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Bogus or Necessary?

My car is a year and a half old w/ 18,000 + miles on it. Since it is a mini cooper most of the maintenance is included. I just took it into the dealer for an oil change and front brakes (which are done at no charge) but while I was there the dealer told me that I should also get the following done (at charge):

1. Alignment - $150

2. Fuel Injector flush - $100

3. Decarbon flush - $100

So now I am wondering - are the fuel injector and decarbon flushes worth it?


Are your tires wearing out in a weird way, such as outside or inside tread wear or scalloping? Is it pulling to one side or the other, or is the steering loose or something similar? if not, forget the alignment. You can buy any of several reputable gas addative to clean your injectors. a lot cheaper than 100 bucks.
to burn out any carbon build up on the valves, take it on a freeway onramp, and wind it out to the max rpms in first and second gear. just put your peddle to the metal and blow out the carbon through high acceleration. the short answer is if you fall for these scams you will be taking it in the shorts.

  1. Maybe, did he say why he things they need adjustment.

  2. That is known as a wallet flush, where they flush all the cash out of your wallet.

  3. See #2 above, only this is the advanced version.

It appears the only reason they are offering free maintenance, is to sell your unneeded work.

Agreed. Find a new dealer and report this one to BMW/Mini USA. They’re scamming their customers.

Thanks to all who have responded! Even if these issues weren’t bogus (and I beleive that they are) I was not planning to have the dealer take care of them. Their prices are rediculous…

Now that you guys have confirmed what I had already suspected I am not going to do anything.

As far as the alignment goes, the car feels fine, it doesn’t pull, the tire wear looks normal and as far as the other things go, I will make it a habit to put in a bottle of injector cleaner in conjunction w/ each oil change but I am glad that I told the dealer I wasn’t interested in any of these extras.

Don’t add injector cleaner if you don’t need it. It’s a waste of money. Wait till the car develops symptoms of dirty injectors (it almost never will - gas has its own detergent additives in it).

Yea…the dealership will probably win awards for this.

I usually get my wheels aligned once a year from a guy I trust. Even though the vehicles never pull or tires show any sign that the alignment is off…every time it’s aligned…it’s NOT within specs. IMHO…yearly alignment is worth it.

I will say this…there is no way they knew the car needed an alignment (Unless it was way way off) without putting it on an alignment machine.

2 and 3 are how the dealerships make money on those free oil changes/maintenance the manufacturers are pushing now.

I suggest that you put your story on Mechanics Files on this website as a warning to others. I had a BMW dealer try to take my daughter to the cleaners once and I detailed the entire story in a couple of places on the web. Just be careful to stick to the observable or documented facts so you don’t get sued.

The Alignment; if you live in an area with lots of potholes it can’t hurt. Cars get knocked out of alignment pretty routinely. Tire wear might or might not be evident as yet. Questionable, but can’t hurt. Should be about $60 to $80, not $150.

The flushes are bogus; unless the car has some kind of running problem. If it idles rough, or stalls, then these services can help. Otherwise, bogus.