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A Honda dealer’s service dep’t flunked my Honda Civic on the state safety inspection, and required me to replace a) bushings ($698), b) engine mount ($260). Took the car to another service station where two guys found nothing wrong with the bushings. They passed the car on the safety inspection after making other repairs, all of which cost me about 30 percent of what the Honda dealership was asking. Question: Is it possible that the dealership was trying to rip me off?

My Honda has 123K miles on it.

Sure it’s possible, and it’s possible the other shop failed to see a problem. Hard to tell from here. How long have you owned it? Do you notice any noises or vibrations that are new? Any squeeks or thumps or rattles going over bumps?

Bushings ? , what bushings ?

It could be that the safety inspection is opinion relative.
The dealer wants it show room new and a the indy will pass it as ‘good eneough’.

Only IF you’re having issues related to those “bushings” would you need to repair.

What? A car dealership trying to rip someone off?

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Thanks, Texases, Ken Green and mcparadise. Ken: I’ll take your advice and not worry about the bushings until I have some issues that might relate to them. Yes, Texases, the car does rattle a bit much, possibly because its underside used to hit the driveaway until I started being a lot slower and gentler when entering the somewhat raised entrance to my house.
Agains, thanaks

If you want to pay the highest price for parts and service go to a dealer

Agreed with Mr. Green that the condition of something can be subjective to a certain extent.
I’ve seen countless parts that had been checked and determined to be good when in reality they were far from it.

I can’t speak for the inspection program in the state the OP is from but the one they had here in OK before doing away with it was a joke.
There were several fine print, single-spaced pages on how to properly inspect a cracked windshield and the criteria for passing or flunking it.
I could not decipher one sentence of this garbage. When I asked the DPS official who was speaking about it if he could actually comprehend any of that gobbledy-gook he hesitated for a full minute or so, gave a wry smile, and stated that he did not understand it either.
His suggestion to all of us? “Use your own judgement”.

Yeah, not that simple. Plenty of independent shops charge as much or more per hour, plus are more likely to add hours to the book time simply because they can. Additionally, if they use OEM parts they typically buy them from a dealer at 15-20% off list, but are not required to stick to list price, often charging more than the delaer would. Similarly, they may use inferior aftermarket parts charging close to or as much as the dealer would charge for OEM.
Another factor is product knowledge. Systems are more complex now, and dealer mechanics are often more specialized in your vehicle. Kind of like going to your family doctor for a kidney transplant because he’s cheaper than a specialist.

I can back these up 100% with experience. I was a service advisor for an independent shop which comes up as recommended in these repair files. Shop rate was $120/hr, and we were ordered to add time over Alldata for every job we did, and get 40% or more on ALL parts.

Sounds like a real sleazy shop you worked for…

Yes you’ll find independents who are work that way…And guess what…I don’t go there…I have 3 independents I’ve used over the years…

. Their hourly rate is almost half what the dealer rate is…
. they don’t charge over Alldata…
. they buy from the dealer at a discounted rate and pass part of that savings on to their customers (if the part retails for $100…they buy it for $80…but only charge the customer $90).
. They will use YOUR parts if you bring them in.

Where I bought my 98 Pathfinder…the dealer is EXCELLENT…Great service…I drove 30 miles PAST another Nissan dealer because they were very very sleazy…