Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Most common auto repair shop scams

Avoid these four common auto repair shop scams

• Engine flush
• Fuel Injection Service
• Transmission service with a generic fluid
• Power steering fluid flush

Say no to maintenance services that aren’t listed in your owner’s maintenance schedule

Your owner’s manual maintenance guide has all the information you’ll ever need to determine what maintenance to do and how often to do it. Yet, many auto repair shops recommended services that aren’t listed by the carmaker and they list them quite often. Those are auto repair shop scams; services you don’t need and won’t help your vehicle.

Engine flushing is an auto repair shop scam

There’s a special place in hell for shops that recommend routine engine flushing. It’s service that’s not needed or recommended by any carmaker. It does absolutely nothing for an engine that’s well maintained,  and if it’s done on a neglected engine, it can cause substantial damage. The only reason to get an engine flush is to flush money out of your wallet. Period.

Say no to engine flushing services if you change  your oil on time. Say no to engine flushing services even if you routinely go too long between oil changes. See this post on the dangers of engine flushes on a neglected engine.

Transmission fluid changes that don’t use the correct fluid or follow the carmaker’s schedule

This one happens most often at quick lube places. They don’t make much money on oil changes so they recommend the more expensive transmission fluid changes. But be warned; most don’t use the recommended transmission fluid for the fluid change. Why? Because the genuine fluids are expensive. Instead, they often use a generic and much lower quality fluid.

Almost as bad as using the wrong fluid, many quick lube places recommend a transmission fluid change about every 3rd oil change for every vehicle. Now, there are some transmissions that do require a fluid change every 30K miles and that will be listed in your maintenance guide. But many others don’t need a fluid change until 60,000 or even 100,000 miles. And when they do, they require the factory recommended fluid. Generic and universal transmission fluids can cause expensive transmission damage.

Fuel injection service is an auto repair shop scam

Most carmakers have issued dealer advisories warning dealers not to perform routine fuel injector cleaning services. That’s because Top Tier gasoline provides all the fuel injection system cleaners your engine ever needs. The only time fuel injectors should be cleaned is if you’ve got a performance issue and the shop has diagnosed the problem as restricted or clogged fuel injectors.

But routine fuel injection cleaning a con and a waste of money. Say no to routine fuel injection service.

Air Induction Service is a scam for most older vehicles

Air induction service cleans carbon off the throttle body and the backsides of intake valves. It’s a useful service on late model engines that use gasoline direct injection (DI) technology. Those engines can accumulate carbon buildup on the intake valves and that buildup can cause serious performance issue. For those engines, air induction cleaning is a worthwhile service.

However, if your engine has regular port fuel injection, air induction service is a complete waste of money and is a scam. Say no to air induction service if your engine has port fuel injection.

Power steering fluid flush

You won’t find this service recommended by any carmaker. Some unscrupulous shops recommend this service as often as every 30,000 miles; wow, that’s quite the scam considering that no carmaker thinks it’s necessary at any mileage.

The only time you’ll find a recommendation for a power steering fluid flush is during the replacement of a major steering component like a power steering pump or power steering gear. Other than that, you don’t need to flush your power steering.

©, 2022, Rick Muscoplat



Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

Custom Wordpress Website created by Wizzy Wig Web Design, Minneapolis MN