15 Car Maintenance Rip-Offs You Must Avoid


Car maintenance can be expensive and stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s be real, most people don’t know their way around a car beside pumping their own gas a tires. This leaves you at the mercy of a hopefully trustworthy mechanic. Be wary of mechanics who are frequently trying to push the following services on you.

Engine Flushes for Well-Maintained Vehicles


Although beneficial, they are usually not required for cars that receive regular lube jobs. These detoxes can dislodge debris, causing more harm than good. Opt for a routine car care schedule instead of this costly and potentially damaging purchase.

Air Filter Replacements at Every Oil Change


Replacing your air filter with every oil change is unnecessary for most vehicles. Modern cars can go longer between their swaps without compromising efficiency. Check your owner’s manual for an advised schedule on replacements.

High Priced Windshield Wiper Fluid


Buying costly windshield wiper fluid offers no improvement in tidying up your windscreen over common varieties; essentially, it’s just a simple liquid with some detergent added. Economize by using basic ones or concocting your mix with soap.

Octane Boosters for Standard Vehicles

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Using boosters in cars designed for gasoline is pointless, and they don’t enhance efficiency in everyday driving. The motor is tuned for specific fuel types, so adhering to the suggested octane rating yields optimal outcomes.

Tire Shine for Longevity

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Applying tire shine might enhance their appearance but doesn’t prolong their lifespan. Certain products can dry out the rubber, resulting in cracks over time. Keep its condition up by using soap and water.

Headlight Cleaning Kits

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While foggy headlights need attention, pricey kits are not always the answer. Many household items, like toothpaste or baking soda, can also do the job. Save your money and go for a DIY solution to restore the clarity of your headlights.

Premium Gasoline for Ordinary Cars

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Putting premium fuel in a car designed for standardized fuel doesn’t boost its capabilities. Your car runs fine on the proposed grade, sparing you a few dollars at the pump. For maximum savings and optimal operation, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Extended Warranties for Reliable Cars

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Extended warranties can be burdensome and unnecessary for cars known for their reliability. Most issues, if any, are covered under the standard guarantee. Assess your car’s dependability and forego it if you’re dealing with a model known for overpriced repairs.

Redundant Coolant Flushes


Though these are needed, it’s much less frequent than some service centers suggest. Latest antifreeze formulations last longer, so this assistance can be a needless expense if your manufacturer does not recommend it or there are no signs of coolant issues.

Oil Additives for Engine Safeguard


Oil enhancers pledge to shield your engine and boost its operation, but frequent changes with quality oil typically suffice. These additives can be extra, so rely on thorough upkeep routines and save money for necessities.

Paint Protection Films

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While protection films can shield against scratches and chips, they can be pricey. Regular washing and waxing can secure your car’s paint just as effectively at a fraction of the cost.

Undercoating for Rust Prevention


Undercoating is often considered essential, but modern vehicles come with sufficient rust defense from the factory. This extra layer is usually unwarranted, providing less safeguarding than your car already possesses.

Custom Exhaust Systems


Installing a custom exhaust system in an ordinary vehicle for performance gains frequently yields minimal improvement. The cost-to-benefit ratio is low unless you’re modifying a car for racing. Enjoy your car as it is, or invest in its upkeep.

Overpriced Dealership Oil Changes

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Dealership oil changes can come with a hefty price tag compared to local mechanics or doing it yourself. If your car is under warranty and requires servicing, you can economize by shopping for the best oil swap deals.

Fancy Detailing

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Professional detailing can make your car look fantastic but they are incredibly costly. Instead, invest in quality cleaning supplies. With time and effort, you can achieve similar results by washing, waxing, and vacuuming your car.

How Do I Avoid Getting Ripped Off?

Now that we’ve covered the car maintenance rip offs to avoid, let’s focus on to what you should do. These tips will give you piece of mind and likely more longevity out of your car.

Get A Recommendation For A Mechanic

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Ask your friends and family if they have a mechanic they recommend. If you come up empty there, try posting a local Facebook group in your town. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you find someone reputable that has great feedback.

Get Regular Oil Changes

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Regular oil changes are crucial because they lubricate the engine’s moving parts, reducing wear and tear, and help to remove engine sludge and dirt, ensuring the engine runs efficiently. Skipping oil changes can lead to diminished engine performance, higher fuel consumption, and ultimately, significant engine damage.

Use The Internet

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The Internet is probably the most powerful tool when it comes to getting a good deal on purchasing a car and the cost of car maintenance. There are countless forums online that can answer your question on whether a particular service is needed and what it costs.

Buy Your Own Car Parts


The real trick is that you don’t actually need to buy your own car parts. Ask the mechanic what car part is needed and pull it up online. Show them the price to see if they’ll price match it, which they likely will, and you’ve potentially saved 30% on your repair costs excluding labor.

Written by Sebastian Hensiek

From Philadelphia, Sebastian is a fan of music, writing, art, and entertainment.