ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Autos»
  • Car Care & Maintenance

Having your Car Serviced at a Dealership- a necessity or a scam?

Updated on January 30, 2012

Worth the price or a rip off?

I know this will garner a lot of opinions, which I will respect, there are still owners that insist on 3,000 mi oil changes when the industry experts have deemed it a farce so people will have their own beliefs and that's okay. I personally think getting your car serviced at a dealership, unless it is warranty work or something specific and highly technical like with a hybrid car, is a complete rip off. Here is what started my thinking this way.

I bought my first brand new car at an AMC dealership back in the mid 1980s. It was a 6,400 dollar Renault Alliance 2 dr sedan. This was my first ever dealership experience and they were nice and explained why their mechanics know your car best. I didn't know any better and of course I wanted to keep my car running smoothly so I agreed. I thought the service costs were really high but I sucked it up and kept going. After I had the car for a few years and the warranty was expired I noticed my speedometer wasn't working right. It would jump all over the place from not moving to registering really high. I took it in to the dealership, explained what was happened and left it for them to figure out? I got a call a few hours later and was told the remedy was going to be over 300.00. They went through some mumbo jumbo scientific jabber saying that this went wrong which then caused this to break etc. I refrained because this didn't sound right to me, I at least wanted a second opinion before I spent that much. Here is the kicker and what forged my negative opinions.

I had the local mechanic that my parents went to for their repairs look at it. His finding was completely different than the dealers. According to him I only needed to replace a speedometer cable that was less than 30.00. I paid him, he fixed it and I was good to go again while saving over 270.00. I went back to the dealer and said my "peace" and have never been back for service since. Here I was thinking that you bought their car from their dealership and you're going to let them work on it and they have the nerve to "screw" you this badly? No thanks!!

I started going to a Michel Tires Plus center because I knew the manager there and he had always been very trustworthy. He had actually left some other service chains because of their dishonesty. I went to him for over 10 years and I've gotten quality service on every car I've owned since, from Honda's to Mitsubishi's etc. For the record, Michel Tires Plus in now under new management and are very dishonest. This prompted yet another leave by my good friend who has now finally found a permanent home at the highly regarded Bob Sumerel Tire & Service center.

I almost found myself "falling again" for the service scam when I bought a certified used 2009 Honda Fit sport last year. This is a great car that I truly love and it seemed the more that I read about its service needs the more nervous I got. They come with a "maintenance minder system" which tells you when your car needs service. Instead of mileage for an oil change it calculates how good your oil still is and gives you a percentage display on the dash. It doesn't need changing until the display reads 15% and miles don't matter. Of course if you drive very little I would still change it at least once a year to be safe. Well after almost a year and 9,000 miles I hit the 15% mark and had to make a decision. I followed my heart and talked to Doug, my manager friend and told me his wife has a 2012 Civic and they were real familiar with what Honda's "need". Just to be safe I gave him a list of everything that the maintenance minder says I should have done, it also gives a code name and number which coincides with a service need when the display reaches 15%. There is a book that explains what all of the numbers and letters mean, that's how I knew. It was an oil change & filter change, rotate the tires and inspect a lot of different parts.

I brought it in to Doug the next morning and waited on it. like I usually do. After about an hour my car was finished and it cost me 28.00. I got a discount for having AAA, tire rotations are always free with oil changes as well as inspections. I was confident that it was done correctly after more than 10 years of dealing with him. I spoke to the Honda dealer and their cost was 279.95 for the exact same thing so another huge savings on my part. Now I'm not a fan of the jiffy lubes & valvoline instant oil change type places but if you have an experienced and proven reliable mechanic or auto care center then trust me you will get the same service and save a ton of money.

I would like to finish again with this being my personal opinion from my experiences. Until I have a car that "blows up" after a non dealer service then I will remain a believer. Sadly some of my friends and family still use dealerships for service and don't agree with me and again that's okay, its their money!!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • strkngfang profile image
      Author

      strkngfang 6 years ago

      Yes I am. I learned the same with doctors and surgeons, when you find a good one you stay with them.

    • insidepi profile image

      insidepi 6 years ago from Philippines

      You're lucky to have such as good mechanic.

    • strkngfang profile image
      Author

      strkngfang 6 years ago

      Thanks and kudos to you for doing your own work.

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      Great Hub. You brought up a lot of great points. I always say to everyone, get second opinions.

      Since I have become a little more knowledgeable of my automobile, (00 Jetta) you would not believe how bad places try to rip me off.

      I just do the repairs myself.

      But I completely agree with you. It is nice to get quality dealership repairs, but I just don't think they consider the way the economy is. If you can get by with a second hand shop, or do it yourself, go for it!

      Great Hub, voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)