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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    LD1, what you said is so true. One of the issues with the repair industry today is anybody that can pick a wrench up thinks they are a true technician.

    Two weeks ago I spoke to a true technician who is the shop foreman of an automotive repair shop. After 16 years in the auto repair industry he is going back to school to be a plumber. When I asked him why he said "every customer that can pick up a wrench thinks he knows more than I do." He then said he wanted to be a business owner and after doing some research he found he could start a plumbing business for 1/4 the cost of opening a garage. He also said to be in the plumbing business you had to have a state license proving your competence and in the auto repair business you did not. He also said he would have to put up with a fraction of the crap he does now. During our discussion he asked me, "How many older mechanics do you see?"

  2. #12
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchturner View Post

    When I asked him why he said "every customer that can pick up a wrench thinks he knows more than I do."
    Sad but true.

    I have a lot of training and schooling under my belt for various different things. Auto repair, enging and transmission buiding, machining, welding, engineering, and a few others I am probabally forgetting.

    And you'd be suprised how many people think they actually know how do to these things, actually have no clue. I am not trying to boast or anything, there is still a ton of things that I dont know, but I am NOT to proud to admit when I dont know something. And I will seek the advise of a professional. And if it is something I dont know and he does, he is worth a pretty premium IMO.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


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  3. #13
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Dealerships have horrendous overhead. Horrendous. You'd be surprised how little profit, after all the expenses, there was in that deal, even with the inflated prices.

    Of course you can buy a wiper blade at autozone and install it for much less, but some folks find even changing a wiper blade beyond their scope.

    Cabin air filters can be a PAIN to install sometimes. I've done a couple and they aren't fun. Sometimes they are behind the airbag and there is all that to deal with.

    If you can avoid a dealership for normal stuff, do so. But when you have to have one? Expect to pay dearly for the experience. If you could fix all this yourself, you'd not need them. If I could fill my own teeth, I'd not need the dentist at his outrageous prices either. Wish I had learned how to remove a gall bladder, I'd have saved a ton of money a few years back.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  4. #14
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2002
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    1,476

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Quote Originally Posted by bp fick View Post
    Dealerships have horrendous overhead. Horrendous. You'd be surprised how little profit, after all the expenses, there was in that deal, even with the inflated prices.

    Of course you can buy a wiper blade at autozone and install it for much less, but some folks find even changing a wiper blade beyond their scope.

    Cabin air filters can be a PAIN to install sometimes. I've done a couple and they aren't fun. Sometimes they are behind the airbag and there is all that to deal with.

    If you can avoid a dealership for normal stuff, do so. But when you have to have one? Expect to pay dearly for the experience. If you could fix all this yourself, you'd not need them. If I could fill my own teeth, I'd not need the dentist at his outrageous prices either. Wish I had learned how to remove a gall bladder, I'd have saved a ton of money a few years back.
    Our local Autozone (and it may just be our local one) installs wiper blades for free - again, that may just be our local store.

    I'm sure that some cabin air filters may be a pain. The two (its a matched set) that went in the Kia take less than 5 minutes to install, and that was with me doing for the first time with no instructions. All that I knew is that they were behind the glove box.

    Again, I'm not complaining about the cost of the technician at the dealer (that was never in the equation per se; I was quoted parts cost only with "free" installation - I'm guessing this is because installation for both items would take 10 minutes or less). My only real complaint was the sheer cost of the parts vs. aftermarket parts. I know that the dealer needs to make money, but when the dealer filters cost 4X the amount of aftermarket, and I'm betting they are comparable, I just can't justify that expense. If the dealer parts were to be closer to aftermarket, I would have bought them for the convenience.

    I will have to assume that the dealer sets their prices and recognizes that they won't get all of the parts business, but that they will really clean house on the parts business they do get!

  5. #15
    Elite Member
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    Meridian Idaho
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    Kubota B7100D

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    I am pretty mechanical and will usually do a repair once to see how it goes. Brake jobs? Doing that myself with internet ordered parts, half the price for parts at the dealer or Autozone. Alternator replacement? same thing but part is still spendy (Honda). Struts? Yep, doing that. CV joint? Yep, whole stub axle is easy to do. Timing belt replacement on a front wheel drive Honda Accord? NEVER going to do that again... they charge $600 for a reason

    I have taken to calling the dealer to price check when needing parts though, on some things I have found them to be the same price I can get it anywhere else.

    My son and I ride and race dirtbikes, that sport is expensive enough, there is no way I could afford to do it if I had to take my bikes to a shop.

  6. #16
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    SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
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    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23 and L3800 Craftsman Mower, Deere 350C Dozer

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    More of the overhead is being shifted to the Service Department...

    Profit margins on new vehicle sales are down due to the competitiveness of Internet Sales...

    A person that knows what they want only has to shop price and can buy anywhere... neighbor just bought a new Rav4 from a Dealer 400 miles away and the Salesman Delivered the car and picked up her trade...

    My Dealer acquaintance said there is more profit on selling used car than new...

    Dealer Sevice is expensive... the price is supposed to include factory trained tech, OEM parts and having in-house the exact tools to do the job...

    Dealer was running a special on Brakes... $550 per axle.

    I went to the parts counter and used my club affiliation discount to buy all the parts and did the total job in less than two hours for a total outlay of $380 vs. Dealer $1100 and that included me washing and vacuuming just like the Dealer.

  7. #17
    Silver Member
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    JD 4410, two JD 318's, 50" and 46" MMM, 48" KK BB

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Just a couple of comments from an engineer who worked as a mechanic at dealerships for 5-10 years, last time in '89. There is a reason parts are more expensive at the dealer and cheaper aftermarket, the aftermarket parts are not the same quality. Concerning O2 sensors, I've replaced a lot of them and if you have an O2 code without any others it probably is just the sensor, they work in a pretty hostile environment (1200 degrees) and they do tend to fail. Also, on most (anthing with an air flow sensor) fuel injected cars a clogged air filter will not cause it to run rich. Neither would dirty injectors. These technicalities aside, LD1 is basically correct, some other codes are not as simple. I'd still bet on most codes that implicate a sensor will be a sensor failure at least 90% of the time, 99% if you do a visual inspection and don't find wire unplugged, critters eating wires, damaged wiring from accidents etc. Just my 2 cents, hope it is helpful.
    JD 4410, 430 loader, 60" KK BB, drag harrow, two JD 318's, 46 and 50 inch decks, 48" mechanical tiller, 40 hydraulic tiller, lawn sweeper, 48" roller, 97 Miata, Legends race car

  8. #18
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Central Ohio
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    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    I have had about 4 o2 sensor codes pop up on my various vehichles. NONE of them turned out to be an o2 sensor.

    For example:
    2002 saturn Lean condition indicated (02). Was NOT a sensor. Was an intake manifold gasket leak.

    1998 Dodge Neon, rich condition incicated. Was a stuck FRP.

    These are just a few. While an air filter may indeed NOT cause it because of a MAF, I was just rambling off exmples. You get the Idea.

    And I have had the same for other sensors.

    And as a matter of fact, the one 02 sensor that I did have to replace, didnt even throw a code. We were working on dads 1998 ram 5.9 magnum. Started and runs down the road just fine. But after about 2-3minutes, it would just flat fall on its face. You could barley keep it running. It did that for about another 2 minutes and then all was fine again.

    There were NO codes at all. I actually hooked up the MAC scanner and watched various sensors and EVERYTHING was working like it should. 02's were cycling and everything. The ONLY indication of a problem was that it occured right when it was trying to go into closed loop. And it would fluctuate between closed and open loop for the duration to the problem.

    Some digging online pointed me to the O2. Something about the heaters (4-wire sensor) going bad and not allowing it to be up to proper temp when it tries to go into closed loop. Problem only lasted a few minutes, because then the exhause had a chance to warm it up enough without the heater. The heater is supposed to allow closed loop earlier, but with a failed heater, the sensor was not ready for closed loop.

    Changed sensor and all is well now
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
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  9. #19
    Platinum Member
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    Near Peace river -Alberta
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    ASV 4810

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Couple years back i had a grand AM(quad 4 SOHC) that trew a O2 code.
    I replaced the sensor 3 times,code came back each and every time.
    I had no scantool to diagnose cause this model(93) requares a GM scanner as it is in between OBDI and OBDII.
    I am a HD diesel mechanic.

    I took it to the dealer to find the problem(i told him it is NOT the 02 sensor cause i replaced it 3 times without succes)

    Guess what,..The stupid A holes replaced the 02 sensor once again and charged me $300 to do so.
    No amount of talk could change their mind(me the customer is stupid and they the professionals know it all eh)
    Before i was home the code was back as i knew it would happen.They(dealer) would not look into it again cause of my "attitude",nor would they pay me back for the nonrepair.

    There's no way i would ever go to any dealer again for a repair,i rather burn the vehicle instead.
    Nor will i ever buy a vehicle (new or used) trough one.


    I later found a bad (intermitted) ground as the cause of setting the 02 code.
    3 cockshutt 1855,1 cockshutt 1800.
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  10. #20
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Central Ohio
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: Automobile Dealer Service Departments -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bison View Post
    Couple years back i had a grand AM(quad 4 SOHC) that trew a O2 code.
    I replaced the sensor 3 times,code came back each and every time.
    I had no scantool to diagnose cause this model(93) requares a GM scanner as it is in between OBDI and OBDII.
    I am a HD diesel mechanic.

    I took it to the dealer to find the problem(i told him it is NOT the 02 sensor cause i replaced it 3 times without succes)

    Guess what,..The stupid A holes replaced the 02 sensor once again and charged me $300 to do so.
    No amount of talk could change their mind(me the customer is stupid and they the professionals know it all eh)
    Before i was home the code was back as i knew it would happen.They(dealer) would not look into it again cause of my "attitude",nor would they pay me back for the nonrepair.

    There's no way i would ever go to any dealer again for a repair,i rather burn the vehicle instead.
    Nor will i ever buy a vehicle (new or used) trough one.


    I later found a bad (intermitted) ground as the cause of setting the 02 code.
    I am not sure I could have just dropped the issue with them. You paid them $300 to fix a problem. That is a contract. They did not hold up their end. So I would have been adamit that they either fix it, or refund the money.

    Most dealers are not this way. They will try to get the most $$ they can, but in the end, if you hold your ground, they usually do what is right. And in this case, the right thing would have been to either fix the problem, or refund the money.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
    Kubota MX5100HST w/LA844
    2005 Dodge 3500 4x4 Diesel
    8N Rebuilt and restored
    Bushhog 306
    3 Homemade wood hauling trailers
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    (4) Sachs-Dolmar 116SI Ported
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