Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

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RobLyons
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Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by RobLyons »

I would find a good local, independent mechanic and never go back to the dealership again. Read reviews, ask around, check your local city/town social media pages for recommendations. Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.

Also, I personally have never paid for quick, simple diagnostics like that. My mechanic will only bill me for actual labor or if it took him a long time to assess and discover the problem. $130 to plug in a diagnostic reader for a vehicle under warranty would drive me insane. I'd also get into something more reliable like a Honda or Toyota, but that's just me. A 3 year old car should not be giving you head aches already.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
Topic Author
student
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by student »

RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am I would find a good local, independent mechanic and never go back to the dealership again. Read reviews, ask around, check your local city/town social media pages for recommendations. Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.

Also, I personally have never paid for quick, simple diagnostics like that. My mechanic will only bill me for actual labor or if it took him a long time to assess and discover the problem. $130 to plug in a diagnostic reader for a vehicle under warranty would drive me insane. I'd also get into something more reliable like a Honda or Toyota, but that's just me. A 3 year old car should not be giving you head aches already.
Thanks for the comment. My last car was a Toyota and I was satisfied with it. Very few problems in 11 years. However, when I purchased my current car, it did not have a car that met my criteria: price, hybrid, blind spot monitor and apple car play. (The main issue was Toyota was behind in adapting apple car play.)
Scooter17
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:53 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by Scooter17 »

Only go to the dealer for warranty work and you should not pay for any work other than preventive maintenance when under warranty. When the warranty expires find a reputable mechanic to perform service and repairs.
Topic Author
student
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Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by student »

Scooter17 wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:19 am Only go to the dealer for warranty work and you should not pay for any work other than preventive maintenance when under warranty. When the warranty expires find a reputable mechanic to perform service and repairs.
Thanks for the comment.
neilpilot
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by neilpilot »

Scooter17 wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:19 am Only go to the dealer for warranty work and you should not pay for any work other than preventive maintenance when under warranty. When the warranty expires find a reputable mechanic to perform service and repairs.
No need to use the dealer for "preventive maintenance when under warranty". Just keep your receipts and maintenance records.
Scooter17
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:53 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by Scooter17 »

neilpilot wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:43 am
Scooter17 wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:19 am Only go to the dealer for warranty work and you should not pay for any work other than preventive maintenance when under warranty. When the warranty expires find a reputable mechanic to perform service and repairs.
No need to use the dealer for "preventive maintenance when under warranty". Just keep your receipts and maintenance records.
You are correct, that’s what I meant!
RudyS
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Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by RudyS »

Responding to the update regarding diagnostic codes. I had the code for a loose gas cap, read for free at Autozone. Then it took about a day for the code to reset.
RobLyons
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by RobLyons »

student wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:07 am
RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am I would find a good local, independent mechanic and never go back to the dealership again. Read reviews, ask around, check your local city/town social media pages for recommendations. Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.

Also, I personally have never paid for quick, simple diagnostics like that. My mechanic will only bill me for actual labor or if it took him a long time to assess and discover the problem. $130 to plug in a diagnostic reader for a vehicle under warranty would drive me insane. I'd also get into something more reliable like a Honda or Toyota, but that's just me. A 3 year old car should not be giving you head aches already.
Thanks for the comment. My last car was a Toyota and I was satisfied with it. Very few problems in 11 years. However, when I purchased my current car, it did not have a car that met my criteria: price, hybrid, blind spot monitor and apple car play. (The main issue was Toyota was behind in adapting apple car play.)

Ah yes, Honda has the apple car play. Toyota dropped the ball there, I agree.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
hudson
Posts: 5926
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by hudson »

sport wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 11:35 am Two suggestions:
1. Check your car's manual for the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations.
2. Find a mechanic that won't cheat you. It is not necessary to go to the stealership for most things.
That's what I was going to say.
I've had 5 Toyotas from year 2000 until now. With the exception of recalls, I never visited the stealership. I also pass on their "free" oil changes.

I took a Rav4 to a dealer for a recall. I was inhaling their excellent donuts and coffee when I got called to the shop area where my car was up on a lift. The mechanic pointed to coolant that had leaked onto the water pump and recommended a replacement. I asked if the water pump was making noises. He said that he hadn't checked. I thanked him for his help and left without the repair. I smelled a rat. The water pump was still working well years later when I sold the car.

Bottom Line: With some exceptions, dealership service writers will sell you a bill of goods.
The exceptions are family owned small town dealerships.
Topic Author
student
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by student »

hudson wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:47 am
sport wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 11:35 am Two suggestions:
1. Check your car's manual for the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations.
2. Find a mechanic that won't cheat you. It is not necessary to go to the stealership for most things.
That's what I was going to say.
I've had 5 Toyotas from year 2000 until now. With the exception of recalls, I never visited the stealership. I also pass on their "free" oil changes.

I took a Rav4 to a dealer for a recall. I was inhaling their excellent donuts and coffee when I got called to the shop area where my car was up on a lift. The mechanic pointed to coolant that had leaked onto the water pump and recommended a replacement. I asked if the water pump was making noises. He said that he hadn't checked. I thanked him for his help and left without the repair. I smelled a rat. The water pump was still working well years later when I sold the car.

Bottom Line: With some exceptions, dealership service writers will sell you a bill of goods.
The exceptions are family owned small town dealerships.
Thanks for the info. Wow. Was the coolant actually leaking? Did you fix that part?
hudson
Posts: 5926
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by hudson »

student,
no fix; not broken...too much info below :)
The overflow pipe for the coolant system was directly above the water pump. That's were the coolant came from.
I'm not a mechanic, but I've had water pump problems in my younger days. Usually the water pump won't leak unless the internal bearing is worn out; then it will make noise. You can hear the bearing with a stethoscope which I don't have. I used a long screwdriver. With the engine running, you put the slotted end of the screwdriver on the water pump and the handle up to your ear. A bad bearing makes an awful noise; a good pump just whirrs.

A water pump is an easy sell to the uninformed.
Ugly dealerships also like to over-sell overpriced belts, spark plugs, and spark plug wires among other un-needed items. They are most accomplished sales people that do not serve the customer.
Topic Author
student
Posts: 8051
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by student »

hudson wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:07 am student,
no fix; not broken...too much info below :)
The overflow pipe for the coolant system was directly above the water pump. That's were the coolant came from.
I'm not a mechanic, but I've had water pump problems in my younger days. Usually the water pump won't leak unless the internal bearing is worn out; then it will make noise. You can hear the bearing with a stethoscope which I don't have. I used a long screwdriver. With the engine running, you put the slotted end of the screwdriver on the water pump and the handle up to your ear. A bad bearing makes an awful noise; a good pump just whirrs.

A water pump is an easy sell to the uninformed.
Ugly dealerships also like to over-sell overpriced belts, spark plugs, and spark plug wires among other un-needed items. They are most accomplished sales people that do not serve the customer.
Thanks for the info. They would have gotten me especially if they show me the "issue."
afr
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by afr »

RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.
And independent shops are in the business to save you money?
neilpilot
Posts: 4415
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by neilpilot »

afr wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:39 am
RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.
And independent shops are in the business to save you money?
In relative terms, they probably are.
RobLyons
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by RobLyons »

afr wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:39 am
RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.
And independent shops are in the business to save you money?

Independent shops are in the business of doing fair, honest work, not overcharging or doing unnecessary work, saving the consumer over dealership prices and gaining trust and loyalty from the word of mouth they generate from these services. That may have been a run on sentence. :oops:

If you haven't discovered this yet, I encourage you to explore your local independent mechanics! Most fit the description above. This is common knowledge throughout the auto and enthusiast industry.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
afr
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by afr »

RobLyons wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:02 am
afr wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:39 am
RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.
And independent shops are in the business to save you money?

Independent shops are in the business of doing fair, honest work, not overcharging or doing unnecessary work, saving the consumer over dealership prices and gaining trust and loyalty from the word of mouth they generate from these services. That may have been a run on sentence. :oops:

If you haven't discovered this yet, I encourage you to explore your local independent mechanics! Most fit the description above. This is common knowledge throughout the auto and enthusiast industry.
I in fact do take my car to an independent shop with two excellent auto mechanics(I’ve worked on my cars in the past and have some knowledge). But I don’t think dealerships are any more expensive I just don’t like the fact of not knowing who’s doing the actual work. I don’t think performing “unnecessary” work can be limited just to dealerships. Lots of unethical folks out there
RobLyons
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Car maintenance questions Updated with a new question

Post by RobLyons »

afr wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:36 pm
RobLyons wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:02 am
afr wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:39 am
RobLyons wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:49 am Dealerships are not in business to save you money. In my experience it's quite the opposite.
And independent shops are in the business to save you money?

Independent shops are in the business of doing fair, honest work, not overcharging or doing unnecessary work, saving the consumer over dealership prices and gaining trust and loyalty from the word of mouth they generate from these services. That may have been a run on sentence. :oops:

If you haven't discovered this yet, I encourage you to explore your local independent mechanics! Most fit the description above. This is common knowledge throughout the auto and enthusiast industry.
I in fact do take my car to an independent shop with two excellent auto mechanics(I’ve worked on my cars in the past and have some knowledge). But I don’t think dealerships are any more expensive I just don’t like the fact of not knowing who’s doing the actual work. I don’t think performing “unnecessary” work can be limited just to dealerships. Lots of unethical folks out there


By default, work done at dealerships is more expensive because of overhead. This is just a fact.
Local shops just have a garage and a few mechanics. Dealerships have showrooms, massive maintenance garages, higher employee salaries. All this equates to more overhead. (Direct quote from any online search).

And you eliminate the "unethical folks" by following my advice above about finding a mechanic by word of word of mouth. If you live in one area long enough, you learn who is unethical, who charges more, who charges least but may not do as good a job, etc. Avoid shady tree mechanic, go to the best local mechanic.

I cringe when I go to the dealership (they send me $20 oil change coupons). As I see a whole waiting room full of unsuspecting people that are talked into expensive repairs. I've experienced (or heard from friends) similar situations at 3 different local dealerships...

My last trip they told me I needed $1,600 in repairs. In my 5 year old Toyota. My mechanic fixed everything needed, the brakes, for $400.
Another trip I received a $2,500 estimate. Mechanic completed the exact job for $1,100.
Time before that, they said I NEEDed a tire rotation when I just bought the tires from Costco 500 miles prior. They then tried to talk me into a $100 alignment. No thanks!
As I sat at my local Toyota dealership, I overheard 5 different conversations. The rep comes to the waiting room to discuss "needed" repairs with the customer. Each one sounded partially true, and perhaps unnecessary.

I think we have explored this topic enough. Have a great Thanksgiving! :sharebeer :thumbsup
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
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