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



  • 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.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 249
    There is one Honda dealer in College Park, Maryland who has come up with a cute little euphemism for its "rip off" sticker. This dealer refers to its practice of increasing its profits through the addition of overpriced add-ons as "accessorizing" the vehicle. This particular dealer has stated most of its clients appreciate its "accessorizing" improvements to the vehicles. The dealer also points out that one can always order a "stripped" vehicle. As a buyer of numerous Honda vehicles, I have yet to locate a "stripped" EX or LX.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    Coming in late here but almost ALL Honda dealers do this.

    We kept the accessories to a minimum adding the items that a lot of people wanted anyway such as splash guards on the EX's.

    There are stores in this area that added so many expensive (and usually unwanted) items that we wouldn't do dealer trades with them.

    Making a few extra bucks ins't a bad thing you know. :)
  • We did paint/interior protection packages on the last two cars we purchased.
    For the first car we purchased, we simply went to the detailing place the dealer out sourced the car to, at about half the price. The second car we bought, from the same dealer, we were offered a similar protection package, but this time with ding removal. We negotiated that price down by about a third, then took it.
  • I'm a big fan of Auto Butler, but not at $800, and this comes from someone who religiously waxes his vehicles. My Auto Butler was thrown in to get me to make my purchase so my situation was a little different. After a few applications I was so happy with it that I negotiated my girlfriends Auto Butler protection for her car (VW) at my Honda dealership. We were able to get it at $250. I wouldve normally just waxed her car twice a year but at $25 an application, why? When you pick up your car you see the difference. Plus as mentioned, you get the paint guarantee that comes with it.
  • Auto Butler claims to protect the car finish against bugs, bird droppings, and acid rain. My wife had auto butler applied to her Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. A skunk sprayed corner of front bumper and stained finish. Took it to dealer and Auto Butler rep tried to remove it and failed. Told me to file a claim with insurance. Auto butler option cost $500. I recommend not to buy auto butler. Money will be better spent on insurance deducted.
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