Dealership Service Writers / Dropping Off for Warranty Work

Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
17,218
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
We have one of those remote control tester things, but it usually doesn't work. When it doubt we change the keyfob batteries. Parts does it, we don't charge labor, ends up being $7.56 per battery, we have the profit go to an account in case we break a customer's key and have to have service program a new one. It has happened a few times. If people are interested I may make some videos showing how to take apart the Ford and Mazda fobs.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
49,468
Location
New Jersey
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.
Devil's advocate, what if the owner broke something, or is chasing a noise or phenomena that is hard to replicate? The dealer is there to make money. Relatively honest money, yes, but money all the same. Spending expensive labor time (figure the burdened cost of labor for taxes, SSI, benefits, etc., is at least 2x their take home, and then profits, dealer overhead, energy for the lights and heat, etc.) that isn't compensated, for an owner's wild goose chase, is justified to an extent. Ive been pretty lucky though... Example #1 - wanted to remove the dealer-installed cross rails from our roof rack on the odyssey. They were seized and when I tried to remove the torn bolts, they stripped out inside. The dealer could have charged me for this - after all, I stripped it. Warranty or not - it was my workmanship. Fortunately the dealer gave me a courtesy replacement due to some tsb or whatnot. But IMO even though the van was under warranty, I stripped the bolts - and I'm a reasonably good mechanic with the right tools and penetrating sprays. And, more than one stripped... They don't know my level of skill. Had I taken them in and they stripped the bolts it would have been on them. It was on me in this case. I was lucky. Example #2 - accord hybrid battery was showing around 12.0v, which we all know is low to no state of charge. Took it to the dealer, they removed it, cleaned it, charged it, and put it on the tester. Tested ok... it's not used for much but turning on comtrol power to then get real power from the hybrid battery. Now, if I wanted to make a stink, I could have. Maybe I should have. But they tested it and said it was ok. They spent at least 30 minutes of time, on a battery. No charge.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
7,154
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by clinebarger
EVERY Mechanic/Technician has done free inspections & diagnostic work.....It's part of the life!
I'm not a lawyer, but assume that could get the dealer in trouble. If a tech complained to the state labor board for not getting paid on hours worked, the dealer could be fined.
Like I said.....It's part of the life. Not everyone is cut out for Flat-Rate, If you worry about every hour.....It's not for you. I've known very gifted mechanics not know how to handle it mentally, They end-up working Fleet/Rental/Maintenance for Hourly/Salary or out of the field altogether. Though they had MORE earning potential working Flat-Rate.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
69
Location
NYC
Sorry dude, a lot of dealer workers should get a real job. I called two dealers last week for a service question and a young woman said "service." After telling her my problem, she tells me to hold for a service employee. Why does she answer the phone?
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
7,723
Location
New England
Originally Posted by rrretiree7
Sorry dude, a lot of dealer workers should get a real job. I called two dealers last week for a service question and a young woman said "service." After telling her my problem, she tells me to hold for a service employee. Why does she answer the phone?
Because some questions like I need to schedule or cancel service can be handled by them. Also the phone answered quickly.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
475
Location
MD
So I dropped off again today. Tonight is the only cold night in forecast for awhile, so the engine heating up issue should be the most obvious tomorrow if they're ever going to do something about it. Same goes for the front end noise, it's getting worse in the L/F and is more so in the cold too. Question. I have my feeling and thought on this but wanted others. I look up my thermostat. Every aftermarket site shows it to be a 180 degree thermostat. (Personally surprised it isn't a hotter temp, but regardless). If Mazda puts a 180 degree Tstat in the car, it should heat up to approximately 180 before it opens, then still run a bit hotter, right? The temp guage in dash that they tell me is inaccurate has 210 at center, which is a pretty typical temp to run engines these days. You don't put a 210 degree tstat in a car to achieve those temps, though.
 

Pew

Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
2,257
Location
IL
Originally Posted by PWMDMD
I found my indy shop because I brought my Mazda in for a recall that the dealership wouldn't leave me alone about until I finally caved. The car had 35,000 highway miles and I got a call from service writer about 30 mins after dropping it off and he said they did an inspection and the brakes only had a few thousand miles left on them - they'd be happy to do the recall and the brake job. I said no thank you to the brakes and scheduled at my indy shop. Thirty mins after dropping the car off there the owner called and said there's plenty of brake life left and he wouldn't touch them. He rotated the tires and gave me the car back FOR FREE. I made it to 55,000 miles before I needed the brake job which they did for $200 less than the Mazda quote.
The dealer I bought my focus from (and did ~80K miles worth of oil changes) said my brake pads were 'in the red' at ~35K miles and needed to be changed. I told them no and proceeded to drive on those same pads for another 100K miles. The fronts looked like they could have gone to 160k miles before you had to think about changing them. The dealer I take mine too now can't seem to get any non-oil change jobs right. I had to tell the tech which wheel needed a toe alignment because he couldn't find an issue with the alignment, they didn't clamp down the coolant hose to the heater core after replacing the hose, resulting in the coolant draining before I even left the dealer. My latest escapade with them was when I brought my car in last month for a clutch recall and flywheel replacement. The clutch passed their "slip test" but they actually didn't diagnose anything else so I had to leave it there another 2 weeks, pay $1000 because they didn't replace the flywheel when they dropped the trans the first time to replace the clutch, and they forgot to bleed the slave cylinder.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
460
Location
AZ
People would either drop their car off with a note describing issues, or a tow truck would leave them in front of the gate. I was the one who tried to recreate the problems and road test and make sure things were fixed. I guess that thinking is old fashioned, it was a few years back.
 
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