My wife took her car to a tranny shop to get a leaky hose repaired.
As expected, the bill had the standard line item charges for parts and
However, there was an additional line on the bill:
Reset Codes & Test Drive Vehicle - $45
Seems to me that all they are doing is keeping their per hour labor
charge artifically low by charging extra for something they would do
as part of the repair any way.
Shop Supplies is listed as a pre-printed line item, but there was no
charge in this case. Maybe they used old rags or something. <g>
Last time my dealer had t hat charge, it was his last charge. IMO, that is
a cost of doing business but they had an automatic 2% line item for it.
When my bill used no supplies, it was there and I complained. In the end, I
bought my next car elsewhere. GM (and their dealer) just pissed me off too
I called my Ford dealer about my Explorer, several years ago. I told the
service rep that I needed a power steering pump because the old one was
leaking and I needed a radiator fan because it was developing cracks where
the blades met the hub.
When I got there at the appointed time, they had neither part on hand and I
had to cool my heels while that got hold of them.
If that wasn't bad enough,when I got the bill there was a $45 item for
diagnosis. I interrupted the rep while he was with another customer and
asked about as loudly as I could "What is that for? I told you what the
They took it off the bill and I have never been back.
It takes 15 minutes. The section in the shop manual is one paragraph.
$280 to $600/hr is robbery.
The tool is part of their diagnostic equipment. If they perform tuneups
then they've already recouped the cost a hundred times.
I have 2 keys, but only one that still works.
This isn't an isolated ripoff. I had a jeep missing the handle for
the jack. That $3 piece of metal was $35 at the dealer. I
replaced the whole jack with a hydraulic bottle jack for half that.
Just about everything dealers do are at least five times overpriced,
from $400 tuneups (plugs, an air filter, fluid check and little else), to $80 oil
changes ($4 worth of oil, a $3 filter, and ten minutes labor)
My time has some value. I'm not going to drive all over town looking for a
compatible jack handle when I can drive 1/2 mile past the dealer to a car parts
store and buy a bottle jack. It just isn't worth $200 of my time to acquire a
part missing on a mechanical jack, especially when a complete hydraulic jack can
be had for $20.
If the dealer had wanted $20 instead of $35 for the jack handle I still would
have let him keep his precious hunk of metal. If they want it so bad, they
can keep it. When they day comes when the dealer's holdings are sold at
auction, I doubt they are is going to get 50 cents for that hunk of metal.
Rueful chuckle. Around here, I have to go 40-some miles to find a yard
that carries anything newer than late 90's. Apparently none of the local
yards are big enough to have the front money to outbid the big yards one
town over, with the insurance companies, or to buy wrecks at the
auctions. They only have stuff the fancy yards don't want, or old crap
locals sell to them directly. Probably wouldn't matter too much for a
jack handle, but a definite PITA for other items. Small stuff ain't on
their web sites, so you gotta go look, and most are open limited
Saturday hours if at all.
Not at all like back home, with 2 large yards ten minutes in opposite
directions from where I lived.
on 6/26/2009 10:30 PM (ET) AZ Nomad wrote the following:
I went to the Nissan dealer parts dept. to buy 3 belts for my 97 PU 2.4
l.engine The guy said they only had one in stock and that one was $35. I
left without it and bought the 3 Japanese made belts at AutoZone for $36.
That's a load of bull. There are enough DEALERS around in most places
that the bad ones get a bad name and everyone knows where the good
If that fails, the good independents are busy and you can shoot a
cannon through the bad dealer service departments and be in no danger
of hitting anything.
Quite a few dealers NEVER see a car after it's off warranty (the bad
Some keep seing the vehicles for years after (the good ones)
A part they don't have costs them virtually nothing. Dealerships love to
trade parts. It usually works like this:
Dealer A gets a part from Dealer B's parts room. Both report the transaction
to GMPD (General Motors Parts Distribution).
GMPD credits Dealer B for the part, plus some small percent profit.
GMPD sends a bill to Dealer A for the GMPD price for the part.
In other words, GMPD pays Dealer B to be an ancillary warehouse.
In a large city, much of the traffic on the roads is made up of dealership
drivers moving parts around.
Parts move on overnight greyhound busses from a dealership in one town to a
dealership in another.
There are over 400,000 individual parts in the GMPD catalog - nobody can
stock them all. The largest GM dealership in my town (which has about twenty
dealerships) has about 80,000 parts.
Hint: If you need work on your car, take it to the dealership with the
largest parts room. This dealership attracts the best mechanics who want to
fix your car as quickly as they can, roll it out, and get another patient.
Mechanics don't like to cool their heels waiting for the driver to arrive
with a needed part because it cuts into their commission.
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