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Thread: never going to the dealership again

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    never going to the dealership again

    Someone took off my side view mirror but all the parts were sitting in the street so I picked them up and took it to the dealership. I asked if they could try fixing what I had and if not then replace the mirror and surrounding hardware. The dealership quoted me $750.00 to do it. They claimed that since the bracket that held the mirror in place was busted I needed to replace the whole thing. I turned them down and took it to a local collision shop. The guy told me the brackets weren't busted and clipped the mirror into the housing. He then reattached the outer shell and wouldn't charge me anything since "it was too simple". That collision shop just got a customer for life and I'm never going back to that dealership again..
    Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
    - Carl Sagan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    I have never understood the "never give a sucker an even break" mentality of the dealership repair shops. It must work for them since it continues to be the standard business model for them. I have had friends that worked at dealerships. The stories are embarrassing.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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    Thirty plus years ago when I was working 84 hours a week and did not have time to fix things I took a weedeater to a local shop to drop off for repair...
    He took one look and said just one minute.... a few minutes later he gave it to me working like a charm... when I went to pay him, he said "no charge"...

    I looked around the room, saw a gas hedge trimmer I could use...
    Because he was honest and decent, I walked out with a $250 trimmer and became a long time customer...

    Last fall I took a 1 month old mower to a dealer for warranty as it would not run... He smelled the gas tank, said it was bad gas and not under warranty..
    Took it home, was going to clean the carb when I noticed the fuel line was kinked... removed kink and it has been running fine ever since...
    PS.. I only use non-ethanol gas so I knew it was not bad gas...
    That dealer lost a customer... forever.

    It is a shame that dealers of all types have changed instead of being decent....

  4. #4
    Yet there are people who brag about how they don’t take their car anywhere but the dealer! I like my mechanic. His father before him and now him and his son been treating us fairly for two generations. Not a fan of dealerships!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
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    2,099
    Same here. Once had a problem with a former vehicle; went to the dealership for evaluation and was given an estimate of over $1700.00. Paid the evaluation fee and left to think about it. Took the car to an independent shop and got an entirely different diagnosis which cured the problem which was covered under under my insurance. Had I paid the dealer for the repairs, I would have still had the problem and a big hole in my bank account. This misdiagnosis cured me from ever going to a dealer unless its for a warranty or recall issue. Huge praise for independent shops.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
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    There are good dealerships and bad. I took my Murano into the dealer a few years ago. I bought it there but it was years past warranty coverage. It was running rough, they checked it and found the air cleaner cover was loose, a third party oil change company had probably left it loose after checking the filter. No charge. Years later it started to run rough and the check engine light came on. By the time I took it in it was running ok and the light was out. They checked it out couldn't find the problem, again no charge. Next time it acted up they suspected it was a coil but couldn't track down which one. This time they charged me for the diagnostics. Before I left the service manager asked if I was satisfied. I said I appreciated that they were trying to save me money by not replacing all the coils but it could get expensive if I had to pay multiple diagnostic fees before they found which coil was defective. He said he would put a credit equal to the cost of the diagnostic fee on my account. Next time it acted up I got into the dealer with the engine light still, on and they were able to identify which coil and replace it and the diagnostic fee was waived. So, they are not all bad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
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    I run a one man home inspection business. My marketing plan is basically good customer service and regularly providing free advice to friends and people in the neighborhood. With many businesses if you build a solid reputation in your market for being fair, friendly and trustworthy you can save a lot of time and money on advertising.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
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    My wife and I have long preferred independent service shops for the reason you outline. But it gets harder all the time. There are basically only two "garages" left in our town, and one is one-man show run by someone in their early 60s. The same is true for the farmers around here - hardly any independent mechanics left.

    On big reason and simultaneous compounding issue with this dirth of independent mechanics is that as machines have become increasingly computerized and now with hybrids and electrics, fundamentally different mechanically, the independent garage mechanic simply can't do many of the required maintenance and repair tasks. With my wife's Chevy Volt, her long time mechanic can really do nothing other than change the oil and rotate the tires. And the oil rarely requires a change, since the ICE in the car runs maybe 15% of her total driving. So we change it once/year "just because we should" and basically flush virgin synthetic oil in the process.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    NE Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Aumiller View Post
    Thirty plus years ago when I was working 84 hours a week and did not have time to fix things I took a weedeater to a local shop to drop off for repair...
    He took one look and said just one minute.... a few minutes later he gave it to me working like a charm... when I went to pay him, he said "no charge"...

    I looked around the room, saw a gas hedge trimmer I could use...
    Because he was honest and decent, I walked out with a $250 trimmer and became a long time customer...

    Last fall I took a 1 month old mower to a dealer for warranty as it would not run... He smelled the gas tank, said it was bad gas and not under warranty..
    Took it home, was going to clean the carb when I noticed the fuel line was kinked... removed kink and it has been running fine ever since...
    PS.. I only use non-ethanol gas so I knew it was not bad gas...
    That dealer lost a customer... forever.

    It is a shame that dealers of all types have changed instead of being decent....
    I actually have exact analogues of both your experiences - at the same shop. Mr. Smith's small engine place got my business in a similar fashion to what you describe 40 years ago, and then 10 years ago, after he had passed on,and a different generation was running the place, I took a big Husky chain saw that wouldn't start the second time I used it in for what I assumed would be warranty repairs, and when I picked it up had a $350 bill for new carb and a rebuilt clutch. I lost at all attempts to convince them (remember, I'd been doing business there for 30 years, and they at least in theory knew me and the way I treat the machines I bought from them - heck, I was still running the first chain saw they ever sold me 25 years later, and they'd done the routine maintenance on it all along) that I could not have destroyed the carb and clutch in a couple hours of break-in running of a brand new saw. Paid the bill, but have never returned.
    Last edited by Steve Demuth; 09-11-2020 at 8:16 AM.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I have never understood the "never give a sucker an even break" mentality of the dealership repair shops. It must work for them since it continues to be the standard business model for them. I have had friends that worked at dealerships. The stories are embarrassing.
    I won't use the dealers for repairs except for things under warranty.

    But some dealers are better than others when buying parts. When buying suspension parts for my truck the parts manager at one dealer gave me a 40% discount just for asking. He basically agreed the "normal" prices were way too high. Another quoted about 10x the amount for an identical part I found elsewhere - they guy even said it with a straight face.

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    Dec 2010
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    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I won't use the dealers for repairs except for things under warranty.
    JKJ
    Amen, Reverend.

    This is why Massachusetts has a "Right to repair" law.
    No surprise, it is subject to frequent repeal attempts.

    Here's the rationale used to justify the ballot issue;


    "This ballot question will create easy opportunities for strangers, hackers and criminals to access consumer vehicles and personal driving data–including real-time location. It will put people at risk, without doing anything to improve the consumer experience."

    https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusett...20)#Opposition

  12. #12
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    Sep 2014
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    Northern Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    There are good dealerships and bad...
    Several years ago my wife and I were going through the mountains of Wyoming pulling a double-axle trailer loaded up to the 5,000 pound towing limit of her old Chevy Blazer. As we pulled into a small town - I think it was Sheridan - I realized that one of the rear wheels on the car had overheated. I wanted someone to look at it so I took it to the Chevy dealer. I can't remember now whether there was nothing wrong or there was something minor and they fixed it. In any case, they charged me their full shop rate for the time they spent on it: 15 minutes. $17 later I was on my way.

    Competent and fair is all I ask for and that's what they were. I wish they weren't so far away.
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 09-11-2020 at 4:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    551
    Yep. I've had both good and horrible experiences with dealerships. In general, I absolutely would not use the dealership for my Subaru purchased from them. Every time it went in for warranty work, they "found" 5 other things it need also. The straw that broke the camel's back was the new wiper blades it supposedly needed 3 days after I put a set on. For years there after, my local mechanic took care of the car. Somewhere along the line, there was a recall for a brake line splitter and the car went in, along with my husband. He argued that it needed replaced at the time, but they said no, we'll just coat it with this sealer. Well fast forward about 11 months, and I was driving the car when the brakes went soft and then stopped working entirely in a matter of 1 minute. Thankfully, I got pulled off without incident. The car went back to the dealer and they then decided that splitter should have been replaced. Due to the age and miles, they couldn't get the brake lines free without ruining them to replace the part. Low and behold, at 187,000 miles, they warrantied all new lines from front to back!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    ... all new lines from front to back!
    Wow, that can be a big job. I'm glad you got stopped safely.

    I had to replace brake lines on my '99 diesel truck, one to the rear brakes then two under the hood just recently (brakes failed with a 18' gooseneck trailer and 150 bales of hay in tow). Both repairs were painfully difficult and time consuming, mostly do to the limited access and working under the vehicle in the gravel. Fortunately, I was able to do all this myself with bulk break line and a flare tool from the auto parts store.

    JKJ

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,377
    I have had good and bad experiences with dealers. Until 2001 when I broke my back, I did all of my own auto work including changing oil. Now my dealer gets the work on both our cars but I ride a strict line with them. My wife won't allow them to do work until she consults me for my opinion.

    Over 8 years ago I had some serious dental work done, quite expensive. Yet, early this Tuesday when I called for an appointment to replace a broken tooth in my upper denture, they scheduled me for Wednesday, made another appointment for Thursday with the prosthodontist who scheduled an outside denturist make the repair. I returned yesterday to give up my dentures and returned 4 hours later. The prosthodontist had me put my teeth back in and then he made some minor adjustments on the other denture. The bill? $0.00. BTW I have sent others to him because of the quality of the work he and his Dad do.

    Sadly, in every profession one has to find one you can trust for quality of work and reasonable fees.
    Ken

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