Well, yes, but there are some clever maintenance advisers out there.
I took my wife's Jeep into a dealer, in Dallas, with the maintenance
manual in hand, to do an oil and filter change, and check something.
He showed me where there was a "A" and a "B" service, and one was for
dusty conditions and should be done because this was Texas. Well,
Dallas is hardly the wild west - it's a big city, so I changed to a
Also in California I took my wife's Jeep in for the 60K service, book
in hand, and the shark pulled out a big plastic covered list of what
he said was "what we do for the 60K service. It had replacing every
fluid in the car. I asked him if I got a blood transfusion with that,
and I left there, never to come back.
We now have a 2010 Honda Pilot Touring (to get this on subject) with
the countdown to oil change meter reading about 20% so I am about to
take it in to the dealer from which we bought the car (through a
buying service) and see if they recognize their own maintenance
manual. That's the real problem. They know what has to be done, they
just add on things that the owner doesn't know about, but usually
relents thinking they must know something that he, and the manual,
does not know.
My Honda dealer also had their own scheduled maintenance to-do list that
included much more items than what was in the owner's manual. They also
told me almost every time that my wheels needed realignment ("You must
have hit some curbs or bumps.") Eventually I got tired of it and
switched to an independent shop that does not play that game.
When I call to set my appointment, I ask them to list each specific task
included in their service package and how much each costs. Then I ask them
what's the minimum service required to maintain the warranty. Most of the
time, they realize that I'm hip to the game and give me the straight dope.
If not, it's pretty easy to tell when they're trying to game me.
I prefer to do it by phone, because if I suspect they're not being straight
with me, I just hang up without making an appointment. Then I do some
research and call back once I've decided exactly what I want done to my car.
Another advantage hashing this out over the phone (rather than when you
arrive in person) is that I usually get another service rep when I call back
and don't have to deal with the first one who was trying to game me.
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