MONEY TALKS: Beware Oil Change Coupons

Changing your car's oil is critical to keeping it on the road and out of the shop.

So when you get coupons for cheap oil changes in the mail it's tempting to bite. But you've got to be careful because you might end up with a bill bigger than you expected.

I went into an oil change for zero dollars and it ended up costing me 269 dollars.

So this was the oil pan that was taken out of my car and this is the plug at the end...

Linda got a free birthday oil change coupon from her dealer, then was told she needed a new oil pan and drain plug. She went for it but did the smart thing: asked for her old parts back and got a second opinion.

She showed me the parts that they removed from her vehicle and it was obvious that there was nothing wrong with them.

Oil change upsells are nothing new to 4th generation mechanic Pam Oakes. Her recommendation if it happens to you...

Especially if they're in a shop that they're unfamiliar with, always get a second opinion with your regular shop.

Bottom line, when you get a coupon in the mail for a cheap oil change, understand it for what it is, an attempt to get business. And some of that business may be unnecessary maintenance. So just be careful.

Want to know more information on how to care for your car? It's waiting right here at Just do a search for "Cars." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.

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