Author Topic: Car Service Question  (Read 5039 times)

Counting Down

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Car Service Question
« on: May 13, 2014, 02:29:00 AM »
So our car is due a service. My OH rang up to book it and was asked if he wanted a special service as it's at 150,000 km/90,000 miles. He turned it down as it was double the cost of a basic service.

Should we have gone for the special one? Neither of us are very knowledgable about cars so not sure if we are being frugal or cheap here??

FunkyStickman

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 06:50:37 AM »
I would have asked exactly what was in the "special" service that costs that much more. Without knowing that, it's hard to say if it would be worth it.

ricky bobby

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 07:04:42 AM »
Most of these "packages" include inspections and checks that most shops provide for free.  Stay clear of the bundled jobs.  They will always fall in the shops favor.  Get a listing of what is included.

Keep in mind that any shop worth using will be inspecting your car for visible faults while doing the normal oil change service at no additional charge.

I've worked automobile shop front counter doing sales for 12 years.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 07:21:08 AM »
Without details it's hard to say.

What is OH? Optional Husband? :P

dragoncar

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 11:44:12 AM »
All I know is that the last time a dealership offered me "bronze silver and gold" packages, the higher packages included such critical maintenance items as "deodorize air conditioner" and "inspect cabin filter".  Blah.  Is this a dealership?

Without details it's hard to say.

What is OH? Optional Husband? :P

Had to look it up - Other Half.  YW.


Keep in mind that any shop worth using will be inspecting your car for visible faults while doing the normal oil change service at no additional charge.

Of course they do - the more problems the find, the more $$$ they charge you!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 11:46:15 AM by dragoncar »

William

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 12:02:04 PM »
Never go to a dealership.  Period.  Find a nice old man who acts like he cares for cars instead of getting them in and out of the garage as fast as possible.  Those old guys love to talk about your car with you.  Also, DIY is king.  Everyone can change their own oil.

gimp

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 01:21:13 PM »
Look in the book in your glove compartment. Does it say that the car is due for service every 30k miles / 50k km? If so, do the service; it usually means replacing certain parts (rubber seals, belts, whatever that car wears out).

Counting Down

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 05:02:11 PM »
Keep in mind that any shop worth using will be inspecting your car for visible faults while doing the normal oil change service at no additional charge.

This was my exact thought. I think the guy mentioned changing spark plugs as one of the "extras" but surely if it was needed to be done they would just tell you as part of a normal service??

It's not the dealership, we went there a couple of months ago but after booking an early time we arrived to be told it would take all day we declined. Of course as soon as we said that it was oh we'll rush you through but too late damage done.

We are using a popular garage chain though. At home we had mechanic friends that always did our previous services but we don't know anyone with those skills here yet. Must keep an eye out for next time.

Look in the book in your glove compartment. Does it say that the car is due for service every 30k miles / 50k km? If so, do the service; it usually means replacing certain parts (rubber seals, belts, whatever that car wears out).

Thanks I think that was what the guy was getting at. I will do this and if it needs it we can ask them to check these certain things.

Without details it's hard to say.

What is OH? Optional Husband? :P

Had to look it up - Other Half.  YW.

Haha yeah it's weird obviously I would never call him that in real life some times I forget and write his name on here and then I have to go back and delete it all paranoid like. What does YW mean??

CarDude

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 06:12:38 PM »
Keep in mind that any shop worth using will be inspecting your car for visible faults while doing the normal oil change service at no additional charge.

This was my exact thought. I think the guy mentioned changing spark plugs as one of the "extras" but surely if it was needed to be done they would just tell you as part of a normal service??

It's not the dealership, we went there a couple of months ago but after booking an early time we arrived to be told it would take all day we declined. Of course as soon as we said that it was oh we'll rush you through but too late damage done.

We are using a popular garage chain though. At home we had mechanic friends that always did our previous services but we don't know anyone with those skills here yet. Must keep an eye out for next time.

Look in the book in your glove compartment. Does it say that the car is due for service every 30k miles / 50k km? If so, do the service; it usually means replacing certain parts (rubber seals, belts, whatever that car wears out).

Thanks I think that was what the guy was getting at. I will do this and if it needs it we can ask them to check these certain things.

Without details it's hard to say.

What is OH? Optional Husband? :P

Had to look it up - Other Half.  YW.

Haha yeah it's weird obviously I would never call him that in real life some times I forget and write his name on here and then I have to go back and delete it all paranoid like. What does YW mean??

Your wife, I'd guess.

Counting Down

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 07:37:18 PM »
Ah the Internet it's a whole other language!

Greg

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 08:49:03 AM »
There's a couple of things to consider here.  Usually the recommended maintenance is mapped out in your owners manual.  It may list specific things to do at major mileage intervals like 15K, 30K, etc.  Some of these things are no-brainers, oil changes and tune-ups.  Others can get expensive, like timing belts.  Usually when something like a timing belt is recommended, it's because if it fails it can cause sever and expensive damage, but not always.  It's scheduled for replacement before it's likely to fail.  Then there's often a list of things that should be done at the same time.  for a timing belt that list might include the tensioner, any idler pulleys, and seals.  Some cars have water and oil pumps in there as well.  So a simple $20 belt becomes a $500 parts list.

Anything that requires replacement parts is easy to get your head around, but there are quite a few checks and inspections that go along with many of the scheduled maintenance services.  These include things that you could do yourself, but also include things that require knowledge and experience to do.  While you might think these checks and inspections are just a way to make money, they are a way to predict and avoid future breakdowns.

I do my own work on my vehicles but wanted to explain why the service might be worthwhile to those who don't or can't.  Reading up on what's recommended for you specific vehicle and familiarizing yourself with your vehicle will help you make sense of the service proposed by your garage.  If they say lube job, but you know you have rubber bushings instead, then you know they're not being accurate and are working from a generic list for example.

Spark plugs can be easy or hard to change on a given vehicle and often are pretty cheap for the parts.  When they're hard to change, often more expensive plugs are specified so that they last longer so you don't have to do that difficult (expensive) service again too soon.  Some of the chain garages offer very little beyond a list of checks for a regular service, and offer to change the plugs as part of a tune-up.  But a proper tune-up should include a lot more than just spark plugs.  Plug wires, distributor cap and rotor (if it has a distributor), O2 sensor(s), filters are regularly changed items.  Then there's fluid flushes and changes; brake and coolant sometimes needs to be changed every 2 years.

It's not unreasonable for the car to need to stay the day for a major service.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 08:56:45 AM »
Keep in mind that any shop worth using will be inspecting your car for visible faults while doing the normal oil change service at no additional charge.

This was my exact thought. I think the guy mentioned changing spark plugs as one of the "extras" but surely if it was needed to be done they would just tell you as part of a normal service??

It's not the dealership, we went there a couple of months ago but after booking an early time we arrived to be told it would take all day we declined. Of course as soon as we said that it was oh we'll rush you through but too late damage done.

We are using a popular garage chain though. At home we had mechanic friends that always did our previous services but we don't know anyone with those skills here yet. Must keep an eye out for next time.

Look in the book in your glove compartment. Does it say that the car is due for service every 30k miles / 50k km? If so, do the service; it usually means replacing certain parts (rubber seals, belts, whatever that car wears out).

Thanks I think that was what the guy was getting at. I will do this and if it needs it we can ask them to check these certain things.

Without details it's hard to say.

What is OH? Optional Husband? :P

Had to look it up - Other Half.  YW.

Haha yeah it's weird obviously I would never call him that in real life some times I forget and write his name on here and then I have to go back and delete it all paranoid like. What does YW mean??

Your wife, I'd guess.


I thought he was using it as YW - You're Welcome. lol (laugh out loud)

RapmasterD

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 10:26:19 PM »
How much was the regular service and the double service? Seems like at 90K miles you want to do what they suggest. That's typically a major service increment and yes, will be double.

How long have you owned the car -- have you owned it since it was new?

How much have you paid for service since you've owned it? What does that come out to per year and per month?

What is the average per mile cost for servicing the car you own, based on available information on the Web? Are you above, at, or below that average?

What is the typical longevity for the car you own? Have you looked at Web forums for your car to see what the typical maintenance costs are as the car ages in general, and in particular at the 90K level?

etc., etc.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2014, 08:05:38 AM »
I have several friends in the business, and it's pretty common knowledge that the goal of a dealer, or chain repair facility, is to get you in the door and upsell you everything you are willing to accept. For example, I just took a late model CRV to the dealer to address two serious issues, both remain unresolved. However, the service "advisor" was in the waiting room twenty minutes after I got there. During that time frame, a mechanic got the car up in the air to hunt for "billable hours"  He had a written estimate to address several issues. first the car missed a B.S, 10K service interval. This is nothing but bringing  the car in for an overpriced, needless, visual inspection. Second the car "needed" a new engine and cabin air filter. My cost on these parts is $14, and there is no way in hell either is needed at this point. Last, the brake rotors are pretty crusty from a horribly toxic winter here in the northeast. They legitimately need to be removed and resurfaced on a brake lathe. The dealer offered to "clean" the brake system as part of his $275 quote, but would not confirm that they were going to machine the rotors. Doing this work myself would involve a weekend morning, including shuffling the rotors to the machine shop and back, and a total cost of $75 dollars.  Ordering premium parts from Rockauto.com, I could replace the filters, rotors and pads, with all premium grade parts, for less than the dealer wants for their rather non-specific maintenance.

The fact that any car gets serviced at a big chain can be a concern. Mechanics at these places are sort of like the old saying, "I doubt he quit medical school to take this job" As in, if you have top flight skills you are either in a well regarded independent shop, or at a dealer. The knuckle draggers end up at places where oil changes are $19.95,  and they are not allowed to rotate a tire without senior management triple checking their work. I once did a full brake job on a neighbor's SUV, just to prove that a big chain with a "lifetime" guarantee was screwing him. They got him for $900 for a full service, then  another $4-500 a year later, since all the rotors were shot, and they were not covered. Oddly enough, if you use rock hard, severe duty pads and the cheapest, softest, lowest grade Chinese rotors you can find, the pads will last forever, and you can charge the customer half a grand to put four $10 rotors on, every year.
The best way around this is to find a high grade independent shop. The cartalk.com site has great referrals for trusted mechanics. On there I found a super travelling repair guy, who showed up several times at my daughter's university to repair her car, in the parking lot. doesn't get any better than that!

Finally, for many fascinating, and very unmustachian reasons, recommended maintenance schedules, per car manufacturers, has become a bit of a fraud lately. To the point that, in order to create the delusion that the things are basically maintenance free, they are simply claiming that things can simply be ignored. Transmission maintenance is a great example. Many are now dipstick free and sealed. IMHO, it's a crock. We have successfully driven many vehicles into the ground with very little repair involved. that said, they get every fluid and filter changed on a two year rotation, including differentials, brakes, trans and coolant. When you own trucks used in construction, and never spend a dime on things like frozen calipers and replacing transmissions, it really starts to add up. I had competitors who swore that my pick-ups were junk since they couldn't get 60K out of the trans.  Funny I never spent a dime repair one, and they went several times as far? A $3-500 maintenance bill, every two years, beats a $3K transmission every time, but for some reason I doubt 1% of all vehicle out there get this level of care.

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Service Question
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 11:13:37 AM »
What car is this?

As Greg mentioned above.. if it has a timing belt and its what is known as an "Interference engine", if the belt breaks it will pretty much trash your engine.

Now I have never had a mechanic work on any of my cars.. ever.. (ok wheel alignments I have done in the shop for $150 for a lifetime "free" checks) but I do have a friend with a VW Toureg.. he didn't have his belt changed.

The resulting damage was more than the car was worth.. so he scrapped the whole car!!!!!!

Wish I had known I would have rebuilt it and sold it for a profit..:)

Frank