5 Oil Change Ripoffs and Scams to Avoid

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It is essential to change your car’s oil regularly since it ensures your engine is running smoothly and efficiently. Some dealerships, however, may try to upsell unnecessary services or use deceptive techniques during oil changes. Here are a few common oil change scams to be aware of.

Questionable Fluid Flushes

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Dealerships may upsell you on fluid flushes your car doesn’t need. While some fluids, like coolant and transmission fluid, require periodic replacement, others, like power steering fluid, rarely do. Be wary if a dealership suggests flushing all your fluids during an oil change.

Low-Quality Oil


Look out for some mechanics who may use lower-quality oil than what your car manufacturer recommends. They may charge you for premium oil, but use a cheaper alternative. Always ask what type of oil they use and ensure it meets your car’s specifications.

Phantom Repairs


After your oil change, the dealership may claim to have found additional problems with your car that need immediate attention. Make sure to get a second opinion if you need clarification on the validity of these claims, as they could be fabricated to inflate your bill.

Overcharging for Filters


Air and cabin air filters are commonly replaced during oil changes, but some dealerships may overcharge for these parts. Before agreeing to filter replacements, ask for the cost breakdown and compare prices with other sources.

Bait-and-Switch Tactics


You might be quoted one price for an oil change over the phone or online, only to be charged a higher amount once you’re at the dealership. To avoid this, clarify the total upfront and ask if there are any extra fees or charges.


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