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25,000 Mile Scheduled Service Rip Off?

4326 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jiminwantagh
I dropped my Honda Element off at the local Honda Dealer to have the 25K Servicing done. They charged me $360. There were no unusual issues or maintenance according to them - it was all "what they do no matter what."

Apart from charging me for the tire rotation, which I agree is proper, they charged me another $80 in labor for "computerized four wheel alignments." First, the car didn't need this and second why would this take 1.5 hours. When I looked at their original work order they had this in there "no matter what." The car's alignment was absolutely fine. They merely checked it.

They also charged me a total of $104.26 for "VPS fuel rail injector cleaner." According to them this cleans out my injector system and removes deposits to restore economy and performance. This was done even though the car runs great and my mileage is the same as the day I picked the car up.

Lastly, they charged me almost $13 for oil and fuel additives. Since, I just changed the oil, by them, with synthetic, I see this as padding, unfriendly to the environment, and basically a way of forcing me to buy Valvoline products at a healthy markup.

I've researched the Honda literature, including the manuals provided, and none of the above is called for when doing "scheduled maintenance." When I asked if something was "wrong" with my alignment they said "no" but they check it anyway.

If this was your wife's car would you tell her "they ripped us off honey?"
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Sounds like a wallet flush procedure to me. Next time tell them (or another dealer, preferably) to do only what's in the manual, nothing else without your permission.
Sounds like a wallet flush procedure to me. Next time tell them (or another dealer, preferably) to do only what's in the manual, nothing else without your permission.
Agreed. If you have your manual, when you know you're coming up to a service interval, take a look at what's specified, and then tell the dealer/mechanic to do only X, Y, Z, and Q, listing each item you want done specifically.

Speaking of wallet flush procedures, you mentioned a 25,000 service interval. Are you following the Severe Duty schedule, or did the dealership tell you that you have a 5,000 mile service interval? My dealership offered me "free oil changes for life" on "non-major service" intervals. The trick was that they claimed the service interval was 5,000 miles, and they padded a bunch of extra stuff into their "major service" intervals, which of course were also more frequent then were specified by the manual. Of course, I took advantage of the first free oil change, but after that I passed.
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$200 Refund!

I called up the service manager and asked "what would you say to your wife if she came home with this bill?" There was some slipping and sliding there but he wanted to "make sure I was a satisfied customer" and quickly removed $200 from the bill. He agreed that they should have talked to me about the fuel/oil additives, alignment, and fuel injection powerflush rather than merely doing them. I was happy they gave me the money back but angry b/c they tried to fleece me. You know that one out of fifty people says something. Either you speed past the dealers and save or go in there with a list, obtained from Honda's manual, and tell them what to do. Sad.

To the responders - thanks much for the ammo before I called.
Good Read!
I will be looking at this stuff later on! My dealer seems to be on the up & up so far but I will be keeping an eye on them! :cool:
Service is where the long run money is. They all have their own version of service intervals and activities.

I've learned to look at exactly what the "incredible package" is and have the service writer mark through all the extra's.

The Service Writer is the one at fault directly to you on this scenario. He/She should had gone through the details. And of course there's the dealership setting and promoting said programs ultimately, too.
Last time I went to my dealer for oil change and tire rotation they tried to pull the same crap. Wanted to charge $365 for the 30k service package! :mad: Then when they wrote up my bill they listed "customer declined major service package" :rolleyes:
They top off all the fluids anyway and check the brakes and stuff, (and give me that nice color-coded sheet with the specs)and of course they never tell you upfront what exactly the package is... :rolleyes: yes they have to make money, but they dont have to be sneaky about it...
Yeah, I give them an "A" for effort.....but I tell them what I need done. The list of crap they have posted on the wall for checkups is B.S! They are in business to make money, and I'm right here saving it.....and their coffee sucks, too! :lol:
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