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Dealer vs. independent shop?



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    On some German cars, a power steering hose is $600.


  • I relocated to southern california about a year and a half ago ...i have a 2001 suzuki esteem....the nearest suzuki dealership is a 45 min drive away...not convenient...a friend recommended bill's quality auto care in simi valley..they do great work..prices are fair...and they know how to work on a suzuki. (they even offer shuttle service).
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On some German cars, a power steering hose is $600.

    In that case, you just have to find a shop that makes up hydraulic hoses for heavy equipment and have them fit a new hose to your existing fittings. That's what most of the folks on the ///M Register do.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Yeah, good suggestion!

    They'll make power steering hoses for you but not brake lines. So I always tell them that any hose they make for me is "hydraulic" but not for braking. They wink, I wink, job done.


  • Aloha,
    I'm disparate/puzzled or just plain confuse! I use the dealer for maintenance service always! They service oil/lub job battery, whatever is wrong if any, I've always used the dealership,you figure they know their cars;
    well for over the past 4 years and at 60,000 miles I have a multitude of probles! The dealer gives me this 21 point Silver package maintenance service special(performed every 4-8 months,which also include roadside & tire hazard protection!) Whoopie....

    It includes:
    5-1234516-Oil-10W30Q; 1-25010792 Oil Fltr; 1-110W Oil Addative for the engine and 1-203 Fuel Additive at the cost of $150.00 on June 29,2006.

    My car is a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire,4 door sedan, 4cyl eng...To make a long story short as possible; On 23 Aug, I filled my tank with gas,had a safety inspection, had it cleaned. I drove approximately 2 miles from the car wash then all the dashboard lights came on to my surprise; then they went off; No smoke,fire,file odors,nothing from under the hood,or out of the exhaust pipe so I continued on my way,(mine you I'm on the freeway) mainland call them highway! Then approximately 5 miles down the road all the dashboard lights came back on however this time my car cut off, the steering mechanism locked, the brakes locked and I was coming off of an exit going down hill. Praise God nothing was in front of me as I rolled downward into the main street, and nothing was coming up the main road! I tussled with the steering wheel to get the car on the side of the road. I waited a few minutes, turned the car on and it came on then cutoff. I waited again, this time for about 10 minutes, the car turn on, the dashboard lights was clear, so I drove off into the main street, two light up the street the car died and three angels came to my rescue... they push me into a parking lot, I called my insurance to have my car towed to the dealership; While waiting for the tow truck, something told me to pop the hood and check the oil gage... did, the oil was clean, but not to the full point on the dip stick which surprise me again. I remember noticing when the dashboard lights came on, the temperature gauge went from 225 to 260 then dropped to zero then back to 225 while I was driving until it locked on me getting off the exist.

    At the dealership, the customer service rep, said you have to pay $105 to put the car on the diagnostic machine, so we can fine the problem. Ok, of course I did, then the very next day, the rep called and said the Ignition Control Module went out and have to be replace, however, it's under 8 year manufacturer warranty, therefore, you meaning me wouldn't have to pay anything! YEAH,(my warranty expired 25 May 06, couldn't get extended coverage at the time of purchase/contract was offered 3 years or 36,000 miles that's it).

    Then on Monday, the customer service rep called and advised me that the modular was in, but they checked and the spark plugs needed to be replaced at the tune of $713 plus tax; I agreed for them to fix it; Then the next day, she called and said the fuel pump needed to be replaced at the tune of $611 again I said go head, however I asked why wasn't this detected on the diagnostic machine; she couldn't answer me! I also added please inform your mechanic to get it right, don't call me with more or additional problems with my car; The next day the supervisor called me and said we did a another check and found the cylinder head gasket, either has a cracked or you've blown a head gasket, estimated cost $1,112.00; do they have permission to remove it and send out to another company to check the problem, Price to agreeing to have this done; Well after they removed the cylinder their telling me I have a hairline crack in the engine wall where the cylinder goes inside,they can't repair it. I would have to buy a new one at the tune of $5500. or they can fix the head gasket at the tune of $2000. or I can have the car towed and pay $500. for what was worked on as far as the cylinder casket, I don't have to make a decision right now; Well by then, I had a splitting headache that wouldn't go away; I couldn't understand how all this could happen without any indication of a problem with my car.... Oh yeah, they told me that GM would pay the previous cost of $1,400 for the spark plugs and fuel pump, but they wouldn't pay for the gasket if that was the problem. I called a friend prior to giving them permission to take the gasket out of the engine for inspection, my friend told me to check the oil and if it look like chocolate milk shake then water got into the oil, probably from the radiator... I'm still puzzled, how can this possibly happen and the dealership is the only people who check the fluids and everything under the hood of my car and this goes unnotice.Yes I do realize car's have problems after a period of time, but all at once???? Can someone enlighten me....I think they forgot to do something when they performed there 21 point check, and then my car died 8 weeks later which caused a blown head gasket and who knows the engine could've had a hairline cracked when I bought it or due to all that was going on with the dashboard lights, the car over headed,the engine froze, and now I have multi problems! This is not my first car, it's my third new car from GM, with a balance of $8,000 and my fifth car since I've been driving over 30 years. I have never experience anything like this in all my years of driving! :sick, :cry: HELP! HAVE YOU? *^_^*
  • $713 for sparkplugs?!!!! You are being fleeced.

    Sunfires aren't greatest cars, but you shouldn't have these kinds of problems. If the engine problems are real and not just these guys taking you for a ride, then you should just get rid of the car. You're throwing money away trying to keep it on the road.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    You are paying Ferrari 348 prices for simple repairs on a four year old GM subcompact. The dealer is ripping you off terribly.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,603
    Somebody is messing with us?
  • This particular sub board is hardly a buzzing with activity. Why post something like that here? I've seen enough stories on things like Dateline that show shops of all kinds ripping off little old ladies.

    Car pulls to the right? Don't check tire pressure, get new tie rods, struts and tires. It's the only way to be sure.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Somebody is messing with us?

    Perhaps someone from a higher elevation??? ;)
  • I never lived in a place that had private inspection stations before Connecticut started private emissions testing a few years ago. When this started, I decided to only take the car to tire stores and other places that would have no stake in me flunking inspection- the conflict of interst in a general repair place to flunk you and then offer to repair what's wrong is just extremely fishy to me. If something like the above happened to me, I would thank them very much and take it to another independant to check out.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    That's a good point. Repair shops tend to solve problems in terms of their own specialties....if your car runs bad and you go to a muffler chain store, it's always an exhaust problem it seems...and if it doesn't start and you go to a big parts store, it's always the battery and yes we have lots of them.

    I like to go to emissions stations that sell NOTHING but emissions testing.


  • I need help with the problem of my dodge neon. The problem is that when I drive for a couple of miles and the engines gets hot, it dies and stop. I've already spent a considerable amount of money paying a mechanic but until now the problem is not fix yet. I almost got an accident because when I was driving in the freeway, the engine suddenly stops running.

    I tried turning the engine on for 10-20 minutes without driving it but when the engine is already hot, it dies.

    Please help.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    I think a good mechanic would drive the car with his diagnostic equipment with him, and when it died, he'd get to work testing fuel pump pressure, spark, etc. Sounds like he's guessing with your checkbook. Has he read any codes from the car's computer?


  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    I always have the dealer perform all the maintenance and service on my vehicles. The reasons for this action are as follows: 1.) I always purchase an extended FACTORY warranty on all my vehicles. 2.) I do an extensive amount of traveling with my vehicles. 3.) I want all my service records in one place, should I need warranty service either at home, or "on the road". 4.) If I have a problem "on the road," the local Honda dealer at my location can access my service records, and deal with the repair under the terms of the extended FACTORY warranty. 5.) The dealer performing the repair, can contact my selling dealer if there are any questions as to maintenance. ;) :shades: :) :D Best regards. ---- Dwayne
  • dboedboe Posts: 69
    In the past when cars were simpler and required fewer sophisticated instruments for service or troubleshooting I did a lot of my own work.
    When I didn't, I usually trusted the work to an indpendent mechanic. I've known several over the years that are excellent in every respect. It is definitely worth the effort to find one in case the need ever arises.
    And I usually picked a mechanic who specialized in my particular vehicle, unless it was just for standard oil changes.
    I avoid the Jiffy Lubes, etc. like the plague. Too many horror stories, and I have a major aversion to risk.
    For warranty work, of course you have to go to the same make dealership.
    But for cousin models, like Acura/Honda, Lexus/Toyota, Infiniti/Nissan, etc. I have found the lower priced models often have dealerships that charge less for service and will take care of the higher priced models, except for warranty work.
    It is definitely worth checking out.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "For warranty work, of course you have to go to the same make dealership.
    But for cousin models, like Acura/Honda, Lexus/Toyota, Infiniti/Nissan, etc. I have found the lower priced models often have dealerships that charge less for service and will take care of the higher priced models, except for warranty work.
    It is definitely worth checking out..."

    Big "ditto" on that from here.
  • go to the dealer to get it done right. Cost a little more, they have the experience and the parts available. Some independent shops do not have vehicle specific training and troubleshoot problems at your expense. You are actually paying them to train on your car, change this, if this does not work, change that. They are guessing!
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I'd have to disagree with that.
    Most the dealers I have to deal with replace parts far more than the independant shops I deal with.

    While most the dealers replace parts, most the independants troubleshoot. I'll admit that this isn't meaning that for every dealer or independant, but my experience is that most the dealers I deal with replace parts and do little diagnostics.

    On some things, the dealer may be the correct choice, but a large percentage of these can be handled at any independant, just as well.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    For me this is a big "that depends". If I want any high performance work done, then a dealer would be my last choice; They are best suited to work within original specs, to get things to original condition.... and I agree that in many cases it is simply a process of replacing parts, based on a non-intuitive look at vehicle history. I use an independent for most of my work... they are more willing to discuss my options with me - so for instance, designing a service schedule for my car that suits me. This is not to say that there are no uses for a visit to a dealer, however i do see it as a valid choice.
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