There are two sides to everything. Many of us tend to avoid dealership
service due to the cost. And sometimes, I get the creeps when dealing
with the service writer: what's his motivation?
But there are good aspects of service at, at least, some dealerships.
I've had inept work done at dealerships. But my experiences with my old
2-stroke SAAB, at the dealership in Storrs, Connecticut, were
consistently first-rate in all respects: a pleasure to do business with
them every time. This was a long, long, long time ago.
"Why did you charge me $6 labor to replace my heater hose?" "Well, it
runs between the engine and the underbody pan. We had to pull the engine
to change it."
I'm interested in hearing that side of the story.
On Wed, 14 May 2014 18:43:51 -0700, Richard Steinfeld
Dealers usually have the latest equipment, special tools, service
bulletins, proper parts and rained mechanics. Most do good work most
of the time. If you follows the manual and let the dealer do every
service recommended, chances are your car will be in good condition
Prices are usually higher. Service writers make commission on sales.
Dealers tend to over service and offer un-needed services.
There are always exceptions on both sides though.
On Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:54:35 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Most of the bad has infiltrated every type of vehicle service facility. Ne
arly all are set up so that all or nearly all of the employees work on some
sort of commission-based pay (flat rate labor instead of hourly pay for me
chanics, percentage of parts and labor for mechanics and advisers, net or g
ross profit for managers, etc.) The entire system is set up to create pay
plans for people under the expectation those people will look out for only
themselves. Employers should not be surprised when the employees look out
for themselves at the expense of the company and the customer.
Are there any goodies for the mechanics who are the dealership's
employees? Any benefits due to union membership?
The mechanic who installed the transmission oil cooler for me had been
employed at a dealership until a car fell on him. Are there any
protections for you?
The dollar incentives remind me of when I talked with someone at my bank
who was in a good mood: she was going to receive a bonus; the whole
branch staff was getting bonuses because they'd reached a new high in fees.
I asked Big O to fix a flat tire, Michelin. I returned to find my car
still sitting there. "We're not allowed to repair your tire. It's over
five years old: it's expired."
On Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:11:45 PM UTC-4, Richard Steinfeld wrote:
Pay incentives will vary by employer. Some will have bonuses for any of pr
oductivity, customer satisfaction, or even selling particular items. Some
shops are union, but most are not. Most auto dealerships offer health insu
rance, but the quality of the available plans varies. 401k plans with some
low level of matching are typically available at mid-sized dealer groups a
nd larger, but rarer at smaller dealer groups. If I were to get injured on
the job, I have workers comp and then my health insurance (which is pretty
decent, actually) to fall back on.
As for your tire, I surmise the policy is being pushed by the tire manufact
urers association and a particular lawsuit where a customer's family was aw
arded a huge sum because a tire failed a year after being plugged, causing
a vehicle rollover and the customer's death. My employer's policy, is stri
ctly that the tire must be repaired according to the tire manufacturer's as
sociation guidlines with a plug/patch combination only in the area between
the outermost tread areas. The reason for the repair area limitation is th
at the patch area inside the tire must be prepared; if the repair is in the
outer tread portion, the patch will extend onto the sidewall, which cannot
be prepared properly.
Other things that the tire and rubber manufacturer's association has promot
ed are: new tires on rear only, even on front drive cars, and replacement o
f tires after five years. I'll admit that there is some logic behind the b
etter tires on the rear; it's been shown that vehicles can corner faster on
wet pavement if the best tires are on the rear axle, the one most prone to
hydroplaning. My personal issue with this is that this assumes the custom
er drives like a knucklehead and is not capable of making an informed decis
ion as to which axle is preferable. Personally, I like to be able to actua
lly get front wheel drive car to move in adverse weather, so I put my best
tires on the front and am then cautious (imagine that!) about how I drive i
n adverse conditions.
In our meeting with the representative of the tire and rubber association,
I asked if they were recommending that tires on front drive cars not be rot
ated, to which they replied that they were not recommending such a thing.
So, it's apparently okay to rotate the better tires to the front; it's just
not okay to install them there when new.
I don't know if there is a better way, but by date is arbitrary.
Exposure to UV, driving conditions and general care all affect tire
life. I have seen very old tires with a lot of tread fail.
When I was a teenager we ran some scary tires. These day I want to be
confident a repaired tire was not plugged with rubber bands like we did
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