60,000 mile “maintenance”

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Have you ever taken your car in for one of the major “maintenance” jobs? 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 etc. Well, I have been doing this fairly regularly over the years and every time I’m due for one, I get angry. I can’t help it. It always happens the same way when I call to schedule:

  • Me: Hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment for an oil change.
  • Service: How many miles do you have on the vehicle?
  • Me: 60,000
  • Service: Oh, then you’ll also need the 60,000 mile maintenance, would you like to schedule that as well?
  • Me: Well, what does that entail?
  • Service: We change the oil, lubricate a few things, rotate the tires, give you some new spark plugs, check the belts, check the hoses, check air filters, check tire pressure, check johnson rods, check brake fluid, check the coffee level in our coffee mugs, check what time it is, check on how Johnny’s kid’s high school football game went last night….
  • Me: Oh, well, you indicated you check a lot of things, anything you actually “do” besides the oil change?
  • Service: Yes, we give you new spark plugs and rotate the tires. And, you need a record indicating you’ve gotten all of your maintenance done and your car checked regularly if you want to keep the warranty valid on your car. And we keep that here for you, nicely organized. Without this maintenance record, the manufacturer may not have to honor the warranty.
  • Me: What?
  • Service: And that will come to $542.
  • Me: $542!?! Seriously? But an oil change, tire rotation, spark plug replacement is on special down the block for $49…I’d guess they could check on a few things too while they’re at it…
  • Service: Actually, if you add up all that we do for a maintenance, it comes out pretty close to that total.
  • Me: Ummm, pretty close?
  • Service: Is there a day that works best for you?
  • Me: I’ll have to…check.

(Taken nearly verbatim from an actual conversation with a dealership 20 minutes ago).

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14 Responses to “60,000 mile “maintenance””

  1. Cate Says:

    I am always suspicious when a car dealer tells me something is necessary for some purpose or another. I have never– not once– paid close to that amount for regular maintenance. Sounds fishy to me; I’d go to the place where it’s on special and keep your receipt. It’s not worth an extra $493, IMO, to have your dealer book keep for you. ;)

    I wonder if the dealerships are orchestrating their own back-room bailout in case Congress stonewalls them. ;)

  2. Chris Belanger Says:

    After the vehicle is out of warranty, don’t go to the dealer. Their cost structure is high and as a result they charge high labor and parts fees. Instead, go to, for example, a Midas auto repair shop. The quality of the parts is identical and the skill of the work is as good or better than a dealer. (full disclosure – I own a Midas)

    Go Pack!

  3. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    oh yeah, johnson rod. you better put one of those in.

    i wonder what $542 x the number of ‘regularly scheduled maintenence’ thingers you have to have during the warranty comes out to? i bet it’s slightly more than one of those expensive, cover-all 100,000mile warranties they try to sell you when you buy the car. i bet it’s also much more than kissing the warranty goodbye and getting any needed maintenance done by a real mechanic.

    i love how pitiful basic warranties are – like ‘if we accidentally made the frame of the car out of cheese, and it melts in the sun, we’ll cover half of the repairs, unless we find out that you used your brakes unnecessarily to avoid smearing a small wounded bird all over your children’s chalk drawings in your driveway, because brake-heat causes premature meltage.’ i mean, that’s only ever happened to like 2 or 3 people i know. not worth the money.

    if the dealers put the ‘back-room bailout’ money away that they’ve made during the last 20 years on crap like this, they’d have enough to force a hostile takeover of every major auto corporation whose name starts with a letter of the alphabet.

  4. awhayes Says:

    word Joshy, word.

  5. PackSmack Says:

    Awesome conversation with the swindlers, er, mechanics.

  6. sfhayes Says:

    My johnson rod cracked last year. $4000.

  7. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    that’s just about enough of your personal life steve.

    http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=18

  8. bucky Says:

    I’ve treated my Johnson rod pretty roughly, and I’ve never needed to replace it, rebuild it, or supplement it. I’m pretty sure the warranty is expired too.

  9. Aaron Rogders Says:

    Any secrets on how to make your Johnson rod last longer?

  10. PackSmack Says:

    Warranty or not, that mechanic ain’t touching it. But ya gotta wonder how fast Steve was driving to get his broken.

  11. DaveK Says:

    I have some of my work done at a Midas and a local shop. They both have the factory maintenance requirements in their system for my vehicles. I just call them up and ask them a quote for the 30k/60k/xyz mainteance package. I always have them run down what that includes and it is always the same work as the dealer package. I am thus getting three quotes on maintenance work that is fairly basic and it takes about 15 minutes on the phone. I have had the dealer come out cheaper only once. Besides, getting your work done at the dealer is NOT a requirement of the warranty. You just have to save receipts and records that you in fact got the work done and even if you lose them most shops keep that all on record. Just have them print out a service history if needed.

  12. scott in wisconsin Says:

    Dudes i bought a USED hyundai and I’ve taken it to the shop four times for various things and have yet to pay. And I get my oil changed at a quickie lube. This is my first foreign car and won’t be my last. I’ve had the transmission on my Ford Explorer switched out already and I’ve only got 60k miles on it. Vaya con dios, Ford/GM.

  13. False Nails · Says:

    you should always check their backgrounds first if they are reliable car dealers .*,

  14. Scaffolding Boards Says:

    oil change needs to be done as often as possible to maintain the good performance of any kind of machinery “::

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