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Old 06-19-2014, 05:41 PM   #41
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I'm not saying you're wrong, but I find it hard to believe that dealers would be unhappy to be the only place an owner could go for service to their specific brand of vehicle.
Well, of course they're not. But they're running a business too and they don't like being gouged any more than anyone else does. They want to do the gouging, not be the gougee.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #42
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They want to do the gouging, not be the gougee.
Ain't that the truth!
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:46 PM   #43
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Just today had the headlight bulb in my 2011 GMC Sierra pickup changed. $65 at dealership. I tried to change it myself yesterday and gave up after 45 minutes and still wasn't any closer to getting the old one out than I was when I started. This is right up there with the proprietary tool scam dealers use that aren't available to independent garages.
Headlight Change 2007-2013 GMC Sierra 1500 - 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE 5.3L V8 Crew Cab Pickup (4 Door)

looks pretty involved just to change the bulb.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:49 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Snidely Whiplash View Post
Just today had the headlight bulb in my 2011 GMC Sierra pickup changed. $65 at dealership. I tried to change it myself yesterday and gave up after 45 minutes and still wasn't any closer to getting the old one out than I was when I started.
Next time you get stuck with something like this, do a quick youtube search. I have found most everything like this is demonstrated in detail. You may decide not to do the job (in this case it looks pretty convoluted), but youtube has come to the rescue many times for me.

One story I need to tell: last year my father-in-law bought a new Ford Focus, and it had some bizarre noise it made after the ignition was turned off. The dealer couldn't figure it out. So I found the solution on youtube (including a recording of the sound it made). I gave my FIL the solution, including the service bulletin number, which he took to the dealer. That cured it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:54 PM   #45
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OMG! The people who designed that should be shot. I cannot imagine any reason to make a light bulb that hard to reach.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:58 PM   #46
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Next time you get stuck with something like this, do a quick youtube search. I have found most everything like this is demonstrated in detail. You may decide not to do the job (in this case it looks pretty convoluted), but youtube has come to the rescue many times for me.
Another good source is to find a user group/forum for your make/model of vehicle. Lot of times they already have HOWTOs written for common procedures. And whatever you are doing , likely someone else there has already done it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #47
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OMG! The people who designed that should be shot. I cannot imagine any reason to make a light bulb that hard to reach.
Wow, I can't believe that, I saw it but, I stll can't believe what they did........

My 2005 Silverado, it's a couple of pins, five minute job. I've always thought the 2 trucks were basically the same. If GM took something so simple to make it that much work.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:23 PM   #48
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Please excuse me while I hug my 1995 GMC K1500 with sealed beam headlights.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #49
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I never use dealership for anything. Then again I only go to the local shop when something is broke which my rig has only had 2 minor repairs and a tune-up. My vehicle has 200k on it, and I never done any regular maintenance with the exception of oil and air filter changes. The money saved on skipping all that maintenance will almost buy me a new car it sounds like.


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Old 06-19-2014, 08:43 PM   #50
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I'll keep my 99 Suburban and 88 4x4 GMC winter beater. 10 minutes to chane headlight bulbs, tops. For both sides.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:57 PM   #51
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We bought a used Lexus 300 sedan (1999) out of an estate a few years ago with 37,000 original miles on it. (nice find!)

The file of receipts that they gave us had 17 oil changes tickets, three new batteries, a replacement back up camera ($450.00) and a bunch of $300+ "inspections".

The old gent started taking the car there right out of warranty @ 24K miles. They were dinging him an oil change every 1,000 miles from what it looked like (what a waste of good oil!). And the batteries? They should have been adjusted for warranty as they were over a span of a five years.

The real dinger was the replacement back up camera.....the car was not equipped with one and in 1999 they were not even sold yet!

Our cars? If the car is under warranty, I use an independent shop for oil changes and they stamp the maintenance record book. Something breaks, back to the dealer. Periodic (interval) inspections...I do them.

For cars out of warranty....I do the basic maintenance work myself.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:59 PM   #52
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Another good source is to find a user group/forum for your make/model of vehicle. Lot of times they already have HOWTOs written for common procedures. And whatever you are doing , likely someone else there has already done it.
+1 saved me tons of money:

Fred's TDI Page. TDIClub.com. VW TDI Enthusiast Community
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:04 PM   #53
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A few years ago my Saturn dealer offered me 4 free oil changes for a year, so I accepted. At the 2nd one, they told me my standard transmission was going and that I'd need a $2,000 repair. I sought a 2nd opinion at a local auto service shop that I had been told was well-respected (you need to reserve an appointment about three weeks in advance). They said: "No, you don't."

At my 4th and final oil change, the Saturn dealer said I needed my brakes fixed for some $350.00. I went back to that local shop and they said I just needed something tightened, which they did for "free" during that service visit.

As you might have guessed, I've been going back to that shop ever since for the recommended periodic maintenance. Oh, by the way, some seven years and many thousands of miles later I still haven't needed the transmission or brakes "repaired."
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #54
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Was it one of those that is especially difficult to get to? A friend who owns a Pius tells me that to change a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!
Good question, it's the first time one has gone out on this car. I'm going to have to check to see how difficult it is.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:35 AM   #55
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I change my own oil, and do any repairs I can myself. Any mechanical repairs, I take to the dealer.

The dealer has the tools and parts to get the job done right. They keep the records. Generally they pay more money per hour for their service techs, and keep them trained. That all costs more money, which you pay for.

When you go to a 'quick change' place, you get someone that might be their first time changing oil, on any car. Good luck with that. I have heard too many horror stories.

Gone are the days when everyone knows how to do basic automotive repairs.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:42 AM   #56
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A few years ago my Saturn dealer offered me 4 free oil changes for a year, so I accepted. At the 2nd one, they told me my standard transmission was going and that I'd need a $2,000 repair. I sought a 2nd opinion at a local auto service shop that I had been told was well-respected
...
As you might have guessed, I've been going back to that shop ever since for the recommended periodic maintenance. Oh, by the way, some seven years and many thousands of miles later I still haven't needed the transmission or brakes "repaired."
Interesting! I liked my Saturn dealer. But that was in the early 90s. They were new. Times change.

What you say about the independent rings so true, and this is why I'll be using my independent going forward. I was convinced something horrible was wrong with my car once (tie rod falling off or something). No, it was just a wheel weight that fell off. They did that repair for FREE. Same with my wife who had some loose cowling under her car. FREE.

And even when they do repairs, they never find extra stuff to fix. Heck, the service writer even gives me advice on the stuff I do myself (like oil changes) because he knows I do that part.

They only see me once a year or so, but I'm loyal as can be.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:59 AM   #57
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I just searched that turn signal bulb change on my car. Now I am annoyed, it's two screws and the bulbs are $5.50 a pair on Amazon.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #58
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Was it one of those that is especially difficult to get to? A friend who owns a Pius tells me that to change a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!

Whatever engineer designed that should be taken out and shot.
I think the shop manual says to remove the bumper but it may not be necessary ( vehicle specific user forum info )



Toyota Prius: How to Replace the Headlight Bulbs (HID and Halogen) - PriusDIY.com
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:40 PM   #59
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My 2005 Silverado, it's a couple of pins, five minute job. I've always thought the 2 trucks were basically the same. If GM took something so simple to make it that much work.
What we they thinking? My 2003 GMC the same as yours, a couple of pins and the assembly pops out.

Changing something that simple is beyond my comprehension.

The two trucks (Chevy/GMC) are basically the same. The GMC has a few more options offered, maybe a bit better fit 'n finish, but mechanically identical. I bought the service manuals (five volumes!) and on the front it says "Chevrolet and GMC".
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:45 PM   #60
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I could change my old Bronco's bulbs in about a minute. I think it just twisted off. The problem is that they kept burning out so I kept a supply in the car.

I go to the local mechanic for $19.95 old changes but keep all the paper work in case I need warranty work (didn't on my last two vehicles).
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