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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I had my A/C bolt recall taken care of by my dealer. While waiting for my car there was another couple there also waiting. The "Service Advisor" came in and told the couple their car was ready but she then discussed how they had inspected their car's engine air cleaner and pollen air filter and they were both "dirty". She gave them a cost (for both over $120 or so) and gave them numerous reasons why they should replace both of these filters. The couple discussed it for a second and agreed to the change. This was an EXACT repeat of a similar conversation I witnessed a while back while having warranty work at the same dealership. This is also why I do my own minor maintenance. I can't see them taking the engine air filter out, inspecting it, re-installing it and going to the customer recommending a change. I also can't see them doing it with the pollen air filter. Don't know if this is a common practice at dealers but it apparently is at mine, which I try to stay away from! Just posting so you are aware of it and maybe you have a comment or two. FWIW.
 

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Yeah sadly most people don't know better. All I can say is, if you're on a forum like this, you're probably more competent with your vehicle's maintenance than 75%+ of the population.
 

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Dealers get a factory determined amount of time they can bill for recall or warranty repairs. While these rates typically allow the dealer to make money, it is not the amount they want to make, so they up sell all the time, and this is just part of the game. That being said, I highly suspect the mechanic actually pulled the filters and inspected them, this would lead me to believe they lied about them "Needing" the filters. This would be in my mind unethical behavior, rather they should have stated the recommendation differently. Unfortunately as stated above, this is why it is important to be educated about your vehicles. This is fairly common practice from Many, NOT ALL, but many dealers, and often times it seems more often from the higher end dealers, where the owners are less likely to be uneducated about their vehicles. A valid reason many refer to dealers as STEELERS.
 

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Hay, Steelers are a football team.......dealers are STEALERS!

And, IMO, typical MO for the majority of dealers (not all, but a significant majority).

I can say, my local dealer does the courtesy inspection every time I take my vehicle in for recall work only and hasn't recommended anything that it didn't really need. Appreciate the wash and cleaning when they are done, too.
 

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Some folks just aren't mechanically inclined to do their own work. I have a friend who takes her Infinity to the dealer for everything. They love her & she pays through the nose, but she's happy and they treat her like a Queen. She also (knock on wood) has a great running vehicle.

Me? We have 5 cars in the family, I can't afford the dealership :)
 

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Sometimes it makes sense for some people. Here, while you wait for your Lexus/Mercedes/Audi/BMW service, you get day spa on the house. So the wifeys love it. Of course you just paid $200 for a $30 service.... BECAUSE DAY SPA.
 

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Sometimes it makes sense for some people. Here, while you wait for your Lexus/Mercedes/Audi/BMW service, you get day spa on the house. So the wifeys love it. Of course you just paid $200 for a $30 service.... BECAUSE DAY SPA.
There's nothing on the house. I went to the dealer a while back to get brakes on my LS430 (I had two separate bad experiences with brakes at the local shops) because I figured..."OK this one time, I'll pay the $200 premium to avoid dealing with local inept mechanics."

It was a LOT more than I prepared for and I told them I wasn't going to do it. Just for laughs I asked what the hourly labor rate was. You better sit down.

$212 an hour. They won't see me anymore.

Good news is I found a mechanic right here in Miami Beach that's awesome. Finally. And he had been right here under my nose the whole time!
 

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Yesterday I had my A/C bolt recall taken care of by my dealer. While waiting for my car there was another couple there also waiting. The "Service Advisor" came in and told the couple their car was ready but she then discussed how they had inspected their car's engine air cleaner and pollen air filter and they were both "dirty". She gave them a cost (for both over $120 or so) and gave them numerous reasons why they should replace both of these filters. The couple discussed it for a second and agreed to the change. This was an EXACT repeat of a similar conversation I witnessed a while back while having warranty work at the same dealership. This is also why I do my own minor maintenance. I can't see them taking the engine air filter out, inspecting it, re-installing it and going to the customer recommending a change. I also can't see them doing it with the pollen air filter. Don't know if this is a common practice at dealers but it apparently is at mine, which I try to stay away from! Just posting so you are aware of it and maybe you have a comment or two. FWIW.
So here's how Accelerated Service works at an Acura dealer. If a customer says they're going to wait for their A1 (or whatever other simple maintainence) service, it can be done fairly quick by the Accelerated team. When the vehicle is on the rack, it is inspected, which includes removing both air filters. At this time, if one or more of those filters are dirty, the Accelerated Service advisor takes those filters along with brand new ones to the customer in the waiting room to show them in person how dirty they are. This way the customer can make the judgement call for themselves instead of getting a rather ambiguous report of "it's dirty" over the phone or after the vehicle is all buttoned up.

This is a common practice at Jiffy Lube type shops and Accelerated Service type operations at other brand dealerships. By showing the customer their filters in person, there is nothing to hide in the process.

It's not the dealer's fault if the customer wanders off and can't be found when the filters are out of the car. This operation does not have time to wait, so they will put them back, finish up the service, and move on to the next car. Then it turns into a situation where the customer needs to be "sold" the filters afterwards which we'd rather avoid since it involves doing to work of taking the filters out twice.


I'm not sure what about all of this makes you want to stay away from a dealer, but to each their own.
 

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Having moved multiple times since I bought my car, I've had it serviced at 5 different Acura dealers, and there's a big spectrum regarding how good the service departments are. There are definitely shady ones out there. One changed my differential fluid and charged me even though I didn't request it. Guess they didn't expect me to read the itemized list. I got it removed.

Then my current dealer, I bought brake pads from online to save money and brought them in to be changed, but the dealer actually told me it was not time yet. They earned my trust then.

I am not the most mechanically inclined, but I actually enjoy changing the cabin and engine filters, mostly from saving a lot of money for something so quick and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Supertech, during the two incidents I witnessed at NO time were samples of dirty filters shown to the customers. NOTHING WAS SHOWN. It was a verbal recommendation saying, basically, "We recommend that the filters be changed." the customers had also not left the area. We were all sitting in the waiting room waiting for our cars to be completed. This is also the same dealership which, some years ago, installed a timing belt wrong on my '03 MDX during a water pump replaced under warranty destroying my engine and then lied about it to me for five days. Needless to say, I only go to them for warranty work, I try to do my own routine maintenance, and when I bring a car to them I THOROUGHLY check it out when it is returned to me prior to leaving their facility. Having been involved in aviation and helicopter maintenance for over 25 years I am well aware that mechs/techs make mistakes now and then. We are all human, after all. I also don't mind the "games" in the sales dept because I am aware of them and enjoy the duel. I don't expect games in the service dept and expect, and deserve, only to be treated honesty and with respect. I don't think that is too much to ask or expect. Now, all of the folks involved in the '03 incident are gone but is it the philosophy of the dealership to handle things in such a manner? I don't know and that is why I watch them, and anyone working on my vehicles, as best I can. Unfortunately with my '15 MDX they don't publish a paper version of the shop manual which, in the past, I have always purchased for my vehicles. time will tell how this works out but (fingers crossed) the '15 has, thus far, been a great vehicle which I hope to keep for at least 10 years, which is my usual practice. As always, FWIW...
 

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It's not the dealer's fault if the customer wanders off and can't be found when the filters are out of the car. This operation does not have time to wait, so they will put them back, finish up the service, and move on to the next car. Then it turns into a situation where the customer needs to be "sold" the filters afterwards which we'd rather avoid since it involves doing to work of taking the filters out twice..
If you mean they will put back the dirty ones then fine. If you mean they will CHANGE to new ones without being authorized then you are way off base. I am not going to pay for any service I didn't request. Period. Especially when it's something I can do myself in 5 minutes. That's not a service, that's BS.

If you tell me, "Hey...your cabin filter is filthy and needs changing." Now you are actually trying to help me by giving me information I can use. I can choose to change it myself or ask to have it be changed for me.
 

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Supertech, during the two incidents I witnessed at NO time were samples of dirty filters shown to the customers. NOTHING WAS SHOWN. It was a verbal recommendation saying, basically, "We recommend that the filters be changed." the customers had also not left the area. We were all sitting in the waiting room waiting for our cars to be completed. This is also the same dealership which, some years ago, installed a timing belt wrong on my '03 MDX during a water pump replaced under warranty destroying my engine and then lied about it to me for five days. Needless to say, I only go to them for warranty work, I try to do my own routine maintenance, and when I bring a car to them I THOROUGHLY check it out when it is returned to me prior to leaving their facility. Having been involved in aviation and helicopter maintenance for over 25 years I am well aware that mechs/techs make mistakes now and then. We are all human, after all. I also don't mind the "games" in the sales dept because I am aware of them and enjoy the duel. I don't expect games in the service dept and expect, and deserve, only to be treated honesty and with respect. I don't think that is too much to ask or expect. Now, all of the folks involved in the '03 incident are gone but is it the philosophy of the dealership to handle things in such a manner? I don't know and that is why I watch them, and anyone working on my vehicles, as best I can. Unfortunately with my '15 MDX they don't publish a paper version of the shop manual which, in the past, I have always purchased for my vehicles. time will tell how this works out but (fingers crossed) the '15 has, thus far, been a great vehicle which I hope to keep for at least 10 years, which is my usual practice. As always, FWIW...
As I am in the Bay Area, I'd be curious to know what dealer this is.

Accelerated Service (if that's what department was working on the car) has strict protocols of removing the filters and showing them compared to brand new ones directly to the customer if possible. They practically sell themself that way. "Here's your cabin filter and here's a new one. Which would you rather breathe through?"
 

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If you mean they will put back the dirty ones then fine. If you mean they will CHANGE to new ones without being authorized then you are way off base. I am not going to pay for any service I didn't request. Period. Especially when it's something I can do myself in 5 minutes. That's not a service, that's BS.

If you tell me, "Hey...your cabin filter is filthy and needs changing." Now you are actually trying to help me by giving me information I can use. I can choose to change it myself or ask to have it be changed for me.
Nothing ever gets replaced unless it is authorized by the customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Again, absolutely nothing was shown to the customers in the incidents I witnessed. All verbal. Can't say it any plainer than that. And if they do work you don't authorize it's on them, and they all know that.
 

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Again, absolutely nothing was shown to the customers in the incidents I witnessed. All verbal. Can't say it any plainer than that. And if they do work you don't authorize it's on them, and they all know that.
I know. That's why I want to know what dealer did it. About half of them have Accelerated Service. If it wasn't one that offers it, then I'm not surprised it was verbal only. But if it was a dealer that does, then they need a refresher course on the protocols.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dealerships are independent operations. Because time is money (a lot of money) for them based on my experience they will do what they can get away with as long as they can get away with it. They all know the rules and are frequently visited by Acura reps. Just check your car out carefully after ANY service by anyone. Always ask for the old parts no matter what they are. You can throw them away yourself when you get home. Examining the replaced parts also gives you an opportunity to see how things are wearing out. Have them show you why this or that should be done and don't just take their word for it. FWIW.
 

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You seriously are not going to tell me what dealer? Because if it's mine, I need to educate some people in my crew.

Yes they've all been told the rules. But in some cases, they are being followed (or attempted to) by $10/hr people. Kids get lazy or forget. Acura reps, service managers, or shop foremen can't babysit everyone all of the time.
 
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