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Old 03-05-2015, 11:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
You don't get a deal at your family's dealership? So much for the friends and family discount.
The brother price consists of purchasing new automobiles for dead invoice price minus current factory sales incentives. That's $4K-$5K less than the general public will pay for high demand luxury cars.

The Service Department gives no discounts to relatives--or employees. That includes the owners--who even pay full price for service work.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:09 AM   #62
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Do most people really spend $595 on service without any idea what's included?
This person doesn't... because other than tire mounting and balancing, this person does everything himself. The last time I paid for anything other than that was back about 1990, which convinced me that doing my own work would continue.

But someday, I will become physically unable to do all the things I do. When that day comes, I want someone to shoot me, making the first shot count. It's a quality of life thing with me.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:01 AM   #63
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I don't do plugs myself either, anymore
These new plugs come already gapped and last about 80,000 miles. You can still buy the cheap copper ones that only last 20,000 miles but its not worth saving $3 / plug considering the effort involved.

I changed the plugs twice in the 12 yrs I had my car, that's all it needed as I only drove it 106,000 miles.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:15 AM   #64
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Isn't it sad that at least in the flemington area of nj, that you have car dealers who consistently recommend un needed service. My wife of course goes to the dealer sometimes and comes back with a proposal of things to do. We then bring this to my independent repair shop and get their take, and their story is much different. These people are not your friends but nice thieves. These are the same folks who when you buy your car will put you through a gauntlet of proposals on things like extended warranties and pin striping. To bad you have to teach your children about these things.


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Old 03-06-2015, 07:24 AM   #65
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servicewriters paychecks are on commission so the more they can sell you the more they make, it's as simple as that.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:30 AM   #66
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FYI, the independent shops don't always charge less for some routine maintenance tasks.

A while back I called up my local well known Honda/Toyota independent shop. I also called the Honda dealer up the street where we bought DW's car 15 years ago. Dealer was cheaper on all services quoted (independent price first, then dealer price):

Accord
oil change 35 31.14
coolant replacement 115 65
brake fluid replacement 89 85

Civic
oil change 35 31.14
coolant replacement 115 65

Timing belt was also cheaper and I used the dealer, but it was pretty close ($500-600 ish with the independent being ~$50 more - make sure to inquire about replacing the water pump and that it's included in any quoted price).

I'm pretty sure it's because the dealer wants to charge $4 less for an oil change to get you in the door and then sell you hundreds of dollars of additional service. $4 to acquire an additional $300-400 in revenue is a pretty inexpensive marketing expense. And I rarely get out of the dealer without having some multi-hundred dollar repair recommended. I like their free inspections as it gives me a starting point to investigate potential repairs I might need or to monitor for changes long term.

The advantage of the independent shop is they operate on trust and tell me over and over that I should skip a recommended service when it makes sense or to let it go another 10-30k miles and see if everything is still fine. So I'm pretty sure you'll save money overall at the independent shop, but if you can shop the dealer for the loss leaders, you might come out ahead.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:43 AM   #67
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This person doesn't... because other than tire mounting and balancing, this person does everything himself. The last time I paid for anything other than that was back about 1990, which convinced me that doing my own work would continue.

But someday, I will become physically unable to do all the things I do. When that day comes, I want someone to shoot me, making the first shot count. It's a quality of life thing with me.
I could have written this as well, except that I also mount, balance and align (simple toe-in and guess at camber). I started doing it when the high school dropouts at Walmart told me what tires they would sell me on my wimpy Rabbit diesel (52 hp) pickup "truck".
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:52 AM   #68
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I once took my SUV which had a noise coming from the front differential to a Chevy dealer. Their diagnosis was that the differential was shot, and cost would be 1800 plus whatever else they found once they dug deeper. I also got the "it's been a good vehicle, but may be time for a new one" spiel. I thanked them and took it to the ma-and-pa mechanic that I know and trust. Topped off the differential fluid for 20 bucks, and the problem was gone.

More recently, I've been to the same tire-and-repair franchise 3 times in the past couple years, for new tires and a couple tire repairs. Inevitably, the technician finds something generically wrong with the vehicle - leaking strut, worn ball joint, worn brake pads. But I know the vehicle well enough to know what the symptoms would be, so say no thanks. And they never find the same problem on consecutive visits. Hmmm.....
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
These new plugs come already gapped and last about 80,000 miles. You can still buy the cheap copper ones that only last 20,000 miles but its not worth saving $3 / plug considering the effort involved.

I changed the plugs twice in the 12 yrs I had my car, that's all it needed as I only drove it 106,000 miles.
for Subaru turbo cars the stock plugs need regapped and they don't last that long if you are hitting a lot of boost


plus to change them you have to remove he intake, water bottle etc and then take off the coil packs; huge pita
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:35 AM   #70
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Last month I took my Ford Ranger to a dealership for service when the left rear brake cylinder started leaking. Aside from recalls it was the first time I'd taken a vehicle to a dealer in at least 20 years.

I had replaced the right rear cylinder myself last summer. It wasn't leaking at the time, but the bleeder screw was seized. The job was a minor nightmare (I ended up having to replace a brake line), so I decided to do the other side later. So of course the remaining cylinder went out when the temperature was topping out in the single digits.

The thought of crawling under the truck was not appealing, so I checked with the local independents. Everybody was booked into next week. Meanwhile the truck's brake system was going drip, drip, drip.

Ford got me in and out the same day I called. It probably cost me $80 more than I would have spent elsewhere (they also replaced the cylinder I had installed last summer, which annoyed me a bit). But the work got done quickly, before the truck had drooled brake fluid all over my driveway. And all the parts are OE Ford, if that matters.

Fast, good and cheap -- choose any two.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:02 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Which Roger View Post
I once took my SUV which had a noise coming from the front differential to a Chevy dealer. Their diagnosis was that the differential was shot, and cost would be 1800 plus whatever else they found once they dug deeper. I also got the "it's been a good vehicle, but may be time for a new one" spiel. I thanked them and took it to the ma-and-pa mechanic that I know and trust. Topped off the differential fluid for 20 bucks, and the problem was gone.

More recently, I've been to the same tire-and-repair franchise 3 times in the past couple years, for new tires and a couple tire repairs. Inevitably, the technician finds something generically wrong with the vehicle - leaking strut, worn ball joint, worn brake pads. But I know the vehicle well enough to know what the symptoms would be, so say no thanks. And they never find the same problem on consecutive visits. Hmmm.....

This is one reason that I get my tires from a shop that ONLY does tires..... no upsale potential at all.... and they are very good at doing tires since that is all they do....
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:13 AM   #72
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our local Subaru dealership is extremely competitive with tires, if not cheaper than the tire shop, I actually bought my bfg all terrains there for my ranger


plus they compete with labor too since a few tuning shops here are getting a lot of the Subaru work (we have a lot of subarus here)
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:37 AM   #73
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Maybe it depends on where you are and your skill set (we have no automotive skill set). We have a lot of choices for car maintenance and have used most of them but we have taken our current two cars to their respective dealers where we bought them new for almost everything. I would expect a push for a new version, especially of our ten year old Acura, but when the timing belt was replaced on schedule they told DH we could easily get another 100k miles out of the car.

At both dealerships they tell us exactly what needs to be done per our cars' service manual and what additional work they might recommend and what the cost would be broken down by item. I am sure the additional work includes upsell items but we can skip them (as well as anything else on the list). Interestingly, about half the time they do not suggest anything else, and there have been times when they tell us the brakes are still good, for example. We have never needed anything repaired or replaced on either car--sticking to the manufacturers' maintenance schedule must be working, knock on wood.

We almost always just go with what they suggest but I can see why people who know cars would be able to analyze the suggestions better than we can. It has made our car-owning so much less stressful.

But only an idiot would give a mechanic a blank check with a ballpark amount for unspecified work, to answer the OP's question. That surprises me that a Toyota dealership would do that.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:13 AM   #74
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That surprises me that a Toyota dealership would do that.
For many years a number of Toyota and Honda dealerships in my area were famous for their piratic ways. If they had a popular model, they'd jack the price up above the suggested retail. Whatever the traffic would bear. Parts and service were the same story. People with lower levels of mechanical ability tend to like the brands because they have a reputation for reliability -- but those consumers can be vulnerable at the retail level.

Fortunately, the Internet has given people a convenient way to shop around. You can compare prices, and reputations for incompetence or dishonesty will out through sites like Yelp or Angie's List.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:39 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
The brother price consists of purchasing new automobiles for dead invoice price minus current factory sales incentives. That's $4K-$5K less than the general public will pay for high demand luxury cars.

The Service Department gives no discounts to relatives--or employees. That includes the owners--who even pay full price for service work.
This reminds me of the different " Profit Centers " at a dealership . Sales, Service, Parts Dept. Body Shop, and one local Chevy Dealer has a Medium duty Truck/ motor-home service dept, completely separate from the normal service dept.

Each is responsible for making money independently from the other dept's.

The Truck/ motor home dept. does xlnt work , has different shop rate, 40,000 # chassis diesel motorhome with allison truck transmission , no problem.

On the other hand , the regular car / light truck service dept is pathetic , but they do have free coffee and pastries.

This dealer is owned by one of the largest chain owner in the nation.

Tip: if you have a problem with something in the steering collum , dashboard or electrical system, a good body shop is likely able to find and fix it quicker and cheaper than the dealer regular service service dept.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:43 PM   #76
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Tip: if you have a problem with something in the steering collum , dashboard or electrical system, a good body shop is likely able to find and fix it quicker and cheaper than the dealer regular service service dept.
maybe if they can turn rotors
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:54 PM   #77
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maybe if they can turn rotors
I'm sure they could, and piss-off the service dept. too for poaching the work.

Unfortunately , the body shop doesn't offer free doughnuts and coffee like the service dept.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:50 PM   #78
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They were gonna replace every belt, since they already would have to take many things off the engine. LOL.
Belts are cheap, compared to all the labour it costs to replace them. And if the water pump is driven by the timing belt and it fails, you're going to have another timing belt change. So if the water pump costs less than 1/3 or so of the timing belt change, it might be worth doing.

Two of our four (this is silly; one's for sale) current vehicles have timing chains. Makes the 60,000 mile service bill a lot cheaper.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #79
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No.
+1 NO. Rip Off. Comment. Have 2002 Camry. 4 cylinder. 100K miles.
Talked to Mech. I said, is it due for timing belt change.
First he said Yes, then said, OH, you car has 4 cylinders.

Has chain, not belt. Don't worry. Asked about Water pump, oh, they go
for a lot longer. Asked about spark plugs, he said Toyota increased the
time to 125K miles on newer Toyota's. My car has same plug.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:50 PM   #80
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+1 NO. Rip Off. Comment. Have 2002 Camry. 4 cylinder. 100K miles.
Talked to Mech. I said, is it due for timing belt change.
First he said Yes, then said, OH, you car has 4 cylinders.

Has chain, not belt. Don't worry. Asked about Water pump, oh, they go
for a lot longer. Asked about spark plugs, he said Toyota increased the
time to 125K miles on newer Toyota's. My car has same plug.
Note:

Timing chains are not without wear considerations. They will stretch and the guides will wear out. They can fail if improper oil change schedule is not maintained. Timing chain, drive sprockets, tensioner and guides should last a long time, but should be changes if the cylinder head is removed for a repair or rebuild.
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