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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got a big ticket service that needs to be addressed once I graduate. Only issue is price is basically identical at both Honda dealer and Acura dealer, WITH the ONLY exception of a $50 charge for labor in Acura.

Here is the price breakdown:
Honda dealer (near home):
  • $265 for D&F (needs to order in Fluid)
  • $134 for Brake fluid
  • $49.99 for OC w/ Filter
  • $19.99 for TR (Don't really want to wait at Discount tire for x hours just for free TR).
  • SA will go out of his way to honor coupons for me; probably will make it near $450 or below.
Acura of Pembroke Pines (near University):
  • $265 for D&F
  • $150 for Brake fluid
  • $49.99 for same Oil and Filter used at Honda dealer
  • $50 unknown charge (might be for labor).
  • Mike Chan (Service Manager) is throwing in a 10% discount.
  • Total before discount: $571; total after discount: $514.00
Pops vehicle is also due for Brake fluid change (Nissan goes by every 2 yr / 20k miles, and its been more than 2 years), and pretty sure Nissan will probably try to take advantage of him for the price, if my coupon addicted-self doesn't go with him. Should I just avoid Acura for these basic maintenance services?
 

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The 50 dollar is usually listed as shop supplies. Meaning uniforms and rag cleaning etc. Other than that the prices look the same. Have you priced out an independent shop yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The 50 dollar is usually listed as shop supplies. Meaning uniforms and rag cleaning etc. Other than that the prices look the same. Have you priced out an independent shop yet?
I did but my mom would kill me if I take it to there (I wouldn't have a ride back home) due to price gouging and using parts that are cheap (could find this from like Alibaba express or amazon or ebay). This might have been a result of me having our 6GA getting suspension work done at the indie shop with the wheel bearings ALWAYS failing and the dang car leaking ATF.
 

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My Acura dealership allows me to bring my own fluids and some parts like spark plugs. I bring my own Mobil 1 oil from Walmart and purchase online Acura/Honda coolant, brake fluid, or supply the spark plugs myself. I do the Bosch cabin filter, OEM engine air filter, and wipers myself. I usually have lifetime rotation/balance with Discount Tires and lifetime alignment with Firestone. Just more running around and labor on my part to save a little $$.
 

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Take it to Acura so you can get a loaner
 

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one more thing you may not know, the dealers only rotate the wheels, they don't balance them like at DT. save them 5 mins/wheel
 

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Ask Acura what that $50 charge is for. They should never have a line item charge that doesn't have a reason.

Tell Acura the estimate you received for the identical work at Honda and ask if they'll match it.

Jefferson made a good point - at Acura you may receive a loaner car as part of the package. You may or may not care about that.

I do all this type of work myself but if you're going to a dealer at least compare the prices (as you've done) and try to get your preferred place to match the other place.
 

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I’d see if they’d match the price but really Id just stick with Acura. $50 bux isn’t enough to justify messing with and worrying if Honda actually got the right fluid or whatever - it’s one tank of gas difference.
 

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I did but my mom would kill me if I take it to there (I wouldn't have a ride back home) due to her delusional logic that the indie mechs will steal parts (yeah, its rough living with non-car people as the parents when complete logic is thrown out the window). This might have been a result of me having our 6GA getting suspension work done at the indie shop with the wheel bearings ALWAYS failing and the dang car leaking ATF.
I don’t know if you realize it, but you have managed to insult both your mom and dad. Apparently your mom is delusional and your dad, who apparently runs a successful business will be taken advantage of if you don’t go with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Everyone that responded, I'll respond in the morning.
I don’t know if you realize it, but you have managed to insult both your mom and dad. Apparently your mom is delusional and your dad, who apparently runs a successful business will be taken advantage of if you don’t go with him.
I know I did. I'm already cringing on the horrible investment decisions they are making and I am 100% pretty sure Dave Ramsey will cringe. They just don't trust indie mechs at all. One indie mech actually upsold my parents to buy a battery when the OE battery was in good (parents didn't listen to me when I said battery is fine); I am not even sure why the battery needed replacing when all we needed is a new starter. Even, Honda couldn't even fix this vehicle properly; pretty sure my side of the garage has residual stains and marks from oil and ATF leaks.

I'm just saying my parents make me take the vehicle to a dealer because I still live with them. And honestly, I'm not buying a house in a sellers market. Its super overpriced here. Once the market cools down and I find the house thats in my price range, I do plan on DIY everything. And I am planning on buying a lift since I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use floor jacks.

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You may just want to go back and delete all that. It's cringe worthy and I suspect you may regret saying those things one day.

Just take the car to Acura and be done with it. Or Honda. It doesn't matter. They're all easy services. If it was me I'd be at Acura and hope for a decent loaner for the day or at least better documentation for warranty. Not sure how much Acura does loaners though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You may just want to go back and delete all that. It's cringe worthy and I suspect you may regret saying those things one day.

Just take the car to Acura and be done with it. Or Honda. It doesn't matter. They're all easy services. If it was me I'd be at Acura and hope for a decent loaner for the day or at least better documentation for warranty. Not sure how much Acura does loaners though.
Yeah... I'll try to delete or modify some posts on the computer tomorrow morning before I head down to campus. At times I do have to explain why certain things are not an option for me, with reasons that might be regrettable or just blantly stupid and dumb; also, have to explain why there might be an influence too. However, my MDX crossed 70k miles last thursday, so that means I am out of warranty now. Never thought Acura would be this close in price compared to Honda, but the service sticker Acura put says come back at either 30% or 73000 miles (I drive highway mostly, so its going to be 77000 or 78000 miles, depending which one comes by December first week).

Now after asking, it looks like general consenus is to go with the Acura dealer since price is nearly identical.

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Hey completely get it man. I understand the pressure and all... just saying having been someone who has said things that I wish I could take back... well.... I'd delete that cause we all know how the internet is forever. :)
 

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Just my 2 cents as a dad: cut your parents some slack, they must be doing something right if they or you are able to afford a 2017 MDX, at least half the country can't afford one (at any age).

Back on topic a bit: Dealers are expensive, and each person has to make their own choice for cost vs time and/or convenience. First class airfare exists and sells for a reason, and Acura dealers know that's a bit of their target market. Personally I have a new and old Acura (2002 and 2020), 10 years ago I would go to a dealership for oil changes only (getting free wifi, free food, free train ride, free loaners, etc) plus a free multipoints even though I know some of it will be an upsell attempt (helped repair my dad's cars as a kid, so have better skills at sniffing out an upsell). And then I used to do anything more than oil changes at a local/trusted Honda specialist mechanic that charges half the price.

As I got older and put a higher pricetag on my time, I value the dealer convenience more and nowadays tend to do anything under $1K at the dealer. Wasting another day/another drive, for saving at most half the price, sometimes isn't worth it. Could be your parents are trying to set you up for what a higher-income lifestyle looks like, time is scarce and if you're running the family business someday the productivity loss of not having a loaner or even shopping around for alternative mechanics easily outweighs anything an Acura service department can charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got probably 3 to 4 years (5 years if I hadn't made a purchase yet) left of this dealership service thing before I go to full DIY, just a heads up.

@nhhiep I know this for a fact they don't balance it, but never had any issues with the wheels going out of balance whenever I have dealers do the Tire rotation.

@mdxstang So Mike Chan (service manage at Pembroke Pines) just messaged me that the $50 is for labor. He then went to say the $49.99 includes wiper blade inserts and oil w/ filter. And honestly, I am fine with the brand they use (Castrol) which has been used in our previous Hondas too, as long it is the 0W-20 oil. Preferred place is the Honda dealer (just never wanted to pay those outrageous Acura prices; I would've done the same if we had an Audi since the Honda dealer is a local owner that happens to own an Audi store).

@mrgold35 The wait time over at DT even with an appointment is at least 2 hours, for me. So I tell myself, instead of suffering another couple of hours to save $20, I might as well have the dealer knock it out since the vehicle is already in the air when they are draining the oil and changing the filter.

@jefferson88 I will definitely see if I could get a loaner, but I am honestly used to waiting in the service area (I'll typically bring my laptop and iPad). Ideally, my original idea was to drop the 17 off for the service while I will be doing the paperwork and purchasing the Type S, then have father drive the old girl back home. But if I go this route, I may need one since campus is a good distance away.

@mvl I do. But again, they are just horrible at dealing with money. Dad always said he will get a BMW X5 since 2006, but hasn't to this day, all because he doesn't know how to maintain money, yet listens to Dave Ramsey. How we afforded the MDX in cash was easy; his previous job where he worked at for like 18 years was paying a good 6-figure salary. We have no business, its just poorly managed money. But the field I'm going to now has decent pay, which relates I can afford this car hobby and a house. And I already have set budget for a house but the market is too high for me. Personally, I've worked on my moms Accord while in High School (newbie error of spilling PS fluid onto the alternator): did a PS Fluid D&F, changed spark plugs, etc., whatever that didn't need the vehicle to be off the ground. I've been going to dealerships with my dad for service ever since we bought the Odyssey brand new back in 05. Nowadays, he doesn't come with me (last time he came with me to service the MDX was Feb 2020) to service the MDX, but learning from servicing 3 other cars at dealers, I've learned to also sniff out any upselling and price gouging, and to start using coupons for almost everything.

The thing with my indie mech, is that he charges the same labor cost as the dealer and I found that out when I asked them to change the spark plugs on my previous car. Basically, this means dealers in my area are pretty much where I go for maintenance work, while Indie mech is where I have to go for any other work.
 
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No offense but if I were your parents I'd take the car away from you and kick you out of the house if I found this post. Investing is really easy when it's not your money. Obviously someone thought well enough of one or more of his skills to pay him a 6 figure salary. Have you made that much? Unless you're making more than he did right now I'd again suggest a nice helping of humble pie and delete this whole mess rather than doubling down. The really insulting thing is that they're slumming it in the Rogue while you're in the MDX. What's that say about where their priorities are? Do you REALLY think they are that wrong?
 

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Now after asking, it looks like general consenus is to go with the Acura dealer since price is nearly identical.
But at least validate the charges and see if they'll match the Honda dealer. The worst they can say is that they won't match it and then you can decide whether you care enough to go to Honda rather than Acura.

@mdxstang So Mike Chan (service manage at Pembroke Pines) just messaged me that the $50 is for labor. He then went to say the $49.99 includes wiper blade inserts and oil w/ filter.
So he told you one thing then switched it and told you something else? You already had a line item for the oil/filter so was that just for parts and not labor and if so, was it the same at the Honda dealer? As an fyi from a dyi - I pay around $25 for Mobile 1 full syn 0w-20 and somewhere under $10 for an Acura oil filter so my parts cost is around $35. Their bulk cost on oil is less than what I pay retail. If he's saying it's $50 for the parts of oil, filter, wiper blade inserts, then that's a fair deal - that's about what the parts cost.

The thing with my indie mech, is that he charges the same labor cost as the dealer
An indie almost always is less for labor than a dealership. Sounds like you need to shop around and make sure you check the labor rates 'before' you have them do work.
 
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