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Dealer Service Dept Scams?



  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I have two boys, 5 and 2, that love to be in the garage with me. I let them watch/interfere just as you said. The 5 year old will hold lug nuts and put them on sometimes. The 2 year old will crawl under the car with me, if I would let him.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I used to use my kids to change spark plugs when their hands fit spaces better than mine and the car was still hot. Don't think I was going to burn my hands!

    Kidding - they did assist in that manner and we always work on the car when it's cold.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    zues - In Japan, many men can't even change a light bulb! They call an electrician. Forget auto repair or maintenance. They do, however, go by the book and bring their cars in for maintenance according to the schedule. I even know a few guys here that call AAA for a flat tire. Mac users, I'd imagine.

    mullins - There's nothing wrong with paying people to take care of auto maintenance. You or I may be able to a lot of it, or even electrical and plumbing repairs around the house. But, many people don't not have the time, ability, or desire to do these things themselves. There's nothing wrong with that at all. (Plus, that's how guys like us get such pretty girls to marry us.)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Hell, I can do it but I still usually pay someone. Unless your garage is set up right it can take forever to do the simplest tasks properly. I just can't rush or butcher a job, I hate that, and I've found that most jobs that are botched are botched because the person didn't take enough time.

    You've all been there. Your front calipers and rotors are off, car's stripped to the spindles, and the sun is setting in the west while you go to the parts store for the 47th time for yet another elusive part, fastener or solvent.

    I've gotten repair shops down to a science. I know all their strong and weak points. So I send my car to different shops depending on the job. I even pick the most patient mechanic for the jobs that are the most tedious.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    You're right, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. My thought is that everyone who owns a car should know some basics about that car, beyond how to put gas in it. Every so often, when I am rotating the tires on my wife's car, I'll make/force her to put the spare on, just as if she had a flat tire. Everything from jacking up the car to dragging the spare out of the trunk to hoisting the "flat" tire into the trunk. She gets so mad at me, but I keep telling her that one night she will thank me.

    on edit: One thing I can say about my wife that I am proud of, every little noise or odd vibration that car makes, she tells me about it as soon as she can. While she doesn't have the ability to repair the car, nor the desire, she knows when something is amiss. It's that knowledge I think every car owner needs.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    to put gas in the van. There is no way she'd change a tire.

    AAA card for her.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Hint: disconnect the gas gauge at the sending unit in the trunk. This way it will always read empty and she'll be forced to put gas in it because she won't know how much fuel is left.

    Should you be captured, I will deny any knowledge of this conversation.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Laurel Dodge in Maryland did reasonable work on my car, but a few times they called and recommended other work that was bogus. They wanted to "blow the dust out of my drum brakes" and repack the rear wheel bearings 5 months after I did that myself (what a waste of time that was following the book maint. schedule, the grease was FINE and hardly used). A buddy used to take his car there and they would hose him regularly. They once told him "that engine has a tendency to wear valve guides, so we recommend you have us replace them while we replace the timing belt." Yea, right, you need to do that now!

    I wouldn't mind so much if the work was actually needed, or was done properly. I had a dealer shop change the transmission fluid on my truck and during the next oil change I saw two bolts that had not been tightened and were hanging loose.

    I think vehicles would last a lot longer if repairs were done properly. I think a lot of cars get so many half-a**ed repairs that eventually they are a huge mess and no longer reliable. My last car I had 13 years and it was in prime shape when I sold it.

  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    I had a dealer shop change the transmission fluid...

    Aye, there's the rub. In my experience, dealers are not the best place to have repair/maintenance work done, unless of course the car is still under warranty.
  • You should ask the shop owner or manager if the operant policy on the shop floor is strict constructionist regarding the Constitution. If he answers no, tell the guy to put the clip board down slowly, as you fire up your engine to leave. NEVER let a communist work on your rig!
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    No posts in 6 days? OK. I'll do one.

    On Thursday, we brought our CL in for the standard moonroof rattle/sqeak, and an oil change. Pick it up Thursday night. I drive off in my Jaguar, she drives off in the CL.

    She uses it all day Friday. I don't see it again until saturday Morning. Right away, I see two BIG scuff/scratches on each corner of the rear bumper cover.

    I call the dealer first thing Monday morning, but that service rep isn't in until Wednesday, so we wait until this morning to bring it in. We talk to the Customer Relations "greeter", who brings the Service Manager. He says, and get this, "If you feel we did it, we will make arrangements with our body shop to have the bumper repainted at no cost to you."

    Those lousy, cheating...oh...wait a second...

    THAT IS TRULY EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE! I would highly recommend Stevens Creek Acura in San Jose, CA for anyone looking to buy or service their Acura. Actually, the buying experience was piece of cake too. But, that's for a different forum topic.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    where profits take precedent over service and repeat business is not the goal one must inspect your car after every repair to assure the repair was done and all appears well. Even simple oil changes should be inspected. Overfilling or underfilling a tranny fluid is so common as the tech simply does not have time to heat the transmission up to properly check the fluid, Letting it idle for 10 min does not do it.
  • Isn't that the truth? You'd think a well run outfit would aim to please, and some businesses do. Those that don't are hard to fathom, so to speak. About 18 months ago, I had a transmission shop fail to refill a transaxle. I had a Chevy dealer put 5 quarts in a 3.5 crankcase. I hear stories of loose pan drain plugs. The "bad" stories abound. Anyone can and will make some mistakes, but some mistakes are not particularly forgiveable.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    Everybody makes mistakes. I made one once. The key is whether people take responsibility for their mistakes, and make an attempt to correct the situation.

    As I said, I'm very impressed with the folks at Stevens Creek Acura for doing the right thing, despite the damage to the bumper cover.
  • asacasac Posts: 7
    I just purchased a new Mazda and the dealership provides "free" lifetime oil changes, every 3750 miles. The catch seems to be that in order to get the free oil changes, I must also have the dealership perform all the recommended service and maintenance on the car. In my experience, I find that dealerships charge far more for routine maintenance than local auto shops. Therefore, although I'll get "free" oil changes, I'll end up paying more for the other routine maintenance and actually end up loosing money in the long run. The question is, should I take the dealership up on the offer of "free" oil changes or should I just save some money and use a local shop?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    then go to a private shop or a chain LOF place in your area that no one talks badly about.

    That way, you'll get $100-120 worth of free service and won't have to deal with the big 15K and 30K services.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    Whose recommendation? Make sure you are only paying for service that is recommended by the car maker. They could be packing the "recommended" list to their advantage.

    Skip the blinker fluid flush and summer/winter air rotation in your tires 8^)

    About the only thing I would recommend more frequently than the carmaker is brake fluid refill (annual, brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs water) and perhaps more frequent transmission fluid/filter changes.

    Other than that, most of it is simply inspection.

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    yeah, I thought I had made a mistake once, too, but I was in error :-D

    it does sound like they fessed up nicely over there.
This discussion has been closed.