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2020 Onyx
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9,559 Posts
Seems like it's a growing problem that large dealership groups pad service with unnecessary procedures and inflated pricing, even to the point of lying to customers about the condition of the vehicle.

Thanks for naming the dealership that's doing this. There's a whole section for dealership reviews - maybe you should take it somewhere else?

 

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Outback Wagon, 2004, H6 3.0
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean the prices might be outrageous but the maintenance itself is the new normal for a 20 year old car.
I don't mind the maintenance. They have no maintenance records on my vehicle since I have been doing all the maintenance myself (I visited them only twice before - for A/C and tranny fixes). Hence they just looked at the mileage and piled up all the maintenance needed according to the schedule. Due to COVID the vehicle has been mostly parked, hence rusty rotors. It is the prices that are out of this world. I was there thinking I will shell about $1K on heater core replacement (did not want to mess with it myself). But looks like I will be driving with the windows rolled down instead, until I find somebody who will do it for under $1K. I guess this is a ploy to get me to buy a new car from them.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,457 Posts
Nothing unusual. The dealership just isn't a terribly appropriate place to take a 20 year old car. Expensive real estate, high labor rates.

Heater core is a very labor-intensive job, whole dashboard out etc, and all automotive rates are on the rise. Move quick and you might find someone who hasn't upped his rate yet.
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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948 Posts
I did a heater core for a neighbour who couldn't afford to pay the $1,500.00 quoted and that was back around 1993. Worked on when I got home from work - took 3 days to tear down, replace and put back together. Unbelievable what sometimes has to come out to get at it, so I'd say that one is likely justified.
Not sure what the real beef is here. If they had no records, not sure what else you'd expect them to do. I see all that stuff as a check list / starting point; i.e. I suggest diff oil change, you say "I did that at x miles." I say "OK, let's scratch that."
Doesn't have to be adversarial and isn't always nefarious.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,165 Posts
I don't mind the maintenance. They have no maintenance records on my vehicle since I have been doing all the maintenance myself (I visited them only twice before - for A/C and tranny fixes). Hence they just looked at the mileage and piled up all the maintenance needed according to the schedule. Due to COVID the vehicle has been mostly parked, hence rusty rotors. It is the prices that are out of this world. I was there thinking I will shell about $1K on heater core replacement (did not want to mess with it myself). But looks like I will be driving with the windows rolled down instead, until I find somebody who will do it for under $1K. I guess this is a ploy to get me to buy a new car from them.
I wouldn't drive the car with the heater core leaking.

There are some nasty things in the engine and the heater core will turn them into vapor and go right into your lungs.

Not a good thing for your health.

Neither are dry rotted tires, leaking struts, torn ball joints, or power steering lines leaking.

But to each their own.
 

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534 Posts
Seems like it's a growing problem that large dealership groups pad service with unnecessary procedures and inflated pricing, even to the point of lying to customers about the condition of the vehicle.

Thanks for naming the dealership that's doing this. There's a whole section for dealership reviews - maybe you should take it somewhere else?

You've seen the vehicle? Not going to argue the price as I haven't seen what the going hourly rates are currently.

I've written up bigger tickets and it was all valid. I never wrote anything that wasn't needed. I don't know the OP, but we used to get a ton of old Subis in when the dealer offered 'free' inspections.

You get all the cheap people that don't know the definition of maintenance and then are shocked the car needs a ton of work. You know, the crowd that only do LOFs for years unless something actually breaks.

As others have mention do you even know the book time on a heat core for it? I remember Ford Taurus' were like 8-9 hours back when I was turning wrenchs.

See this is the issue, dealer qoutes price people 'think' are too high and everyone starts jumping in on the dealers are rip off crap.
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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9,559 Posts
It could be either way - the car could legitimately need all of the work or not, but it's also true that there's distrust of dealerships because there is a pattern of padding work with unnecessary things. In this case the OP seems to know his way around his own car and smelled BS.
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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948 Posts
Why is it BS if they had no history?? It's their fault for not knowing what was done to the car? Order says 2 tires are all cracked (dry rot), ball joint boots are torn (ok maybe not worn out yet but it's a legitimate item) and it doesn't stop well. Is that all BS or does it indicate the car wasn't maintained as well as is being claimed?
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactiv
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704 Posts
The only thing I see this post really highlight is how much cars cost when you don't turn wrenches.

Cars cost a lot, especially when you have to pay someone to do maintenance on an old car that you can't or don't want to do yourself. I'm not specifically talking about the OP, just in general.

It reaffirms why I get dirty every couple months crawling underneath two 10+ year old rustproofed cars to ensure everything is running perfectly and prevetatively maintained. It costs me hundreds instead of thousands.
 

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Outback Wagon, 2004, H6 3.0
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why is it BS if they had no history?? It's their fault for not knowing what was done to the car? Order says 2 tires are all cracked (dry rot), ball joint boots are torn (ok maybe not worn out yet but it's a legitimate item) and it doesn't stop well. Is that all BS or does it indicate the car wasn't maintained as well as is being claimed?
You see BS is in the eyes of the beholder. IOW what is OK for some may not be OK for others. For instance $550 for pair of rear rotors. I get them for $70 a piece + about 1 hour work give or take. Diff fluid change - that is 3 bolts to undo and literally takes minutes. They want $221 for that. Tires. I got a set of 4 Michelin Defenders for $550 installed by Discount Tire. Dealer wants $341 for a set of two.

What prompted the post is an astonishment at the current rates. As I already said, I resort to a dealer with things I cannot do myself. Heater core replacement is such an item. Those here who say that I am cheap.... No amount of preventative maintenance will prevent heater core from leaking. Its time has come. That is it. And I am not complaining about amount of work they want to do. As I said, since they have no records, they just pile it all up.

Just I have a feeling they are on a fishing expedition here.

As I mentioned already. I change all the fluids according to the schedule. No problems with that. The rest of the items are taken care as they break. What is the point of replacing a ball joint before it is torn? Or a strut.

My other point is. They want $7K in services. And it is just looks shocking because it is all at once. But I can imagine folks bleeding money at these exorbitant prices one item at the time. And feeling good about it.

My car is '04 Outback H6 with 235K miles on the clock. I would think if it was so neglected as you have assumed, it would not have reached that mileage.
 

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$900 for a friont strut, for that gen outback it is a bit high IMO but close. Usually around $800 here but if there is excessive rust it could cost more. Rust on the underbody is why I sold mine a while back, the maintainance was getting hard to do myself and more costly because well, if something breaks it needs fixing more often than not.

But those prices seem a bit high if you ask me, especially the last 4 items. My mechanic wouldnt ever charge me time to put on a $12 wiper, lol.
 

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Three Gen 2 Outbax in the fleet. 2000 2.5, 2002 2.5, 2004 LL Bean H6
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52 Posts
A pair of Monroe fronts struts for 2000-2004 Outback recently priced...about $270 retail.
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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948 Posts
After market parts are virtually always cheaper than OEM, and often by a lot. Dealer isn't going to quote (and probably won't use) non OEM parts. I don't know, but I'd wager that OEM's are around $300 each if available as a complete assembly.
 
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