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Questions about dealers maintenance recommendations

I have a 2003 Subaru Outback with 77000 miles. At my next regular service they have recommended performing: BG fuel induction cleaning service for $140, the BG power steering flush for $100, and the super coolant flush for $198. Do you agree that all of these are necessary? Thanks so much for your opinion. (I know nothing about cars but love your show and always learn something!)

Please consult your owners manual.

Sounds like the dealer wants to make a boat payment to me, but possibly some of these are valid (if not a bit overpriced). What does the 80K service call for (and any you may have missed)?

No to the F.I. flush
No to the power steering flush
Coolant should be replaced at manufactures recommended intervals,no to a flush, (in the business when coolant is removed but not “flushed” out it is called a “drop and fill”)best to remove a lower radiator hose to get the most out,this is when I personally would do a thermostat replacement (unless it is one of those electrically controled thermostat)
No Automatic transmission “flush” just a “drop and fill” with filter (if applicable) and use the exact fluid recommended by Subaru (not a generic fluid with a addative) ask them what one they use.

The maintenance intervals for Subarus are minor service (oil change) every 7,500 miles and major service every 15,000 miles. If most of your driving consists of short trips in city traffic, change the oil every 3,750 miles. There is no 80,000 mile service.

As has already been suggested, study your owner’s manual to learn what Subaru believes should be done. Anything beyond that is just the dealer padding his profits.

It’s just a “convenience” thing that dealers do. So people don’t have to think about it, and I assure you that if they asked you, then some people have done it before without thinking. 1/10 is more than enough to give them reason to ask all ten. However, I wouldn’t do anything aside from the owner’s manual.

The dealer recommends what will make them additional profit. You should look at the owner’s manual, it recommends what the car needs.

  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee, or provided for free by the dealer.  During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.

The answer is no to all flush. However keep in mind a regular coolant change is required with Subaru coolant conditioner every 30k. It costs less than $100 even at dealer prices. Power steering does not get changed. Induction cleaning is never recommended by Subaru.

It’s just a “convenience” thing that dealers do.

Exactly. Getting you to do more service than the car manufacturer says you need to do is a very convenient way for them to line their pockets.

Skip the BG treatments; if your vehicle is apparently running fine you do not need them. The cooling system flush is probably a good idea but price this around. You can likely have this done elsewhere for less money.

Just an FYI here. They’re not committing fraud by recommending these services. Since I assume you’re talking about a dealer here the service managers for the most part are not mechanics, never have been, and generally have very little mechanical knowledge; if any at all.

A BG rep comes around and promotes their products to the service manager. The service manager sees an opportunity to increase the parts/service revenue and may honestly believe these products (while they are good ones, but overpriced) are necessary to keep a vehicle in top shape.
Those BG reps make a strong sales representation to put it mildly.

Check out the table of contents in your owner’s manual and turn to the “Maintenance” section. There should be some kind of table in there that will [at first] make you frown and scratch your head but it tells you when everything needs to be done.

Notice that some things need to be “replaced” while others say “inspect”. Also some things are just mileage critical others are time OR mileage critical. E.g. timing belt may need replacing after 7 yrs OR 105,000 miles.

The engine coolant will need to be replaced at some point in the not too distant future, the maintenance schedule will say exactly when to do it. The other two things ? No! Forget it.

Find a mom & pop mechanic to take this vehicle to. Next time the dealer tries to take your $$$ with all their useless services, give them the finger and walk out! Know your maintenance schedule, it will save you a headache in the long run. Hope this helps.

The cryptic nature of your post leaves the last sentence as the only part that can be understood,no offense,but hard to read.