Want to see what ticks me off royally?
A woman just showed me a receipt of so called "maintenance" that was sold to her at another shop. She purchased the maintenance, but why did she do it? Because she felt intimidated and felt like she had no choice.
Let me assure you ladies and gentleman, this is America and we do have a choice. If you look at your maintenance schedule—you know, that book buried underneath all of the junk in your glove box—you will know exactly what maintenance you need and when you need it. And if it’s not in the book, the service technician better have a really good explanation of why you need to buy it!
Here are just a few things that you might be offered that you really don’t need.
Fuel Injection Cleaning
A fuel injection cleaning is not a bad thing. In fact, with the price of gas today, it’s not a bad idea to clean the carbon buildup off of your fuel injectors. But you only need to do this around every 30,000 miles, not every six months.
Gas Mileage Improvements
Because the price of gas has sky rocketed these past few years, there are some very creative shops out there who will offer you a magic bullet (or gadget or fairy dust) that is supposed to increase your gas mileage. These are probably the same people who try to sell pills that will make you lose 50 pounds and 5 inches in 5 days. I give them credit—they are creative. But it doesn’t work, so don’t buy it.
“Long Life” Coolant
Extended life coolant is not a smart buy. There is no evidence to prove it’s any better than the coolant your car was born with. And I can promise you—no matter what coolant you put in, your cooling system will still form sediments and deposits that need to be flushed out. And in the winter and summer, when coolant needs to be spot on, if you buy the 100K mile "dream" coolant in place of your recommended coolant service maintenance, you could very well be the smoking car stranded on the side of the road.
For those of you who actually do maintain your car and change your oil on a regular basis, you never need to have your engine flushed. The engine flush is a high powered machine with harsh chemicals that eliminate sludge buildup from thick, neglected motor oil buildup in the engine. If you maintain your vehicle, that buildup won’t even occur in the first place.