Technician hand opening the car oil tank lid for checkin

Car Dealer and Oil Change Scams Buyer Beware

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

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