Why are 30K services considered as rip-offs?

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23,750
Location
CA
I often see people criticize dealer "service packages" as rip-offs, as they include bogus inspections. However, I see that they often include the following services, at least under a 30K service: - Engine Oil/Filter Change - Engine Air and Cabin Air Filter Replacement - Drain and Refill Coolant and Transmission Fluids - Change Brake Fluid - Rotate Tires/Check Brakes - Various Inspections $350 seems to be the average for such services. This seems like a reasonable fee IMO to perform such services, considering how labor intensive some of these can be, such as A/C Cabin Filter replacement. So why does everyone still consider these "service packages" as rip-offs? [I dont know]
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
45,982
Location
New Jersey
A lot of people consider any work done at a dealer, or even a garage as a ripoff. A lot of times its because these inspections find things going south that ought to be replaced - but the users have an 'aint broke, dont fix it' attitude, and would rather not know about it if its not making any particular real notable signs of failure. Personally, I think that for getting OE parts, services that you havea pretty high probability of being done right, and OE fluids (perhaps the most important when it comes to coolant and ATF), its usually not that bad of a deal. Of course sometimes these services can be a springboard to load you with extra costs for things that dont really need replacement, additives, etc., but thats why it is important to be an educated, concerned consumer - not just for cars, but for most anything. JMH
 
Messages
936
Location
Pittsburgh,PA
I never liked taking my car in for that sort of work. Not because of the price alone, but more for the fact of trust. Engine oil/filter is just too easy for me to do myself I cant see paying for it. Same for air filters. As for the tranny related stuff like fluids and filters I dont trust ANYONE(except a local shop I actually trust) to do it right. Too easy for them to not do the work, or even moreso not using the right fluids. Most of the work these things cover is easily in the range of a shadetree mechanic to handle with basic tools. Unless I have a massive problem the only time my car will see professionals in the enar future is 1) when I install the new struts and shocks I need an alignment. 2) when I complete my tranny rebuild I am paying my local trusted shop to do the swap. I could do the work but its like an 8 hour headache I dont really want, since I would have to do it by myself.
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
It depends on what you're getting for that price. Oil/Filter Change - $30 Air Filters - $20 Cabin Filter - $20 Install Filters - $25 (difficult cabin filter?) Coolant Change - $75 Tranny Fluid Change - $100 (auto, with filter and gasket) Brake Fluid Flush (and check brakes) - $50 Rotate Tires - $15 Total: $340* So, yes, it's probably not bad if that's what you're getting. I haven't owned any vehicles with a cabin filter though, and I wouldn't do the tranny or coolant (unless it's the old green stuff) until 60K unless the manual tells me to. The problem is, many cars don't need a cabin filter, and a tranny fluid replacement often isn't included in the 30K package. You really just have to consider each case separately. It might be a decent deal for a certain vehicle at a certain dealership, but it might be a gouge for a different vehicle and/or a different dealership. *Please note that these are all total guesses at service costs since I do all work myself. I apologize if any of my estimates are totally out!
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
23,750
Location
CA
As for Cabin Air filters, many of them are about $40 if you want a good quality OEM one. Have you ever seen the Cabin Air Filter in a 2G Odyssey? It takes about 1/2 hr to do, at least. At $120/hr, $60 for labor isn't unreasonable. I didn't ask for the breakdown in costs, but I'm guessing: Oil/Filter Change: $30 Air Filter: $20 Cabin Air Filter and Labor: $100 Coolant Drain/Fill: $60 ($15/gal for Honda Type II Premix) Transmission Drain/Fill: $60 Brake fluid flush: $75 Rotate Tires/Check Brakes: $30 Total=$365 [I dont know]
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
Then it's probably not a bad deal to get all that work for $350 on the Odyssey! I've heard of people getting the 30K service without the coolant flush, tranny fluid change, brake fluid flush, or cabin air filter for $400 though. I have to wonder what they're paying for there. [I dont know]
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
23,750
Location
CA
Don't have an Odyssey, but that's what the local dealer charges. I just pulled this one from the local Toyota dealer's site: - Engine Oil/Filter Change - Engine Air Filter Replacement - Drain and Refill Coolant, Differential, and Transmission Fluids - Replace Spark Plugs (Standard Plugs Only) - Rotate Tires/Check Brakes - Various Inspections $299, everyday low price.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
Anybody who goes to a dealer and pays $120 (an hour) [LOL!] for labor to do things that you can do has more $$ than other things... [Roll Eyes] Since I passed my 30k in 13 months, I doubt I need my brake fluid done (still clear now), coolant done (still looking good) , transmission was done by me for $13 worth of fluid @ 22k, Cabin filter was just checked at 52k and it's clean, I rotate my tires in 15 mins every 5k and change my oils with ease. In 54k miles I've owned my car, I've put at the most $200 into it so far in maintenance incl ALL oils, filters, many UOAs , air filters and thats about it. I figure the brakes will go about 120k before work, tires around 80k, I'll check the valves around 75k and coolant around 80k. Why spend the $$ if everything is doing well. [I dont know] I can see what items need to be checked and do it myself. [Big Grin] And STEALERSHIPS charging $120 for a hour labor when they pay their guys at the most $25 is sick. [Thumbs Down!] I'll NEVER do it. [SPAZ!] Take care, Bill [coffee]
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Utah: Since I passed my 30k in 13 months, I doubt I need my brake fluid done (still clear now),
I forgot to mention that I don't usually do brake fluid until 60 or longer, depending on how it looks. Like you, Bill, it takes many years before I've spent a total of $300 on maintenance!
 
Messages
126
Location
kodak, tn
To "HAVE IT DONE" Oil Change ~$20 Air Filter (while having the OC done) ~$10 Tranny Flush $120 or Tranny Fluid and Filter ~$100 for just a drain and fill ~$40 Rotate Tires ~$15 Coolant Flush ~$60 Brake fluid flush?? Never actually seen this advertised at ANY Iffy Lube or dealer service board, so I have no idea here....but figuring about 45 minutes to complete up to 1 hour or so (if doing it in the driveway with no air tools)...Id expect to pay somewhere around $50 to have done. But considering if you "had this done" the tire rotation should be free. Estimates $135 for the cheap side up to $235 on the high end... So...all in all....to "HAVE ALL THIS DONE AT A DEALER" the $365 price doesn't sound too bad. Of course you could spend 3 hours in the driveway with basic jack stands and complete most of the work yourself for much less. $45 for entry level jack and jack stands $45 for mityvac $30 for mityvac brake bleeder kit $6.88 for 5 quarts of ST oil $3.00 for filter $10 air filter $14 for ST tranny fluid $15 for tranny filter and gasket (if so desired) $6 for DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid $25 for coolant for around $200 you can "DO IT YOURSELF FROM SCRATCH" and still have tools left over to for more future savings.
 

ALS

Messages
1,862
Location
Pittsburgh
If I only kept a car or truck 50K of 60K miles I would probably skip everything other than the oil change and the air filters. But those of us on BITOG believe it is cheaper to maintain our cars and trucks for the next 250K miles. Personally I do a 30K once a year on my daily driver and the garage queen gets maintained at accelerated factory recommended intervals. 100K miles for a fuel filter and lifetime transmission fluid are not something I believe in. Both items are serviced at 30K no matter what Volvo says.
 
Messages
1,079
Location
Senoia, GA
quote:
Originally posted by The Critic: So why does everyone still consider these "service packages" as rip-offs?
Mainly because they are charging $90-100 per hour, tack on an additional 15% ON TOP OF FULL RETAIL for parts, and something usually is broken or the car doesn't run right after it's done.
 
Messages
982
Location
Earth
I just passed 30k on my '04 Civic. I didnt bring it in for this service because: Air filter and cabin filters are too easy NOT to replace yourself. Same with oil change Tranny (manual 5 speed) isn't due until 60k (which is also easy to do and will be done at home). Cooland isn't due until 100k ( which is when the timing belt is due and probably the only time my Civic will see the dealership). Tire rotation is easy as well. My 30 k service cost me under $50 done at home and done right. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
I think uniformed people just gerenalize all dealers as rip offs. Some are good and some are real bad. We never here about good ones really on the internet or remember them however the bad ones stick out. And finally generalizations stick. This same thought process can be applied to nearly all things in life. Lastly people much less likely to compliment however complaining comes very easy.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by rjundi: I think uniformed people just gerenalize all dealers as rip offs. Some are good and some are real bad. We never here about good ones really on the internet or remember them however the bad ones stick out. And finally generalizations stick. This same thought process can be applied to nearly all things in life. Lastly people much less likely to compliment however complaining comes very easy.
I agree, it's not fair. The 75% of car dealers that will hose you that give the other 25% a bad name.
 
Many service writers are paid by commission. The more they sell you the more they make. 25 years ago, when I was in the business working at an independant garage, a guy came in with a Cadilac, that was making a squeling noise in the front. Sure enough, the pads were worn to the squeeler. He said but I just had the brakes serviced at the Caddy dealer and showed me the receipt. It had been done a few months earlier for $140. (1980 price) The invoice didn't list any parts so I called them and asked what a brake service consisted of and was told that basically they cleaned the brake linings. Customers thought they were getting their brakes replaced. I had a new customer. Also, at dealers you assume you are getting a factory trained mechanic looking at your car, but for routine stuff such as 30,000 mile service and oil changes, you are often getting the lot boy doing the work.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
quote:
Originally posted by Jeepster_nut: Tranny (manual 5 speed) isn't due until 60k (which is also easy to do and will be done at home).
I did my tranny at 22k and you may want to go ahead and change it out at 30k and then go at it around 90k. Mine oil was not pretty (tons of glitter) and I was happy to get it out then. Normally I change out a new manual transmission around 10k but waited longer on the Corolla. Take care, Bill [coffee]
 

crw

Messages
1,715
Location
Pocatello, ID
When you take a good honest look at what things and people cost, you realize that there isn't a lot of fluff in the price of having service done on your car. It's either pay it, or learn how to do it yourself.
 
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