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5 Car Maintenance Services You Don't Need

Know what to turn down next time your car is in the shop

by Autobytel Staff
December 10, 2009

President and Car Buying Advocate of Women-Drivers.com, Anne Fleming, strongly suggests drivers follow their car's owner's manual and have annual maintenance performed on their vehicle to keep it in top performance shape. However, we also encourage readers to know how to “not get chicked” when it comes to unnecessary services that drivers really don’t need. Walk into the shop empowered! Get a second opinion from a reputable service provider, check consumer reviews of dealers in your area, or write your Service Review today on Women-Drivers.com.

Many car mechanics routinely insist that the car owner get an engine flush to remove all the collected “sludge.” If your car has been exposed to extreme heat, extended high speeds on the road or a long period of sitting idle, a purge is usually essential. However, for most typical drivers, sludge buildup takes many years, and therefore engine flushes are not a part of regular annual maintenance.

Another unnecessary car maintenance service is fuel injector cleaning. Buildup of fuel deposits and carbon can definitely occur and block fuel injectors, but it’s rare. Only say yes to a fuel injector cleaning if your car is hesitating on light acceleration, misfiring, or if the check engine light comes on.

Some mechanics will try to persuade you to change your current oil to one that is filled with more additives. They will push this issue by telling you that you will have better mileage and less wear and tear. However, in most cases, the new designer oils are just expensive attention-grabbers. Stick to the oil that is recommended in your owner’s manual.

With the slowly rising cost of gas prices in this less-than-perfect economy, there has been a bit of buzz surrounding gadgets that claim to help improve your mileage or make your car “green.” These products are typically magnets, generators, water injectors and the like. However, there have been many expert articles that claim that these devices are useless and, worse, can even impair your car’s performance.

If something is wrong with your car’s alignment, it will be evident. The car will pull to the right or left when you are driving, or the tires will show uneven wear. If your mechanic tells you that you need regular alignments, they may use a reason such as poor road conditions in your city or poor driving on your part. Do not agree to a regular alignment service unless you can clearly tell the symptoms.

_____ undefined Women-Drivers.com LLC connects women and families to Certified Women-Drivers Friendly™ car dealers. The site allows consumers to rate their Purchase, Browse and Service experience at dealerships nationwide. The company markets Women Satisfaction Index™ (WSI) reports to the industry showing what women really experience when visiting dealers. These analytics provide insights for dealerships to convert more browsers to buyers as well as pathways to educate and improve the customer experience.


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