Employee Ripped Off By Chain Shop - Helping Her Out

Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
56
Except the OP noted they wanted to charge her for a power steering fluid flush. The EPAS doesn't have power steering fluid.
Sounds pretty unethical to me.
They Wanted is the quote, i don’t believe they ‘would” if they did the work!
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
9,581
Location
California
I don’t believe it’s unethical, most of these shops have Manufacturers Recommended Service Downloaded in their Systems !!
Not sure in Britain, but in the US a shop management system will have the manufacturer recommended servicing intervals but tbey will also push 3rd party maintenance services and chemicals. Dealership management systems in the service module can have a module from MOC or BG.
 
Joined
May 26, 2014
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5,487
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
A few months ago, I hired a young woman (19 y/o) as an office assistant (working in admin). Over the past few months, she has noticed me doing some fleet maintenance and realized that I know a thing or two about taking care of vehicles so she asked me to help her out with hers. She drives a 2016 Ford Fusion with the classic 2.5L I4, 141K miles on the clock. She hands me an estimate from a Firestone center where she's been servicing her vehicle since she got it and wanted me to verify it. I said sure and did a once over. Bottom line, about half the estimate was legit. Her front tires were bald (3/64"), dire need of front end alignment, her rear brakes were at less than 1.5mm (front at about 4mm), the battery failed hard on the tester, and it was due for an oil change.

But the other half of the estimate, my goodness. They said she needed a "Tune Up" (which wasn't defined), air filter, coolant flush, transmission flush, and the kicker - POWER STEERING FLUID FLUSH (the car has EPAS!). I assumed by a "Tune Up" they meant spark plugs, so I pulled them all out to take a look. They were worn down a little, but not out of spec yet (probably another 20K miles on them). She told me that they had already done a coolant and transmission flush a couple of years ago. I pulled the air filter out and it looked brand new. She said they replace it every time they do an oil change. They told her that they are required by law to replace the air filter every time they do an oil change and she's been having them do it for the last year and half (4 oil changes).

When I broke everything down for her, she obviously didn't want anything to do with that shop anymore. She wanted to get the other stuff that needed to be done taken care of but doesn't have a whole lot of money and the estimate Firestone gave her was $2.7K. For some new tires and an alignment, I set her up with the independent shop I use for my fleet and got her a good price on some Goodyear Assurance MaxLife tires (her pick). I offered to take care of the brakes, oil, and battery and help her find the right parts. She wanted everything OEM (including the oil and filter) so after quick online trip to RockAuto and a couple of days, she's got a much safer vehicle for a pretty reasonable cost. Of course, throughout this whole ordeal, I've been teaching her some of the traps and scams to look out for, how she can verify some of these things herself, and how to keep a proper maintenance log. She is obviously never going back to that Firestone center and will likely be using our indy shop in the future (free tire rotations and discounted F/S oil changes). I definitely feel much better knowing she isn't going to hydroplane while her brakes are failing and die on the way in to work.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
68
Location
MA, USA
The members of a board like this get it. The fact that so many of the chain Tire and muffler shops pull this hard and deceptive sell on people is so offensive. Dealers have been known to do it too. There may be some good ones out there but the stories are never ending. Find a good local independent mechanic and support them!!!!!
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
9,581
Location
California
The members of a board like this get it. The fact that so many of the chain Tire and muffler shops pull this hard and deceptive sell on people is so offensive. Dealers have been known to do it too. There may be some good ones out there but the stories are never ending. Find a good local independent mechanic and support them!!!!!
I think dealers are worse with snake oil and BS than quick lubes or chain shops. A friend just bought a 2019 Prius AWD-e, I will warn her to avoid the local Toyota dealers and chains/Jiffy Lube as much as possible.

Not just a Ford problem, it happens at almost every dealership.

 
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
56
Not sure in Britain, but in the US a shop management system will have the manufacturer recommended servicing intervals but tbey will also push 3rd party maintenance services and chemicals. Dealership management systems in the service module can have a module from MOC or BG.
Don’t live in UK, USA is my home for 42 years
 

mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
234
Location
MD
I don’t believe it’s unethical, most of these shops have Manufacturers Recommended Service Downloaded in their Systems !!

1) Why are you shouting?

2) You must have missed the post where I explained how they told her they were required by law to replace her air filter every oil change (at a cost, of course). This is a complete lie. That's pretty unethical.
 

mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
234
Location
MD
Threads like these are always popular so all the DIYers can have a "Kumbaya" moment.,,,,,,
The majority of my fleet's repair work is done by an independent shop. Not DIY. If anything, I'm stressing some basic understanding of vehicles and their services, finding a good independent shop, and staying away from big chains. But go ahead and keep being passive aggressive, it's really accomplishing a lot.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
56
Not sure in Britain, but in the US a shop management system will have the manufacturer recommended servicing intervals but tbey will also push 3rd party maintenance services and chemicals. Dealership management systems in the service module can have a module from MOC or BG.
Sorry but I haven’t lived in the UK for 47 years!!
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
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3,799
Location
Outer Banks, NC
Nice work by you. If she still has the "replaced air filter" receipts from Firestone, she may be able to send them to Firestone corporate for some relief. Air filter changes required by law? That's a new one.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
9,581
Location
California
Nice work by you. If she still has the "replaced air filter" receipts from Firestone, she may be able to send them to Firestone corporate for some relief. Air filter changes required by law? That's a new one.
In CA shops are required to do a tire pressure check. That I understand. But new air filters at every OCI? Not even OPE calls for that, let alone the OEMs.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
534
Location
Amherst, MA, usa
It's not just the women. Nor is it just Firestone (our local is good). My dad showed me flat tire changes, tune ups, etc.
I showed my daughters. One did as myself and got into it (helped restore my '60s car which she'll inherit). We need to
fraud proof our people and teach others not to over sell. Forma relationship w/ur mechanic (trust is 2 way) go to a smaller place
(chains take the money out of town). life is too fast as it is.
 
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