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Car Maintenance Rant
Old 05-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
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Car Maintenance Rant

I always have bought my cars new and drive them 100K+ miles before selling or trading them. The last two cars I have bought it seems whenever I take them back to the dealer for the basic maintenance of oil and filter change they always want to perform some supposedly needed maintenance and of course at a rather expensive cost.

Sorry for the rant but got up early today to take my 2008 Ford Fusion in for an oil/filter change/check engine light, was told the thermostat is stuck and then they broke off the head of a bolt on the plenum and called at 430PM and told me it was ready and at $500+. Told them I would be in tomorrow morning to check repairs and talk to the manager.

This kind of **** just pisses me off to no end.

Am I being unreasonable or just an old cantankerous fart ?
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #2
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I would definitely have a chat with the shop manager about that one. And find a new shop. That's BS for an oil change and thermostat.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:24 PM   #3
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I would definitely have a chat with the shop manager about that one. And find a new shop. That's BS for an oil change and thermostat.
I agree and this is the biggest Ford dealer in Chattanooga, Tn.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:25 PM   #4
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$500 to r/r a thermostat?


I wouldn't pay it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:09 PM   #5
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I'm curious what the shop rates are for those two repairs. I have oil changes done at my Chevy dealer for $23.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:11 PM   #6
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I agree with talking to the manager. I wouldn't be too quick to believe anything that's said. Fish rot from the head down, good chance the management set the standard of ripping people off.


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Old 05-19-2015, 07:19 PM   #7
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According to Repair Pal, the thermostat replacement should be $171 - $242

Auto Repair Estimates - Get Honest Car Repair Costs

I haven't used this site much so I'm not sure how reliable the data is, but I like the concept.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #8
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The one I liked was all the add on to the 30,000 mile maintenance for "our local climate". It amounted to about $1000. I declined and asked them to do the factory specified maintenance. Cost about $50.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
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My Hyundai dealer insisted that I should do oil changes based on the severe use schedule (every 3,000 miles) instead of the routine maintenance schedule (maybe 5,000 miles, I don't recall) because we live in a hilly area. I told them that was ridiculous and self-serving and did them on the regular schedule. Car has 114k miles and is still going strong.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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There's a reason why they're called "stealerships."
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:05 PM   #11
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Our Lincoln dealership is impossible. There's a white line at the entrance to the garage. Without even a smile, the garage manager says that crossing that line means a minimum charge of $95.

Neither of our cars has ever had a "maintenance checkup". Total age...
37 years, total 204K miles... look and run like new.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #12
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Wow, and they did not even kiss you!
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:18 PM   #13
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My Hyundai dealer insisted that I should do oil changes based on the severe use schedule (every 3,000 miles) instead of the routine maintenance schedule (maybe 5,000 miles, I don't recall) because we live in a hilly area. I told them that was ridiculous and self-serving and did them on the regular schedule. Car has 114k miles and is still going strong.
I take my Honda for oil change, when oil life is 15% or lower. I never remember to track the actual mileage. I believe it is likely 5000+ miles. My favorite garage used to put a reminder sticker at the corner of my window with dates and mileage, now they just put down bring it in when oil life is 15%.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:28 PM   #14
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There is a reason why I do almost all the work on our cars after the warranty period is over.

While I'm not familiar with the Fusion, I'd wonder why they were removing your intake manifold to get to the thermostat? It's certainly not required on any of my Fords (Ranger, Mustang and Escape).
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:30 PM   #15
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This week my Honda CRV maintenance minder codes flashed telling me I need to change the transmission fluid, do an oil change, and a Honda inspection. When I logged into my dealers website to schedule the service they wanted $85 for just the oil change and inspection. They don't advertise it but I know they always perform an inspection with their basic $29 oil change. I looked at my last oil change receipt and sure enough the inspection done with the $29 oil change is the same as the inspection that would be performed with the $85 oil change/inspection.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:32 PM   #16
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I worked for Ford for 24 years, and am trained on all facets of dealership operations--including service departments.

Note: I never take a car back to a dealership for any reason unless the factory's paying. l do my own oil changes and maintenance. I have a great independent shop available @ $40 per labor hour.

I question how the service technician would catch a bad thermostat on a simple oil change? Bad thermostats are spotted when the engine won't warm up--stuck open. Or, they'll overheat if it's stuck closed. I assume it's not been running hot on you?

But since the work's been done, you'll have to pay. I would ask the Service Manager to document the base rate for changing a thermostat. Multiply the hours the job's rated for and times the dealership hourly rate. That's all you pay for labor.

I'm sorry they broke a bolt, but that's on their stop watch.

The thermostat is $17.60 list price, and the Motorcraft thermostat gasket lists for $9.70. Don't let'em charge you for a new thermostat housing ($325.33 list price) as they're not required on a simple thermostat change.

Unless you specifically authorized the thermostat repair, the technician should have never changed your thermostat--and a $500 ticket is truly excessive.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #17
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I have found an independent mechanic is usually cheaper for most repairs and maintenance work (although oil changes can be a loss leader for stealerships, to get you into the showroom). Look for one who has a reputation for being a) honest and b) competent. I have dealt with mechanics with one combination of each of those two variables.

OK, here's my story. My father-in-law bought a new Ford Focus, and its transmission was making a bunch of weird noises, after the car was turned off. His dealership couldn't figure it out. I did some quick Google searches, and found a site that gave the TSB that solves the problem. I told my FIL to tell his dealer to install that TSB. And that solved the problem.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
I always have bought my cars new and drive them 100K+ miles before selling or trading them. The last two cars I have bought it seems whenever I take them back to the dealer for the basic maintenance of oil and filter change they always want to perform some supposedly needed maintenance and of course at a rather expensive cost.

You are not being unreasonable my Honda dealership does the same crap .
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:32 PM   #19
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I worked for Ford for 24 years, and am trained on all facets of dealership operations--including service departments.

Note: I never take a car back to a dealership for any reason unless the factory's paying. l do my own oil changes and maintenance. I have a great independent shop available @ $40 per labor hour.

I question how the service technician would catch a bad thermostat on a simple oil change? Bad thermostats are spotted when the engine won't warm up--stuck open. Or, they'll overheat if it's stuck closed. I assume it's not been running hot on you?

But since the work's been done, you'll have to pay. I would ask the Service Manager to document the base rate for changing a thermostat. Multiply the hours the job's rated for and times the dealership hourly rate. That's all you pay for labor.

I'm sorry they broke a bolt, but that's on their stop watch.

The thermostat is $17.60 list price, and the Motorcraft thermostat gasket lists for $9.70. Don't let'em charge you for a new thermostat housing ($325.33 list price) as they're not required on a simple thermostat change.

Unless you specifically authorized the thermostat repair, the technician should have never changed your thermostat--and a $500 ticket is truly excessive.
^^^^^^^ For all you folks who continue to line the pockets of dealerships with excessive maintenance charges done by inept mechanics, read the above and believe it.

Get yourself a good independent shop and do the easy maintenance yourself (if you are physically able to).

In this day and age, there seems to be a culture spreading through the branded dealers that car owners are suckers and it's OK to screw them on service.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:33 PM   #20
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A thermostat should only be about $20 or so, from the parts store and DIY. The parts stores will also plug in the OBD-II scanner for free and tell you what the code, then google the code for fixes. I think the dealers charge $75 or more just to run the scanner before repairing( breaking ) anything.
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