Ever gone into a workshop for what you thought was a routine service and suddenly you’re hit with a bill in the thousands?
You could have upselling to blame for this dilemma. All those little extras certainly add up and we mostly just accept these extras as we’re told your car will ‘run better’, ‘perform better’ and you will ‘extend its life. We’re here to tell you that the majority of these extras are a complete waste of time and money simply adding to your mechanics profit margin.
So here’s our list of the most common upsell items you’ll find on your service bill, including when you need them and when you don’t.
1. Windscreen Wiper Rubbers
Some workshops recommend changing these every year and they are typically upsold if you tell your mechanic they are leaving streaks on the windscreen.
What you may not know is with a good clean, these will work like new by simply wiping the blades with a damp cloth. If you’ve cleaned them and they are still leaving streaks then they will need replacing.
We recommend replacing these every 5 years.
2. Car Injection Service
You may be told that this type of service is required to clean your car’s injectors and valves, removing wax and carbon for smoother running and better performance.
Some mechanics claim this is required every two (2) years or once the car reaches 20,000kms charging between $150-$200.
In most circumstances, this is a complete waste of money as modern fuel cleans out your injectors and valves, and build-up is a rare occurrence and takes many, many years.
3. Wheel Alignments
These are a common upsell, and you’ll probably be told that as a result of your wheel alignment being out your tyres are worn out more at the front.
The truth is, every car will wear its tyres out more at the front as the front wheels do more of the steering and braking! You just need your tyres rotated, which should be expected of all good mechanics at each service.
Tyre rotation is where the tyres are swapped from front to back, and left to right, to ensure even wear on your tyres across their life.
Unless you’ve hit a large pothole you should expect a wheel alignment when your tyres are replaced, generally every 2 years depending on what tyre you purchase.
4. Treatments/ Cleans/Additives/Flushes
These are widely upsold by major dealerships through to small workshops as ‘cleaning agents’ and ‘performance enhancers’ for your car. However, all this good stuff is built into modern fuel and engine oil. If you’re servicing your car regularly then you’re already doing what your mechanic is claiming you need.
So what if you’ve missed a service? Just service your car a little earlier next time, this doesn’t mean you need an engine oil flush.
5. Air conditioning Service
Sometimes called a de-sanitising service, air-conditioning services are often upsold at each service. You may be told that the service will freshen your car’s smell and remove bacteria. And you will pay around $250-$300.
This is very occasionally required in very old cars, or if your air-conditioner stops blowing air. If you’re recommended an air-conditioning service, ask your mechanic to check the air-conditioning filter first as a blocked cabin filter can cause a reduction of air. Cabin filter replacements are normally only required every 30,000 to 40,000kms, though this will decrease if you frequently park under trees, or drive behind trucks and consume their exhaust fumes.
6. Major Parts
Most major parts won’t need replacing until around the 100,000km mark, or as per your logbook unless you’re a heavy-footed driver or drive in harsh conditions.
Replacing major parts early or too frequently is one way dodgy mechanics add to their bottom line.
Now you’re all informed, you will be able to confidently say “no thank you” to the list of extra’s and keep your car service costs where they should
Power Autos' services Medowie, Maitland, Newcastle & Surrounds.