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Dealer Add-ons and Extras - are they worth it?



  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    Not only trhat but when a dump truck lets loose with stones / gravel / whatever, either from its load (which is supposed to be covered here in FL too!) or from its tires, no mop n glo treatment is going to save your hood or grille or bumper.

    and using a bra?? if you don't remove it to wash and wax the car, you'll ruin the hood wit it as well!
  • Statement: If my car is stolen I don't want it back?
    Response You have no choice! Insurance companies are not in the business of buying you a new car because your a nice guy and you just had your car stolen. They are in the business of making money.

    Where to begin...

    1. The moment you drive off the dealers lot your car depreciates... imagine an invisible bubble around the dealership... you drive through it and you burst the bubble that was you cars value! BANG now you cars MSRP is meaningless as your car is now valued based off ACV or Actual Cash Value.

    To put this plainly - you buy car for $20,000 - you drive off lot - car now worth $19,000 - you drive 5,000 miles and car worth $17,500 welcome to ACV

    2. You buy Brand new $40,000 SUV with $6,000 in rims that cost the dealer $1,500 and you haggled down to $3,000 to show you wife what a hairy chested REAL MAN you are. The next morning you walk out you front door to an empty driveway and immediately run back in red faced crying to your wife that YOUR CAR WAS STOLEN.

    **** NEWS BULLETIN **** Police recover stolen vehicles 65% of the time... though it is two weeks later with an average of $8,000 in damage.

    POP QUIZ: Your an insurance sompany (hint: in the business of making money) and you have a $40,000 SUV with $8,000 in damage do you a.) total the car out and cut a check to the custom for $37K or b.) piece it back together

    ANSWER: You lose either way.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,613
    Umm.... if you lease.. with GAP insurance... .none of the above applies..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 1
    My dealer adds a twist that was not mentioned when I signed up for the Auto Butler service: unless I am also getting an oil change at the same time (for which I pay $29.95), it is up to ME to bring in the car all washed and clean and ready for the service.

    Also, I am sent a card in the mail and have essentially a month or so in which to use the service. Since it can take anywhere from an hour and a half to most of the day (depending on how busy the dealer is), this can be a real pain in the a** at certain points. At this time of year, dealers are overtaxed with tuneups, etc, for people planning on a long road trip--I don't get the sense that washing your car and applying something you've already paid for is tops on their priority list. The service does do a good job, though. And it probably lasts more than six months anyway (my vehicle is still shiny even though it is time to reapply). But, I think in the future I will not pay in advance, but see how much the service costs each time and get it just when I need it and have the time to drop my car off for a day.
  • I'll start with Auto Butler specifically and then comment on the other dealer add-ons.

    Auto Butler is a fantastic product that has tremendous benefit to the customer--as long as the dealership employees are properly trained on the equipment, chemicals, and application process. My dealership sells Auto Butler and I personally had is applied to my own vehicle. I love it. However, you must make sure that the dealership is knowledgeable in the product. Yes, the dealership is supposed to thoroughly wash the car before applying the product. Not doing so will damage the finish instead of preserving it (even then though, the Auto Butler warranty that comes with the product would pay to fix the problem.) The catch is the cost. The person who said that the cost was $800 obviously is concerned about that number. Understandable. The question should not be (as with any purchase) how much profit there is, but whether or not the asking price makes it beneficial for you to own it. However, just to give you a clue without having all the other dealers on here send me death threats, my dealership sells 5 years of Auto Butler paint protection for $595 and 5 years of Fabric or Leather for $199--and we're still making a healthy profit on it.

    Now, as far as the rest of the add-ons go, if you are going to a reputable dealership, you will usually find that any products they offer are, in fact, very beneficial to the customer. The car sales market is so competitive that we don't want you buying your NEXT car from the dealer down the street because we sold you pin-striping that peels or paint protection that doesn't protect. We usually do our homework and make sure that the stuff we sell is of high quality and actually does what it claims. The only issue is price. Again, you need to ask yourself if the benefits outweigh the cost--if the answer is yes, then buy it. If it's no, then don't. If all you're concerned about is how much money the dealer is making off it, then all I can say is that if everyone wasn't obsessed with buying the car at $1000 below factory invoice, then these products could be sold at a more reasonable markup. There are MANY, MANY times that we make more profit from selling Auto Butler and Security Etching than we made off the sale of the car itself. These dealer add-ons usually have a fairly substantial profit margin--but somewhere along the line, we've got to make some money.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    As someone else said, around Philly sometimes even several car lengths or a quarter mile doesn't save you. When those dump trucks are flying down the road with a flapping tarp that only goes a few feet down the side of the truck, the debris that comes out can fly quite a long way before coming to rest. It's why sometimes I want to say to heck with the 3m film, I want to get my whole truck Line-Xed or Rhinoed.
  • tig41tig41 Posts: 1
    is there a site that has factory add on i have the part # just looking for a better deal
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    Hm... what vehicle are you looking to upgrade?

    You will probably have better luck in our Sound Systems - Aftermarket & OEM Upgrades discussion.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • mia13mia13 Posts: 6
    Yesterday, Friday, I signed the agreement for my new car. I agreed to get the Simoniz Teflon treatment for $500!!!!(I could kick myself!!) The car is not yet at the dealer's as it has to be delivered from Massachusetts. Please let me know if I can call them on Monday morning and STOP this waste of money, scam and have them take off the $500 from my final cost. Am I binded by the contract? Please advice soon as I am losing it right now. Thank you!!!
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... Hmmm, this sounds familiar ....

    My neighbor just bought $4,800 worth of furniture and paid $250 to have it Scotch guarded before it was delivered -- now it's delivered .. he now thinks it was a scam and he paid "too much" .... he did, but he shouldn't been stupid enough to buy it ...

    It's not a scam .. it's just a very inexpensive product that can be done for $80/$90 .... in your case, you haven't taken delivery yet - so nicely get with the dealer and have that part removed and enjoy your new car ..... ;)


    PS: next time you'll know better.
  • mia13mia13 Posts: 6
    Terry, thanks for helping me calm down. I ended up calling the sales manager at home, as I couldn't wait until Monday. I told him I had changed my mind and that I did not want the Simoniz. He simply said "no problem, we'll deduct it from the final cost". I feel relieved, yet still nervous. I can't wait until this stress is over...I constantly feel as if I'm being taken advantage of, going over every conversation and all the paperwork, and also obsessed with surfing for any info I can find...I really need to exhale here!

    I plan on calling the dealership first thing in the morning to verify. I'm lucky this time around, and yes, I'll know better next time. I plan on spreading the word about this too, so others can be prepared. Thanks again!
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I'm not a big fan of these alleged long-life waxes. Like most semi-legit products, they do work to some degree, but tend to overpromise and underdeliver.

    It comes down to this: your car's finish and paint need to be protected from the elements if it is going to last and maintain a fresh appearance, particularly if you have a darker colored car. Optimally, this regimen would include garaging your car as much as possible, washing it regularly, removing anything corrosive (bird dung, tar, etc.) as quickly as possible, and waxing it at regular intervals.

    The frequency that you need to use a wax or sealant will vary depend on the conditions that your car endures, and a sealant should last longer than a wax (sealants are just chemical versions of waxes). But even if you use a high quality sealant and baby your car, you will probably still need to use a quality sealant at least 3-4 times per year.

    So I would be wary of any product that claims that it needs to be applied only once or twice per year, as some claim to, and I'd be sure that whoever does the detail work can do so without leaving swirl marks, scratches, etc.. These long-life products don't work all that well, and it's false economy to skimp on protecting your car's finish by doing so too infrequently.

    In other words, I don't see there being any substitute or short cuts around simply detailing the car on a regular basis. It's not particularly cheap if you pay someone else to do it, and it can be time consuming and tedious if you opt to do it yourself, but if you trade your cars regularly, it will help resale value and enhance its appearance.
  • mia13mia13 Posts: 6
    Thank you Socola,

    I will take your advice!!! As this is my very first BLACK car, I want to maintain the shine as long as possible!!!

    Does a sealant just coat and protect your car without giving it a shine like wax does. Can I use both, a sealant and then wax on top? I'd appreciate any advice...I know I have a lot to learn.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Well, this isn't a forum for detailing, so I'll try to keep it brief:

    -A wax and a sealant are the same thing, except a wax will be made of natural materials such as beeswax, while a sealant is a synthetic. You can put multiple coats if you like. Waxes tend to wear more quickly than do sealants because of their contents. In any case, the purpose of waxes and sealants are the same -- to put a protective coat over the paint to protect it from UV and the elements.

    Some detail fanatics put wax on top of sealants because wax can arguably give deeper, nicer shine, but that isn't necessary to protect your paint. And despite popular belief, the main purpose of waxes and sealants is to protect paint, not to create shine.

    Overall, you tend to combine waxes/sealants with polishes (mild abrasives) and/or glazes (which enhance shine) when detailing a car. Wax and sealant have a specific purpose of paint protection. Some products combine some or all of these functions, but a detailing afficianado would tend to go with seperate products.

    Black paint takes A LOT of work to keep up, it is very easy to get scratches and swirl marks, and your average corner hand car wash will tend to work in ways that create both over the long run. You may not like this, but I'd advise that if you can, you wash it yourself every 1-2 weeks, using good quality soap, a sheepskin mitt, and a "waffle weave" towel for drying. Research the internet, and you'll find detailing fanatics who have lots of great advice on the subject.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  • mia13mia13 Posts: 6
    Wow Socala, Thank you, I really appreciate the time you took!! :)
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Lojack has been in TN now for about 18 months and there has been 37 activations with 36 recoveries. Pretty good record I think.

    Imports are superior
  • I recently walked a Suzuki dealer lot and found that almost every new car had an added on paint protectant for $4999!! I couldn't believe it and wonder if this is common with Suzuki dealers? This made a $16,000 Forenza...$21,000!! Do people really pay this?
  • I doubt it is common. Any sane business person wouldn't price their product $5000 above the competition like that, especially on the low-end of the market, where people are more price sensitive. Maybe on a $250,000 luxury car, but on an economy car? That's crazy!

    That's why I have a hard time believing your story, carman32 (no offense :) )
  • rogscarrogscar Posts: 1
    buying a new impala should get wax protection sold by the dealer?
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    You could. Or you could pay a whole lot less and either have it done professionally or do it yourself.
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