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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Something you guys should know when you take your vehicle to the dealer.
You only have to pay for what you authorize to have done to your car.
This means that if you take your car in and they say that you need a new air filter - you don't come back in and pay for an air filter and spark plugs. It doesn't work that way and if it happens to you, you just got free spark plugs. The law says that the service writer has to call you to notify you of any and all additional repairs and at that time, GET YOUR CONSENT. Any unauthorized work at that point just became free. You also are entitled to see your old parts when they are replaced. This helps stop fraud on their part. Keep this in mind and protect yourself from unauthorized repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
mchoffa said:
Does this only apply to dealers or all mechanics?
it should apply to any qualified (read that - professional with a license) technician that does this for a living. dont trust an unlicensed backyard mech to honor work or warranty.
 

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AsleepAltima said:
it should apply to any qualified (read that - professional with a license) technician that does this for a living. dont trust an unlicensed backyard mech to honor work or warranty.
Yes it would apply to any licensed shop/person. That's why if you say, take your car to Firestone and they find something else wrong they tell/call you about it and give you a quote to do it. If you say yes, then they go ahead and do it. You say no, they leave it be.
 

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On Fox5 earlier this year did an thing on shops changing the oil and not the oil filter.
They went to a dealership and marked the oil filter w/a black marker. After the chage was complete they went around the corner looked under the car to find the same filter.
They went to the dealership to find the filter to no avail. This happened to a few other shops sadly.
So even if you are confident about the dealership, unless you change it yourself, watch to see if the technician takes it off and puts on another on.
I've minded this closely since I bought the my car.
:cheers:
 

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I've probably racked up over $2500 in new rotors, brakes, oil changes tires and other starnge things because the dealership I go to NEVER asks for authorization and I complain evry time, and everytime they end up having to give it away for free. For my sake I hope they NEVER wise up. I agree, don't be taken advantage of by them just trying to pull a fast one on you and then trying to bill you for it. :banana:
 

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AsleepAltima said:
Something you guys should know when you take your vehicle to the dealer.
You only have to pay for what you authorize to have done to your car.
This means that if you take your car in and they say that you need a new air filter - you don't come back in and pay for an air filter and spark plugs. It doesn't work that way and if it happens to you, you just got free spark plugs. The law says that the service writer has to call you to notify you of any and all additional repairs and at that time, GET YOUR CONSENT. Any unauthorized work at that point just became free. You also are entitled to see your old parts when they are replaced. This helps stop fraud on their part. Keep this in mind and protect yourself from unauthorized repairs.
My advice! ask your friends and coworkers about their experiences and avoid any that seem bad. I have heard these ripoff stories 1000's of times and after 12 years of working for dealerships I have seen it only twice and the techs were fired with in a few days. My personal experience has been more troublesome with big box repair centers.

Also it helps to know both sides of the story. I can think of a time when I was probably cursed to hell. I had a customer bring in her Altima for repair work. Customer complaint was "tail lights and dash lights not working. Battery was replaced a few days ago." After an hour of troubleshooting I advised replacing the master power window switch. I know that sounds crazy but let me explain. The first thing I did was check for power at fuse but it was blown so I replaced it. When I turned on the lights it popped the fuse again. I went and checked the tail lights and harness and found nothing wrong visually. Then I got out my meter and found a short to ground. I traced the short leading back to the front of the car in the main harness. Not wanting to cut into the main harness I decided to check the wiring diagram for it's complete path. I discovered the illumination for the master power window switch was on the same circuit. I had noticed the master window switch was rather ragged and the drivers window regulator was bad when I first got in the car so I decided to unplug the master switch. I put in a new fuse and turned on the lights. tail lights and dash lights both working fine. I plugged in the master switch while the lights were still on and the fuse popped instantly. I checked the diagram for the illumination in the switch and tested it, test revealed short to ground for the illumination in the master power window switch. Well as you might expect it took a lot of convincing to get the customer to trust me but she finally agreed to replace the switch. She seemed pleased and left. I had this strange feeling about it all so I put the switch in the bottom of my tool box. 3 days later she returned furious and blaming me for ripping her off. Her alternator went out 2 days after the repair and it was all my fault. She wanted a refund for the switch and the alternator. I explained to her again the switch was bad and seeing that she had the battery was replaced a few days later the altenator was probably already bad. I made a deal with her infront of my service manager and a few others she had attracted attention of, I told her I still had the switch and I would gladly pay her bills if I couldn't prove the switch was bad. I brought the switch up front and with her watching me I turned the lights on. All is working fine, I unplugged the new switch and plugged in the old one. Instantly the fuse popped. I then unplugged the switch, I pried off the top of the switch to expose the PCB inside and pointed out the corroded components inside the switch do to the fact her window stayed down all the time and when it rained the switch would get wet. She apologized and left. The reason I mad no mention about any other suggested repairs is because I looked at the vehicles condition and it was obvious she had very little money or just didn't care to do any work unless it disabled a critical part. This assumption was confirmed when she had to call a friend to borrow the money to pay her bill.I did however look the car over for any immediate dangers and none where found. Normally I look over all parts of the vehicle for any needed repairs and submit a quote. I also top off the fluids on every vehicle I work on regardless of the nature of work being done. It is my opinion that this is part of the reason for paying a higher price at the dealer. Plus the expenses of constant training and upgrading of diagnostic equipment. These are expenses that many other shops don't see on a regular basis. After all she brought the car to us after the corner garage was lost at why the lights didn't work. I don't mean to dumb down any garage but as a rule of thumb you get a much more educated tech at a dealer or a private garage than at the "chain stores".
 

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That was the best post I've ever read on these forums. And fairly representative of the average bad dealer story from a customer perspective. I can't really add much to that except agreement.
 

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You can bring the car to the dealer.

The dealer can make recommendations for the repair(s).

If you do not consent to the repairs, the dealer can still charge you for the diagnostic. ($100-$200).
 
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