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Common Mechanic Scams & How to Avoid Them

Almost everyone is familiar with the car mechanic’s stereotype: someone who, with more knowledge of the car’s workings than the owner, might try to scam the customer into paying for repairs or maintenance that are unnecessary. And while we hate that stereotype, it unfortunately sometimes proves true. Below, we list some of the most common auto repair scams you need to watch out for.


Frequency of Oil Changes

Most oil change shops recommend 3,000 miles for an oil change. However today’s vehicles have sensors that are designed to measure the viscosity of the engine oil. Engine oil viscosity will change due to driving conditions: long trips versus short trips, for example. The mileage recommendations that you see on your oil change sticker is used as a tool to remind you that your oil needs to be changed.


Engine Flushes

Engine flushes are designed to break down oil sludge in your engine and also prevent oil sludge from forming. Utilizing engine oil cleaner & conditioner is a proactive approach to avoid engine oil sludge from forming. If an automotive repair facility recommends an engine oil flush due to oil sludge, make them prove it to you. Have them show you the sludge that is causing them to recommend it to you. Typically, it can be found on the bottom of your oil cap on the engine. This is a common upsell that is NOT needed.


Fuel Injector Cleaning

Cleaning fuel injectors is a service frequently recommended by dealers and repair shops. But unless there are noticeable signs of clogged fuel injectors (such as a rough idle, stalling, poor acceleration, or high emissions levels), it might not be necessary.


Buying New Tires for a Flat

If your tires are in good condition and you get a flat, think twice before buying a new tire or a new pair of tires. A tire patch usually costs less than $20, compared to $100 or more for a new tire or more than $200 for a pair. Don’t let a repairman convince you to buy a new tire when a patch will do the job, as long as the tread is still good.

About Spirit West Motor Carriage

Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair is a family-owned and operated company founded in April 1977. We take great pride in teamwork and our commitment to making sure our team receives training on the latest innovative state-of-the-art equipment and collision repair techniques.

We are proud to say our team is family and we treat our customers like family, too. Be assured that your car will receive this treatment, and upon completion of the repairs, you will drive away safe and satisfied!

Give us a call today or stop by the shop to see how we can get your car back into shape and back on the road. Spirit West Motor Carriage 610 Park Lane Manchester, MO 63021 Mon-Fri 7:30am – 5:30pm, (636) 394-1712

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