Flat Tire Patch Auto Auction Baltimore

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Preventative vehicle maintenance is necessary to keep your car working in tip top shape, but there’s a fine line between safeguarding your investment and over-maintaining your vehicle to the point where you’re losing hundreds of dollars each year. When the mechanic starts to offer you additional services that go beyond the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance plan, how can you be sure you’re wasting money? The following unnecessary up-sells are a good place to start.

1. “Preventative” Oil Changes

Every car requires a regular oil change, but did you know that the 3,000-mile rule is more myth than fact? Most auto shops recommend getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles (or every three months – whichever comes first), but most modern cars simply don’t need oil changes that often. In fact, if you drive a late-model car that runs on synthetic oil, you’re good for about 15,000 miles. That’s a big difference! Before agreeing to the 3,000-mile scheme, check your owner’s manual to figure out just how long your car can go between oil replacements.

2. Flat Tire Replacement

Getting a flat tire is a hassle to fix, and many drivers get talked into buying a brand new replacement – or even a pair of new tires – just to get back on the road quickly. If you do get a flat tire caused by a sharp object (rather than a blowout, for example), chances are that tire can be patched at a tire shop. Most flat tire patches are only about $20, and you can always ask about getting a repair instead of a replacement, even if it’s not the first option the salesperson offers.

3. Unnecessary Air Filter Replacement

Mechanics visually inspect air filters when performing regular maintenance, and many will suggest an air filter replacement because it’s an easy way to add extra charges to your bill. While getting a new air filter may seem like a good idea regardless, your car’s filter only needs replacing if it’s clogged. If the mechanic recommends getting the filter replaced, ask to see it before making a decision. You should be able to tell right away if there is any grime, dust, or debris buildup. The same goes for your cabin filter.

4. Fluid Flush

One of the more costly scams, a fluid flush refers to replacing multiple fluids in your car, including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, steering fluid, etc. Some mechanics will try to talk you into changing multiple fluids after bringing your car in for preventative maintenance, which can cost a few hundred bucks. Check your owner’s manual for recommended fluid changes before agreeing to any fluid flush.

It’s generally recommended that late-model vehicles have their coolant and transmission fluid changed, but the other fluid changes aren’t necessary because those systems are usually sealed. Even if the mechanic shows you “dirty fluid,” this means little. It’s always best to check the manual.

Unnecessary automotive services can really start to add up when you aren’t vigilant. Do your research and stay informed before agreeing to any service add-ons. Your bank account will thank you.