Not Getting Ripped of During an Oil Change: A Tune-Up

I wrote a post recently about how to get your oil changed without getting ripped off because my sister said that she always feels like she’s getting ripped off. Using the stuff I said in that post, she went to get her oil changed and was ready for whatever scam the oil guys could come up with.

Except two.

Oil Change Recommendations

The recommended services from my sister’s oil change

She called me after she left the oil change place upset that the oil change guys said she needed to get two things done that weren’t on my list! Like I taught her, she told them to do nothing so that she could think about it.

I answered her on the phone about whether she should get these things done, and now, Blue Collar Workman reader, I will add two more things to the previous list of things not to get ripped off on — so don’t get ripped off!

  1. Coolant flush – Coolant is important stuff because it keeps your car from overheating in the summer and from freezing in the winter. If someone’s coolant is leaking, sometimes you’ll see them putting water in their radiator; a fine thing to do if you have to, but always be sure to get actual coolant in there when you can. You need to flush your coolant and get new coolant in there every 18 oil changes.
  2. Fuel induction service — This is a pile of B.S. Generally speaking, unless your car is somehow special, you don’t need to do a fuel induction service for your car ever. They’ll put their finger or a rag in your car and pull out some black goo and tell you that that is bad and that you need this service. No. You. Don’t. Get a fuel induction service never.


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Not Getting Ripped of During an Oil Change: A Tune-Up — 19 Comments

  1. lol the trick of showing some black stuff from the engine is a classic mechanic trick. The customer may not be convinced by words alone, but seeing something dirty from the engine makes it a much easier sell. The problem is that the average driver doesn’t know how clean stuff is supposed to be in their engine.

    You should be calling this company out by name if they are really pushing a service that is not necessary at all.
    Modest Money recently posted..September 21st 2012 Blog UpdateMy Profile

    • It sure is a classic trick and a sucky one, too! I’d have to ask my sister for the name of her oil change place, and I could call them out, but how much good would it do? Seems like so many oil change places try these tricks that I’d have to call them all out!

  2. Pingback: Get an Oil Change Without Getting Ripped Off | Blue Collar Workman

    • It sucks that you have to do that, but it’s good that you know what to do! I don’t think my sister has ever goten anything done at a mechanic or oil change place without driving away first and calling me to ask!

  3. Thanks for the post TB. I did not know either and am generally pretty ignorant when it comes to car repair. Thankfully we have a good mechanic that we can trust. He’s honest with us and has told us numerous times that he won’t do something because it just isn’t needed and that he’s not a salesman but a mechanic. I think so many times people get ripped off because they’ll take their car to some place and the shop’s agenda is to upsell them to make extra money when the customer does not know any better.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Frugal Friday: Posts That Ruled This WeekMy Profile

  4. I’m so thankful my dad and husband and handy men and can change my oil and put a new starter in for FREE. We got charged $7 extra for a new air filter at a shop but the guy at the counter just said “huh, they must have told you the wrong price. This is the right one”

  5. Wow, time for a new oil change place. It seems any time you go to a mechanic that is always trying to get you to buy more stuff, you may want to go somewhere else.

    Sad, but there is nothing more annoying than constantly being sold garbage like a fuel induction service. It is usually places like that, which will try to sell you the whole store, but forget to put on the oil cap or tighten your tire lug nuts. I once had a mechanic forget to tighten the bolt on my motorcycle’s rear tire. I was pretty upset when the wheel almost came clean off.
    Jason Clayton | frugal habits recently posted..5 Reasons I Love Having a Health Savings Account (HSA)My Profile

  6. I hate taking my car to get its oil changed now. Every place I go recommends $400 worth of unnecessary stuff and I understand little enough about cars that they try and scare me into telling me my car is going to blow up and I’m going to die in it. With my husband. And my cat. And we’ll all be dead.

    Well, that’s how it feels anyway.

    I used to have a much better mechanic, but we live way too far away to go there now and I can’t seem to find anyone that I trust. The dealership especially is so sleazy. They tried to upsell me on two “services” the last time I was there – est cost ~$375. When I told Mr PoP he said refuse them, they’ve already been done on your car in the last 6 months. Sure enough when they checked, they had been done recently.

    What happened then? They didn’t change my oil and give me my car back – they said I needed 4 new tires. That’ll be $800, please.

    I get so sick of this.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Seeing A Minimum Wage Job As An OpportunityMy Profile

  7. Nine in ten women believe they are treated differently at auto-repair shops than men are, according to a national study by the Car Care Council, an association that encourages consumer education.

    One thing to remember is that if a shop offers to change your oil for $15, that’s just a trick to get your car into their shop. They don’t make any money on the oil change, but they’re going to hit the jackpot when they “discover” that you need a new suspension, brake pads and rotors. And, by the way, you’re driving an unsafe care that needs to be fixed right away.

    I agree with you TB, the best approach is to say “I’ll think about it,” and drive away.
    Terry recently posted..Dreams Still Come TrueMy Profile

  8. I’ve had them show me the black goo before. Do they just think women want everything to be clean and that will convince us? I usually use a local mechanic. He charges a little more than the chain places, but I belive he is trustworthy and he doesn’t try to sell me things. He even fixed a small exhaust leak for free. My car was really loud and I was worried it was something really wrong, so he could have told me any thingamajig, but he just fixed it and didn’t charge me. It was probably an easy little thing to him, but I was amazed.

  9. It is really irritating when you know the goal of so many merchants is to sell you things you don’t need by misleading you. When did honesty in business become a thing of the past, especially with the Internet? Before you have service done on your vehicle, do a Google search. Disgruntled customers post all the time. What amazes me is that merchants don’t realize that.
    Thad P recently posted..We All Need Truth TellersMy Profile

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