Unnecessary dealer work?


#1

I have a 2005 Toyota Sienna, about 63K miles, and took it to the dealer for service, the 60K checkup, plus to fix a couple of little things. They called me back, wanting to do $90 power steering flush, an $80 brake fluid flush, clean the battery terminals for $35, and also something called an “induction flush” for $150. I told him no to all of these things. I know I can clean the batteries, I doubt that the “induction system” is that bad off, and who knows about these fluid flush things? I assume this is the dealer just trying to make some extra cash, but I want some other opinions. Does it ever make sense to flush these fluid systems?

I know someone will ask me why I would go to the dealer for this stuff. I live in a smaller town, and I have a couple of mechanic acquaintances who I trust, but they are always really busy. The last time I spoke with either of them, they were two weeks behind in what they were doing. I go to a local franchise-type place (no names, please) for oil changes, but I thought this time, I would go to the dealer for the CV joint inspections, etc. But, this is probably the last time. I’m posting this for any feedback. Thanks!


#2

Find another dealer,or find new mechanic friends.


#3

Sounds like good advice, but keep in mind that this dealer is 75 miles away, but my job has me going there once per week anyway. The NEXT nearest dealer is about 120 miles away. I’ll just save the dealer for recall/warranty stuff. If I need anything serious, I’ll probably just “get on the list” with the mechanics that I know. Finding a new mechanic seems shaky to me, I’ll just wait.


#4

The prices for all of these seem high. Check your owner’s manual maintenance requirements for the need for the PS flush.
Brake flush could be done in 1/2 hour; is OK to do at two years and 63K miles.
Battery cable clean (do both ends) is a good precaution too.
Never heard of an induction flush.


#5

All those prices are high and none need to be done by the dealer. The only one that is likely needed is the brake fluid flush and they are charging too much.

 Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.

#6

the only caveat to this is if your vehicle is under warranty by a dealer, then you go there, but if this is on your dime, go, run away, as fast as you can!

you CAN continue to go to the dealer, but this is why i HATE stealership service writers!

this problem is NOT with the mechanics who work at the dealership; it is the service writer who convinces gullible cutomers to have unneeded, unnecessary work done.

congratulations to you for standing up to them and saying NO!

now find a mechanic who does have time for you, near you, and go there for repairs.

talk to neighbors, friends, and co workers to get references of local mechanics.

if you have to drive 60 miles to go to a dealer, i am sure you will find a local mechanic who is closer.