Join Early Retirement Today
View Poll Results: Do you trust auto service personnel ?
Yes 2 3.23%
No 24 38.71%
Sometimes 36 58.06%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Car owners manuals discuss routine maintenance in pretty easy to understand terms and usually include a summary chart so you can see the recommended schedule all in one place. Considering the cost of cars and service these days, I try to keep myself informed in these matters. Therefore, while I find upselling at the quickie lube place annoying, they've never suggested anything that surprised me.

If the car manufacturer suggests a coolant flush at 45k miles, and the quickie lube place suggests that to you when you're in for an oil change at 47k miles, it's annoying but certainly not dishonest.

Charging for work not done, suggesting work not needed or creating a sense of urgency over routine situations is another matter..........
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
This was the local Honda service center . There were at least twenty people in the waiting area & I only saw one leave without additional charges.The last time I was there almost everybody needed tires . What is the chance of that being true ? Plus this is in Florida so a lot of the customers are older single women .
I usually take my hondas to the dealer too. Their prices beat the local Honda independent mechanic specialist who I take my car to sometimes because I trust them. And the dealer often has $10 off $100 coupons or 10% off coupons. And buy 4 get 1 free oil changes.

But I never leave there without "needing" $150-200 in work done. I hardly ever get it done. After researching it later, or taking it to the independent place, I figure out it is mostly fluff, or stuff that can be deferred indefinitely without problem, or replacement items that could be replaced now but might last another year or two (battery and connector cables is one of these, still going strong 8 months later, we'll see if it lasts through winter).

So, trust but verify, and be aware they often want to do upsells. I usually tell the Honda dealer I'll think about it and schedule the service to be done next time it is convenient for me. That way I can research the issue a little and/or get a 2nd opinion.
__________________

__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 09:08 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I'm not that much of a car person, so the one defense I do is to keep a log everytime I bring my car in for service. Car places do that all the time by recording the date, mileage and work done. My previous car, I only kept receipts but no log so when the car place would suggest, for example, new brakes, I had no clue if they were churning or the time was about right for brakes to get replaced.
I keep a maintenance spreadsheet for each car too. Helps me see when services are due, since I try to maintain the manufacturer's recommended service intervals. And I can record notes like "dealer recommended A, B, C, and D at 80,000 miles but internet research indicates none of these are likely necessary immediately. Wait till they break and/or repair when you do X or Y as it will get done anyway". Then I can see how often the dealer was BS'ing me. Which is almost always. They are cheap though. And have free coffee, wifi, and popcorn, shuttle service and work on Saturdays. The independent guy is only M-F and no free popcorn.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,614
I go with an independent garage we've used for years. I trust "Dave," and he'll often let me know when things are "okay for now", but going to need service later. He's charged me little or nothing for small repairs that had the same symptoms as something a lot more serious/expensive, which gave me faith that he wasn't ripping me off.
We do take our 2011 Honda CR-V to the dealer for service, but will quit that in a year or so.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
NO
Old 11-27-2012, 09:29 PM   #25
Recycles dryer sheets
REattempt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 280
NO

Answer the poll: No and it stinks.

I went to the NTB and paid them for a 3 year alignment. Went in anytime the front end pulled or other problems, or 6 mos, whichever came first. Car continued to "pull" and the outside front tire wear was horrible. I lived with it because I made 45K on used tires and knew I had to replace them.

When I bought tires, I went to NTB first to have an oil change and alignment (under the 3 year plan). All was "good."

Went, on the same day, to buy tires at the local Tire Source. (They had a deal on the tire recommended by the model specific forum of which I'm a member). When the put on new tires they checked the alignment.

Guess What? Front end and rear end out of alignment.

Now what do to? Who's right? Who do you trust?

I sided with the Tire Sourc...I want them to back the new tires. Explained the situation to them and they gave me a discount on the alignment, understanding the situation. I made it clear, to the manager, that I will use them and hold them responsible for the wear.

Took the old tires back to NTB and complained about the wear and the fact that there was a discrepancy between the two alignment machines. Response was "What do you want me to do?" I left.

After cooling down, I called NTB back and told them I wanted a refund on the 3 yr alignment. After "let me talk to the manager," they called me back and gave me $80 back of the $130 for the 3 year program.

Seems to me that if all these places just treated customers right, used the truth and took care of their customers, it wouldn't be a constant battle for customers, or constant upsell. It would build trust and save me a bunch of headache and time and their machinations.

But then again, what do I know...I just retired at 46 because I treated my customers right.

YMMV
__________________
FIREd at 46, 8/31/11
REattempt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 183
An ex-colleague who quit a senior corporate job to own and manage a repair shop says that he was taught that it was important to earn trust. Don't upsell everytime, surprise the customer once in a while by having lower repairs than expected and then once you have the customer's trust, from time to time upsell.... Basically he said you can't trust anyone.
__________________
pixelville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 10:28 PM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I'm not that much of a car person, so the one defense I do is to keep a log everytime I bring my car in for service. Car places do that all the time by recording the date, mileage and work done.
I ran across a good software package for auto maintenance. You put in vehicle info, scheduled maint, other work done, who did it, costs etc. And it can print reports for records. Its free for personal use. AutoVIP

Fleet Maintenance Software :: Vehicle Maintenance Log Software
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 10:33 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
My answer to the question is generally, No. But I gotta give credit where credit is due: My Infiniti had a very common problem for my model (the air bag warning light). My local dealer fixed it for a very reasonable price - they could've charged double and I would have paid it, based on my Google searches. So, once in a while my faith in mankind is restored.
They may have done it for free ( or should have ). There was an infiniti recall for air bag warning light, ITB10-030.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 11:01 PM   #29
Recycles dryer sheets
ejw93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North San Diego
Posts: 81
The time to develop a working relationship with an auto mechanic is BEFORE something on your car breaks. Find an independent mechanic in your area via referral, yelp, or epinions.

I personally do not like having my car serviced at a dealer. You are forced to talk to a commissioned service-writer and never get to speak with the actual mechanic who will perform the work on your car.
__________________
ejw93 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 11:16 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,882
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
I ran across a good software package for auto maintenance. You put in vehicle info, scheduled maint, other work done, who did it, costs etc. And it can print reports for records. Its free for personal use. AutoVIP

Fleet Maintenance Software :: Vehicle Maintenance Log Software
It looks very informative and detailed. Thanks
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #31
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,406
It is difficult to find trustworthy auto service. The fixed cost is high and a shop can lose money quickly unless they get the average billing up as well. Dealer service depts are a last resort for me as well because customer service and repeat business is not their motivation.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,869
In defense of repair facilities, customers expect no repairs for a certain period after they drop a wad on the car. So, it is common to try to fix anything that might go wrong soon, so the garage doesn't get the grief soon after.

I'm not saying that this is rational, it is just that most car owners don't realize that an expensive brake job doesn't do a thing to keep the radiator hoses from leaking soon afterward.

Letting the garage know that you just want a specific item fixed and will risk the rest later, gives them some cover.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 04:45 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
I would never refer to good machanics as auto repair personnel. Having said that, I deal with a small shop about six miles up the road from the house. It is run by a no nonse guy in his sixties, his son is a mechanic and one or two other mechanics in the shop.

It is the cleanest small auto repair shop I've ver known. I have them do stuff I don't feel like messing with, or needs special tools. Like wheel alignement.

I always have them do the annual PA safety inspections. Plus I tell them to look for other issues while the wheels are on the lift. I do know a good bit about cars and trucks.

The past five years I've used them, if the old man(he, he. Same age as I) says the the vehicle needs something, it really is needed. Sometimes I do the work and he checks it, then issues inspection sticker or I let his guys do the honors. He is flexible, but insists the job is done right.

Bootom line for me, use an independent, and if shop is neat and orderly, they likely take pride in their work, won't be cheap, and can trust their work and opinion..... for the most part. I look at mechanics and doctors from the same perspective, they are necessary, can do stuff that I can not do for myself. Always do homework on their diagnosis, and on their proposed fixes for the problem.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #34
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,356
I leave a few quarters visible near the shifter. If the quarters are gone when I get the car back, I never return to that shop. Sometimes just 75 cents can buy some valuable information.
__________________
GrayHare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 05:22 PM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
I leave a few quarters visible near the shifter. If the quarters are gone when I get the car back, I never return to that shop. Sometimes just 75 cents can buy some valuable information.
Diito. I have left a fiver on the visor several times. It never got lost.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Our local Hyundai dealer is not to be trusted. My husband takes his Sonata there for oil changes when they have specials. The fear-mongering and upselling to the elderly and to women is horrible. He get's his "this and this and that need to be fixed and/or replaced list" from his 'free' 1,000 point inspection and we file it away.

The Volvo dealer is actually pretty decent. I get my oil changed there when they have a coupon and they do the vehicle inspection. They tell me what is getting worn/in need of repair (the car is going on 11 years old) but they don't try to freak me out about getting it done immediately. They actually discouraged me from getting my oil changed because I had driven less than 5,000 since the last change. I don't drive a ton of miles anymore and it doesn't seem right to go 8 months without an oil change.

My alternator died about 6 months ago. That was a very expensive repair but if this one lasts as long as the first one (155,000 miles/10 years), I'll be a happy camper! On a previous visit for an oil change, they recommended a new air filter. I declined and said I would buy one and install it myself. When I went in for the new alternator, the service guy saw the same old air filter and suggested I at least buy it from him so I'd have it to change right away. I paid a little extra for a 'genuine' Volvo air filter but at least it got changed as soon as I got home.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 07:15 PM   #37
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Trust... but verify.

I don't believe it's possible for any mechanic to become so expert in his trade that he can handle all situations. Much too sophisticated. The dealership usually has multiple mechanics, and the chances of getting the proper diagnosis on questionable problems is much better. The other part that's good about dealerships, is that most (not all) use flat rate charts for services. That means more expensive, but maybe not as expensive as the local guy's hourly rate when he tackles repair of an airconditioner diverter... and is doing it by "feel".

I hate all auto service... just because until I got old, I did all of my repairs including engine rebuilds. I particularly hate the dealer service manager, when he says to me... "As soon as your car crosses that white line, the minimum charge is $95."

We all have horror stories... five years ago, my Town Car had a steering squeak that I couldn't find. Brought the car in, and received a call at home an hour later from the "Service Manager"... Four wheel brakes, rotors, shocks, ball joints, suspension compressor, power steering box trailing arms, etc, etc... for a total of $5500 plus tax.... and, in order to get my car back without having all the work done, would have to sign a legal release absolving the dealership of responsibility if I got into an accident.
Smoke pouring from ears and nose, went and got car... svc. mgr. hid in office.
Buddy and I jacked the car and used a hypodermic needle to lube a pitman arm... that was 45,000 miles ago... haven't changed a thing, no tire wear, no squeak. Saying that, though... of the 500+ members of my senior community, there would only be three or four who would question that diagnosis.

But if the A/C heat flap fails... It's the dealer for me... means stripping to the firewall, front and backside to replace a $.15 part. 10 hour job for an expert.

Current challenge is leaking air suspension.... aaargh!
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 07:43 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,029
Thanks everybody for the posts. I think it's sad that out of 45 answers there is only one positive . I wonder if they work on commission which would make the upsell understandable ?
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 09:15 PM   #39
Recycles dryer sheets
SteveNU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 313
My son is a mechanic and the stories he tells! There seems to be a lot of ethically challenged people in the business especially at the top.

The techs are constantly pushed to sell questionable services and some places give bonuses based on how many of the selected services they are able to talk the customer into.

At the dealerships he has worked at so far, one lost their franchise due to shady dealings, and one had the GM and service manager and his wife fired due to shady practices.

The last time I took a car to the dealer they tried to sell me a new transmission instead of replacing the $12 relay that was causing the problem. I avoid dealerships like the plague!
__________________
SteveNU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #40
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 484
I am so very lucky. One of my oldest friends is the manager at the local junk yard. The mechanics in town don't dare cross him or they'll never get a used car part again. He doesn't do any work on my car but makes all the arrangements when it needs to be fixed and tells them what needs to be done, not visa versa. Even when they find another problem they call him back first before they get my consent. I'm always astounded at how meek they are with him!

For those of you with older cars, I'll give you a tip. When scrap metal prices get very high, go to your local junk yard and stock up on any used car parts you think you may need in the future because they will start crushing and selling the cars for scrap!
__________________

__________________
tinlizzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:31 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.