View Full Version : Taken advantage of by dealership?

11-03-2009, 10:20 PM
I recently took my dodge durango in to the local dealership to get tires and since they had it in I thought they could look at the check engine light too. I suspected it was a o2 sensor that i had put in about a year ago that was bad.

The dealer put the tires on and did a diagnosis and thought it was a leak detector that was bad. so i paid for the diagnosis (102.00) I paid for the new leak detector (54.90) and (20.00) for the repair order. I waited for 4 days until the part came in and then I paid another (51.00)to put the part in. $227 not including the tires or the charges related to the tires.

Next day the light was back on, so i brought it back in. My suv stayed there for another 4 days until they could figure it out.

this time they figured out it was an o2 sensor, map sensor and spark plug! the told me the bill would be $263. I explained it was the second time in for the same problem and they took 102 off for the second diagnosis. so now I owe 163. I went in to pay and was able to talk them down another $30 off the labor and I did not have to pay for the map sensor which is $22.50. So i ended up paying $143 instead of $285.

i feel like i should have only paid for the first diagnosis the part that actually fixed the problem and one labor charge. total i paid $370 for a job that should have cost $173. 100 for the diagnosis, 22 for the part and 51 for the .5hr labor to put the map sensor in maybe 276 if they have a hard time with the o2 sensor and spark plug.

Then I got my durango back and the cruise control did not work because the morons forgot to put a vacuum hose back on! Aaaahhhh

but i got to car washes for free http://www.johndee.com/discuss/clipart/happy.gif

11-03-2009, 11:16 PM
To be honest, the "check engine" light is a shot in the dark for most any mechanic. It could be an oxygen sensor, but more likely an emission problem. If it is an emission problem, then most techs will throw a leak detection pump, gas cap, hoses, the kitchen sink at the problem.

11-04-2009, 10:35 AM
Whenever a light comes on I go to my local auto parts store and borrow the diagnostic computer and see which code appears. Than I go on the web and find out what it translates to.

11-04-2009, 01:19 PM
A tech can program that light to come on at however many miles they set it to come on at...

I program mine to come on when it's time for an oil change. 4 out of 5 times it's nothing more than a revenue generator for the dealership service departments... Don't play the game.

11-04-2009, 01:31 PM
stormbringr1: I believe your confusing his check engine light with your maintenance reminder.
Like jroz said it can be a bit of a shot in the dark, especially when there are multiple issues. Sounds to me like they did try to help you with the costs, Id be satisfied.

11-04-2009, 03:09 PM
No--it's the check engine light. They can be programmed to turn on--at least on the new Tundra...

11-04-2009, 03:37 PM
I am a firm believer that there are few "good" mechanics in any of the motor vehicle industries. Part of this is because of electronic management and sensors but more is probably because of the schooling and mentorship. I'm dating myself and I'm not that old (40)but when I turned wrench for a living you had to find the problem and describe how and why it was caused. Now techs just plug in, download, and read out. Then onto parts swapping. Any one reading this has probably had thier computer do something out of the ordinary and when they asked IT they got "I'm not sure. Sometimes the programing will take a different path and that may have caused it. Just reboot and start over". Then when they can't find the cure you get "Hard drive crashed. I'm replacing it" That is alot of the mechanics today and really it is no fault of their own. The paramters and programs of new engines with sensors doesn't always allow them to pin point problems. The service dept are set up on work codes that supposedly are designed for step by step diagnosis. And flat rate manuals tie the tech's hands if he wants to look outside the box for possible/probable problems.
Recently I had my Duramax in for service and I asked them to look into a small acceleration studder/vibration. I authorized them for 1 hr of diagnosis. I got a call the next day telling me that my torque converter was failing on My Allsion transmission. I asked them if they have ever seen them fail? NO. Did they call factory service to check nationally. Yes and very few issues nationally and through years of production. Did they talk to the regional service director. Yes and never ran into the problem. Did they test drive it against any other trucks. Yes and couldn't really tell me the difference but they were sure the TC will fix it for $4500. I authorized. They called me 5 days later to pick it up. I picked it up, drove it a day, and brought it back. It did not fix any problem. When I sat down with the service writer and service manager after our test drive they admitted that the mechanic did not diagnose the problem rather went through the steps of diagnosis and when the result didn't pop out and hit him in the nose he guessed. He didn't call me up and ask questions. They didn't call and ask for more diagnosis time. They didn't go through other parts of the truck to check for multiplier issues. At best they should have gone over the truck and checked for any major mechanical issues, then called and said they can not pin point the issue but the truck seems mechanically sound and I should drive it somemore until the issue gets worse or they get a engine light. Instead I got a Free transmission service and they spent two days checking and replacing parts for free. The answer to my issue was minor. The mass air sensor was dirty (not failing) and the mileage on the motor made it a little slower on acceleration. I guess the moral is to be well documented in your request for service and be prepared to pay "IT"/tech to work outside of the box to diagnose the real problem.

11-04-2009, 05:05 PM
tomk, your dealer did more than most to make it right with you. Sometimes this crap is very tough to fix/figure out.
stormbringer1, I assume by your statement that dealers program a check engine lite to come on just so you have to come back and have it checked and get charged for it? Whatever. It's that mentality that's the problem, not dealers trying to intensionally screw people.
In a perfect world things would work perfectly. Most people have no clue the complexity of the electronics/computor systems on new vehicles. Sometimes it is a shot in the dark when trying to figure out a problem when normal diagnostics lead you to a dead end.

11-04-2009, 08:59 PM
thanks for the input, first time bringing my truck to the dealer for a repair, just needed some advice

11-04-2009, 10:07 PM
It won't be your last. Sorry to say.

11-04-2009, 11:44 PM
Tomk, what year Durango do you own? What engine and tranny? And if you don't mind, what town was the dealership in? (not asking for the name) I am just curious...

11-05-2009, 11:15 AM
Quick story-

Year: 2003 Subject: 2001 7.3 F-350 Where: Various Chicago Ford Dealerships Problem: Cold Starts

Chicago Ford dealerships (4) quoted all types of various repairs ranging in price from a minimum $500.00 to literally thousands of dollars, struggled with problem for 2 winters. Moved to Houghton, MI again problem with onset of winter, contacted local Houghton Ford dealer (Copper Country Ford), they diagnosed over the phone, invited me to come in where they sold me the part for $80.00 and counseled me on how to fix myself.

Living in the U.P. literally priceless!

11-05-2009, 09:53 PM
Geezooks, I wish I had a dealer around here like that one! That was really cool of them.

11-06-2009, 08:29 AM
Marty it's a 7.3...they dont start in the cold! I had to laugh when my buddy had his 6 month old 7.3 towed to the dealership becuase it wouldn't start. Turned out it was just low on oil! Not sure he ever lived that one down. 7.3 is still the best diesel Ford has put out.

Service is always tough. Be honest, give them all the info you can without trying to "hide" what really happened and it will make the mechanic's life a lot easier and in most cases minimize your down time. Building a relationship with the guy that works on your stuff will always help and a bad attitude never does...and it also goes the other way for the service shop, honesty and a good attitude will always win.

Good luck, Chad@M&M

11-06-2009, 03:41 PM
the dealer was in the north west minneapolis about 40 miles on 169. i have the 4.7 all wheel drive 03