32 Lies Your Mechanic Has Told You

This article was online this AM. My problem with the title is that it implies everyone paying for vehicle service has been lied to! Perpetuating the myth that all mechanics, independent shops, and dealerships are crooks. Otherwise the article has some decent consumer advice although I fear it could increase the number of customers who are a PITA.

Yeah sure. They’re just looking for a dog to kick that won’t bite back. Mechanics are easy targets as are lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, builders and so on. They read the book “How to appear relevant while being irrelevant”. Sure some lie I suppose, most don’t and are just trying to make a living. Now Pastor Hansen . . . Never mind, I’ve got my own ax to grind-no lie.

I didn’t read it that way. The article was about what mechanics have lied to customers about. While I think the majority of mechanics are honest…the number of mechanics that do lie are way too high for my liking.

Mechanics that work at franchise stores tend to be lying at much higher numbers then independents or dealers. It has a lot to do with their business model and actually franchise training. They actually give classes on how to sell enhance revenue programs.

Large multi dealerships are next. You THINK you’re buying the local dealership that’s been in the same spot for 60 years. But what you may not know is that dealership sold to a huge conglomerate years ago. It’s just one dealership of 30 all over the country.

Independents…These are the least.

The problem is most people have no idea they are being lied to. I think that was what the article was trying to point out.

I think they’re making the point rather weakly. I couldn’t get past the first example for some reason, but the first example is completely wrong. So I didn’t think I needed to go further anyways.

Mike: I agree with your comment on the article but defend my interpretation of the far to common misleading title. 32 lies YOUR Mechanic has told YOU!!! How does that not imply everyone who has used a mechanic has not been lied to??? That false, ignorant title validates what far to many people have been convinced of. That all mechanics, independent mechanic shops, and dealerships are going to financially screw them. Most are honest. A few are not. I was cheated once. A fuel pump not replaced with grossly inflated labor for $669. The actual repair was cleaning an electrical connection! It’s a long story but I fortunately used my VISA card and with very good evidence had the charge reversed. Two attempts at trying to cheat me which were avoided because I knew better. The few liars/cheaters of course prey on the ignorant.

I guess it’s a fine line between lying and up-selling. It’s just good business to attempt to suggest other products that the customer may need. But trying to sell them something they don’t need would be dishonest. In the insurance business we always were taught to suggest additional products to add onto basic policies. To not suggest things like comprehensive, collision, or even an umbrella policy would be in my view anyway, derelict.

Sears automotive has lied to me several times in the past. One time they said my ball joints were worn. I had them checked by an independent mechanic who said they were about 10% worn typical for that mileage. Midas has tried this stuff on me as well, telling me I needed front springs because they had bottomed once or twice on rough roads.

One month is “shock absorber month” or “weak battery month”, and so on. I’m glad they are out of business.

1 Like

So much click bait, so little actual investigation, fact checking, and reasonable analysis…


I guess I should say that I’ve had pretty good luck at the dealer but when I took the car in for a recall, the kid told me I needed brakes and had a bad oil leak out of both the front and back seals. I’m probably three times his age so I got a second opinion. He probably saw something because the transmission guy now says I have an oil leak. Not more than a quarter quart per 3000 miles anyway so I’ll just watch the garage floor.

That is why I challenged the title which is definitely not statistically true. “Click Bait”!

#4 is hilarious, because they talk about lifetime atf and sealed transmissions :laughing:

I read the article . How do I get the wasted time back ?


Personally, I figure it’s my responsibility to have an idea of how my car works, and what might possibly be wrong with it. That way no one can take advantage of me, be it a shady mechanic or otherwise.

We used to have a 2003 Honda Odyssey. One day I had it at the dealer for, I believe, an oil change and a recall. The service advisor came out, glum look on his face. He told me they were done with the work… but that my rear main seal was leaking. He didn’t say how badly it was leaking, or even what it was the seal did… but he did say they could remove the transmission that day and fix it for a couple thousand dollars. No pressure. Knowing what the rear main seal was, and knowing I hadn’t seen any oil leaks myself…and that I could buy several pallets of oil for 1/2 of his price… I declined the service. We traded it off a year or two later for transmission problems. Never had any trouble from the seal.

Time wasted for most of us but possibly educational for the automotive ignorant masses.

I could get only the first of the 32 lies and it was a lie. From the comments, my inability to view the other 31 “lies” has saved me a lot of time. I view all claims that someone trying to sell me something make skeptically. I have been lied to by people trying to sell me houses, cars, insurance,vacuums, solar panels, restaurant meals, triple pane noble gas filled windows ,etc. Everything that is sold has some honest people and some who will say or claim anything. The guy who wanted to sell me $25,000 of windows was willing to guarantee in writing, that the payback on the windows would be in 6 years or he would pay me the difference.

Since that was more than 4 times what my gas bill was for 6 years and we have a gas dryer, stove,and hot water tank in addition to the furnace, I told him that the only thing his guarantee meant was that I wouldn’t be able to find him or his company in 6 years.

Find a good local mechanic you can trust, his lot will be full and you will have to make an appointment unless you have your car towed in not running. His lot will be full because people have discovered he is honest and offers good value. Don’t expect him to be perfect because no one is, but if he makes a mistake, he makes it right.

1 Like

I agree, # 4 is hilarious. If you seriously believe that “lifetime transmission fluid” should never need replacing, then you’ll probably end up changing the entire transmission at around 120,000 miles.

#5 is hilarious too. The “long life coolant” is supposed to last “much of the life of the car”? Sure, if you don’t mind excessive corrosion inside the engine, radiator, heater core, and steel coolant lines.

hmm … thinking what if the shoe was on the other foot? … I wouldn’t like it much if a customer I was trying my best to help thought I was lying to them. I can see how that would be very frustrating to auto mechanics.

They messed up the web site. The last slide is shown first. You can work backwards to read all of it.

Headlines are written by editors, not the writers. Pretty much a click-bait article.

Much of it could have been rewritten along the lines of “scams of unethical auto shops.” Also could have highlighted some of the practices as being standard for older cars but not current ones. There are a few things I disagree with, such as changing oil every 12 months (my 2019 Impreza manual states every 6 months or 6,000 miles). They should have written read the manual and most cars can go farther between oil changes than 20 year old cars. I have heard about some of the scams before.

This is not anything new any type of publication. I’ve seen that type of wording in all different types of publications for over 40 years. If you go back and read periodicals from over 100 years ago you’ll find the same type of wording. It’s a tactic to get people to read the article. I guess it worked.

It probably goes back to when writing was invented. Much of the Spanish American War reporting was misleading hyperbole at best.