Dealership Service Writers / Dropping Off for Warranty Work

Messages
275
Location
MD
So I drop my Mazda 6 off today. I've worked in automotive repair for 16+ years, dislike letting someone else work on my car , but given its new and has factory warranty I'm going to take advantage of it. I have a lot of nit picky problems with my 2017 Mazda 6. I think it takes too long to warm up (since new, may be a characteristic of the engine) but I drive in traffic and back roads about 25 miles and sometimes don't get good heat till 5 miles to work or so. My forward collision camera goes out all the time in heat, to which I printed the TSB pertaining to it, verified my camera part number pertains to it, and they continue to NPF it. One proximity key is intermittently inoperable Clunk in the front end when parking lot maneuvering. Switching from forward to reverse, moving then braking. Almost like a shifting control arm or brake pad clack. Abnormal crunching in the front end when cold outside like sway bar bushings or a strut. Brake pulsation (informed it was 12/12,000 so I told them to ignore it). So the manager calls me up because I describe it all via email...so the tech can duplicate my concerns and be able to diagnose them. He said bring it on it, I'll dispatch it to a service writer just see anyone to drop it off. I get there and the lady tries to hit me with "sorry just trying to decipher all this jibberish" pertaining to my descriptions etc. then she proceeds to tell me she doesn't even know bow to say this, but I need to agree to diagnosis fees upwards of $100 per concern. I say absolutely not, the car is under 3/36 warranty for over another year and 8k miles. She said since I was in contact with her manager she'll just let it go through the shop without any sign off on me authorizing diagnosis fees on every single issue. I worked for this dealer from 2003-2016 but for a different manufacturer. Has anyone heard of crap like this? I try to be pleasant and courteous...I know it's a [censored] list. But I'm a technician myself, so they're only going to see me for warranty work
 
Messages
1,335
Location
Basehor, KS
I have never been asked for diagnosis fees for warranty issues. I do list all my complaints in a word processor, print it out and provide a copy to the service writer. He/she can input it into the system or give it to the tech, (whichever works for them). I think you found a poor service writer.
 
Messages
5,767
Location
the canyons
It reminds me of my days at Dealerships and various Independents. The edict invariably was to take the customer for whatever you can. It's also why I left the profession in disgust. There are some ethical shops out there. Maybe look for reviews of any given shop on Yelp, or other social media.
 
Messages
10,907
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
This is the kind of garbage I deal with at the Ford dealers all the time-when I had torque converter slipping & noise with the ‘15 Transit 250 they acted like it was fine, wanted to charge $125 diagnostic fee, I laughed and said "did you even take it on the interstate uphill like I said when I brought it in?". I don't think they even took it out of the parking lot the first time! I have to get the ‘18 in for a consistent small antifreeze leak (since day one) & to tighten up the clunking rear axle before it gets out of the 50K power train warranty... And I know it's going to be a nightmare dealing with them...
 
Messages
10,907
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by 02SE
It reminds me of my days at Dealerships and various Independents. The edict invariably was to take the customer for whatever you can. It's also why I left the profession in disgust. There are some ethical shops out there. Maybe look for reviews of any given shop on Yelp, or other social media.
The ethical ones pretty much all got froze out in the Great Recession, the big thieves just got bigger.
 
I have seen this before from my local Nissan dealer and also from Ford. Never had anything like that from my Chevy or Kia dealer though. I was told each dealer is allowed to make up their own charges and rules as they see fit. I basically stay away from those that chose this angle. I don't think it is right for us to get charged a diagnostic fee on a car still within its new car warranty.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

Thread starter
Messages
275
Location
MD
Unfortunately the manager I spoke with and arranged all with is on vacation all week. The service writer is who he wanted me to deal with because she's his best writer apparently. I'll let them know about how great she is once I get my car back. I was a tech, but as far as I know we never got customers to authorize diagnosis fees on vehicles in warranty UP FRONT. we would make a call if our diagnosis showed any sign that warranty won't cover a repair, though, and from there they could call the manufacturer and usually get it good willed anyway.
 
Messages
15,579
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Mazda doesn't pay techs or reimburse dealers for diagnosis under warranty. With Ford you can get away with flagging NPF (No Problem Found) a very limited amount of times before they stop paying.
 
Messages
1,429
Location
Missouri
We have to make the customer aware of the fact that they will be responsible for the diagnostic fee if something is found to not be under warranty. I always use the example of rodent damage to wiring. Someone stated that it is not fair to be charged on something under warranty but I'd argue that it's not fair for a flat rate tech to not receive pay for diagnostic time just because of the age/mileage of the vehicle either. It's all in how you explain it. In all reality if the customer blows up about just the potential for paying for diagnostic if the cause is not warrantable that's probably not a customer I'm interested in keeping.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

Thread starter
Messages
275
Location
MD
Flat rate diagnosing for free sucks, I get it...but the manufacturer should pay a bit (not as much as a customer would, but some reasonable amount). Same as the repair, they'll pay a reasonable amount. Our writers always had a habit of rolling the diagnosis into the repair fee and screwing us as techs out of our COD /customer pay diagnosis labor. We actually made out a little better on warranty because we got labor for both the diagnosis and the repair as long as we had our work properly documented and a warranty administrator who did their job. Not saying it's right, but it's the way it is. They'll make it up on the gravy brakes and flushes that some customers take care of with them.
 
Messages
10,907
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
The sad thing is, the dealer service writers KNOW what the vehicle's weaknesses are-that's what TSBs and similar are for-I've taken vans in that were still under warranty, and antifreeze tracks would be VISIBLE where the coolant had ran out of the head gasket when the engine was fully warmed up-they (local Ford stealers) just didn't want to be bothered. John Nolan Ford (killed in the Great Recession) and Kidd Dodge Lawrenceburg, IN (forced to sell to the giant Jeff Wyler conglomerate) were the only dealers who cared enough to do anything under warranty. How these Cincinnati Ford dealers could sell any vehicle to ANYONE is beyond me.
 
Messages
1,397
Location
PEARL River la
I always got 1hr diagnostic but I punched a clock Everytime I got on or off with lots of documentation with who I talked to on tech line or miles driven. Very hard to get paid so I customer doesn't pay they get parts changer who only reads codes and changes parts not caring if fixed first time.
 
Messages
738
Location
New Hampshire
Part of the problem is that you were a tech - and a tech that used to work there - and you kind of diagnosed the stuff (and some of it was intermittent). Maybe you could try just saying...it's broken, fix it. If they can duplicate the problem? Fine, then fix it. If not? You have it on record. If they still want to charge you a diagnostic fee, take it somewhere else. You should NOT have to pay for that under the 3 year 36. Sounds like an awful lot of small stuff...that would drive me nuts with a car that new and under factory warranty. The bushing noise, the brake clunk...that's stuff that shouldn't happen until you're gaining in on 100,000 miles. The brake pulsation? Seems a little early. Disappointing to hear this about a Mazda 6. And it's tough when you buy new, you expect much more than that.
 
Messages
844
Location
MA
Sounds like a broken system where the manufacture doesn't want to pay for the legit time of the tech and stealerships are trying to pawn it off on the customer. This is why unless something is under warranty I would never in a million years go to a dealership for service. It's not my problem manufacturers suck and don't want to pay techs fair market value for their time.
 
Messages
1,397
Location
PEARL River la
Originally Posted by PWMDMD
Sounds like a broken system where the manufacture doesn't want to pay for the legit time of the tech and stealerships are trying to pawn it off on the customer. This is why unless something is under warranty I would never in a million years go to a dealership for service. It's not my problem manufacturers suck and don't want to pay techs fair market value for their time.
That is what I liked about Toyota and timing belts. We had loyal customers that came in and did regular maintenance since we had free oil change for regular maintenance. Then new owner and didn't honor oil change package that was sold so we lost lots of maintenance work and only way to make a living was charge customers for diagnostic work. If more people would do regular maintenance at dealership then more seasoned techs would have stayed. New owner stated we were losing money with the package and there was nothing we can do about it as all his dealerships were the same (90% warranty work) and empty bays with high turnover for techs.
 
Messages
1,501
Location
Maryland
I would never pay a diagnostic fee for a vehicle that is under warranty. I will however pay for something that is not under warranty. That's the way it works.
 
Messages
3,401
Location
Outer Banks, NC
Originally Posted by walterjay
I would never pay a diagnostic fee for a vehicle that is under warranty. I will however pay for something that is not under warranty. That's the way it works.
+1 And I'm not talking about rodent damage either. The problem is that many of us have more experience and are more knowledgeable than some of the service writers we encounter. A dealer who tries to charge a diagnostic fee to a customer for any repair that's covered by a manufacturer's warranty should be reported for fraud. That would get the dealer's attention.
 
Messages
844
Location
MA
Originally Posted by walterjay
I would never pay a diagnostic fee for a vehicle that is under warranty. I will however pay for something that is not under warranty. That's the way it works.
I agree and have paid for non-warranty work many many times but that $$ went to a local indy shop that has always treated me right. Even fixed a simple thing for my wife (I was away at the time so she just brought it in - she hit a curb and bent a wheel and they took off the bent wheel and placed the full-size spare) for free. When she went to pay the owner said don't worry about it - it only took a few mins and we appreciate your business.
 
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