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Good for a laugh

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  • Good for a laugh

    My wife got a coupon for a two for one deal for oil changes at our local Ford dealership and had her oil changed yesterday. These are the same people that tried to rip me off a couple years ago by bogus claims of parts needing to be changed on my van, which after checking for myself and having a friend who owns his own garage verified, were found to be absurd. They wanted $1400 that time. They want $1300 for what they claim my wifes car needs.

    The estimate is at least good for laughs.

    They found:

    Right headlight inoperative. Verified as CORRECT! It is out! Excellent diagnosis, junior! We will pass on their estimate of $57 plus labor. I picked one up for $11 and I wouldn’t call the ten minutes to change it labor, but whatever.

    RF lower ball joint has play. Maybe, I haven’t checked it yet, but if it’s as sloppy as you claimed my van was, I will save the $234 and buy the $68 Moog joint, or the $28 for the type they’ll probably use. But I wouldn’t bet on them actually have found a sloppy joint.

    Valve cover gasket leaking. They didn’t mention which side or if both were leaking, but knowing the car and the size of the drops on the garage floor it gets parked on every night, I won’t cry myself to sleep with a fuzzy looking engine on a 145,000 mile car, especially when it loses less than a 1/4 of a quart in 5000 miles. They want $468 to change them, which might actually be legit, because looking at it I see the intake manifold needs to come off just to see the back cover, but then again, not if it doesn’t need them.

    Oil pan gasket leaking. Is it, or do you not get the concept of gravity? Sometimes oil leaking from valve covers flows down and makes everything look like it’s leaking. Again, 1/4 quart per 5000 miles doesn’t stop me from worrying any more than allegedly sloppy ball joints attached to perfectly wearing tires. They want $330 for this job.

    Then they recomend spark plugs, which they always do. $150 plus .8 hour if done with the valve cover gaskets, 2.5 hours if done separately. It’s not skipping, so we will pass on this one.

    Finally, the big special of buy one, get one free oil changes? The secret is raise the price of the oil changes from $29 to $45, so the two oil changes that you paid $58 previously now costs $45, a savings of $13, while thinking you saved $45.

    Clever.
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

    My Mach's restoration progress
    My Sprint's restoration progress
    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

  • #2
    Many BS advertising/marketing folks go on to get elected by the American people to be on our payroll!
    Isn't That Special!
    Gene
    To quote my big brother: "Gettin' Old Ain't For Sissies"
    '68 coupe/5.0/T5
    '69 F250
    '56 Chebbie 3200 P/U
    '03 Miata (wife's ride)

    Comment


    • #3
      I got skewered a while back on some of thoughts on dealerships, but my experiences have been about like Steves..........padding the ticket with things I might need, but don't have to have right now. And the markup on parts sends me elsewhere every time I can.

      A good example, my blue 99 F150 suddenly died on me in town one day. Wouldn't click or anything, volt gauge showed zero. I hadn't noticed it when I left home, wife was with me and we were talking going down the road, and I was in a hurry to get to a truck parts dealer to get a part for the semi. Anyway, called a tow company, had it hauled to the Ford dealer because I wasn't sure what was wrong. Next day they got it in, said alternator was shorted out, killing the battery. Battery was about 6 months old, and they weren't going to let me take it back to Walmart and get it replaced under warranty, I was going to have to buy the alternator and battery from them {Ford}. I told them to figure up what I owed for them to check it out and I would have someone come get it. I think the total was about $150 just to diagnose it. Called my wrecker buddy, he went and got it for $85, my bro in law worked in my wrecker buddies shop on his days off from his other job, he charged my battery and put on a new alternator, and after I paid bro in law $75 and paid for the alternator and the tow, I was still $400 cheaper than the Ford dealer wanted for a battery, alternator, and labor!
      Only thing I'll go to the dealer for now is programing PATS keys or buying dealer only parts if I can't get them elsewhere.

      I know they have to make a profit to stay in business, and I also know that not all of them are that bad, but I can't afford to take that chance.
      ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
      -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
      -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
      " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

      "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

      Comment


      • #4
        Just like any other “for profit” corporation, your reputation is only as good as the management and overall leadership.... example (hiring bad and/or unqualified techs who can’t accurately diagnose a bad ball joint or a battery that obviously only needs to be recharged....etc)

        Unfortunately, in the Ford dealership world, (at least in this part of the country), there are TWO entities at work here. The actual REPAIR side, (the side I’ve spent the last 18 years in, purchased $60k-$70k in tools to perform, and invested 100’s of hours in training).....and then....there’s the SERVICE side (Quick Lane....or the “Blue Oval Jiffy Lube, what we call them).

        The dealership REPAIR techs, I (we) quote the diag and repair for the problem/concern at hand. After we diagnose the problem, but before the advisor calls the customer, I will then take a “quick” look at the rest of the car for “safety” concerns (suspension, brakes, etc), but only if I had to raise the vehicle as part of the initial diagnosis.
        Unfortunately there are some service managers who don’t understand that concept (repair vs. service/maint), and push and push the REPAIR techs to upsell maint and service.

        But, you would also be surprised at the number of instances I’ve seen over the years where the customers do not hesitate, no matter which side of the parking lot their car is, to do any and ALL recommended maintenance to their vehicle.

        Ive been doing this crap for going on 18 years now. Yes, I’ve worked at dealerships who either encourage thievery, or at the very least, turn a blind eye to the goings ons within the shop. I’ve seen “techs” and service advisors come and go because of borderline practices.
        Because of that kind of environment, it caused OTHER issues in those types of shops.....which is why I don’t work in those shops anymore (poor management).

        And then, I’ve worked at dealerships (where I’ve been at now for going on 7 years) where the general manager/service manager put everyone on notice right off the bat to ensure everyone is doing the right thing.

        Obviously, as in most industries, there are the “bad apples”, and that’s unfortunate. When I read stories like these it makes me a little uneasy about how others think of what I do in general, but at the end of the day, for me, it’s all about going home feeling good about what I did for a customer, seeing those positive surveys come back, and being able to sleep well at night.

        I guess the moral of this LONNNNNG post, is that I hope that Steve’s (and Stepside’s) poor dealership experiences are....”isolated” incidents.
        M&M Member #91
        Ford Dealership Engine/Chassis Master Certified Technician
        US Navy submarine vet; Operation Iraqi Freedom vet..x 2...USAF Reserve...RETIRED, 26 total years

        Current 2003 Azure Blue Mach 1. All My Past Mustangs:'84 GT-5 spd, my first; '91 GT-auto; '70 M-code Mach 1-grabber yellow; '95 GTS-5 spd, Pro-Charged, totaled; '95 GTS 5 spd, replacement; '89 LX 5.0 'vert-5 spd; '90 LX 5.0 hatch-5 spd; '69 M-code Mach 1-4 spd; '90 5.0 LX 'vert; '03 Mach 1-5 spd, '93 Mustang LX vert.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don’t mean to disrespect honest techs and shops, and I should have stated that in my post. It’s also my own fault because we keep going there for oil changes because it’s more convenient for me, but this place is about three miles from my house so we go there. There are at least two Ford dealerships about 15 miles away that have always treated me well with parts and service, I really ought to make a point of driving the extra 12 miles or so and give them my business.

          This just strikes a chord with me because one of the dealerships I worked at used to always pressure me to pad the RO and look for things that sorta, almost need replacing even when I knew full well they were fine or had another 50,000 miles of life left. The one about that oil pan gasket was really familiar to me, because the Buick V6 used to often get valve cover leaks even though they were small covers, but every time, unless it was a used car we were going to front line, the customer and warranty cars got a reseal, so they got new VC gaskets, oil pan gasket, and front cover and rear main seal changed because of what they called leaks of a unknown origin, even when I showed my SM it was an obvious VC gasket. His response was usually, “What, you hate money?” GM actually called BS on them and stopped paying the claims, but they kept doing it to the retail customer, who was just thrilled to no longer have spots on their driveway. I felt dirty every time I did those but I needed a job. I was glad when I left that place, and this is what this place near me smells like.
          '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

          My Mach's restoration progress
          My Sprint's restoration progress
          ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere View Post
            I don’t mean to disrespect honest techs and shops, and I should have stated that in my post. It’s also my own fault because we keep going there for oil changes because it’s more convenient for me, but this place is about three miles from my house so we go there. There are at least two Ford dealerships about 15 miles away that have always treated me well with parts and service, I really ought to make a point of driving the extra 12 miles or so and give them my business.

            This just strikes a chord with me because one of the dealerships I worked at used to always pressure me to pad the RO and look for things that sorta, almost need replacing even when I knew full well they were fine or had another 50,000 miles of life left. The one about that oil pan gasket was really familiar to me, because the Buick V6 used to often get valve cover leaks even though they were small covers, but every time, unless it was a used car we were going to front line, the customer and warranty cars got a reseal, so they got new VC gaskets, oil pan gasket, and front cover and rear main seal changed because of what they called leaks of a unknown origin, even when I showed my SM it was an obvious VC gasket. His response was usually, “What, you hate money?” GM actually called BS on them and stopped paying the claims, but they kept doing it to the retail customer, who was just thrilled to no longer have spots on their driveway. I felt dirty every time I did those but I needed a job. I was glad when I left that place, and this is what this place near me smells like.
            For the record Steve, I knew exactly where you were coming from because I sort of remember you posting about this particular dealer in a post a few years back, but as you can probably tell by the careful wording of my post, I agree with your post.

            Just sucks that sometimes I get that old “”guilty by association”” feeling...lol...so I try to make sure to remind folks that there are a few good guys out there.

            Regardless, it’s always a great PSA to remind folks, no matter where you go and who you’re dealing with (auto, home, etc etc), when the “pro’s” are trying to lighten your wallet, ask questions, check their numbers, and never let them pressure you into anything. If they’re good people, they will encourage you to double check them (show you what the issue is), price them against the competitor, whether it’s another shop, a buddy or family member, or yourself, and let you make informed, educated decisions.
            M&M Member #91
            Ford Dealership Engine/Chassis Master Certified Technician
            US Navy submarine vet; Operation Iraqi Freedom vet..x 2...USAF Reserve...RETIRED, 26 total years

            Current 2003 Azure Blue Mach 1. All My Past Mustangs:'84 GT-5 spd, my first; '91 GT-auto; '70 M-code Mach 1-grabber yellow; '95 GTS-5 spd, Pro-Charged, totaled; '95 GTS 5 spd, replacement; '89 LX 5.0 'vert-5 spd; '90 LX 5.0 hatch-5 spd; '69 M-code Mach 1-4 spd; '90 5.0 LX 'vert; '03 Mach 1-5 spd, '93 Mustang LX vert.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I told a story about bad service, how about one that was good? I bought a new Toyota pickup in 1978. I wanted a Ford Courier but couldn't get it financed, for some reason it was easy to get the Toyota financed so that is the way I went. It started using oil at about 5,000 miles, first just a little bit, then it got to be 3-4 quarts between changes, then a quart a week. No external leaks anywhere. They took it in the shop and did a good look over, and at first were going to give me 5 quarts of oil and keep up with when I had to add some. I told them it was nearly every time I got gas, so the service manage said we're going into it then. I only had about 500 miles left on the warranty, so I couldn't fool around with it, it had to be done soon. They tore it down and found the rings were shot. It had been serviced by them every 2500 miles and they had the records to prove it, as did I. Toyota put a new engine in it, no charge to me. So, not every dealer is out to screw you! I was always satisfied with their work and pricing. But when the owner retired and his sons took over, the dealership went to crap, and a few years later went bankrupt.

              Craig, I've known some great guys that worked at crappy dealerships. And met a few at some better ones. Sounds like you work for one of the better ones. For the most part though I've never been able to afford their prices, I've always had to seek out lower charging shops when I had to farm something out. I've done the majority of my own work for over 40 years now, only farming out warranty stuff back when I bought new vehicles, or specialized things that only the dealer had the tools to fix them with. Haven't had a new vehicle since 1987, really doubt I'll ever have a new one again. If it ain't 10 years old or older, I cannot afford it anymore.
              ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
              -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
              -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
              " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

              "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

              Comment


              • #8
                Craig, you are definitely one of the good guys, we need to clone more guys like you. This is another example of painting everyone with the same brush. It’s sad that we can have a majority of good experiences and not remember them, but the bad ones get remembered and talked about, and lead to faulty conclusions. Cops can relate to that first hand, they live it and it often puts them in jeopardy financially and physically.
                '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

                My Mach's restoration progress
                My Sprint's restoration progress
                ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                Comment


                • #9
                  I worked for 24 years in new car dealership service departments spending most of my time as a service advisor. I always had the mindset that it is the customers money & the customers car, I will tell them what we found the problem they brought it in for & if it needed more service what was if any was an immediate need & what could wait & let them decide. I NEVER pushed service on any customer.
                  Mike & Robin Grentus
                  69 Mustang Coupe (project & future toy)
                  08 Escape 4X4 (spare)
                  00 Ranger Extd Cab 4X4 (my DD)
                  99 Explorer Sport (wife's DD)
                  14 Kawasaki Vulcan (wife's toy)
                  M&M Member #- 890
                  MCA #- 4549
                  My 69 Coupe build album
                  http://www.newyorkmustangs.com/forum...cs-t15096.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike65 View Post
                    I worked for 24 years in new car dealership service departments spending most of my time as a service advisor. I always had the mindset that it is the customers money & the customers car, I will tell them what we found the problem they brought it in for & if it needed more service what was if any was an immediate need & what could wait & let them decide. I NEVER pushed service on any customer.
                    That's a change of pace. I took my F250 in for service a few months back and it was throwing a Check Engine light. I figured it was more than likely EGT sensor 3 of 4 that was covered under a recall and asked them to diagnose it. That's all they did. When I picked it up, they had performed the service and did indeed diagnose the warning and found the EGT sensor was out. However, diagnose was all they did. I got in, started it, and saw the warning. I went back in and the service writer's comment was literally, "You wanted us to fix that?" No... I didn't want you to take of a recall issue when you had already done the other 2. Idiots.

                    Unfortunately, I am out of my league on today's cars in terms of abilities and tooling. I have actually thought about ditching my daily driver and trying to find an older F150 or pre-77 Bronco and using that. Fuel inject it and put OD in it and call it good.
                    Rick Stevens
                    Billet Fluid Line Clamps: www.lsbilletworks.com

                    - FFR Mark III Cobra Replica (aka Rayne)
                    - 68 Mustang Coupe - drag car under construction
                    - 2012 F250 Powerstroke

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Took my wife's charger to "her" muffler shop place, for brakes and a bunch of other stuff, when I got the estimate for almost three grand, I chuckled and went to "my" local independent mechanic and got her done quicker and just as well for about twelve hundred... and she bought me dinner..
                      1969 Fastback
                      1971 Mach 1
                      1971 Coupe
                      1972 Ranchero GT
                      1992 F150

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dave Witthoeft View Post
                        Took my wife's charger to "her" muffler shop place, for brakes and a bunch of other stuff, when I got the estimate for almost three grand, I chuckled and went to "my" local independent mechanic and got her done quicker and just as well for about twelve hundred... and she bought me dinner..
                        Excellent catch. You really have to feel bad for the consumer that has limited knowledge of mechanics and no idea what is reasonable. I am an old fart and I remember feeling guilty giving people estimates for $300 or $600 and I think the biggest RO I ever made out was for something like $1200 or $1400 and that was for a V6 in a Skyhawk (anyone remember those?) that grenaded a crank. Now you can get a bigger estimate for a exhaust R&R.
                        '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

                        My Mach's restoration progress
                        My Sprint's restoration progress
                        ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                        Comment

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