Dealer service items: What's profit enhancing fluff and what's really necessary?

eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
There's an interesting discussion going on in the inconsiderate buyer's section about why some dealer service centers prioritize regular customers, which of course led many to wonder why so many refuse to become regulars for anything other than warranty work.

When I first got my truck, and before I knew any better, I about 300 dollars for a dealer service that I later realized was an oil change plus a bunch of basic inspections that I could very easily have done in my driveway. I also know there are many parts that are supposed to be maintenance free for the life of the car that some dealerships still charge for.

Anyone else have similar stories of dealer service gouging? What do you ignore in your owner's manual and what do you pay close attention to?


  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    prioritizing regular customers hmmm sounds like me.

    When i need to go in for a warranty issue (not often) ill call in about 3 days in advance. Service advisor always says you will have to leave it. I say i can wait. One day they said they were booked solid and id be lucky to have it looked at. I Went anyways. I was 2nd one there. The guy who does that particular work took mine first and i was out by 10am. I have no clue why. Maybe they werent booked?

    Things i maintain and go by the book on
    1.oil changes
    2.air filter
    3.rear diff fluid
    4.all other fluids
    5.lubing chassis
    6.air pressure
    7.tire rotation

  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    ryanbab-Do you do that work or do you take it to the dealer to have it done? You have a 4 X 4 don't you? What about the front diff and transfer case oil?

    I have had problems with a particular dealership, when I got the postcard for the customer survey I gave them a very poor rating, and GM actually called me to discuss the problem, ever since then I get good service and they actually wash and vacuum my truck every time I am there. The dirty truck was one of my complaints, I took it in clean, washed it the day before and it came back covered in bird crap, and it took them 5 days to get it done. Now I am in there and if it is an order part it gets ordered and I get my truck, when the part comes in I wait for the truck while they install it and away I go.

    I have seen and heard of people getting the shaft from dealers on add on stuff. One guy on Edmunds actually got charged twice for the same service, the dealer just re worded what they did and charged him an extra 92 bucks! The basic inspection is not really a bad price for what they do, I think the safety inspection is $60. They go over the car fairly decent, and look at the belts, hoses, brakes and fluids. Where I don't understand the prices is when you talk about fuel system flush, it's like $95 they shut off the fuel pump hook up a can of cleaner/fuel and let the car run until it stops, then take the can off, and turn the pump back on. The kit to do it your self is that much, the guy already has it, and the refill can is around $15 so why so much?!!
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    Yes mine is a 4wd

    diff fluid and tcase fluid falls into #4

    I do not need the transfer case fluid changed for awhile since not to long ago i had the blue goo stuff put in (to stop clunking). Front diff. Probably change that around 50K? Already did the rear which was easy. I paid like $80 for fluid and gasket. Dealership wanted $180. So i saved $100. It helps since my dad is a mechanic and can help if i get in a jam.

    I do all of those listed above. Basically i do everything and will do everything unless its a computer problem or an alignment or something i have no idea whats wrong
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    why i wont let my dealership touch my truck

    I was lazy had em lube the chassis. Well i got it back and to make a long story short i had 82PSi in 1 of my tires. Max is 65 (lt285 bfgs expensive tires). Guy denied even putting air in my tires even though i watched him.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    99% of front wheel drive cars have no lube fittings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What are they lubricating, your wallets to make it easier to get the bills out!

    4 WD that's different but cars, come on
  • digeratidigerati Member Posts: 3
    My local Honda repair shop used to see lots of "lubed" front wheel bearings on Hondas and Acuras. In most cases, the duplicitious service center had simply packed grease into the (sealed) bearing space, which would eventually find its way out and onto the wheel spokes or axles.


  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    i have 11 grease fittings for my truck. Dealership missed 4 of them each time i had them do it. They also made a total mess with grease on the underside. Now it gets done right and i am no longer lazy
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    The thing people forget is spraying all the rubber components [boots, bushings, hangers, window guides, molding etc] with a premium rubber protectant [non silicone base].
    Wurth makes an excellant product that may double the life of components.
    People forget that AC Freon is a liquid under pressure but ignore it until the oil turns acidic and eats the components from the inside out.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I have yet to see rubber components, door seals etc. crack and go bad(on post 1990 cars) and I never have dealer lubricate them. Guess I have been lucky. Is that worth a $300 15,000 mile checkup?

    Freon, no one replaces freon unless it has leaked out???

    99% of owners never replace brake fluid, power steering fluid and not always replace the tranny fluid or coolant either. Never seen a car unit (brake or power steering) go bad due to poor fluid, brake possibly if moisture heavy ( and usually done when pads need replacing anyway) but not a high on the list maintenance item by most people. Even the dealers list rarely includes those items.
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