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Another CT Auto Repair Warning (Media)

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  • Dec 13th, 2010 10:57 pm
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Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2008
1593 posts
528 upvotes
antigua1999 wrote: Whats wrong with dealerships. You have a better chance of finding the problem 1st shot at a dealership than any local garage no matter how good the tech is. Most dealerships labor rate is very competative to local garages. And yes i work at a dealership and yes we fix many mistakes from the canadian tires, midas`s and local shops in the area.
I don't think anything's "wrong" with dealerships, only that they're not always cost competitive and some seem to be less honest than others.

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix, and this past year alone my dealership has received over $2,000 from me including a set of new Toyo tires ($1000), two "maintenance services" in a row, 4 months apart ($145 a pop -- wait, aren't I supposed to be cycling between "maintenance services" and the regular oil changes?), changing a (serpentine?) belt at close to $150, and most recently, front brake replacement, rear brake "cleaning", and transmission fluid replacement, to the tune of $700+.

I also see from looking over recent invoices that their labour rate has jumped to $104/hour.

I asked them to look at a P0171 code that pops up when the weather gets cold, they said it'd be $100 just to look at it, and probably $300 to replace the (likely) O2 sensor. I said no thanks.

I've been an obedient sheep and handing over my credit card time and time again, but geez, this is adding up. I'm sure I could do at least some of this stuff myself. It's like, I could bring my PC to Staples and pay them to reinstall Windows or do virus scanning and spyware removal, but I could easily do it myself. There are enough people out there doing their own oil changes and brake work, I'm wondering if it's time to join their ranks.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 11, 2005
8525 posts
2307 upvotes
Mississauga
GreyingJay wrote: I don't think anything's "wrong" with dealerships, only that they're not always cost competitive and some seem to be less honest than others.

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix, and this past year alone my dealership has received over $2,000 from me including a set of new Toyo tires ($1000), two "maintenance services" in a row, 4 months apart ($145 a pop -- wait, aren't I supposed to be cycling between "maintenance services" and the regular oil changes?), changing a (serpentine?) belt at close to $150, and most recently, front brake replacement, rear brake "cleaning", and transmission fluid replacement, to the tune of $700+.

I also see from looking over recent invoices that their labour rate has jumped to $104/hour.

I asked them to look at a P0171 code that pops up when the weather gets cold, they said it'd be $100 just to look at it, and probably $300 to replace the (likely) O2 sensor. I said no thanks.

I've been an obedient sheep and handing over my credit card time and time again, but geez, this is adding up. I'm sure I could do at least some of this stuff myself. It's like, I could bring my PC to Staples and pay them to reinstall Windows or do virus scanning and spyware removal, but I could easily do it myself. There are enough people out there doing their own oil changes and brake work, I'm wondering if it's time to join their ranks.

A very honest assesment. Yes dealerships do charge a little more than private garages, but you are getting factory trained techs working on your vehicle.
Check your maintenance guide for what is required at certain mileage`s. The prices you quoted are not out of line from what information you provided. Could you save a few dollars shopping around probably but you have the peace of mind that it was done at the dealer and also resell value would be higher with the vehicle serviced at the dealer.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16594 posts
6767 upvotes
mtseymourguy wrote: That's what I just said. Electrical is nothing. Electronics is ten times harder. Its like saying computer programming is as hard as learning how to use windows xp . I have memorized the factory service manual for my car and all trouble shooting diagrams. Its nothing harder than testing for 12 volts with a multimeter. they never attempt to repair or understand the inner logic of the various computer modules.

Are you expecting the diagnosis to go down to the point of "This capacitor in the ECU has failed"? If so, I think that's a bit of an unrealistic expectation.
Deal Addict
Sep 27, 2008
2619 posts
271 upvotes
TrevorK wrote: Are you expecting the diagnosis to go down to the point of "This capacitor in the ECU has failed"? If so, I think that's a bit of an unrealistic expectation.
i'd go to a technician for that. Mechanics merely replace components. Computers tell the mechanic which components to replace. in the old days , the mechanic had to have a bit of common sense but now the diagnostics is done by computer.

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