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Thread: Car Service

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Car Service

    Yes, I know we've done "car" threads before but it's been awhile. AIB Geog Planner:

    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    General Motors - Despite constant documented complaints with my '04 Chev Malibu, my problem was never fully resolved. About 1,000 miles out of warranty another component failed for the second time. Called GM and they assured me that it would be take care of. Sent the info into them...was supposed to be reimbursed in 6 weeks. 8 weeks passed, called 3 times with no returned calls, finally got someone, was told that they still needed more info and apologized that no one followed up on the case. Still awaiting US$400 for repairs I had to make on a problem that was never fixed. And this from a loyal customer who has never owned anything but Chevy. My next car? A Toyota most liekly.
    The Honda CR-V I got 4 years ago is the best car I have ever owned, and definitely the best brand for service. No hidden charges, they take every complaint seriously and fix it immediately, the service techs have been uniformly great to deal with. I have always had "American" cars before, and service, responsiveness, etc has been "spotty", and that's probably an overstatement.

    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    ZG mentioned that she doesn't complete the surveys for the car dealership's service department. Since my SO is in that industry, I can tell you that those customer surveys have a huge impact! At one dealership where he worked, they impacted the employee bonuses. The surveys are also used to compare and reward dealerships for their good service.
    This is probably the one complaint I have about Honda: when you have your car serviced, they ask how can we do "the survey": phone, email, mail? I say don't bother. They try to make it sound mandatory. If I get mail, I toss it; if they call, I hang up. I'm a Taurus, I'm stubborn; don't try to make me feel like I have to give you "10's" on everything or your children will starve.

  2. #2
    I'm a Chevy owner. A Malibu in fact (1999). It was a GM Certified used car, a lease return. I drove it off the lot, and drove it back the next day for warranty work for condensation in the headlight and a bad relay in the A/C system. It eats brake rotors like potato chips. I blew an intake manifold, and an alternator. My DexCool coolant gummed up, and I had the entire cooling system replaced. I just had to have brake calipers replaced because, as my new mechanic explained it, GM designed the parts with incompatible metals.

    Those are the big ones I can remember off the top of my head. I kept taking it back to the dealer while it remained under warranty, so a few big ticket items were covered. The cooling system (about $1400) and the brake calipers (about $400) were on me, however.

    One thing I have to say is that my work is done much more quickly, and with better customer service, now that I go to my local mechanic vs. the dealership. He keeps me informed, and if there are any issues with work he's done, he addresses them promptly.

    Still, I'm beginning to doubt that I'll buy another GM, or any American car for my next vehicle. I just saw on the TV tonight that Toyota surpassed GM for the #1 sales spot in the US. Gee, I can't imagine why.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Honda Accord (97) is going great with no major headaches, but we take it to a local mechanic and not the dealership. We bought it used certified in 2000 and we took it for service and they bought us a list of things that needed to be corrected (totaling $1500). It was suppossed to be certified. We then took it to a local mechanic we use and he said about half the items on the list were legit, but the others could wait to be done for quite a while. It's my daily commuter car, getting 34 mpg hwy.

    In contrast my Ford Sport Trac (02) is also going great, but I use the dealership for it and its because of their service, price and information. TO be honest I think this dealership is the exception to the rule however. When I bought my previous truck from them they started telling me about their service department for all my needs. I said thanks, but you won't see the truck after the warranty expires. They gave me a certificate for a free service (albeit I had to pay for parts) for the first scheduled maintenance after the warranty. I tried it and they haven't done me wrong.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    '03 Saturn VUE - no complaints with the service, and I use the dealership for everything (including oil changes). It's the third Saturn we've owned (Mrs. Bubba is on her second one), and we've never had an issue with the dealership in any aspect.

    One note about the after-service surveys - the annual reviews for the customer service folks in the Saturn service departments are tied (at least in part) to the responses they get from the customer surveys.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I have a Toyota Truck that I bought used in 2005. The thing is great and the only problems I had were with the sales people (Toyota and Honda vehicles sell themselves, so the salesperson aspect of the deal was lacking). This turck was sold to me as "certified" used, but when I actually checked things, nothing was done with the certified inspection prior to the sale. The salesman sold me a certified vehicle as far as Toyota's warranties were concerned though. So I called the service department at the dealer and they were a complete contrast to the sales. Very helpful and apologetic, they promised to take the truck and perform the cerified inspection on the vehicle to its fullest extent and repair/replace anythign they find. Replacing light bulbs and transfer case fluids, as well as tightening a few things, my truck was good as new, and I was happy with their service.
    After putting my truck in a roadside ditch during the Christmas blizzard last year (which I was able to drive out of... [rugged]), and the subsequent driving over rutted and ice logged roads; I really need an alignment. The Toyota dealer is offering a "Pothole Special" of an alignment, tire rotation and wheel balance for $59.95 this week. Time to try them again!

    My fiance's Saturn is great (bought a year of Saturn prior to GM having a lot of influence over the designs and engineering). Their service department has been GREAT, as well as their sales staff. I love buying cars from Saturn, but now if they would sell something worthwhile mechanically now... but alas, no.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Not all Japanese is good...

    The past issues with my Mazda RX8 are well-chronicled elsewhere on the site, but this is the latest.

    I will be getting my car back from the dealership after its been there for nearly two weeks. It has 59,000 miles and is about to receive its third engine. I have never red-lined the vehicle and am religious about maintenance. The engines in RX8s seem to have engineering errors because engine replacement is quite common in the vehicles--including a full recall to check all of the engines in RX8s. In discussions with my service advisor, she has told me that they are not correcting the defect--merely rebuilding engines. What they are doing amounts to about a 25,000 mile bandaid. How does an engine with three moving parts have this many problems?

    This car will become someone else's problem as soon as I get it back. First step is requesting a buy-back from Mazda and then I'll go from there. Everything has been under the original 60,000 mile warranty, but I bought the Mazda TotalCare extended warranty to 100,000 miles when I bought the car because I didn't know how to work on rotary engines myself.

    There's been some stuff leaked on the Internet from inside Mazda about the RX8that has resulted in a big black eye for them, especially among current RX8 owners (things like the RX8 is not considered in assessing dealership service customer satisfaction anymore).

    Meanwhile, I've been driving a lame-ass Chevy Impala (apologies to M'skis ).

    One thing is for sure... my next car will not be a Mazda. Hopefully a Toyota or Honda.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Forgive me if this sounds cheeky, but if you buy a GM certified vehicle (or anything made in Detroit for that matter) and within a week you have issues, why keep it? The American auto industry has long shown that it's being influenced by a bunch of sales and marketing weasels and not the engineers. When cupholders are more important than instrumentation panels you know you're in trouble.

  8. #8
    A la 'Burb Fixer I had a Mazda and it was a great car. But I took it for service from the dealer I bought it from and they somehow screwed it up -- it was stalling, losing power. Brought it back to 'em and they couldn't find the problem. Ended up going all the way down to Princeton, NJ (from the Plainfield area) to a Mazda dealer there who discovered that the previous dealer had somehow messed up the carburetor: there were brass shavings in the fuel line. When I went back to the dealer I bought it from with the receipt for repairs they pretty much said "sod off". Soured me on Mazda from that day forward.

    Word to the wise: don't ever buy a '98 Isuzu Rodeo or the Honda equivalent (Passport?). The engines will not get 60,000 miles. Period. Run from them!

    And, last this: always, always, always demand they show you the dipstick with oil on it if you take your vehicle to one of the quick-change oil places. Trust me on this.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    A la 'Burb Fixer I had a Mazda and it was a great car. But I took it for service from the dealer I bought it from and they somehow screwed it up -- it was stalling, losing power. Brought it back to 'em and they couldn't find the problem. Ended up going all the way down to Princeton, NJ (from the Plainfield area) to a Mazda dealer there who discovered that the previous dealer had somehow messed up the carburetor: there were brass shavings in the fuel line. When I went back to the dealer I bought it from with the receipt for repairs they pretty much said "sod off". Soured me on Mazda from that day forward.

    Word to the wise: don't ever buy a '98 Isuzu Rodeo or the Honda equivalent (Passport?). The engines will not get 60,000 miles. Period. Run from them!

    And, last this: always, always, always demand they show you the dipstick with oil on it if you take your vehicle to one of the quick-change oil places. Trust me on this.
    That happened to a friend of mine. Since that happened, he watches the crew like a hawk, from the time he pulls in to the time he leaves. Subsequently, he does the dipstick test before he leaves the parking lot.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  10. #10
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    And, last this: always, always, always demand they show you the dipstick with oil on it if you take your vehicle to one of the quick-change oil places. Trust me on this.
    And that they put the oil cap back on! I had a Toyota Corolla that went for an oil change in such a place and they forgot to put the cap back on causing oil to spew all over the engine, soak the hood liner, and a lovely burning smell. Pulled up the hood and the cap was sitting on the engine block, not screwed back in. They got a phone call demanding that the oil soaked hood liner be replaced, the engine cleaned, and more oil put back in. The manager of the place essentially told me to get lost and refused to give me the shop owner's name. I had the fixes done elsewhere, filed a small claim suit, and got a call from the owner with the offer of a settlement check that day and a sincere apology. The shop manager was fired.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by BeansandCod View post
    Forgive me if this sounds cheeky, but if you buy a GM certified vehicle (or anything made in Detroit for that matter) and within a week you have issues, why keep it?
    After the initial repair, it seemed like a great car. And now, since it's started acting up, I just can't afford to ditch a car I've fully paid off, that has zero trade-in value, and start making new payments. Being poor sucks.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    After the initial repair, it seemed like a great car. And now, since it's started acting up, I just can't afford to ditch a car I've fully paid off, that has zero trade-in value, and start making new payments. Being poor sucks.
    I feel your pain. My car is a 95 Chevy Lumina, I bought it used for $1500 and have put 50K miles on it myself without having to do any major work on it other than its maintenance. Now the old girl is back to driving 80 miles a day and while nothing problematic has occurred yet I can feel it coming on, especially since NJ traffic is not particularly kind to older cars. I am hoping that it will last out the summer when I might be in a better position to buy a more recent model car that is more fuel efficient.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  13. #13
         
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    Funny I should see this thread today...I was just going to RANT in the Random Thoughts thread...
    my jeep has been giving me some heating problems for the past year off and on. I had a new radiator put in early last summer, I had a new water pump put in shortly after that, one month ago it started leaking antifreeze, Dad and I put a new water pump on. Saturday night it overheated, Monday night we put a new thermostat on. Yesterday we took it to a shop; today I am having a new engine put in to replace my cracked engine block
    I bought the Jeep with 55k miles on it (its a 2000)..after divorce, not the best credit so needless to say I have a 5 year loan on it and I am still paying on it (for 1.5 more years) and owe too much to sell it for parts (plus otherwise the body, tires, etc are all perfect)...so $2500.00 and a week from now I will have a "new" Jeep Cherokee with about the same amount of $$ in it as I paid for it 3.5 years ago....its a good damn thing I love that truck.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Just got my truck back. After an alignment and tire rotation, it floats like a cloud.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    1999 Toyota Tacome 4WD (Black X-Tra Cab)

    This Bear's Toy truck continues to prowl the highways and byways of this great land, now going on 135,000 miles. I bought it new on the day that my youngest Granddaughter was born, nearly eight years ago.

    Couple problems, nothing major.....and the issues were repaired before a road breakdown. A few months ago I noticed some small drops of red fluid under the truck.....took it in, radiator had a crack that was going to be "major league" soon, so I had it replaced. A few years ago a brake job and a new water pump.

    The only other problem I caused myself.....I was working on the running lights for the boat trailer and made an error in wiring judgement.....cost me nearly $200 to get the new wiring pack module that comes standard with my model of Toy.

    For the first few years I was getting regular preventative maintenance at the local sprawl avenue Toy dealer in west Toledo. The last few years, though, I have been taking it to a friend's automotive repair business in beautiful and charming Swanton, OH.

    I will get a snapshot and post. Hey, Z-Man, since you don't have any teams left in Lord Stanley, take a shot of your Toy.

    Bear
    Last edited by Bear Up North; 26 Apr 2007 at 7:27 PM. Reason: Learn to spell TACOMA, Bear.....
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Honda went in yesterday to the quickie lube for new oil, etc - and yes they put the cap back on and the drain plug too.

    Truck goes to the dealer for the 90,000 mile service today (I'm so happy its payday and the tax refund came). I'm scared I'll get a phone call later this afternoon "Uh yes Mr. Planit this Joe Mechanic working on your truck and couldn't help but notice you need to replace the thingamajig and the dohicky as well." We'll see this weekend how much better it is.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  17. #17
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    I will get a snapshot and post. Hey, Z-Man, since you don't have any teams left in Lord Stanley, take a shot of your Toy.
    Bear
    Oso Grande, As I am home from work today, I will take a shot of my truck as I do my own preventative maintenance in my garage. Oil change time. I may do the math and see if I need to get some synthetic/synth blend oil and bump my changes up to 5,000 miles.

    Oh the decisions I have ahead of me today! (Like where to go for lunch, and when to start drinking)
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18
    maudit anglais
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    My Ford Escort refuses to die! Should take it in for an oil change and tune up though...it is making an annoying squeak when driving along.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    The old Happy Honda just rolled over 100K miles and has had zero work done to it other than oil changes, tires, brake pads and the 90K timing belt/water pump/ hose change. I swear the body is going to rust out from underneath me before the engine goes or even gives me any problems. I know we'll likely be in the market for another car in the next year or so, but it'll be difficult for me to not at least look at another Honda. This one came along after a prolonged an expensive affair with a British job and I can say that there will be no going back.

    As for service, after 4 years I finally found an honest mechanic around here to handle the yearly inspections. He's great and has actually told me to not have work done when I was wrong about a problem. The big stuff like the 90K maintenance was done by the family mechanic when I was in SC over Christmas.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    1995 Saturn here. The list of all the minor repair work I've had done would fill a page. I also have a blown head gasket (common in early Saturn models). It's nice not having to make car payments, but I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Once the Saturn dies I'll buy a certified used Accord or Prius. Buying relatively new (2-3 years old) cars saves a ton of money compared to buying something brand new.

  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Does anyone know anybody with a Honda Fit? I'm interested in a small hatchback as a replacement for zoom-boom (the RX8) and it seems like a pretty good value. I would go for a liberal rollerskate (Suburu Forester), but the dealership is a bit far for service and I prefer to buy vehicles in the city I work in so I give back to the economy more. That, and Honda has an excellent reputation for long-life.

    A Toyota Matrix is a little more expensive and larger, but I also like those. My wife drives a Chevy HHR, so I don't want to go the HHR or PT Cruiser (ugh) route.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Does anyone know anybody with a Honda Fit?
    This is one of the cars I'm eyeing as an replacement for the Escort. Everything I've seen/read so far makes it look like a winner. Will hopefully be test driving one soon...once I fight out the manual/automatic battle with the missus.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Does anyone know anybody with a Honda Fit?
    Good luck finding one! I was interested in a Honda Fit too, but our local dealership has had very few (and we couldn't get an employee discount on it). I don't know if it's been a production problem or what. I have seen only good reviews of the car.

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