Repair or Scam? Do I really need to replace those parts in my car?


More then just an oil change?

I hear it all the time… When a new customer walks into my shop and says “The last place I went kept trying to sell me something.” Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to have a new customers business but sometimes it is actually a GOOD thing when repair shops let you know what parts are due for a service or need to be replaced.

Your car is an extremely complicated piece of machinery and it runs on so many moving parts. Even though people hate to pay for maintenance items like air filters, cabin filters, belts, and oil changes these items need to be replaced. Believe it or not manufacturers did not intentionally put these items in your vehicle just to make the consumer have to continually buy new parts. They all serve a purpose and by maintaining and replacing them you avoid greater expenses down the road.

What does an air and cabin filter do?

An air filter keeps debris from getting into your engine. The more dirt and junk that makes it into your engine the greater the chances of it braking down. An engine is probably the most expensive part of a vehicle costing anywhere from $1000-$9,000. An air filter usually costs between $11-$20.

Cabin filters are something many people don’t even know about! Not all vehicles have cabin filters but most do. The cabin filter filters the air that comes into your vehicle and the air that you breath in. Just like replacing the air filters in your home it is important to replace the cabin filter in your car. The biggest expense that can come from not replacing your cabin filter is burning out you’re A/C compressor. When the cabin filter is clogged it makes your car A/C work constantly in order to get the airflow through to your cabin. A new A/C compressor is almost always over $1000.

Funny story…

We had a very nice lady come into our shop last week having air conditioning problems. She was from out of town and her son was a mechanic. Not wanting to travel through our beautiful state of Arizona without A/C she decided to have us go ahead and repair it for her. After fixing the problem we immediately turned it on see how cold it was blowing and were very surprised to feel how low it was blowing. The first thing that came to our minds was maybe her cabin filter was dirty. This is what we found…

dirty air filter

So you see!

Even someone with a mechanic for a son can let things like cabin filters slide and ultimately have to end up paying for repair work while out of town and on vacation.

Quick rule of thumb… a technician should be able to show you the air and cabin filters. If the technician brings them out to you and you can hold it up to the window and still see through it pretty well you can go a little longer before replacing it.

When a belt brakes what ever it was connected to stops working. If the technician shows you that the belt is cracking or starting to have loose threads you are better off replacing the belt before it leaves you stranded on the side of the highway somewhere. Depending on the belt they can usually be replaced for under $200.

RAD Auto Repair


Monday- Friday 8AM – 5:30PM

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