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Posts by people with newer cars

Has anyone noticed the increasing number of posts from people with newer cars (presumably still under warranty), most of them in the “ask the man that owns one” category, reporting a problem with their newish car and asking how to fix it? I have a theory that most of this is caused by folks who have been so badly abused by their dealers’ service departments in the past that they don’t want to even go there for warranty service. I’m curious what some of you think about it.

By the way, Jim Moltavelli has a great column today about how dealers really need to improve the service experience.

Based on what I read and general experience, people generally fear dealing with auto repair facilities. Others just seem to be ignorant of their warranties. Some people just want to comiserate their problems with other so they can have a little whine-fest. Some people screwed up, knew they screwed up, and want strangers to tell them is is OK that they screwed up. Some act like we will just jump out of the internet and fix their cars for free. I am sure there are other reads on these folks as well.

Seems like a little bit of everything here.


+1 to Mustangman’s post. The level of ignorance of the general public is sometimes beyond belief.
Not that ignorance is anything to be ashamed of, but in so many cases that ignorance could easily be remedied by reading the Owner’s Manual, and/or their vehicle’s various warranties, and/or the maintenance schedule that came with the vehicle.

On the topic of maintenance schedules, why do so many people seem to be unable to decipher verbiage such as “every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first”? They appear to understand the proviso about mileage, but can’t seem to wrap their heads around the rest of the sentence, and then wind up changing the oil on their seldom-driven vehicle every 2 or 3 years. Then, they come to this site to complain about their “lemon” car that has a totally sludged-up engine after a few years.

I knew somebody who was buying a brand new car, and he asked me which mechanic he should take it to for a pre-purchase inspection. I will give him credit for knowing about pre-purchase inspections, but… on a brand new (12 miles on the odometer) car? I had to work really hard to talk him out of wasting his money on that pre-purchase inspection.

And, even if people are fearful of car dealership service departments, why would they even think about repairing new car problems on their own dime–especially when those repairs could wind-up voiding at least a portion of the warranty?


Right on cue… a poster asked about a CEL on a 2 year old Toyota!

Just to return to that allegedly confusing maintenance proviso of X miles or X months, whichever comes first, I think that some people believe this type of wording to be something new, and thus–“tricky” for the average person. Well, in going through my late father’s possessions, I recently came across the Owner’s Manual from his '66 Ford Galaxie 500. This compact booklet consists of a total of 72 pages, and that total includes the Maintenance Schedule!

It was in either '65 or '66 that Ford went to extended oil change intervals, along with long-life chassis lubrication. In addition to upgraded oil specifications, Ford began using a higher temperature thermostat in order to help achieve extended oil change intervals.

What am I leading up to, you ask?
I will give you all a verbatim quote from the 1966 Ford Maintenance Schedule:
"Operations listed below should be performed at a 6,000 mile or 6 month interval (whichever comes first) from the last scheduled maintenance".

Ummm… no…


I like that people post issues with their newer cars. Helps me decide which ones to avoid in the future if enough posts mention the same make! Or at least gives you an idea what to look out for if you’re interested in the vehicle they own.

I have had vehicles myself that were under warranty and the dealerships were no help. Engine noises are often explained away as “normal”. I owned a 2008 Sierra that I bought used with 52k miles. It was under warranty until I reached 100k or 5 years (I think). I’m fairly certain it had lifter problems as it would ping or spark knock the entire time it was in V4 mode. The dealers said things like “these new engine just make different noises”. Which would be an ok explanation if you could tell me what the noise is. I also got told it was “the crappy gas they sell now”. Which is an ok explanation too if I could find “good” gas. I already bought “top tier” fuel. I traded it away at about 72k miles. I also had a 2013 f150 with a 5.0 that started knocking when it was up to temp. I bought that one new and the knocking started around 17k miles. They cut the filter open and looked for metal shavings. They checked the crank shaft for end play (I think). When they didn’t find anything, they said it was fine. So it went from “it may be play in the crankshaft” to “it’s fine, bring it back if it gets worse”. Kinda embarrassing driving a truck with 17k miles that knocks loud enough at times that you can hear it with the windows up.

My point is, a warranty is great, but if they say it’s normal or “they all do that”, you’re really kind of screwed, warranty or not. So that’s frustrating.

Not that anyone here is probably going to be able to do anything for the poster with the warrantied vehicle, I suppose.

5.3 liter, I suppose . . . ?!

We had . . . and still have . . . many GM trucks and suvs in our fleet with the 5.3 liter V8. And they’ve had a ton of mechanical problems. In my opinion, it would have been smarter to spend a little more to get the bigger and simpler 6.0 and spend less money on repairs. The trucks would have had less down time, not sure if you can put a price on that

Yep, it was a 5.3. I drive a truck with a 4.8 now! Equal reliability to the 6.0. Much less power. But I got a good deal on it and I’m pretty happy with it.

I didn’t do enough research before I bought the 08. I was unaware of the cylinder deactivation deal and assumed it was like the earlier 5.3’s, which were basically the same as the 4.8 and 6.0. So my fault for not researching more.

Not sure what I’ll get when I decide to buy again. I’d kinda like to have one more brand new truck. All the 1/2 ton motors seem overcomplicated these days. May have to go 3/4 ton next time, although I absolutely do not need that much truck. Or maybe we’ll get my wife a new ride again and I’ll keep driving old junk :nerd_face:

The only way on God’s Green Earth that car dealer service will improve and be done as it should be is if the dealer actually cares about service after the sale. I don’t mean the false front they put on about caring.
Since that ain’t gonna happen…

Not only a dealer that cares but a service manager and service writers who actually know what they’re talking about would help immensely. I’ve always felt there was a big disconnect between the customer and the mechanic.

I really haven’t had any problem with either Acura or the GM dealer. I did change Acura dealers though because it took too long to get an appointment but likely will switch back again on the next car. Too far away. Outside of servicing, the only warranty issue I had was with the rear shocks and they replaced them no problem. I was out of there by noon. $700 on the invoice but no charge. On previous Acuras they even did the timing belt and kit no charge because they couldn’t get the noise out. I suppose that was about a $600 job.

On my Pontiac, they replaced the $700 cat an no problem with that. Just verified the code and done deal.

So I can’t complain.

Because we’re constantly lied to in the name of market capitalism, and unless you have at least a passing familiarity with the subject at hand, it’s sometimes hard to decipher when you’re being told a lie and when it’s the truth.

We’re told that Crest is the “best” anti-cavity toothpaste without being told that “best” is a specific marketing term that means “no better or worse than any other parity product in its category,” and that if you really want the “best” toothpaste, look for the one saying it’s “better,” because that’s an actual statement of comparison that will get them in trouble if it’s a lie.

We’re told that Cascade dish powder leaves dishes “virtually spotless,” but are not told that in marketing speak, that means “not spotless.” News anchors will tell us that “some people say (controversial statement)” which really means “I said that to generate a story, I’m ‘some people,’ and therefore it’s technically true.”

The list goes on, virtually up to 99.9% of forever, guaranteed (terms and conditions apply).

Specifically regarding oil changes, just about every shop out there still puts 3 months/3000 mile intervals on that oil change sticker they afix to your windshield, even though no manufacturer except maybe Lada recommends such a short interval anymore.

So it’s not terribly surprising when someone sees “every 6 months” and wonders “huh, do I really need to do that, or is the company covering its butt against warranty claims by artificially shortening the maintenance interval?”

For most people taking a car to any place to be serviced is a terrific pain in the butt. They work every day, they have kids to taxi around and a mother-in-law to pick up from here and drop there, they have a “voluntary” staff meeting at 5, the school just called to report that Junior puked in 3rd period class. The Dentist keeps reminding them to come in for a cleaning soon.

And the dealer is across town, 5 miles from anywhere they have to be, and is conveniently open from 8:00 am to 5 pm.

And we wonder why they would rather look for a way out of a problem on the Internet at 9:45 at night?


Loaner cars are out there, and many provide a free shuttle… Part of life.

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All of the dealerships in my area provide free loaner cars if a repair will take more than 24 hours, and even the local Shell station provides a free shuttle service if their repairs will take 2 or 3 hours.

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Most our local dealer service is open far longer than 8 to 5 plus weekends.

It doesn’t help that the manual will have one maintenance schedule, but the dealer often has its own maintenance schedule which, incidentally, is often a shake down. I know GM has put out TSBs to it’s dealers to try to indicate that it doesn’t endorse or warrant any of these extra services (BG/Castle Flushes, etc.), but so much of the dealerships money is made in service that the new cars low maintenance requirements don’t sit well. The differences between the manufacturers recommended maintenance and the dealerships is at times absolutely striking.

Same here man. When I bought my 2013 I specifically searched for the 4.8 to avoid the cylinder deactivation stuff. I think they got it together now…