Car maintenance – do you feel being ripped off?

QUESTION: If you have taken your vehicle in for a scheduled routine maintenance, how do you know you’re not getting ripped off?

The answer is, no, you don’t. Few things in life are filled with as much mystery and anxiety as car service.

So no, there is no way to know if you’re being quoted correctly according to your real vehicle’s needs – that oil change, air conditioning filter, tire and parts replacement etc, etc? Who knows if it’s all really necessary. It’s like going to the hospital and being told, we need to operate you without being shown the x-ray or explained the exact diagnosis. In other words, you are left helpless.

Our car is five years old and has ran 120,000 kms. It has been running smoothly so far without any problems. We only use it for short distance trips (except for some work related trips that required my husband to go to Abu Dhabi a few years back). We have not skipped any scheduled maintenance ever to make sure the car is in tip top shape.

For this recent routine maintenance, I am stunned that we are quoted 3,000 dhs ($810), saying a list of things, mostly “engine related” needs to be fixed/replaced. Just a few months ago, they quoted us high too because of the aircon filter.

Unless you’re a car mechanic yourself, dealing with a repair shop may require a leap of faith. When you take your vehicle for scheduled maintenance at the specialty repair shop/service facility, you expect to be treated honestly and fairly. You don’t want to be lied to, taken  advantage of, told you need parts or services you don’t really need, charged for parts that were not replaced or services that were not performed, cheated in any way or made to feel like you’ve been had, right? My husband has full trust on the service center but sometimes I feel we’re being bamboozled and they’re taking us for a ride – and I don’t mean in our car!

How about you, do you feel you’re being ripped off with this soaring car maintenance costs?


  1. so true.. last month my husband take our 4 yrs. old car to the agency for it’s maintenance and they said there are things that needed to be change and give us a quote of around 3,000dhs… my husband ask for the breakdown and guess what?… the parts needed to be change are around 30-40% of the total amount only and the remaining is for the labor cost… my husband said thank you and left, hehehehe… he went in the other place which he paid half from what the agency ask…



  2. I personally don’t own a car, but I’ve been around long enough to know if you don’t either A. Do it yourself of B. Find someone you absolutely trust with your car, it’s definitely a leap of faith!

    I know it’s prejudice on my account, but I really don’t trust mechanics.



  3. My outlander is due for 40,000 km service.. and the agency says that it will cost around aed. 1,400.00 for the following:
    engine. oil/ gear oil/ ATF oil/ air filter/ fuel filter.. my car is still under warranty ang the regular services are also under new car service contract.. Is it true that I have to pay for all of the above at 40 k km.. I cannot believe that it will cost me aed 1,400 even though my car is still under agency service.. pls. help..



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