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Auto service "shop supply charge" last straw
Old 06-18-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
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Auto service "shop supply charge" last straw

Yesterday I had my oil changed by the dealer. What? The price is $10 more than winter? Oh... I see you raised labor and you added a "shop supply charge." Shop supplies for $4.15? That's a pretty expensive rag! (The oil and filter were detailed separately.)

Good bye. I won't be back. I privately flipped my lid. Not worth arguing with these people. Tried that once before, didn't get anywhere.

This was the last straw. For my $30k service, they charged $650. That's outrageous for mostly a bunch of inspection items. When I tried to get them to do what was only in the book, he told me: "Doesn't matter, I'm going to charge you the same." They now want to get me to come in next time for a $200 45k service that ISN'T EVEN IN THE BOOK.

So it got me thinking. I know there is this "Magnuson-Moss" act that prohibits dealers from not honoring a warranty if work is done elsewhere. But to avoid confrontation, I always went to the dealer during the warranty and then took care of 90% of my service on my own after that. But am I just being too paranoid? Should I go right to the independent straight away? I don't plan on buying another car for 10 years or so, but you never know.

So, what do you all do?
- Do you only go to the dealer for routine maintenance during the warranty?
- Do you like their work?
- Do you accept all their "recommended" service, even if it is above and beyond the warranty book?
- If not, what options to you use? Do it yourself? Independent?

I have a trusted independent. I'll be doing a combination of my own work and the independents here onward. I'm near the end of the warranty period anyway. But I swear, not only has this behavior turned me off from the dealer, it is has turned me off of the car brand. Perhaps I should give corporate a piece of my mind -- doubt they would care much.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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My practice has been have the dealer do the maintenance for as long as the car is under warranty just to avoid the argument that maintenance wasn't done.

The day after the warranty expires I either do it myself or take it to an independent.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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My practice has been have the dealer do the maintenance for as long as the car is under warranty just to avoid the argument that maintenance wasn't done.

The day after the warranty expires I either do it myself or take it to an independent.
+1
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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Right, me too. Hence the discussion.

However, in the 4.5 years I've had the car, they really jacked the way they do business. (I think there was a change of management.) Oil changes went from $32 total to $55 in those years.

And then there is that $650 30k charge, the one that apparently recaptures a lot of lost profit, if you ask me. In my manual, it consists of almost entirely inspections and adjustments. The only added items are fuel and air filters. They say "inspect and replace if necessary" a bunch of fluids, but I doubt they ever find a reason to replace them. (Didn't in my case.) The work took about 1.5hrs total. My oil change alone to 45 minutes at this place.

So, it has me thinking about going to my independent next time I buy a new car and throwing around terms like "Magnuson-Moss" should I have to come back to the dealer for warranty work.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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And then there is that $650 30k charge, the one that apparently recaptures a lot of lost profit, if you ask me.
That one would drive me away too. That's absurd. It'll be interesting to see how the dealer does with the new Honda. It's had one free oil change so far but as time goes by I'll see what else they try to do.

A trusted friend who is also an airplane mechanic - not the guy one would try to fool - says they're an honest and excellent shop and he has all the work on his Honda with 190k+ miles done there.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
My practice has been have the dealer do the maintenance for as long as the car is under warranty just to avoid the argument that maintenance wasn't done.

The day after the warranty expires I either do it myself or take it to an independent.
I've never followed this strategy, at least not until my last new car (truck, actually) purchase. Since it was my first diesel vehicle and had a purchase price 7X what we paid for our first house , I figured the safest approach was to do exactly as you've done and stick with the dealer during the warranty. Turns out the dealer's price for oil changes (the thing takes 10 quarts) is very competitive with the independent places I've checked, so I may continue to stick with them once the warranty expires.

EDIT: Responding to the OP's "Do you accept all their "recommended" service, even if it is above and beyond the warranty book?" question, the dealership is linked to the manufacturer's (GM) maintenance schedule website. The dealership has never recommended any additional service other than what appears in the GM maintenance schedule - and I skip some of these if they are the "inspect and check" variety.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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It might help if we knew what make the OP is talking about.

I also decline the unnecessarily inflated dealer recommended in-warranty service package, and insist on only what's recommended by the manufacturer as laid out in the owner manual. It's never been anywhere near the cost of the dealer service package (typically half to a quarter the $) - in our case at Toyota or Honda dealers for the last three cars.

Once the car is out of warranty, we do common sense preventive maintenance, but otherwise no service unless there's an issue.

And if the dealer service department told me the charge was the same whether they performed the 15-20 dealer recommended items (many bogus) vs the 4-5 manufacturer recommended items, I'd simply find another dealer/service - that's preposterous. None of the Toyota or Honda dealers we've used have tried that, though they really try to sell their service package. I am willing to say "no" as many times as it takes to get them to service MY car as I ask.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
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I'm vague because I fear these guys. Sorry.

I will say they service a lot of 4 wheel and All wheel drive vehicles, and this is partly the blame for the higher 30k service. Extra things to check like differential fluid.

Joe: "Did you replace the transfer case fluid?"
Service writer: "Nope. We checked it, it was fine!"

That cost me $200.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
My practice has been have the dealer do the maintenance for as long as the car is under warranty just to avoid the argument that maintenance wasn't done.

The day after the warranty expires I either do it myself or take it to an independent.
When I had my previous car, I stopped going to the dealer even before the warranty expired. The reason was the speakers went bad but when I brought the car in, the dealer service said "It's up to specs". Simply listening to the sound anyone could tell something was wrong. I never spent another penny at that dealer after the incident. In fact, that dealer is kaput, no longer in business.

To the OP, if it makes you feel any better, the bank by me now charges $4 for ATM cash withdrawals not with their bank. This in additional to $3 the bank with the account charges. Also, I just bought a concert ticket and with that got $8.03 tacked on as processing fees
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Auto service "shop supply charge" last straw
Old 06-18-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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Auto service "shop supply charge" last straw

Except for oil changes and timing belts, we do not take our cars in for service unless there is something wrong.

Never even thought about warranties as the make has always been extremely reliable. We always drive the cars until they no longer drive which is 15+ years.

Edit: One of our cars has a maintenance minder which so far for the first 75,000 has only recommended oil changes. The dealer has a whole bunch of other service 15,000 30,000 etc which we decline as these are not required by the manufacturer.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:24 PM   #11
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I will only go to a dealership on a recall item. Most dealerships are run by pirates.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post

So, what do you all do?
- Do you only go to the dealer for routine maintenance during the warranty?
- Do you like their work?
- Do you accept all their "recommended" service, even if it is above and beyond the warranty book?
- If not, what options to you use? Do it yourself? Independent?

I have a trusted independent. I'll be doing a combination of my own work and the independents here onward. I'm near the end of the warranty period anyway. But I swear, not only has this behavior turned me off from the dealer, it is has turned me off of the car brand. Perhaps I should give corporate a piece of my mind -- doubt they would care much.
When we moved to Florida I was flabbergasted at how difficult auto care was. Not many independent shops, overselling and deceitful behaviour by the franchise shops and dealers is widespread. The "45/60/90K" service packs are chock full of unnecessary maintenance, I stick with the car service manual guidelines.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:28 PM   #13
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I went to my Honda dealer for a standard oil change yesterday. They offer two types of oil changes, an oil change only for $29 and an oil change (with multi point inspection) for $55. I always get the basic $29 oil change but they still do the inspection anyways (for obvious reasons). From the inspection they said the front passenger side strut had a leak and needed to be replaced ($750 for both front struts). I told them no thanks, it still rides smooth, no unusual tire wear, and seems to pass my unofficial bounce back test.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:33 PM   #14
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We only go to the dealer for warranty work or unless they offer a freebie oil change . Have never had an issue.

We have a wonderful independent shop that we use for all work. We keep our cars until they die, ~18 yrs or so.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:38 PM   #15
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We buy new Fords trucks and Chevy Corvettes. I'm not going to be inconvenienced taking a vehicle to a dealer for service in or out of warranty. We do take vehicles to the dealer if there has been a recall. Every vehicle that we own has all receipts for work done by ourselves or our mechanic. The dealers we buy from know that we take excellent care of our vehicles and have always given us top dollar when we've traded them in. Sometimes they have even had our vehicle sold before we've picked up the new vehicle.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:26 PM   #16
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I do my own, short of something like replacing the transmission. I follow the schedule in the owners manual, but really there is not much to it on vehicles these days, change oil, filters, check fluid levels... other than that they don't require much. The stuff that breaks is usually the fancy electronics and that is not a service schedule anyway.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:27 PM   #17
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I will only go to a dealership on a recall item. Most dealerships are run by pirates.
+1.

Two years ago, my Corolla had a minor recall on a computer part relating to its automatic transmission and the repair shop gave me a card good for a free car wash at a nearby facility. It had no expiration date but when I went there about a year ago I waited for 10-15 minutes without advancing on line because it was one of those high-end, full-service places. I gave up and went home, later going to my regular car wash place with no wait which cost me about $6.

Even the free stuff they gave me wasn't worth it LOL!
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:01 PM   #18
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We have learned the hard way to ask for factory recommended service only for major services and price shop. We became friends with a local mechanic with very reasonable prices for all minor services.

For a major service the service manager at a dealership in a lower rent zip code quoted me a price $300 less than our local in town dealer once he knew I was calling around and price shopping. Our mechanic friend would charge even less, but DH thought the dealer might be better for a major service.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:44 PM   #19
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Our local dealerships are honest.
The first thing they tell you, is that if your car goes over the white line at the entrance of the shop the charge is $95. No matter the reason. Even if there is no service.

Older people don't have a chance. My 86 year old neighbor had her 2 year old car in for a 3 month oil change ... religiously because they told her it was necessary. $39 oil change, $20 inspection, $15 car wash... She passed away two weeks ago. Total miles on the 2011 Lincoln MKZ? 2600. She had enough money, and left $500K to local charities. The Lincoln dealer wasn't one of them.

A big part of the problem, is the complexity of late model cars. Keeping up with the technology needed for efficient service is beyond the ability of all but very large local garages.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #20
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I only do what is recommended in the book...

Once I got screwed when a shop said that I was supposed to get a tune up at 60K miles.... later on found out it was 90K....

One dealership asked me how often I change the oil.... I said whenever the cars tells me to ... it has a computer that would tell you how much more life you had in your oil... it was between 6K and 8K miles... my car without the computer I do 5K...
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