DEALERSHIPS OR STEALERSHIPS                                                                                                     Andy Hollifield 10-30-19

I don’t usually like to write a post griping about anything but today I am going to make an exception. I mean no offense to any of my friends or anyone’s family but this is strictly my opinion based on my experience with the paperwork to back it up.

We recently received a recall notice on our Honda CRV. It was for the passenger side airbag again. It was the second recall since Takata Corporation had all of its problems a few years ago. When we called the Honda Corporation we were told to call and schedule an appointment with a Honda dealer which we did. We dropped it off one afternoon to pick up the next evening. The lady who signed us in was very helpful and courteous.

The next morning I received a phone call from the dealership stating that I had some serious maintenance issues that needed to be repaired. The first item mentioned was the control arm bushings. I was told that they were completely blown out and I had metal on metal contact that would at some point result in breakage and an accident. The second thing was that my rear brake pads had only 2 millimeters of surface area and needed to be changed immediately. The gentleman asked if I would like for them to take care of those issues while they had my vehicle. Knowing the outrageous prices for service in dealerships and the fact they love to sell parts, I told him I had a mechanic and would just take the vehicle to him. He acted like he couldn’t believe I didn’t want them to do the work.

The next evening I took it to my mechanic and asked him to check it out. While he had it up on the rack he showed me the bushings. They were still in place and in good condition with only a slight amount of weathering. That being the case there was obviously no metal on metal contact as I had been told. Afterward, we inspected the rear brakes. I had told the man when he had called that I would probably do the brakes myself. My mechanic pointed out that the rear pads on the vehicle still had over half of the pad remaining and far more than the 2 millimeters I had been told.

Out of curiosity, I checked the parts prices on the Autozone website. The bushings like the ones in my CRV cost 10.99 each. There were two of them and the repair cost at the dealership was going to be 488.72. They would have replaced my parts and I would have never been the wiser if I had let them. The second-highest priced rear brake pads at Autozone were 49.99. They also stated that I would need to have the rotors turned. What they didn’t know was that I had replaced the rotors within the last two years and the pads more recent than that. You can have rotors turned for about 25.00 each if I am not mistaken, or you can buy new ones for 49.99 each at Autozone. Their price for replacing the rear pads and turning the rotors would have been 233.56.

They also had 3 other items they didn’t even mention to me. A brake system flush for 130.40. Also a coolant change for 91.39. The coolant capacity is about 7.4 quarts and it is recommended to use a blend of 50% water and 50% coolant. Less than 2 gallons for over 91.00. There was also a power steering flush for only 111.02. The last time there was a recall they tried to get me to let them repair my safety restraint system because the light was on. It would have only cost 98.00 but that was only for diagnosis not for the repair. I told them I already knew what was wrong with it and it hadn’t cost me 98 dollars to find out.

This is an account of my recent experience. For another vehicle and another dealership, I once purchased wheel stud bolts for 14 dollars each. They didn’t fit my aftermarket hub assembly so I found the correct ones at Autozone for about five dollars each. Even that dealership didn’t try to sell me a bunch of stuff when they did recall work on my truck. They offered their services such as an oil change but I politely declined. I have been told horror stories by people I know who have worked as mechanics in various dealerships. It was from these people that I got the name: “stealerships.”
If you would like to add your experiences feel free. You might have noticed I haven’t mentioned the name of any dealerships or individuals.  That was for legal purposes.   I also included much of this info on an email survey they made the mistake of asking me to fill out. All I can say is “Thank God for independent mechanics.” These types of experiences make anyone appreciate them more and more. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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