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$160 for Honda Civic A1 service?

I have just been had. My little Civic maintenance minder came up with A1 which means it’s time for an oil change and tire rotation. As the warranty just ran out on my car, I decided to get smart and find a good mechanic instead of taking it to the dealer. Boy, was I stupid in choosing this mechanic (who shall remain nameless). He did the service and showed me the dirty cabin air filter and charged me $160! It would have been cheaper with even the most disparaged Honda dealer in the bay area.

Normally, if I were at the dealer, I would be on my full guard and suspicious of everything they recommend. Since I was at a independent mechanic who seemed like an honest guy, I let my guard down. I didn’t even ask for an estimate thinking, just how much can anyone charge for an oil change and tire rotation. Well, as I found out later, too much! Basically, I overpaid much more than what my wife does when she goes to the dealership.

Yep, live and learn. Folks like to cut down dealers, but independent shops can be no better, it just depends. But you now know to specify the needed work, and ask for an estimate. I’ve been there…

Oh, and it seems the ‘cabin air filter’ is the ‘fuel system flush’ money maker these days. I just order them from rockauto, do it myself. The price shops want for these things is crazy!

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“ooh, I think something’s wrong with the car, think I’ll have it checked.”…$100.00
"think I’ll get it fixed."…$200.00 +
“Oh, and while you’re at it…” another $100.00

Those little twentys don’t mean anything to a car place.

You can inspect and change the cabin air filter yourself.
Empty the glove box, squeeze on the sides while it’s open, and it will come loose. Let it hang down, and you will see the cabin air filter behind where the glove box was. There might be a door, but just move it out of the way.

BTW, what was the price breakdown for the cabin air filter replacement? If it was $160 for the air filter alone, I’d call the police - that’s robbery. It should cost no more than $50; filter included.

Yep, I ordered an air filter for my 2012 Honda Civic, it was $6 and way easy to replace.

I know this is an old thread, but I think it is still pertinent.
I had been going to an independent shop and was very satisfied until the management changed. Then, the shop would find all kinds of problems when I would bring the car in for just an oil change. I decided to try the Toyota dealer where I have purchased two Siennas. The service department inspected our 4Runner and did not report the problems that the independent shop said were wrong. I also found that the one mechanic I liked at the independent shop is now employed in the service department of the Toyota dealer. When I talked to this mechanic, he told me that things at the independent shop.had become “too political”. I had been s customer at the independent shop for almost 24 years.
I haven’t noticed any price gouging at the dealer. I just had a front differential seal replaced in the 4Runner and the charge was $272, which I thought was reasonable.
I had my 2017 Sienna in for the 15,000 mile service and I have free service for two years or 24,000 miles. All that was required was a tire rotation, but the technican slipped up and also changed the oil. I wasn’t charged for his mistake. I was shown a video which included a picture of my cabin air filter. I was told it wasn’t dirty enough to have to be replaced.
I try to be fair to the dealer as well. We had to have a water pump replaced on.our 2011 Sienna. When I checked the oil a couple of days later, I found a small ratchet wrench under the hood that had been left by the mechanic doing the work. I returned it to the service department.
The other thing I like about the dealer is that they treat my wife with respect. When I owned a Chevrolet Uplander, I had good service from the Chevrolet dealer. Had GM not quit making minivans , I would still be a customer there.

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Charged you a 160 bucks for what? Just clarifying…

A cabin filter only?

A cabin filter AND the service?

Old thread so I doubt if the OP will respond .

I have the same experience with my Ford dealer. Prices are competitive, no up sells, have even had non-warranty tire repairs covered w/o charge. Plus courtesy shuttle. My Mustang, long out of warranty, F150 just out of warranty.
One thing I do myself are the air&cabin filters, items MOST shops markup too much.