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$767.32 Rip-Off? Lexus 30,000 mile service

Lexus dealer kindly e-mailed this for a 2013 RX 350.

"Replace engine oil and oil filter (0W-20) (Valvoline. Not Mobil1)
Rotate tires and adjust tire pressures as required
Replace air conditioner filter
Replace brake fluid
Replace engine air filter
Replace smart key battery
Re-torque nuts and bolts of drive shaft
Reset maintenance reminder light
Check installation of driver’s floor mat
Inspect axle shaft boots
Inspect ball joints and dust covers
Inspect body
Inspect brake lines and hoses
Inspect brake rotor thickness and run out
Inspect engine coolant
Inspect exhaust pipes and mounting
Inspect fuel lines and connections, fuel tank band and fuel tank vapor vent system hoses.
Inspect fuel tank cap gasket
Inspect rack and pinion steering assembly
Inspect rear differential oil
Inspect steering linkage and boots
Inspect transfer case
Inspect transmission for signs of leakage
Visually inspect brake pads, calipers and rotors
Four wheel alignment
Replace wiper inserts (up to three)
Wheel balance w/ Tire Rotation

The cost of service is $767.32."

Welcome to the world of luxury car ownership.

Why do you consider it a ripoff?
When you deliver blood, do you want to get paid?
How much per hour does your company/hospital charge per-hour for your time?

Dealers often do have a higher cost overhead than independent garages. Did you think that “free loaner vehicle” was really free?

Assuming someone spends 4 hours on your car doing all the above work items, at $125/hour, it’s reasonable to see the labor alone get to the $500 range. Add in a couple of hundred for the filters and oil (at dealer prices), and it’s easy to see how they arrive at the price.

Could you find a place to do the same work for less? Definitely.
Would I call it a ripoff? No.

As bloody_knuckles noted, it’s a luxury vehicle. You’re not in Kansas anymore.

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"Replace engine oil and oil filter (0W-20) (Valvoline. Not Mobil1)

There is no cost difference between them…What’s the complaint?

Learn something about cars and do the work yourself. Each of those items listed are do-it-yourself items…that someone with minimal mechanical knowledge can do…with the exception of wheel alignment and tire rebalance.

Also by going to the dealer for that service and parts you’re paying 2-3 times what you can get the EXACT SAME PART for at a local parts store. My Toyota/Lexus dealer sells motor oil at $14/qt…they sell for $8 at Wallmart. Denso air filters (the manufacturer of air filters for Toyota) can be bought locally for $20…dealer wants $40. The Denso air-conditioning filter can be bought for $14…dealer want’s $40…and then another $20 to replace it…it’s a 5 minute job - AT MOST. Air filter is a 1 minute job…dealer again wants $20 to replace.

Either find a good independent to do the work…or save even more money and do it yourself…or keep going to the dealer and paying the ridiculous prices that ALL dealers charge.

1/2 the stuff is visual inspection. Yep, I looked at car. From 50 ft away sipping coffee. Looks good.

What you might do is check the owners manual and see which of those are required at 30k. Dealers tend to add on unneeded services. For example:
replace brake fluid
replace key battery
wheel balance.

At my Subi dealer, I went from stating “xxk mile service” to just listing the specified items, and my price went from $210 to $42. And that included all of the visual stuff.

That list is loaded to the hilt with unnecessary revenue enhancers. Follow Bill’s advice. Check the owner’s manual recommended maintenance schedule.

Wife’s car and she wants Lexus to do everything.

Whatever I can do myself, I do.
I can replace brake fluid, pump it out the bleeders?, but it appears perfectly clean and middle of the reservoir level lines. Indicates little brake pad wear.

Can’t do wheel balance since I last used a wheel balancer at the service station.

DiscounTire will rotate and balance the wheels for free! (With no torque wrench, I can’t torque the lug nuts to specification.) They also buff clean the hub and wheel interfaces.

Can’t do alignment but tires are wearing evenly.

After removing the air filter, I vacuumed the filter box and used a wash cloth to clean all the surfaces before installing the new filter. I do the same with the cabin air filter.

Have not tried to change the new canister oil filter because it may be too much of a mess when on my back.

Will have to remove the plug and check transfer case and differential oils with my finger.

At what price would it not be a rip-off? I went through the list and at local prices for an independent garage I come up with $563 plus tax for that list of services. That’s a $200 savings but I’m sure there are people who would think that is high.

The dealer likely has a luxurious waiting room with coffee and snacks, leather seating, a 60 inch TV with satellite, shuttle service, free Lexus loaner cars, and will wash and vacuum your car. We have some folding chairs, a bus stop across the street, and the guys may or may not leave a dirty paper floor mat in your car when we’re done.

Just because something costs more somewhere doesn’t mean it’s a rip-off.

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Wal-Mart will change the oil for $8.54 when I supply the oil and filter.
I buy them in the store.
Same oil filter cartridge as the Camry!

(I’d rather do everything myself because I carefully, thoroughly clean the oil filler cap and surrounding area, the oil filter mount and the drain plug and surrounding area.)

That list is very fairly quoted and I see no ripoff at all.

As to points about visual inspections not amounting to a hill of beans, I differ with that opinion.
The purpose of regular visual and/or manual inspections of components is to try and detect problems before they become REAL, or lethal, problems.

Skip that ball joint inspection and one snaps a month later leading to the deaths of the vehicle occupants.
Who is going to be held accountable when the legal team finds out that car “just had an inspection last month and ball joints (or whatever) inspection was supposed to have been done then”.

The mechanic will be named in the suit along with along with the dealer, corporate Lexus, and the Eastside Senior Citizens Home. They will include everyone…

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DiscounTire will rotate and balance the wheels for free! (With no torque wrench,

Aren’t those the guys who keep giving you advice on running your tires WAY WAY WAY OVER INFLATED??? And they don’t use a torque wrench when putting tires on??? Are you kidding me?? For many cars today…that’s essential…I’d seriously find a new place to get tires from…

They inflate to the pressure indicated on the vehicle’s post.
They will put it at maximum on the tire if you request. Don’t blame them.
After tightening with air chuck, they check with a BIG torque wrench according to vehicle specs.

They will put it at maximum on the tire if you request. Don't blame them.

You’re the one said in another post that the manager at the discount tire store said it was fine to inflate tires to their max…even when the tire pressure for your vehicle was 10-20 lbs less. So yes I blame them.

After tightening with air chuck, they check with a BIG torque wrench according to vehicle specs.

I’m confused…you said just 10 minutes ago the following…

DiscounTire will rotate and balance the wheels for free! (With no torque wrench, I can't torque the lug nuts to specification.)

So which is it? Are they using a torque wrench or not??

> After tightening with air chuck, they check with a BIG torque wrench according to vehicle specs.

This will work if the air chuck didn’t over tighten the lugs. But if it did, then they will remain overtightened, which can lead to rotor wrapage.

Robert, again, check the list against the recommended service intervals in the manual. If you lost the manual, you can find one online.

The list is accurate. I checked. The quote is pretty fair - some geographic locations would on average charge less, but probably not yours. Mechanic’s gotta deal with the cost of living where you are just the same as you do.

Inspections are important. If something they’re supposed to inspect craps out next week, you can go back to them and ask them what the point of the inspection was and possibly get them to at least partially discount the resulting repair if the failed part breaks other stuff.

If this does not concern you and you are sufficiently mechanically-inclined, you can do the inspections yourself.

Everything on the actual work list is easy DIY stuff. The only possible exception is the retorque of the driveshaft bolts – you obviously cannot do this yourself if you do not own a torque wrench.

If you had them do the work, I would skip replacing the smart key battery until your keyfob actually stops unlocking the car. I just replaced the battery for the first time on my Acura, and it’s got over 100k on it - your battery is probably not close to death at this point.

I personally would do all of this work myself - it’s all easy stuff. But if I had someone else do it, I would expect to pay about what they quoted you - brake fluid exchanges are usually fairly expensive which is why I handle it myself.

Wal-Mart will change the oil for $8.54 when I supply the oil and filter.

$8.54? I don’t even know what to think of that sort of silliness. First that someplace is willing to perform and oil change service for the price of a happy meal, and second that someone is willing to take them up on it and expect a good outcome.

Drain the engine oil, replace the filter, fill oil to proper level, check and top off all fluids, inspect wiper blades, test battery, check and adjust tire pressure, inspect belts and hoses, check all exterior lights, visually inspect for fluid leaks, clean exterior windows, and reset oil life monitor system if applicable. Who thinks that’s only worth $8?

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I don’t think an oil change at Wal-Mart will do all those checks. It’s just an oil change and that’s it.

But I agree. I’d rather have an oil change at Jiffylube than Wal-Mart… Not that I would…

What I described IS just a basic oil change service with up to 6 qts. conventional oil for $36.95. To do anything less as part of a scheduled oil service maintenance is just low-budget hack.

There’s a local exhaust chain that I will occasionally sublet work to for custom exhaust bending. They also advertise as “home of the $20 oil change” or something like that. Once when I was picking up a car from them I overheard the service writer talking to a woman who was bringing her car in for an oil change. He asked “Would you like us to check your tires and fluid levels for an additional $5?”

What a joke.

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