Scam Alert: Exposing Mechanic Rip-Offs


Next time you take your car in for a tune-up or scheduled service, it’s “driver beware.”

Joel Grover, award-winning investigative reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles, went on an undercover investigation to expose mechanics at several L.A.-area Jiffy Lubes hawking services that ended up destroying customers' engines and transmissions.

The investigation found that Jiffy Lube was pushing engine flushes and fuel injection cleanings, two services that most automakers warn against as they can cause more harm than good to the engine and transmission. In fact, Honda and other carmakers even issued memos to mechanics across the country advising them against performing these repairs.

Unfortunately, if you’ve already been a victim of the scam, there isn’t much you can do. Your car’s warranty will not cover damages from repairs or services not recommended by the manufacturer. You could complain to Jiffy Lube, but in the end the burden is on the customer, Grover said.

The best course of action to protect yourself is to follow the lead of your car’s manufacturer. Study the manual and only go in for repairs on the maintenance schedule, which tells you exactly what services you need and when.

To see Grover's original investigation on KNBC, click here.