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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Car Dealer and Oil Change Scams Buyer Beware

Car dealer and oil change scams buyer beware. Car Dealerships and oil change garages have long been associated with shady dealings. Consumers in the United States have fallen victim to all sorts of schemes ranging from auto parts switching to manufacturing vehicle problems like spraying coolant on the floor and claiming a hose is leaking. And it’s not restricted to quick oil change shops either. There are plenty of dealership service scams out there to keep an eye out for as well.

Car Dealer and Oil Change Scams Buyer Beware

Scam Advice: Your vehicle only needs the scheduled maintenance that is in the owner’s manual. Check with the owners manual if they tell you that this or that needs changing and ask is the manual wrong? Than watch there face.

If you think it’s only sleazy, hole in the wall quick oil change shops pulling fast ones on customers, think again. Jiffy Lube, one of North America’s most well-known oil change franchises, has been busted countless times cheating customers. It’s also worth noting that Jiffy Lube is owned by Shell, the second-biggest oil company on the globe.

Red car money handcuffs.

However, it didn’t stop dozens of Jiffy Lubes in California from scamming and lying to customers.

Things had gotten so bad that an undercover investigation was launched to get to the bottom of things. Five months and over 30 clandestine visits later, California ended up fining Jiffy Lube $220,000 for doing all sorts of stuff including lying about people’s engine oil being low when it was fine, doing needless transmission flushes, claiming to have a trick that improved miles per gallon (MPG) when they had no such skill, and the list goes on and on.

One would think that something as simple as an oil change could lead to you getting scammed, but where ever there is a buck to be made, a scammer is waiting to get over on unsuspecting consumers. This article covers four common oil change scams that are were trending in 2019, and you should avoid in 2020.

1. They Tell You to Come Back in 3,000 Miles

One of the favorite scams an automotive shop likes to pull on vehicle owners is convincing them they should come back within a certain period or at a specific mile marker. Concerning quick lube shops, this is very likely the number one scheme they use to bring extra income.

Advances in new fully synthetic motor oils can last between 6,000 to 10,000 miles before it needs to be changed. More expensive brands last up to 15,000 miles or more, depending on how often and how hard you drive your vehicle. And if you are a penny pincher and use the cheapest conventional synthetic oil, you shouldn’t have to change it for at least 5,000 miles.

The “come back in 3,000 miles” scam is usually accompanied by some official-looking sticker that is placed on your windshield, stating that you need to come back after 3,000 miles for another oil change. As mentioned above: unless you’re a drag racer or traveling from New York City to L.A. every month, there is no reason for the average vehicle owner to change their oil more often than what’s recommended.

Furthermore, if you were to look in your owner’s manual, you’ll likely find a warning stating that oil changes at 3,000-mile intervals are too frequent.

Another thing to remember is that the condition of the oil is more of a sign than how many miles you’ve driven.

3000 mile odometer reading maintenanc

Car Dealer and Oil Change

2. Dealerships and Oil Shops Like to Upsell Their Services

Many oil shops offer more than oil changes. Whether before or after the actual oil change, the mechanic will conduct a quick inspection of your car. They like to check things like brake lights, turn signals, wiper fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and air filter, among a few other things.

Even though it’s good to know if your brake fluid needs to be topped up or that a turn signal has burnt out, some oil change shops like to convince customers specific maintenance tasks needs to be completed sooner than necessary. The best way to stop them in their tracks is by keeping a detailed log of the maintenance performed on your car.

Another way to prevent a quick lube shop from running a maintenance scam on you is by doing a quick inspection of your own before getting your oil changed. There is no telling what they’re doing to your vehicle while you’re sitting in the waiting room.

Car Dealer and Oil Change Scams Buyer Beware (3)

Car Dealer and Oil Change

3. Behaving in a Condescending Manner to Confuse You

Condescension is often used by those who wish to convince another individual they know best when, in fact, they do not. If the mechanic or someone else working with the shop displays a condescending attitude towards you, acting as if you’re ignorant for asking questions, don’t allow them to change your oil.

Professional oil change shops understand that many vehicle owners are not mechanically inclined and are happy to assist you in learning more about your car. Never be ashamed or afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something or want more details. Asking questions is what will show you one way or another whether or not the oil change shop you’re at is one of the good guys or one of the scammers looking for a quick and easy buck at your expense.

Auto mechanic

Car Dealer and Oil Change

4. They Don’t Even Bother to Change the Oil at All

If you have ever attempted to hang out in the garage portion of an oil change shop, you might have been told that it’s not allowed for liability reasons. While this true in most cases, it’s a great excuse not to have you in the garage keeping an eye on what the mechanic is doing. After all, if they never changed your car’s oil, how would you ever know unless you took the time to check the dipstick to see if they put new, clean oil in the engine?

While you would like to kid yourself into believing that this is a rare occurrence, you had better think again. There is no way of knowing how many oil change technicians play this little trick since a large portion of victims probably never suspected anything. However, it’s safe to say that it happens far more frequently than you would like to imagine.

Car Dealer and Oil Change Scams Buyer Beware

You Should get second opinions on your car your repairs. Some dealerships will tell that this and that need to be changed, and it is NOT THE CASE.

So, the lesson today is that if a huge oil change franchises like Jiffy Lube, which is owned by the world’s second-largest oil company, can scam countless people for decades, who can you trust? Yourself … that’s who. Before taking your vehicle into any mechanic shop for work, no matter how mundane it is, be sure to do it once over. Hopefully, this will prevent a dubious oil change technician from getting over on you.

Read more – How to Avoid Stimulus Check Scams

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