I was on my way to Florida and had to swing into a Hyundai Dealer in
Birmington, Al. because my 2002 SantaFe died all of a sudden on the
Interstate ; fortunately, it re-started after a few minutes but ran
rough. The Service Dept. read the Engine Code and it indicated the
Mass Airflow Sensor was defective ; the Service Advisor said it was
shorted and the installation would run a few hundred dollars and that
they had it in stock. I was skeptical , so i declined the repair and
paid their $89 diagnosis fee . When i got some distance from the
Dealership, i pulled the intake hose from the MAF Sensor
housing ...and low and behold ... i immediately found the problem : A
small piece of debris had lodged itself on the inlet screen . I
removed that and the engine ran normal again and has not been a
problem since. Obviously, the Service Dept. was more interested in
making profit on parts changing than anything else.
Im sure its a scenario thats repeated many thousands of times each day
in America .
I don't really believe that Service Depts are deliberately dishonest. The
computer tells them the most likely cause of the problem. For the sake of
saving time and getting to as many cars a day as possible they'll do what
the computer suggests. However, in your case, what you don't know is if you
had OK'd the repair and in the process of changing the sensor they
discovered the same blockage would they have changed their diagnosis and
only charged you the labor for removing the debris or gone ahead and
replaced the part.
I think for $89 , they should have pulled the hose off of the MAF
sensor housing as well as reading a simple code. I just think that
they didnt have much integrity ; as for honesty...I cant say for sure.
Should have, yes. Deliberately selling you something you didn't
need? Probably not. 2.4 and 3.5L air flow sensors are among high
frequency failures. Not as much on 2.7.
Here's the root problem to all this-- mechanics' pay methods. In an
effort to keep mechanics working quickly, nearly all mechanics are
paid on some sort of commision basis. In most dealers, it's based on
billable labor hours. This causes the mechanic to attempt to diagnose
and repair the problem as quickly as possible, often taking shortcuts
in the process. In your case, the shortcut occurred by not physically
inspecting the air flow sensor.
Methinks you doth protest too much with too little information.
Speaking of integrity: how much do you think someone has who posts an
impugning message in public based on almost no data? Maybe you should
pull Webster's off the shelf and look up "integrity."
If you knew anything about Dave Brown's history on the interent (with
him using over 2 dozen different nics so far) you'd know he has
ABSOLUTELY no integrity, little common sense, mental stablilty,
rational thought, honesty, or much of anything else to offer up,
other than having a big mouth (and NEVER being wrong)
Sounds like they gave a quick analysis and a worst-case estimate on it.
If you'd quietly put everything back, taken it in again and got them to
perform the test, and they'd charged for a new sensor I think you'd have
a stronger case for them being dishonest. But that would have been silly.
Personally, I'm always happy when I pay less than the initial estimate
on a repair.
I don't know if you should question the integrity of the dealership,
unless you had some sort of proof that they were trying to cheat you. I
would question the 'integrity' of your intake system ducting. The MAF
should be downstream of the air filter. No dirt or debris should be
able to get to the MAF under normal conditions.
You have no way to know that. They may simply took what the scan tool
said as the initial indication and may well have found the debris had
you authorized the repair and they then pulled the hose. I'm not too
surprised that they wouldn't pull all hoses and electrical connectors
and check everything else if you had just dropped in with no appointment
and they were simply trying to get you back on your way quickly.
Yes and no. They read a computer that said the sensor was no operating
properly. They may or may not have found the debris and may or may not have
changed the sensor.
I've run into similar situations at assorted dealers and independent shops
over the years. Some are honest and would do the exact required service,
others will replace parts until things work again. Some have poor diagnostic
ability, some are incredibly sharp.
A little story. My brother, an engineer, could have been one of the top
auto machanics in the world if he chose it as a profession instead of a
hobby. One day a co-worker asked my brother to bring him back to work after
dropping off his car for repair. He said the generator (remember them?) and
voltage regulator had to be replaced. My brother said "no, one or the
other, rarely both are bad, let me check it first." They went out to the
parking lot, popped the hood and my brother tightened the fan belt. Case
Was the shop dishonest? Dumb? Hard to say, maybe both.
I have other stories and I'm sure others here do also. IMO, service
departments do try to sell you unneeded services, transmission flushes,
polish the wheel studs or nitrogen blast the muffler brackets, but most do
what they say they do. Some independents will scam you, others are great
money savers on good, reliable, honest, service.
On Fri, 22 May 2009 07:41:07 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
I assume the same thing you do. OTOH, all the tech did is read the
code and report it. Nobody looked at the sensor like you did. it
would be nice to assume that they would notice the debris when they
took it apart. Your real problem with the diagnosis is the high
reliance on instrumentation and a service writer that doesn't know a
short from an open circuit but tosses terms around.
Sorry all; a little late getting my input on this...(Hank- ssshhhsss!)
Anyway, I agree that most dealerships are quick to sell services. In an
earlier post, someone in the group inquired about the 30k mile service and
HT promptly corrected the "discrepancy".
My dealer wants to do the following at 30k miles:
1. Tranny Flush
2. Coolant Flush
3. Serpentine Belt
4. Cabin Air Filter
5. Air filter and LOF
Now, understand that I am in good with my service department and they know
that I was a mechanic before career change to IT Management. When confronted
about what the manual for my 08 Sonata SE states, they didn't balk, rather
told me that would be for "normal" environments. I'm in AZ and already went
down the KN filter route...
Nonetheless, I told them thanks, but no thanks. No where in my manual does
it differentiate between severe and normal environments with the exception
of oil changes, which get done at 3k religiously (and they use Castrol!)
So in short, consumers MUST be educated and realize that as the quality of
vehicles increase, more and more of the shop's profit will need to come from
services rather than warranty work.
By the way- my 08 has inferior front window rails and the windows squeak, so
it's going back tomorrow for new ones- upgraded from HMC...
Steve in AZ
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.