What's this the dealer wants to sell us?


Comparing our dealer’s maintenance schedule (every 3,750 mi) with the manufacturer’s (every 5K) for our new Highlander Hybrid, I noticed the dealer calls for “BG Motor Oil Additive” each time. I’m guessing this is another ADP item?


Yes, it is. Everything the dealer does is ADP…


So is the extra maintenance but I didn’t need to say that, did I?


I have been reading about a recent change in the way motor oils are being made. If I remember correctly the manufacturers have stopped the addition of zinc to the oil and it has caused some problems with some cars. Perhaps this additive they want to add is being used to prevent that from happening. I would ask the service department why they want to add that. I’m sure you could decline on it if you wanted to. I would be concerned if not putting it in changed the warranty at all so I would ask about that also.


Well, I found this BG company’s website. Their main additive seems to be included in the maintenance service by many car repair places. According to the description, it cleans, lubricates, reduces oil viscosity, prevents oxidation…and has a fresh, minty taste!

(The also have one that INCREASES viscosity. So whether your oil’s thick or thin, they can sell you something to change it.)

I take these claims with a few grains of salt.


Those of us who have had oil in our faces would appreciate the fresh minty taste.

But the only thing the car needs is what’s in the owner’s manual. And on the frequency recommended in the owner’s manual. Okay, I admit, now that the warranty is up I’ll probably be changing fluids and filters more often than the manual recommends, but I’m basically an insecure person.

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Dealer is also getting a kick back from BG for selling it with every oil change. From what I hear a decent product but totally not necessary. Plus, very much overpriced. Say no and if they insist on adding it at every oil change go elsewhere


The way this comes about is that a BG rep meets with the service manager, who is for the most part clueless; mechanically speaking.

The service manager then buys into in the honest belief that the product is a real difference maker. Decent mechanics may not agree with the program at all, but they’re employees and have to do what they’re told…

I would always recommend sticking with the owners manual with a few exceptions.
Those exceptions would be leaving spark plugs in for a 100k miles or eternity, “lifetime” fuel filters, and 100k mile transmission fluid changes.
Plugs every 50k at the most and fuel filters/trans fluid changes every 30k IMHO.

BG actually makes some good products although they can be pricy.
There may be a time when one of their products is justified, but not when a vehicle is very young.


Do these prices seem high:

Expess lube: Oil & filter (toyota brand)

Service A:
Oil & filter
BG oil addiitive
Check and top off fluids
Check and adjust tire pressure
Lube hinges & door locks



Do these prices seem high:

IMO, the oil and filter no, the rest yes.


Joseph, what would be a reasonable price for that Service A?


Actually, $40 is a reasonable price for that service. But it is nothing more than what a conscientous owner does himself. No automotive skills are required. No costs.

Even so, there are those folks too timid to ever lift a hood or squirt some oil at a hinge. They will pay and have the peace of mind that their car is well cared for. As I said, $40 is reasonable.


Oil change yes, the rest (40 price tag) are inspections and the BG additive which is not needed and overpriced.


The one thing being omitted here is that a pretty large number of people are NOT going to check any fluids (ever) or their tire pressure (also ever).

When the engine burns up due to lack of coolant, the trans fries because of low fluid, or a tire blows out due to underinflation rubbing the sidewall out of it, THEN that price might seem pretty cheap.

If the car owner cannot or will not do these simple things, and if they give a xxxx about their car, they will pay someone to do it for them.

Since the mechanic works the flat rate system, and if the mechanic is facing 15 jobs a day like this, should he be working for free? That’s what it will boil down to.

I’ve seen a lot of people scream bloody murder over this 40 dollar charge; ripped off, too high, yada, yada.
One lady got mad, stormed out, and went 2 blocks down the street to a fast lube, which proceeded to leave the drain plug loose on her new car with only 7500 miles on it.
An hour later it was towed back to us with a totally trashed engine and she was demanding that warranty fix it.
Ha. She was informed of the legalities in blunt English - and also by the car maker when she screamed to them. They told her to hit the road also.

The fast lube did this job for 30 bucks, so she “saved” a whopping 10 bucks. :frowning:


Unfortunately, dealers screw up almost as often as the quick lubes, trust no one when you have your car repaired or fluids changed, always check afterwards for leaks, assure parts were actually replaced etc.

Every shop i spushing the cars out the door ASAP tio make more money so trust no one!


Unfortunately, you’re dead wrong. How many dealers have you worked for?
I worked for them quite a few years and have only seen 2 screwups.
One was overfilling a VW diesel with oil which led to hydrolocking. Drained some oil out and no problems at all.
The other was a disgruntled employee who sabotaged a company car on the way out the door.

Would it be a better deal for the consumer if the dealer was to pay the customer 40 bucks for the priviledge of working on their car?
I guarantee you that at 40 bucks that dealer is not making a whole lot of money.
If you were actually involved in the field and was the one having to cover the overhead every month you would see just how far that 40 bucks goes.


Motor Oil Additives, in my opinion, dont do anything, and are a waste of money. Tell the dealer that if they really want to put this stuff in for you, then they should give it to you for free. If they wont give it to you for free, then dont waste your money.


I’d consider the extra 10 bucks a kind of insurance. If something does get screwed up by the dealer, seems they would have to cover the cost of making it right.


It is awell known axiom of the dealer industry that you break even on new cars sales (overhead etc) and used cars sales and the service bay is where all the profit is.

Who cares how much they make for profit on a 40 job, that is not the issue. the issue is whether the service was needed and done properly!!!

Why not just outside with a sign that says donate $40 this month, I need to make my boat payment, at least that would be honest


If the service was done properly then what’s the complaint with the 40 bucks?
The service dept. is “where all the profit is” on a measly 40 bucks?

Care to fill me in on where you gained your insider knowledge?