Regrettable dealership experience from someone who rarely complains

Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
2,051
Location
MA
I worked at a couple dealerships that were generally good, but they all can have a bad apple and that applies to independent garages too.
The difference to me is consistency. I go to my local shop with the same owner for the past 20 years who is still turning wrenches in the garage vs going to the dealership where I do not know anyone. Do people stay at the same dealership for a long time? I'm sure, but not like someone who owns the business.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,144
The difference to me is consistency. I go to my local shop with the same owner for the past 20 years who is still turning wrenches in the garage vs going to the dealership where I do not know anyone. Do people stay at the same dealership for a long time? I'm sure, but not like someone who owns the business.
Yes it's best to find a good one and stick with it. The independent I worked at was small enough that we knew all of our regular customers. It's much easier dealing with someone you know, on both sides.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
7,118
Location
Cali
The difference to me is consistency. I go to my local shop with the same owner for the past 20 years who is still turning wrenches in the garage vs going to the dealership where I do not know anyone. Do people stay at the same dealership for a long time? I'm sure, but not like someone who owns the business.
Been going to a local mechanic for years, but he retired this year, sold his shop to a local used car dealer, gave me some referrals before leaving but nobody wants to touch an 83 Silverado with a carburetor. Where have all the old mechanics gone? :(
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$60 site donor 2022
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,549
Location
South East USA
I had found a brand new dealership. Met the Service Manager and we hit it off good. He showed me the shop and I was amazed. The shop area was immaculate and all the techs were in new uniforms and did great work. Brought both vehicles to them for 2 years. All of a sudden I called to schedule and was told "that Service Manager no longer works here." So I drive by one day and the place has a new name and is under new management. I drove up to the Service area and was greeted by NO ONE. Got out and walked in office to find NO ONE. Looked in the back for the techs and they were all new guys who were all in street clothes, sitting around smoking and clowning around and did not look impressive at all. You can see when guys have an "attitude" almost like "****ed it ! another car to work on!" kind of looks. Well I had to move on and found a different dealership and Service Manager who so far is ok. There has to be a reason no one stays at these places. The wages are supposed to be very good
so I don't get it.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
216
I don't even understand doing something like this.

Here, if a customer shows up and says "put this oil" or Lucas or whatever in their engine, that's what goes in and it's noted on the RO. Even on the service department's worst days this is SOP.
Tiny salary plus Commission for the service writer
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
3,236
Location
near Cincinnati, OH
Madness. Free oil changes were supposed to be free, not buy your own oil then subject your vehicle to those hacks who pick at everything trying to find billable services and end up leaving the vehicle molested. It's not the worst possible outcome but it's close, BEFORE they upsell another oil too!

On the other hand, I get not wanting to take on the burden of documenting the oil changes yourself to preserve the warranty, so I would have just kept out of it and after the 9 free changes, making sure she didn't pay more for their "upgrade" (which in this case, they might have charged without doing anything different at all!), THEN offer her the oil and DIY change it.

If you let innocent people be exposed to non-innocent, the best that can happen is minimal bad things. The average that happens is a few bad things. I'd be more invested in her vehicle to change the oil myself with whatever random oil that meets spec, rather than some *special oil*. The key being don't let the vultures near her or the vehicle.

I'm not trying to stereotype all people at all shops, just recognizing the risks vs rewards for these services that are free... which aren't if it averaged out to bays being taken up without billable hours and parts sold. The shop has to make a profit to exist... just reality.
 
Last edited:

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
9,377
Location
Utah
Let's all join hands and sing Kumbaya. Ode to the shade tree mechanics THAT NEVER make mistakes...
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2003
Messages
2,941
Location
DELAWARE
If your aunt was such a "babe in the woods" probably should have went with her to see your plan through.
 
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