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Lets hear it for the dealership!

The problem was intermittent. For a period of time the car did just fine,and on a few days it would just act crazy. I think that when you hear, a mechanic you trust, tell you after his diagnostic that the “car runs like crap” and doesn’t offer a suggestion of what he thinks may be occuring or fix the problem it is frustating. The part was the module. Just used their description from the workorder.

I’m glad you are applying better practices at your dealership. I didn’t post to berate independents or dealerships. I guess that my experience this time made me stand up and cheer for fixing a problem I sought help on for some time.

Unfortunately, I did have a bad experience with a Ford dealership. This happened many years ago and it did leave a bad memory. I took my 1982 Ford Escort to a dealership for hesitation. I got a call from the service department rep. stating that the mechanic said I needed a new engine. I went home with the car, deciding to get rid of it, and started pulling spark plug wires off and changing each one at a time. Finally, I hit jackpot. One wire was defective. After replacing them all the car ran great.

I went back to the dealership and talked the rep. at the service desk. He told me he had his best mechanic on my car and you should have seen the look of embarrasement on his face. Believe, give a customer a good experience always and they will come back. A bad one made me stop dealing with that Ford dealership.

I’m glad to see a positve comment about a dealership. As posted, dealerships are independently owned. It is up to the owner to retain good people.

Many good people leave dealerships because of low salaries, rampant nepotism of incompetent family members.The owner is usually fooling around with a secretary or sales woman etc…who tell the owner who they like and don’t.It usually has nothing to do with employee competence, just who she doesn’t like for one reason or another.

Independent shops can blow off a customer with a weird problem. Dealerships can’t.
Dealerships are required to buy all sorts of special tools, many that stay boxed up and never used, because the part or problem they fix never breaks down

Dealerships have a much higher overhead. A wash bay is in constant use. Every customer expects their car to be washed for some reason. Personnel are needed to shuttle customers home and work, take vehicles to have bed liners sprayed in , DVD players installed in vehicles that don’t come with them etc…

As a former GM Service Director, dealerships are a pressure cooker to run.Appointments with customers, Service District reps, Parts Reps ,Warranty Reps. Keeping the shop productive, keeping the Sales Dept happy , staying on top of the Service Advisers etc…Its not an easy job.Small dealerships run 120-140 customers through the shop every day.

You never hear from the happy customers,only the complainers.

I wouldn’t generalize that…I can show you a independent mechanic who’ll out diagnose ANY Ford/GM/Chryco or Honda mechanic working at a dealership. This guy doesn’t need to consult with the factory…In fact some local GM and Ford dealers have sent him cars because their mechanics couldn’t fix it.

This was not a post to pit dealership’s mechanics against independents. This post was only to state how estactic I was to finally have a problem remedied. There are a lot of good dealerships and independents out there. But, it almost becomes a needle in the haystack trying to weed out the for profit only ones and the customer “I” care ones.

The problem hasn’t reoccured and that was music to my senses. But, one caveat is it seems as if dealerships, my opinion, are moving away from repairing older cars. I’m speaking mainly about GM dealerships. I had a problem with two 96’ GM vehicles. Both dealerships were moving toward replacing the PCCM on both cars and indicating that this may not fix my problems in the near future. One even stated that they aren’t happy to work on older cars because problems crop up all the time because of those computers. He stated that the new vehicles have much better computer systems in them. That shop only charged me for the diagnostic. I felt later, that it was a pitch to buy a much newer model vehicle.

I still patronize independents more frequently than dealerships because of cost. But, anyone would feel the same, whether it is a dealership or independent, when a problem is resolved that took independents nearly a year or better to diagnose and fix.

Agreed. I have had similar experiences. I have found that Honda dealerships I have gone to for service have more reasonable prices for maintenance than independent shops. However, the opposite seems to be true for repairs.

The guys here seem to be biased for independent shops, partly, I think, because some of them own their own shops, and partly because others aspire to own their own shops. You can find just as many incompetent and crooked independent mechanics as you can find incompetent and crooked dealerships.

This was not a post to pit dealership’s mechanics against independents.

That may not have been your intent, but these threads sometimes take on a life of their own. This can be a hot topic.

I just had my first experience with the Mazda service department, and will most likely be my last as well. Though I should have read the invoice before I left the place, I was in a hurry to get back on the road and get home(it’s an hour drive AND the closest Mazda dealership to me)
First off, the oil cap shows to use 5w30, but the invoice shows they used 5w20. Then, without even asking me, they added a bottle of something called Krex graphite lubricant( http://www.krexinc.com/index.cfm/go/main.graphite_engine_lubricant for a good laugh)and charged me $6 for it.
Guess it really does go to show the difference between small town shops and big city shops

The guys here seem to be biased for independent shops, partly, I think, because …

there are several other reasons I am sure. Some have validity and some not. With some it could be personal experience whether good or bad. With others it could be something like what thier buddy over exagerated, what they read in a biased publication or simply that the hosts of this site recommend indies.

You are correct, it not the name above the door but the integrity and wisdom in the one with the wrench.

We often recommend independents over dealers because dealers generally have to use only parts from the auto manufactureres distribution system and these are generally much more expensive than aftermarket replacement parts. And dealer shop rates are generally higher too. More overhead to cover.

The other reason is that dealerships will generally do everything possibel to have you talk only to the “service representative” and they often don’t know squat so they BS their way through and sometimes botch things up through poor communication.

You’ve apparently found a good dealership shop. Stick with them. Good shops should be supported.

Sincere best.

We often recommend independents over dealers because dealers generally have to use only parts from the auto manufactureres distribution system…

Sure they want to use thier parts, partly for the money and partly they will guarantee the part. If an aftermarket/lkq/reman outside the dealer is used the part will not be warrantied.

They will use them in certain cases.
oe part is n/a
oe is a stupid high price and alternate is reasonable
customer wants alternate because of reason #2

local dealer installed a m/cylinder upon customer request, m/cyl failed and customer rear ended someone and totaled his car. no warranty.

its better than no sale in thier eyes