Air filter special

I was at the dealer today, had a coupon for a 14.95 oil change, Due to a open recall on my car I sat there for a good hour and a half. I watched the service writers come in and tell every single person, including me, that they needed an air filter and a new cabin filter. Must have been a sale :slight_smile: The service writer didn’t know what to say when I told him to ask the tech to open his eyes and notice that the filter is new and if he would like I could personally show him. I also had the receipt in the glove box and I keep a log in the car of all repairs.

There is not really a question here, just wanted to share my fun of catching the stealership in a scam.

I managed sales reps (usually about 10 who all drove company cars) and the company had a direct bill arrangement with Jiffy Lube. I had to tell the reps to reject the offer for a new air filter every time they had an oil change. This is a very common scam.

This dealer is using the cheap oil change to get the car into the shop and then generate other profits, in this case with bogus air filter sales.

Glad you brought your Scam Deodorizer. It flushes the rats out.

Good catch!

I’d have stuck it to them harder.

“So now that we’ve established you’re willing to lie in order to cheat me out of money, what are you going to do to get me to ever come back to your shop?”

I went through that once at a local car wash that also did oil changes (I don’t like changing my oil during the winter time).
Them: You need a new air filter.
Me: Are you saying that based on mileage or did they check it?
Them: I’ll check.
Them: He says the filter is dirty and needs to be replaced.
Me: I just changed it this morning. Lets go out and look at it together.
Them: There’s been some sort of mistake (looking at the filter).

I just never went back, and advised anyone who asked to stay away too.

Unfortunately, what you’re describing is becoming more and more common. Lots of shops are searching for revenue, and many have a stock list of things they recommend to everyone. Bring an older car in and the stock list is even longer.

Personally I don’t consider these practices honest.

Typical… and GM and Ford wonder WHY folks avoid the dealership like the plague.

Unfortunately, those who sell Chryslers, or Dodges, or Toyotas, or Hondas, or Nissans, or Mazdas, or Subarus, or VWs, or Audis, or BMWs, or Mercedes, or Minis, or other makes of cars are not immune to this “upsell” disease.

It behooves all car owners to develop an active BS Detector, and that applies whether the car owner gets his car serviced by a car dealer, an independent shop, or (God forbid) a quick lube place. And, the only way to have a really effective BS Detector is to personally maintain a log of all vehicle maintenance and to be very familiar with the required maintenance for one’s own vehicle.

Many shops (of all descriptions) will take advantage of factors such as:
Naivete or lack of knowledge of cars in general
Failure to know what is needed to maintain one’s car
Failure to know what has already been done regarding maintenance of one’s car.

Ascribing this problem only to GM and Ford dealers is neither accurate nor realistic.

Dealerships are franchise owned. GM does NOT own the dealership. Thus…the dealership can run their business however they want to.

So do you avoid a GM dealership if they also own a Toyota dealership???

That’s a really good response. I’ll have to remember that one.

That’s the case with my Toyota dealer. It was perchased by the largest GM dealership in town.

When the gas pedal problems surfaced, this dealer now adds about $85 for na “electrical inspection” in addition to the normal Toyota service in the manual. I declined their offer and just had an oil change. It’s ludicrous to expect a Toyota dealer to find something causing the gas pedal to stay down when Toyota itself barely knew at that time what was going on.

When my wife takes her car in for service, I Xerox the service required, and add a note to REFUSE any additional service, and call me when I’m in town. She knows enough about cars now to tell an arrogant and stupid service writer to buzz off.

The worse case happened to me when I needed to go to the Nissan dealer (Team Nissan in Manchester NH) for a part for my exhaust.

All I wanted was them to put the part on…They said sure…no problem…Take about 30 minutes and cost $100.

45 minutes later the service manager came into the waiting room with a list of items that needed to be addressed costing close to $2000…AND THEY DIDN’T REPLACE THE PART.

On the list was a timing belt…Their ONLY way to determine that I needed a timing belt was that according to their records I never had it changed. Mind you I didn’t buy the truck from them and I had just replaced the timing belt a couple of weeks earlier.

I told the service manager to hand me my keys “said a few choice words so everyone could hear me” and stormed out of the place. I never went back and when I had to buy a new truck a few years later…I drove 30 miles out of my way to another Nissan dealership.

Yep, entirely dealer dependent. When I had a Suburban I made a point of using the local Chevy dealer, they never pushed unneeded stuff, suggested ways to save on several occaisions.

Back in the days of full service filling stations, I was returning to the campus where I was a graduate student. The roads were slushy and I was constantly using the windshield washer. I stopped to buy gasoline and while pumping the gasoline, the attendant said, “We have a special on windshield washer fluid. A complete fillup of the washer reservoir is on sale for $1”. In those days, a gallon of washer fluid was about 29 cents and the reservior probably didn’t hold more that a quart. I didn’t know how much fluid was in the reservoir, but I took advantage of the “special”. I decided that any filling station operator clever enough to offer this service deserved to make a profit.

Speaking of filling station “specials”.

Many many years ago a new panty hose was introduced “Legs”. And for some reason you could buy them at Mobil Gas Stations for $1 with each fill-up.

One ingenious station had the following sign.

"Legs Pantyhose - $1 with each fill-up.


It would have been entertaining to see the reaction if someone had taken them up on that :wink:

I should point out that this approach to enhancing revenues is not unique to dealerships. It’s becoming common at all manner of shops.