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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seriously, no shame with these crooks? I understand it's a non-oem filter, but this is what gives car dealers a bad name.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That’s really unfortunate. I would highly recommend showing the service manager that. They need to know what kind of people they have working for them. One unscrupulous tech can ruin the reputation for the whole shop. I would bet they didn’t even open the air box.

Devil’s advocate, it wasn’t the cabin filter that is dirty and they recommended the wrong one was it?
They recommended the cabin filter replacement also, but I haven't gotten around to taking those out and inspecting them. Will post about those when I pull them in the next day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really don't see the big deal. I have spent thousands at dealerships. $50 is fair if that includes labor time and OEM filter. It's a dealership. Time is money. The expectation that they unscrew everything then remove filter, inspect it determine it's lifespan, then come find you, then tell you its not really necessary to replace, then re-install old filter, all for free is ridiculous to me.
I can't fathom how you see this practice as acceptable and not a big deal. Honestly, you make removing and reviewing the filter while doing an oil change like it's a 15-20 minute job...it literally takes no more than 60 seconds when you're waiting for the oil to drain or refilling. No one is asking them to write a detailed description of the cleanliness of the part.

I've never had this type of experience at my Acura, Lexus, and Porsche dealers. When they've told me something (I've tested them on honesty), it's usually at least half to more than half true. I normally pay for diagnostic fees and if I feel comfortable working on it myself, I'll wrench it myself because it gets me more familiar with my cars.

I'm not interested in complaining to the service manager since I walked in on their meeting where the service manager was telling all the service writers than he wants them to push alignments for a discounted price of $99 whether it's needed or not. I was actually pretty surprised that he didn't stop talking when a customer walked into the service area to pick up paperwork during their meeting. To provide some more color to my last statement, I was told by the cashier to get my paperwork from my service writer. I'll most likely drive an additional 20 minutes next time to another dealer and hope they're better than this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am now curious as why you had the car in the dealership service department to begin with? Were you there for an oil change special they were having which included a free multi point inspection?
Just bought the car for my daughter as a first car. It had some front end noises along w/ an airbag light on. I took it in for an standard oil change and paid for diagnostic fees for the SRS light ($99) and suspension noises ($49). They ended up doing a multi-point inspection along w/ my requests. I have a thread on here where they gave me an estimate of over $8,000 for repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ah, I remember your other thread now. So its not really just about the air filter is it? You feel on a whole this dealership is unethical to begin with. I have a custom FI setup now, but I recall the giant airbox being pretty cumbersome due to bulky apparatus and screws. Definitely takes more than 60 seconds. Attached is a video in where he removes old filter for replacement. Interestingly enough the old filter (in YouTube video) looks almost exactly like the one you showed in OP. The new filter clearly looks different, it looks cleaner! So are you saying that you never asked them to remove air filter to begin with and then they quoted you $50 you declined? Or is it that they simply inspected it and you are offended they even recommended you change filter to begin with?
I won't say the entire dealership is unethical, but I will say my first experience with their service department wasn't something I would call "stellar". I do enjoy your slightly condescending tone in trying to make it seem like this is about more than just a $50 part. Also, I disagree...a filter change is no more than 60 seconds if you're using power or air tools rather than hand tools while you're doing an oil change. It took me maybe 120 seconds because it was my first time identifying all the bolts to loosen and finding the appropriate 8mm socket.

Either way, I think we can stop this discussion between us because it seems I offended you since you're okay with these practices and I'm not.

In other news...I would be more interested in seeing your FI setup. I wouldn't want to do it to my particular Element, but always do enjoy learning more about mods others are doing. I have an older tuned 911 twin-turbo with some great go-fast parts and it's always nice to meet others who are tuning their cars for the same reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Wait a minute, so this filter wasn't changed by the dealership? They just quoted that they wanted $50 for parts and labour to change it? If you declined the service, you were smart to do so, a filter can be bought pretty cheap and of course its an easy to do service at home. Its not 60 seconds but its not 20 minutes either. I did break one of my bolts the first time I changed the filter because it was rusty. The other bolts I took the time to clean the threads and oil them before putting it all back together with a new filter installed
No, I declined their service for the filter. I had already ordered a new filter along w/ lots of the maintenance parts/fluids from Majestic Honda. Just placed a second order with them earlier today, but I have enough to keep me busy this weekend.
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
This thread is getting interesting :) I think you know I’m in the DIY crowd. However, sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves.

When a dealership does excess maintenance on a vehicle, it’s a “stealership” ripping off a customer.

On the other hand, if a DIY person on an Internet car forum does Routine Maintenance in excess of recommended schedule, we consider it “Cheap Insurance”.
I do like the comparison because there are definitely many times I go overboard with some maintenance. I think the difference is who's hand is reaching into your wallet when you made these choices. Easier for individuals to accept that they're spending more based on their own decisions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Often times when these bolts break you can unscrew the broken threaded portion out by hand or with a pair of vice grips. New bolts are a couple bucks. Just an FYI :)
In my short time with this Honda, I feel as though the hardness used on some of the bolts is pretty impressive. I was fully expecting a few of of the bolts during my propeller shaft replacement job to snap, but I was impressed each time they came out without much hesitation.

Misconception here, no flat rate paid tech "waits" for oil to drain, not 1 second. There is always something else that needs to be done, and time is money.
Flat rate was conceived to motivate workers. The flip side is, if we were paid by the hour, only the bare minimum would be done, profits for the shop would drop.
There is it...the balancing act for a tech to do a good/proper job vs. just trying to run up a number that management wants run up. I'm going to ask my next question out of sheer ignorance, is it the same at smaller mom/pop shops in the industry as a standard or just at dealerships?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Small mom and pop shops have way less overhead than dealers or chain stores. So they tend to not be as aggressive with upselling.

But it still depends what how the small bushiness owner runs the shop. I can say for sure, with 44 years in dealerships, it's all about profits. We are only here to make money, if we fix a few cars it's a bonus. No such thing as doing a proper/good job, all that matters is hours billed. It's a miserable biz, cannot wait to get the f*ck out and retire.

Soon there will be a major shortage of techs, no young blood is coming in here to work.. The pays sucks, buying tools is expensive, constant changes in technology, constant training updates. Working conditions are miserable. Kids today have no interest in physical work.
Thanks for your reply and hope you get to retire soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
My tone was not meant as condescending, and am not particularly offended, it's just the whole premise of this thread seems weird to me. I could see it maybe being somewhat offensive to some on this forum that actually work on cars for their profession though. 07LMNT can speak more on that, both of us have been on this forum many years. I think there are different expectations that people have with service at a Honda dealership versus a mom and pop place and the prices reflect that. I have many threads in the performance section of this forum that go way back along with dyno sheets, and videos, extra. I will also be at the Dragon Element meet in NC 5/14.
Great build and your dyno looks great for the RWHP...how do stock internals, trans, and supporting components handle a big boost like that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I will advise anyone, esp your age to get the hell out of this biz. It's only going to get worse when the EV's become the norm.
The other trades have overtaken the car repair industry. I recommend to the kids that do come here, look into HVAC or electrician career. They stay here a month or two, see the crap we have to put up with, and move on.
My yearly average is the same as I made in 1997, not including inflation. Every year since 2008 it has gone down due to less hours produced. The work is harder, the cars more tech, hours per labor op cut. I didn't take stupid pills, I work just as hard as ever, yet make less. And then have to hear some customer bitch about a frekin air filter price.
Definitely not complaining about the price of the air filter and I kind of feel like a broken record on it. I'm complaining about taking $50 and throwing it out the window on a part that isn't ready to be replaced. To me, it's similiar to doing oil changes every 1,000 miles. If it actually needed a new filter, $50 seems fair for immediate resolution vs. ordering online and waiting.

I have a friend who used to work as a Master BMW tech at a local BMW dealer...he got burnt out after 10 years with the dealership...got addicted to drugs/alcohol from others at the dealer and finally decided to open his own shop. Now he works on all german variety cars, has a successful business, and is considered by many to be one of the most honest repair shop in town. Whenever he's done work for me on some of my other cars, I've never questioned him on costs...but then again, that's what doing honest business will get you.

Sounds like dealership are leaving their techs in nearly impossible to win situations with time constraints (which I learned in this thread thanks to you guys) while the management is reaping the rewards. Price for labor has been steadily going up over the years at dealerships, yet your compensation isn't increased at the same pace...they're definitely not spending the extra on their coffee and donuts.
 
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