Wheels and Tires

How much should I be paying for car maintenance?

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  • Jan 8th, 2018 1:34 am
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2004
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How much should I be paying for car maintenance?

EDIT: Ultimately, the fault was mine for not looking up the maintenance schedule and checking out prices before going in. After some searches and reading up, I think I've answered my own question. I guess I have to learn my lessons the hard way :)

In the past 10 years, due to work and moving, I've changed to a new car every 2-3 years, so I've gotten maintenance work done for Honda, Kia and Toyota crossovers/SUVs at their dealerships (so not luxury brands). They all seemed to be priced around the same. Most recently, I did a 24k maintenance which involved oil change and fuel system maintenance. Some work issue came up so I could only stay at the dealership for 2 hours. There were also 2 service bulletins for the vehicle (one software), so they said 3 hrs for everything. I suggested postponing the fuel system, but they said they would try to complete everything. They ended up completing everything (bulletins as well) in a little over an hour (I saw them drive the vehicle away but they didn't come get me from the lounge for another 20 mins, so I can't say for certain). There were no charges for the bulletins, so for oil change (EDIT: Service #3 actually) and fuel system, the total cost was a little over $500 after tax. This is probably nothing compared to a Mercedes maintenance and I know the dealership has to make money, but this still left me wondering. How much should I be paying to do this work? Also, from the standpoint of quality of work and warranty, should I consider a third party? I haven't been to one in years.

Thanks for any advice.
Last edited by puckhead on Dec 18th, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.
21 replies
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puckhead wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 4:21 pm
In the past 10 years, due to work and moving, I've changed to a new car every 2-3 years, so I've gotten maintenance work done for Honda, Kia and Toyota crossovers/SUVs at their dealerships (so not luxury brands). They all seemed to be priced around the same. Most recently, I did a 24k maintenance which involved oil change and fuel system maintenance. Some work issue came up so I could only stay at the dealership for 2 hours. There were also 2 service bulletins for the vehicle (one software), so they said 3 hrs for everything. I suggested postponing the fuel system, but they said they would try to complete everything. They ended up completing everything (bulletins as well) in a little over an hour because I saw them drive the vehicle away (but they didn't come get me from the lounge for another half hour). There were no charges for the bulletins, so for oil change and fuel system, the total cost was a little over $500 after tax. This is probably nothing compared to a Mercedes maintenance and I know the dealership has to make money, but this still left me wondering. How much should I be paying to do this work? Also, from the standpoint of quality of work and warranty, should I consider a third party? I haven't been to one in years.

Thanks for any advice.
You overpaid about $450. The only thing you really needed at 24k is an oil change.
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er34er34 wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 4:25 pm
You overpaid about $450. The only thing you really needed at 24k is an oil change.
You have no clue. :facepalm:
There could be a number of things done for your 24K maintenance. You did not specify the vehcle. Fuel system maintenance is normally over $100. Oil change and filter can be $50 to $75 (or more). Much of the 24k km is inspection and some cleaning and it all takes time. A dealer charges over !$100 per hour for work and then incidentals and taxes etc.
As for should you go to a 3rd party? That choice is yours. Will it be cheaper? Probably. Will you get your service bulletins checked? Probably not. Will the quality be better? Well, depends on the shop you take it to....a small shop often does not have the specialized tools and test equipment and computer software to heck your car properly. That stuff is very expensive. And the 3rd party shops thta have all that stuff won't be much cheaper than the dealer. Will it affect your warranty? No, it will not as long, as you have proof the work was done. Oh and, everyone has to make money, even the local shop. :)
It's alright if you don't agree with me... I can't force you to be right. - Anonymous
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2004
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 4:40 pm
As for should you go to a 3rd party? That choice is yours. Will it be cheaper? Probably. Will you get your service bulletins checked? Probably not. Will it affect your warranty? No, it will not as long, as you have proof the work was done. Oh and, everyone has to make money, even the local shop. :)
I expect the dealership to be more expensive and that's okay. It's been a long time since anything at the dealership is less than a $100 (except maybe changing cabin filter - yes, i know it could be done in 5 mins by yourself for less than $15). Reasonably more expensive is fine, but what amount would that be? Based on the invoice I'm looking at, it's almost all labour. Based on time spent, that's over $350 an hour. All the numbers you gave are dirt cheap in comparison.
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I have 18k on my CivicX and spent $100 on two oil changes.

Fuel Service and Oil Change cost you $500?!?!
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[OP]
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bembol wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 5:22 pm
I have 18k on my CivicX and spent $100 on two oil changes.

Fuel Service and Oil Change cost you $500?!?!
Based on the invoice I was charged for the "Service 3" of the recommended schedule and fuel system service (that isn't in Service 3, so I should have said "no", so that's just my fault for ignorance):

Service 3: Replace engine oil and filter. Rotate tires, tire pressure, top all fluids, service brakes and inspection.

Fuel System: Fuel additive. Set Vehicle on computerized alignment machine. Inspect shocks, struts, suspension system. Road test.

So I guess they took it on a road test. So 1 hr 15 mins in the service bay for all work including service bulletins and about 15 mins road test.

NOTE that I am not mentioning Make or dealership name because this is not meant to be a complaint. Just hoping to get some useful knowledge for next time.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 4:40 pm
You have no clue. :facepalm:
There could be a number of things done for your 24K maintenance. You did not specify the vehcle. Fuel system maintenance is normally over $100. Oil change and filter can be $50 to $75 (or more). Much of the 24k km is inspection and some cleaning and it all takes time. A dealer charges over !$100 per hour for work and then incidentals and taxes etc.
As for should you go to a 3rd party? That choice is yours. Will it be cheaper? Probably. Will you get your service bulletins checked? Probably not. Will the quality be better? Well, depends on the shop you take it to....a small shop often does not have the specialized tools and test equipment and computer software to heck your car properly. That stuff is very expensive. And the 3rd party shops thta have all that stuff won't be much cheaper than the dealer. Will it affect your warranty? No, it will not as long, as you have proof the work was done. Oh and, everyone has to make money, even the local shop. :)
What makes you think a fuel system maintenance required at 24k?? Like you said, OP did not even specify which car, but he did state it is a Honda/KIA/Toyota. I certainly haven't seen ANY new car that has called for a required fuel system maintenance at just 24k. The dealer completed all the work in "a little over an hour", that included an oil change, 2 service bulletins, and fuel system maintenance.
At best, the dealer poured in a $5 bottle of fuel system cleaner.
At worst, the dealer did nothing and charged OP $500 for it(minus the oil change charge which is $50-$75 in your words). Hence I said he overpaid $450.

I have no clue??? What are you smoking today? :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
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er34er34 wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 5:53 pm
What makes you think a fuel system maintenance required at 24k?? Like you said, OP did not even specify which car, but he did state it is a Honda/KIA/Toyota. I certainly haven't seen ANY new car that has called for a required fuel system maintenance at just 24k. The dealer completed all the work in "a little over an hour", that included an oil change, 2 service bulletins, and fuel system maintenance.
At best, the dealer poured in a $5 bottle of fuel system cleaner.
At worst, the dealer did nothing and charged OP $500 for it(minus the oil change charge which is $50-$75 in your words). Hence I said he overpaid $450.

I have no clue??? What are you smoking today? :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
The OP said he needed fuel system maintenance, not me. What the dealer did or did not do is something you had no clue about when you made you statement. You did not know the vehicle, the dealer nor the maintennce requirements at the time you made an absurd comment.
I don't need to be smoking anything to know that a person that makes blatant uninformed statement has no clue. Don't hurt your head with useless facepalms.
If and when you do get a clue, make some comments that have validity, clarity and offer assisance instead of an empty statement.
It's alright if you don't agree with me... I can't force you to be right. - Anonymous
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 6:05 pm
The OP said he needed fuel system maintenance, not me. What the dealer did or did not do is something you had no clue about when you made you statement. You did not know the vehicle, the dealer nor the maintennce requirements at the time you made an absurd comment.
I don't need to be smoking anything to know that a person that makes blatant uninformed statement has no clue. Don't hurt your head with useless facepalms.
If and when you do get a clue, make some comments that have validity, clarity and offer assisance instead of an empty statement.
You don't get it do you?

Even assuming the fuel system maintenance is required, what exactly do you think the dealer did that justifies the cost of $450 within 1 hour of labor(which includes the oil change and 2 service bulletin fixes)?

$450 for a fuel system maintenance on a new car with 24000km on it is absurd. It is robbery. This is based on facts.
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er34er34 wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 6:09 pm
You don't get it do you?

Even assuming the fuel system maintenance is required, what exactly do you think the dealer did that justifies the cost of $450 within 1 hour of labor(which includes the oil change and 2 service bulletin fixes)?

$450 for a fuel system maintenance on a new car with 24000km on it is absurd. Period.
I very much get it. You still don't know how shops charge for work. I have been in the business. You don't get it. You are nothing but a customer.
You have no facts. You were not there nor did you see what was done or what needed to be done.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 6:11 pm
I very much get it. You still don't know how shops charge for work. I have been in the business. You don't get it. You are nothing but a customer.
No wonder then, must be all the gasoline you sucked up with your mouth doing fuel system maintenance for $450.
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er34er34 wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 6:13 pm
No wonder then, must be all the gasoline you sucked up with your mouth doing fuel system maintenance for $450.
Such a pity you are so unaware. Hung u on fuel system and $450...did you even take the time to read what the OP said was done? LOL But it's OK, when you grow up, someone will explain how things work for you so you can understand.
Learn something about cars, about maintenance requirements, about business, and then come back for a grown up, informative conversation.
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How do shops work?

Are you saying they did something that justifies charging OP over $500 with only 24k.

It’s sad, OP got played hard lesson learned.
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puckhead wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 4:21 pm
Most recently, I did a 24k maintenance which involved oil change and fuel system maintenance. Some work issue came up so I could only stay at the dealership for 2 hours. There were also 2 service bulletins for the vehicle (one software), so they said 3 hrs for everything. I suggested postponing the fuel system, but they said they would try to complete everything. They ended up completing everything (bulletins as well) in a little over an hour

Thanks for any advice.

Interesting. That's a lot of $$$ for a little over an hours work.

Are you following the dealers recommended service?
Or are you following recommend service in your owners manual?

Sometimes there's a big difference between the two.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2004
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billford wrote:
Dec 18th, 2017 10:47 pm
Interesting. That's a lot of $$$ for a little over an hours work.

Are you following the dealers recommended service?
Or are you following recommend service in your owners manual?

Sometimes there's a big difference between the two.
Ok, I should explain. I went into my first 2 immediately after they called. For this last one, I was busy and went in 3 weeks after and ended up at 21k. I should be doing the 18k maintenance this time around (oil change only). This was also the reason why I fell for this. The rep said I would be past the 24k service the next time I come back so suggested I do the fuel system service now and pointed at the service schedule chart with the 24k item. I didn't read over it thoroughly (again, my fault), so I assumed it was part of the 24k maintenance. I asked how much it would cost and was told $260. I expected oil change cost + $260, but ended up with a bill for ~$510 after tax (and you know what these invoices look like. As a matter of fact, they repeated entire sections just to make it look like a lot of text).

Also, I went into this with a lot of trust because the dealerships of the other 2 car companies didn't try to upsell me with something like this.

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