View Full Version : Let me tell you a story.....

12-15-2005, 06:50 AM
My wife has a '93 honda accord that she loves.It is well beyond being paid off for years.
Any way she insists on taking it to the dealer to have it serviced,oil changes etc. so on the 150,000 mile checkup they said the drums needed turned,new shoes, etc. and the wife thought she needed a new thermostat becouse it didn't get warm enough in the car on her 12mile trip to work in sub zero weather, so she ask how much to change it.........Well since the car was there already it was only $120.00.

Holy Crap, this was crasy i thought si I called and asked for a breakdown of the cost,it is as follows...

thermostat and gasket,$14.85
Anti freeze...$10.00 gal x 3 = $30.00
Labor $65.00
The rest was EPA charge for disposeing of the antifreeze as they dont reuse it.....

I bought the parts from them and in 20 minutes it was changed,toped it off with 1/2 gal. A/F and she wes happy.

BTW the old thermostat was fine it was just that cold.
Thanx for listening to me bitch about it.

The tame Wolf !

12-15-2005, 07:11 AM
now you have answered the question i have been asking.
how do the car dealers stay open and keep building new dealerships when they claim they dont make any money on new cars they sell?

12-15-2005, 07:29 AM
Its the repair charges and and all the extra's that they add into the car loan's thru the dealership. They busted a number of dealers in SE Mich a couple of years ago for basically charging twice the price of the car with all the insurance,and one time charges rolled into the car loans.They are building new dealer ships around here as fast as they can cut the curbs to put a driveway in. We have a Hummer dealer that will sell you a new never owned one from any year since they started selling and leasing them. They lease more of them than they sell, in this area.

Been there, probally broke it doing that

12-15-2005, 09:37 AM
Hi There,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Anti freeze...$10.00 gal x 3 = $30.00</font>

WOW! That dealship is trying to screw you on that one. Three gallons of anti-freeze, mixed 50/50, would give you 24 quarts of coolant. According to my 1994 Accord service manual, the entire cooling system (engine, radiator, heater, cooling lines and resevior) is listed as 7.3 to 7.4 quarts (depending on Manual or Automatic Trasmission). Even if you filled the system with 100% antifreeze, you can't get three gallons in there!

You've GOT to watch these guys like a hawk! You did the right thing by performing the job yourself.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-

12-15-2005, 10:04 AM
Parts and labor is what keeps dealerships in business. The shop is the major factor. The sales teams get paid the most and do the least to keep the place's lights on. I quit working for a local Deere dealership as a mechanic because I was tired of being billed out at $50/hour and only seeing $7 of it. I do my own work now, and charge about $35/hr +parts+mileage, which I think is fair. I don't do much work on things for others due to my 'real' 8-5 job, but in the summer time I'm setup to go on service calls. It works out.

Duct Taper
12-15-2005, 10:04 AM

thermostat and gasket, $14.85
Anti freeze $30.00
Labor $65.00

That adds up to $120

QUOTE "The rest was EPA charge for disposeing of the antifreeze as they dont reuse it....."

The antifreeze charge looks high, but I don't see an EPA charge. Maybe you can explain a little more?

Your Old Dog
12-15-2005, 10:42 AM
Well then you know how my dad felt when mom took the car to the shop for a new muffler. She told them to rip everything out from the motor on back and "just replace it all". So they did, they ripped out all the stainless exhaust system and replace it with a conventional one. Dad went ballistic, when he was done it was Mom's turn! She asked him "well why and the hell didn't you take it in?" Pa looked like he'd been hammered on both sides of the head with bricks !!

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-15-2005, 12:29 PM
Sounds like a fictional "story".

J Tiers
12-15-2005, 12:53 PM
The exhaust might be fictional, or not....

But I went ballistic when the dealer replaced my nice NEW and EXPENSIVE "lifetime guaranteed" special disc brake pads..... and put in standard factory super-soft 6000 mile "no squeak" pads.....

I forget why they were doing anything to the brakes........ there was "sort of" a legit reason.....

Lynn Standish
12-15-2005, 01:21 PM
Coming back from a Wyoming antelope hunt, pulling a 27' travel trailer with my loaded up pickup, I pulled off the freeway for gas and immediately had all kinds of "smoke" coming from under the hood. Popped the hood, but couldn't see much for all the "smoke" except some liquid dripping on the hot exhaust manifold now and then, so I figured it must be antifreeze coming from a heater hose or somewhere. I asked for directions to the local Ford dealer, thinking they would be familiar with the vehicle and would have the correct parts, etc., since I couldn't drive around looking for parts, etc.

Turned out to be a small slit in the bottom rear of the upper radiator hose -- pretty obvious when the "smoke" had cleared. They had to order the part from the local NAPA or somewhere. While waiting for the hose, they asked if I'd like to replace the thermostat while we're at it, and I said yes. $180 later, I was back on the road. They charged high prices for the hose and thermostat, and charged a gallon of coolant
at $10, but didn't even use half of it. Their labor rate was $80/hr, and the book gave them .8 hr to diagnose the problem, and .8 hr to fix it, so that's what they charged me to R&R two hose clamps and two bolts that are the simplest and most accessible things on the whole damn motor!

12-15-2005, 01:28 PM
And now we start to see why I like to do ALL of my own work. Durnig the summer, the pickup has everything on board to fix almost anything. All I need is the parts and the ability to get them.

Dealing with my old junk, I need machine tools to make my own parts or recondition the old ones and/or the ability to make some of the special tooling that is required to do these things.

12-15-2005, 01:29 PM
I changed the water pump on my Ford Ranger earlier this year. It's held on by a dozen metric bolts. They were looking a bit corroded after 18 years of service so I dropped by the Ford dealer to pick up some new ones. They didn't have any. They tried to cross them to another component held on by the same size bolt and managed to find one that fit. But, they didn't have it. According to their stock system there were two of that size in stock in North America.

I went to the local NAPA dealer and bought a dozen.

12-15-2005, 02:30 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Duct Taper:

thermostat and gasket, $14.85
Anti freeze $30.00
Labor $65.00

That adds up to $120

QUOTE "The rest was EPA charge for disposeing of the antifreeze as they dont reuse it....."

The antifreeze charge looks high, but I don't see an EPA charge. Maybe you can explain a little more?</font>

This is a mistake on my part I am sure,Invest in a calculator my friend.

The tame Wolf !

12-15-2005, 02:42 PM
Brooker Ford, Dalton Georgia.. They charged me 3 hours for diagnostic machine hookup to my 99 ranger truck. Even thou it was just parked next to it and not hooked up.. it was hooked up to a Lincoln. It hooked to my truck for about 15 minutes.

I throwed a fit. The head mechanic said that machine was expensive, I paid the bill. I posted a webpage about it. They called me twice asking me please to remove the page, I said fine, gimme a refund. Page is gone. It dissapeared overnight about two years ago. I am sure It got deleted by mistake.

Dealerships are used to screwing everyone that comes in the door. When someone who actually can turn a screwdriver comes in, they continue thier methods and get caught.

Not only did my lil ranger get charged for the machine, they messed up the snap locks on the plugs on the harness. That truck had electrical problems every couple of days till I traded it for a older car. It takes paitience to unsnap a plug with locks. Jerking them is not a good method. *(saw that too) Last problem was it would shift into Low gear going down the interstate, I had changed the oil religiously at 3k miles with castrol gtx.. I was mad.

Then, the Brooker salesman called me offering to trade with me.. Boy did I bend his ear, He ended up hanging up on me.
Now I know a mechanic who they recently hired, just like a restruant, the cook makes the deal good or bad.. Unfair business practises continue till someone trains them not to. A webpage and call the the BBB didn't.

ANYONE who gets treated like that should have a mediator to fall back on. THE BBB does not mess with car dealers much anymore.

12-15-2005, 06:39 PM
My own horror story has to do with my Dodge truck's transmission cooler lines. I took it in to Charlie's Dodge in Toledo because it had a leaky quick-connect fitting at the transmission. They called and told me, "all the cooler lines need to be replaced, it's $600.00". I didn't know if I could get it home because of the leak, so I told 'em to go ahead. When I picked it up the next day, I was told, "Well, you saved some money. We couldn't get one of the lines, so the total is only $450.00".

Now, were they trying to screw me by selling me stuff I didn't need, or did they screw me by NOT selling me something that I DID need?

Needless to say, I will never darken their door again. And, that's why I do nearly all my own work. Even found out later that those fittings were problematic and an authorized fix involved using some sort of hydraulic fitting from a farm equipment dealer.

12-15-2005, 06:57 PM
When I had my old chevy truck I took it into to get my brakes checked out at a local dealership, anyways after sitting there for awhile the mechanic came out with that fake look on his face and sympathetically said the my front disc brakes were below GM specs and they couldn't be faced, he was really sorry(lol) that I would have to buy new ones. So I asked him what the spec was, and he told me the number, I then I asked if he would mind if I checked it myself. He kinda chuckled and asked me if I knew how to read a micrometer, I told him I thought I could handle it I had metal class in junior high after all.

We go out to my truck and he gave me the micrometer and said where to measure on the disc, I told him I didn't really care about the disc, I wanted his standard that came with the mic, that's when he got nervous, anyways the mic ended up being off by .050" or right around there, and my disc were not actually under GM spec. He was pretty embarrased and I was pretty hot, anyways they gave me a bunch of gift certificates to some local restraunts and I promised not to call a lawyer, which I didn't , but AZ dept of weights and measure paid them a visit the next day http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

12-15-2005, 07:06 PM
I have similar stories of repair horror and frustration, and likewise, do as much of my own work as I reasonably can. $450 for a brake job that cost me $50 in parts and 45 minutes (my time, not hurrying) is just silly. But...

I heard just before the recent really bad news about GM's financials: GM makes more money on the GMAC (car financing) division that it makes on car manufacturing in a *good* year.

Several years back, when I bought a new Ford product (a POS, like most GM products), it was actually entertaining to hear the schpeel from the warranty sales rep. She was dancing on the fine line, I'll tell you. On the one hand, she's trying to use insecurity and fear to convince me to buy and extended warranty, and on the other hand, is trying to tell me what a great car I bought. (brand new, mind you.)

"You mean, I just purchased a piece of ****, and now I should really spend a couple more thousand on a warranty???"

The model year of the car was 1997. With 110K or so miles and perfect appearance, I still couldn't sell it, so I donated it to charity last year. Good riddance.

Anyone want to guess where my current vehicle was made? US car makers, by and large, can't make a decent vehicle anymore. Their current problems are of their own making, and their execs can't manage their way out of a paper bag, much less change their ways. What a sad thing to do to companies that used to make the best cars in the world.

12-15-2005, 07:42 PM
My 87 Chevy R10 pickup has, for me, been the most trouble free vehicle I've ever owned. I've had it for 10 years, picked it up with 50,000 miles on it. It has 147,000 miles on it now. I've got her apart in the shop right now. New engine, new transmission and fix about 3 spots of rusting. The rest is fine. Up to this point, I've put tires, gas, oil, plugs, wires and a powersteering pump in it. I feel pretty good about keeping it and fixing it up.

The 96 F350 on the other hand.....hummm...that one has cost me more than I care to admit in repair.

12-15-2005, 07:51 PM
"Anyone want to guess where my current vehicle was made?"

China? (just wait a few years...)

Fred White
12-15-2005, 09:00 PM
According to one successful car dealer, the shop covers the overheads ( a well run shop can keep the dealership afloat in the worst of times ). Beyond that, "new cars are for demos and used cars are for profit". Shops have taken a real hit in past several years when rebates,etc caused new car sales to skyrocket. No one fixed the old car, they just bought a new one. That's changing now.

12-15-2005, 09:25 PM
Heres my bitch.
I have agrat deal at the dealer from the new car puchase. $4.00 per mo added to the loan for oil every 3k mi wich I drive every month. I had 20000 mi and needed the tires rotated. I was tired, it was about 5 deg out for a few weeks and my garage was full of tools and projects(go figure) they said $20.00 and I said ok. Bill came to 22.15.
They added 2.15 for shop disposal fee. I guess this was for the rag the guy used to wipe his hands? What a joke. I'm sure it just adds to their profit. You gotta watch em.

12-15-2005, 10:50 PM
back in 1997 i bought a 1997 F250. it came with "free oil changes for life" from that dealer. it only included the oil change. the filter and "service fees" were extra. it ended up costing $3 (for me to supply my own filter) plus $5 or $6 for the service fee. once you added in my fuel costs to actually drive to the dealer (an F250 doesn't get all that good of fuel mileage), it actually cost me more for the "free" oil change than if i just did it myself.

andy b.

12-16-2005, 01:15 AM
........Bought a 01 Ford Sport-Trac in 02 that still carried part of the factory warranty. Since this was the wife's ride and due to the fact that our work schedules are opposite, we also bought an extended warranty and maintanence contract through Ford. That way if she had any problems she could deal with it. We bought it out of town, but had the local Ford dealer doing the services.

As it turned out she was off and I was off and it was about time for the 40K service so I took it in. A service writer shows up after it had been taken back and said the front brakes were at 3% and the rears were at 50%. I thought that was pretty quick wear as 95% of it's miles were freeway. He said as long as we have it here and up on the rack we can get it done and right out.

I asked, "How much?" and was told $250! I said no thanks and had to sign that I'd been told about their condition. Went to Kragen and got a set of Raybestos semi-metallics with a lifetime warranty for $48. Went home, up on the floor jack it went and I pulled the R/F tire. Heck there was still big ole fat pads on the backing plates. Looked close to new to me.

I was pissed and called the dealership and spoke to the asst manager and asked WTF was up in the shop and explained what happened. He said bring it back as soon as I could, so I did the next day. They took it in the back and pulled the R/F wheel, with me and the asst manager standing there.

The mechanics have these plastic leaves like feeler gages in a series of 3 colors for 12 leaves. Green, yellow and red. It was on the 3rd yellow leaf with a yellow to go before getting into the 1st of the 4 red ones. The mechanic doing this deal wasn't the one who had serviced it the previous day and he was off. After they talked to the service writer the word I got was there was a mis-communication between the 2 guys, and then naturally, me.

I watched the brakes very closely, and at the next 5K service no one said a word about the brakes, front OR rears. I thought that was odd. Wonder if they had me flagged? I got another 15K miles before I changed the front pads, and at the subsequent two 5K services again not a word about brakes was mentioned before I changed them. BTW, these were the easiest front pads I'd ever do. Loosen the bottom bolt and remove the top one. Flip the caliper over and the pads fall out. Compress the piston and slip in the 2 new pads, then flip the caliper back over and install one bolt and tighten both. Heck, It took more time to take the tire off then to change pads.

After that deal I marked the oil and air filters to make sure they were getting changed. Plus I'd check the oil on the dipstick after a service. I think it was the 60K service a cooling system flush and refill was scheduled. They didn't. I went back and talked to one of the flunkies in the sevrice building. He checked his computer (or he was looking at one) and said they didn't show it due. I got my Ford service contact out of the glovebox and showed it to him.

Well darn, he says. Can you leave it? Nope I can't. He said they were booked and could I bring it back Friday. Nope I can't. I said I brought it in for service and I'd had an appointment and the service hadn't been done, so they needed to deal with it. He got the same service writer I'd had dealings with before. This guy tried to tell me their computer didn't show the coolant flush. It wasn't their fault and as they were full I'd have to re-schedule it.

I went home and called FoMoCo customer service and was assured it would be taken care of. This was at about 1300 and at 1430 I got a call from the dealership manager asking me if I could please bring it back in so they could complete the service. When I got there they asked if I wanted to stay as it would be about an hour, or they could have someone take me home and then come get me when it was done. I said I'd stay.

BTW, after a visit to the service dept you'd get this postpaid postcard stapled to the invoice wanting your comments and to rate the dealer. It goes to Ford. The dealership has a thing there that says if you can't rate them at least 'Good' to please get with them. On the brake thing I'd written it off as a translation problem. But that in conjunction with this, and the service writter's attitude I gave them a 'Poor' and sent it to Ford.

A couple days later I got a call from Ford customer service, asking if I'd gotten my service issue taken care of okay. Too soon for my "Poor" to have hit, and maybe that would be the end of it.

About 2 weeks later I get a letter from the dealer with 4 free movie passes and a certificate for a free tire rotation, wash and detail. Included was a note saying they valued my patronage and if I ever had any issues to please speak with the service or general manager, and thank you very much. I guess the home office must have had some words with them?

It appears to me that Ford (probably any maker) does care about customer satisfaction, and it seems they WILL send the bailiff out to whack some pee-pees if need be.

In closing, at 65K miles we had new tires put on at a Goodyear dealership. When it was done the guy was giving us a rundown (they do a safety check too). He said the front pads had some wear but were okay, and the rears looked new. !!!!!! Heck, the Ford dealership guy said they were 50% at 40K? Heh, heh. Bastards.


12-16-2005, 12:49 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by IOWOLF:
This is a mistake on my part I am sure,Invest in a calculator my friend.



Duct Taper's numbers add up to ~$110 which leaves $10 for the other charges.

12-16-2005, 04:23 PM
I know, I was being TAME.

$109.85 actually.

The tame Wolf !

12-16-2005, 05:14 PM
All I've got to say is don't bother buying dealer parts if you can help it. I understand the mechanics need to make a living and all, and some of those guys (not many) really know what they're doing but parts prices are ridicolous. I replaced a water pump on a 94 dodge grand caravan a few months ago. Dealer wanted 120 bucks for a new pump and gasket (the pump had a 90 day warranty) meanwhile the local napa store wanted 28 yes 28 bucks for a brand new (not reconditioned) pump and o-ring with a three year warranty. Thats crazy! Started comparing other prices for other cars of other manufactures, like nissan, its all the same. Napa is consitently cheaper and better warranties.

12-16-2005, 05:22 PM
For some items, the dealer makes sense.

On the '86 civic, the valve cover gaskets leaked until we got the dealer ones. The others were just bad. On the Fords, the oil pan and transmission pan gaskets are just better.

That said, most items can come from the auto parts store, with some makor items from the salvage yard. When you're paying $28 for a water pump, though, take a look where it's made. China, I'll bet.


12-16-2005, 05:30 PM
For 6 months I worked at a gas station when I was in High School. It was standard buisness practice to put a huge mark up on all the parts they sold. Their reason for doing it, "We wouldnt be in buisness if we didnt"

12-18-2005, 10:58 AM
My brother was a mechanic at a local IH truck dealership.He quit after seeing all the screwing going on.

They would bring a truck in under warranty for the "routine service checks" called for by the warranty then find something wrong with it.

The most common example was a rear wheelbearing seal.The parts man would get a new seal off the shelf,smear it with grease,cook it with a torch then stick it back in the box and send it in under a warranty claim to IH.At the same time they would present to customer with a bill claiming it was work not covered by warranty and most times the customer would pay it all the while the dealer got a double dip and nothing was wrong with the truck.
This went on for years until somebody at IH got wise to it.The owner lost his dealership over the deal,which he deserved to.

12-18-2005, 12:10 PM
The last time I took my car to a garage* to have it fixed (about 20 years ago) they replaced a worn distributor shaft and timed it for me. I had been struggling with the car for a couple weeks and it never would run right. When I drove it away I was really happy as it was running like a top... for about twenty miles. Looking under the hood I saw they hadn't tightened the distributor down. I have done my own work ever since then (this was just the last straw - MANY other times before that had similar results). They charge a fotune, but it would at least be nice if they would do the work right and fix the damn thing.
Anyway, my engines run better now that I do it myself.

*The exception is exhaust. For $200 I can watch the local guys rip out & install a whole system in less than 1/2 hour and smaller repairs are usually $20-$40 bucks.