5 Things You Should Look At BEFORE You Service Your Vehicle At The Dealership
Dealership mechanics are notorious for finding small issues that can cost you a fortune. Check these 5 places to prevent yourself from being scammed.
This one is pretty basic, check your air filter. When air filters get dirty they can decrease fuel economy and cause the engine to puff or start slow. Simply pull out your air filter and blow it out with a low pressure air compression hose or even just blow it out with you mouth. Just be careful not to damage your fins, otherwise you're bound for a replacement. If the dealership sees this. they'll charge you $20 for a filter and a half an hour or an hour of labor. Naturally anyone can clean or replace the air filter, don't let the dealership charge you $70-$150 in labor and $20 for a replacement.
Make sure you check your tire pressure and reset your cars sensor. Dealerships are know to offer free balances for tires during multi-point inspections. They'll typically post on your inspection report what your tires were at and what they filled them up to. They'll also check your sensors. This will add time to the inspection report and cost you money. They have also been known to report your sensor battery is dead and recommend a replacement. Never go to a dealership with a tire pressure light on, it could cost you hundreds. Preventative maintenance will always save you money. If your battery in your sensor does burn out, I recommend buying an old fashion tire gauge. Works the same, just isn't electric and is dirt cheap to replace.
Dipstick / Oil Filter
Another basic concept here, check your dipstick. Take a picture of what your oil level is at and what color the oil is before you service your vehicle. Dealerships or shady mechanics are known to reset your service light and not change your oil. Make sure they do, this simple 10 second check will prevent you from being scammed. If your going to pay someone $50-$150 for an oil change make sure they do it. Also, write a number on your oil filter before you go in, this way it'll be plain as day if they change it out.
Shocks / Struts
As most of of know struts are expensive to replace. Before you go in for a service check all your struts and make sure they are not leaking any oil. If they are dry and clean chances are they still good parts. Don't get suckered into spending upwards of thousands of dollars on replacement parts that don't need replaced. Struts are a common part they'll recommend replacing.
Check Your Engine For Any Leaks
Finally, check your engine for any leaks before your adventure to you local dealership / mechanic. If you are leaking brake fluid, coolant or oil, then you should have it checked out. However, knowing that you don't have any leaks prior to your service is critical. Dealerships and shady mechanics are known to spill fluids under radiators or brake lines so, they can adds hours of labor. Some have even been know to spill oil over your engine to perform a valve cover gasket replacement and other services similar to this. Checking for any leaks prior could prevent you from being scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Has a mechanic or dealership ever scammed you? Feel free to share your story.
Thanks for reading everyone.