200 as machinery and chemicals are used. An engine flush is required when sludge is accumulated in your engine, usually when it is heat-up issue, or when the vehicle has not been cleaned for a while. What you need to do is simply check out the oil-filler cap for any deposits, and clean it off on a regular basis. Here is a picture of sludge on a Dodge RAM 1500 engine.

#2 Spark Plugs Replacement

You should think twice about spark plugs replacement, even if the mechanic insists on it, for two reasons. Firstly, modern-day spark plugs have a considerable life-span, going up to 100,000-miles before replacement. But more than that, if there is a problem with your spark plugs, it will be clearly visible. Bottom line is that you shouldn't go for premature replacement unless there is a serious drivability issue.

#3 Oil Additives

While this is not a procedure per se, you will find your car mechanic advising you on using all kinds of oil additives, supposedly to cut friction, increase fuel economy, and even to run your engine dry of oil without damage to the bearings! This is to say that the top motor oil companies failed to incorporate this formula in their products!

#4 Air Filter Replacement

This scam usually takes place when you go for oil changes. Obviously, the mechanic is concerned about your car (and even your health), which is why he advises you to get the air filter, or even the cabin filer changed. There is nothing wrong with these procedures, but then again a dirty filter can be identified easily. So at least take a look before getting these filters replaced.

#5 Transmission Treatment

The average driver knows about the air filters and oil changes, but not many pay attention to the gearbox until a problem develops. As always, the mechanic will go all technical on you, but the truth is that the standard fluid and filter changes at recommended intervals help in all aspects of engine care, and that includes your transmission.

Hopefully, these 5 scams will help you exhibit
prudence the next you visit your mechanic. Happy motoring!  

By Paul Cook MWC