• Please be aware that we have recently gotten a wave of users that, when researched, are found to be from Nigeria. They are trying to sell products and asking to be paid through Zelle or Venmo leaving users with no recourse if they don't ship the product. If you suspect this activity please contact admin and we will research their information to verify their location.

ArboristSite.com Sponsors
Peak Industries


car dealers AKA rip offs

mga

wandering
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
27,114
Location
Monticello
Brought my 2011 ram hemi to the dealer to have new plugs put in since most mechanics gave me a song and a dance about doing it. No big deal....i tell them to rotate the tires too and align the front end.

They text me back and tell me i need a tie rod ($127) in order to do the alignment, plus they tell me the water pump is leaking! I told them just change the plugs and rotate the tires. Total cost for just that was $519.

If they did the water pump and tie rod it would have been an additional $1100 plus tax.

I brought it to a garage and had the guy do the alignment. I also asked him to see if there were any leaks around the water pump. He did the alignment (no loose tie rod found) and there was no leaks at the water pump, nor around the thermostat housing. cost was $65

I'll avoid dealers as much as possible in the future unless it's under warranty.

Lesson learned: question everything they tell you
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
5,802
Location
Western border of mid-southern northern WV
MGA, I worked for a Chevy dealer for six years and know this happens. Too many "technicians" are told to sell, sell, sell. I had a 2005 GMC truck that developed an instant dead cyl. at 48K miles.
I had to take it to a dealer and was told I had four bad fuel injectors - $700 - after I even pointed out the bad cyl. Turns out a lifter came apart and bent valves. This was their "top" technician. I now own a Tacoma for the past ten years and the dealer has been fine but their labor rate is $110/hour.
 
NIP Group
CentaurG2

CentaurG2

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
3,298
Location
New England
Not trying to defend dealers but plenty of independents will upsell you too. Further, many do not have the proper tools or technology to properly diagnose problems. Solution, just throw parts at it, most of with are aftermarket. I would never “buy” another big 3 pickup. If I had to get another, I would do a lease.
 
stihlaficionado

stihlaficionado

God of ArboristSite
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
88,049
Location
urbana, IL
Shop charge at the Toyota dealership here was $116 last time I was there(2 years ago).
We have been taking our vehicles to an independent mechanic for the last 19 years.

He always has some very cool cars in his 10 bay shop. He stands behind his work & has replaced failed parts free of charge(labor included).

Parts at the Toyota dealership are Astronomical. You can buy genuine Toyota oil filters cheaper at Walmart than the dealer charges for them:rolleyes:
 

mga

wandering
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
27,114
Location
Monticello
Never go to a dealer for service unless it's under warranty, and as I always buy older used vehicles, I never go to a dealer.

Find a local wrencher you can trust, and bear in mind that they make mistakes as well.
i looked at a couple, unc, they didn't want to change 16 spark plugs...all gave me a song and a dance and even quoted more than the dealer to change them. Damn hemi has a lot of power, but a pain to work on. Normally, i would have attempted it myself, but, right now, i don't have a garage to work in.
 
TheDarkLordChinChin

TheDarkLordChinChin

My name Borat, I like you
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
2,412
Location
Ireland
My dad brought his mower to our local Honda dealer, he wanted a new drive belt put on and that was all. Came back and they were charging him over €150 saying they had sharpened the blade, cleaned the machine down and put in new spark plug and air filter.
 
Blue Oaks

Blue Oaks

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
865
Age
48
Location
Silicon Valley
I'm lucky that my friend's dad is a service adviser at the local Ford dealer. I've brought my cars in for warranty work and was treated quite well. I used to be tight with the former service manager and would email him problems with my 2012 Boss 302 and tell him what PN's to order ahead of time. He'd do it every time, and my Boss 302 forum was right every time. It was nice.

On the other hand, my dad brought his 2001 Ford F250 SD 7.3 to another dealer (Mission Valley Ford, avoid them..) and they told him that his timing cover was cracked and they had to pull the pan to replace it, for three grand. I told him to bring it to my house. It was just leaking, well pissin from the weep hole on the pump. I happened to have the correct OEM FoMoCo pump on my truck shelf in the garage and put it on for free. It's nice to know how to do stuff.

For my 7.3 I have a good friend who bought a shop and "grandfathered" me in at fifty bucks an hour, which is dirt cheap for around here. He's personally owned about 50 of the 7.3's and I trust him completely.
 
unclemoustache

unclemoustache

My 'stache is bigger than yours.
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
21,734
Age
49
Location
S. Il. near St. Louis
i looked at a couple, unc, they didn't want to change 16 spark plugs...all gave me a song and a dance and even quoted more than the dealer to change them. Damn hemi has a lot of power, but a pain to work on. Normally, i would have attempted it myself, but, right now, i don't have a garage to work in.

Strange. I guess it's good that they don't need the work, but a shame they wouldn't do that for a reasonable price.


I have yet to see ANY garage or repair shop that is worth their shop rate charge.
I do all my own work, period.
Plus, I KNOW what was done and how.

Not many things are worth $85/hour, in my opinion. But some of us don't know how to do all that needs to be done, or have the tools to do it. Heck, it's often cheaper to have a shop change your oil when they have a special going.


My dad brought his mower to our local Honda dealer, he wanted a new drive belt put on and that was all. Came back and they were charging him over €150 saying they had sharpened the blade, cleaned the machine down and put in new spark plug and air filter.

That's when you pay the $12 for the belt and tell them to have a nice day. Of course, you'll have to find a new Honda dealer after that! o_O
 
TheDarkLordChinChin

TheDarkLordChinChin

My name Borat, I like you
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
2,412
Location
Ireland
That's when you pay the $12 for the belt and tell them to have a nice day. Of course, you'll have to find a new Honda dealer after that! o_O
Yeah lol he didnt pay them, they even sent him a bill but he just burnt it.
This was 15 years ago so I dont think they are going to come after him now.
 
BC WetCoast

BC WetCoast

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
3,149
Location
Vancouver
$80/hr + is a pretty standard shop charge. Considering those guys have about $10k personally invested in tools, let alone training seems reasonable. I charge $100/hr for one of my groundies.

Years ago I ran a forestry consulting company and we were charging $65/hr for our profrssional foresters. My buddy was was an actuary, consulting to the same client (he was helping with their benefit package), and he was charging his typist out at $65/hr. I was getting ground for my rate and he couldnt get his bills paid fast enough. I worked for a company forester, he worked for the CFO.

Perspective.
 
BC WetCoast

BC WetCoast

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
3,149
Location
Vancouver
You should watch the Flat Rate Master on You Tube. Hes the shop foreman at an independant shop, working flat rate. His channel is to provide information to new techs in the biz, but provides interesting info for us who arent in the biz.
 
KiwiBro

KiwiBro

Mill 'em, nails be damned.
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
7,883
Location
Aotearoa
Some mechanics are very switched on and well trained and motivated. It's not enough for them to do a good job, not gouge on the parts margins, and stand behind their work 100%. They have, over many years and usually decades, worked out the absolute optimal way of getting any particular task done on particular models and will knock out a perfect job in half the time others may take, such that their hourly rate which might be higher than the others doesn't tell the full story as they usually end up cheaper on a total cost basis compared to some who may charge a lesser hourly rate.

The trouble is finding them. They are out there. I know two. Ironically one is in Vancouver, the other unfortunately just shifted to the other side of NZ so I'm back to trying to find another when the need arises.
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
5,802
Location
Western border of mid-southern northern WV
Some mechanics are very switched on and well trained and motivated. It's not enough for them to do a good job, not gouge on the parts margins, and stand behind their work 100%. They have, over many years and usually decades, worked out the absolute optimal way of getting any particular task done on particular models and will knock out a perfect job in half the time others may take, such that their hourly rate which might be higher than the others doesn't tell the full story as they usually end up cheaper on a total cost basis compared to some who may charge a lesser hourly rate.

The trouble is finding them. They are out there. I know two. Ironically one is in Vancouver, the other unfortunately just shifted to the other side of NZ so I'm back to trying to find another when the need arises.
You just described me to a T. Trouble was, when I did it, we didn't get paid for diagnostic time, only the repair - which often paid less than a half hour.
What really bothered me was when another Tech in the shop would ask how to fix a particular problem. I just told them which page to go to in the repair manual.
 
92utownxh

92utownxh

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
246
Location
Unionville, Indiana
I try to do most of my own repairs if I know how. It ends up saving lots of time and money. I'll think about how long it would take to drop the vehicle off somewhere, get a ride, and then get a ride back. Most of the time I can do the repair a lot faster than just getting a vehicle to a shop. Just last weekend I had to put a new alternator in my truck. It took all of 30 minutes and was easy.

If I can't do something I have a friend who does repairs on the side at his house. He does good work for a good price. He's a mechanic for the state DOT.

A couple years ago we were due for timing belt replacement in our van, Honda Odyssey. Didn't want to mess with that. I called around to some shops then called the dealership. The dealer was a fraction of the cost of the independent shops! Genuine parts too. They got it done in half a day. The other places were charging for 8+ hours.
 
stihlaficionado

stihlaficionado

God of ArboristSite
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
88,049
Location
urbana, IL
I have yet to see ANY garage or repair shop that is worth their shop rate charge.
I do all my own work, period.
Plus, I KNOW what was done and how.
That's fine if you know what the heck you're doing, have the necessary tools & space.
I do not & I'm certain my back would not appreciate it either.

Oil changes, air filter changes, anti-freeze changes I can do, everything else goes to a shop.

I don't mind paying ($96 an hour) for good work.

Heck, I even bought a T shirt from his shop.:omg:
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

Firewood by TJ
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
2,542
Age
69
Location
Twin Peaks
Auto dealers in general are big big rip offs. They will say and do almost anything to bring in business. So what. In order for them to stay in business they have to make money or go away. If one goes under there will be another pop up soon. Of course in most cases they have incompetent boobs doing work, but they have had classes on how to follow a manual of a particular model. A good mechanic is often worth their weight in gold, but even the best get tired of wrenching day after day. I realized this fifty years ago so I have always done all my own work. I have had to buy more computers than I would like, but rarely do I have a glitch that can not be solved. I have to keep eight vehicles going at the moment. With winter here I have several engines getting refreshed with lots of fun. I work hard at getting the most $$$ out of each cord of wood or I can not pays my bills what is the difference. Thanks
 
KiwiBro

KiwiBro

Mill 'em, nails be damned.
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
7,883
Location
Aotearoa
Sometimes the manual is never updated with faster/better ways that some mechanics have worked out. I have the workshop manual for my tractor and noted the work done under warranty recently was certainly not by the book. They had worked out a faster method with fewer steps.
 
Top