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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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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”.
 

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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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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
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 :)
 

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...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.
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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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.
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.
 

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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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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.
I cannot agree more with this statement. Things have to change dramatically and soon or it’s going to get really ugly. I definitely feel I picked the wrong trade. I’m 33 and have been at this for 16 years. I already have chronic back pain and I get to watch my service writers sit back and make more money on the cars that I work on than I do.

Sorry for the thread derail but this just struck a nerve with me… I guess I’m just TRIGGERED! Lol
 

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I cannot agree more with this statement. Things have to change dramatically and soon or it’s going to get really ugly. I definitely feel I picked the wrong trade. I’m 33 and have been at this for 16 years. I already have chronic back pain and I get to watch my service writers sit back and make more money on the cars that I work on than I do.

Sorry for the thread derail but this just struck a nerve with me… I guess I’m just TRIGGERED! Lol
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.
 
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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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The car industry is brutal. If you think working in the service department is bad, then you definitely do not want to work in the bodyshop side of the business. Here, where I am the hourly rate is half of the service department rate. The people in service scratch their heads and can't believe how low the bodyshop rate is. The work is even harder and much dirtier and can be more complex as the cars are mangled and all kinds of bits and pieces are often missing after the car is towed in. The insurance companies are practically dictating the repair shops on everything to their own economic advantage

It's a mess for anyone new coming into either service or bodywork. Often as an apprentice no one will help you even though you are there and getting paid an hourly to learn as an apprentice. You are a threat as you are young and have the energy and enthusiasm and are working for a lower pay too. And since you do not have the knowledge or experience yet to do the hard jobs as a young mechanic you will be given the easier jobs that all the techs want and they are going to resent that.

And for an experienced tech why should you take your time and slow down your own productivity to teach someone new in the business and help them to take your job, what is in it for you that is beneficial? You will get stuck doing all the harder jobs and make less money.

The system is totally screwed up. It is for making the owners big money and they have their headaches too. I literally had one owner tell me sometimes he wishes he could go back to just washing cars! It was so much stress and headache. Long gone are the days when you would set up a dealership and almost never renovate it before retiring. In the last couple of decades, regardless of what brand / marque it was, there was orders coming from headquarters to either renovate top to bottom or build these completely new fancy dealerships at the owners expense. It costs millions! I saw one luxury brand dealership that got renovated three times in just a few years as the brand image changed as ordered by headquarters. But in the end the customer has to pay for all these costs one way or another.

The service advisors dont always have it so easy either, I have heard many techs tell me they are so glad they dont have to be out there in front of the customers and deal with all the complaining when the customer is being overcharged or the car has been there for a long time and still cannot be fixed. And the service advisors up here in Canada have to sit in those drive throughs in the winter time and I have seen many of them get sick repeatedly in the winter as it is freezing in that drive through in the winter when car after car is lined up coming in and that service bay door almost never closes.

The middle managers arent sitting back with their feet up on their desks either. I have never met one who wasnt severely chronically stressed every single day. One guy worked so hard he had a heart attack. The service department was never the same after he died. No one who came in afterwards could fill his shoes and the place went down financially.
 

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I'm on several tech forums, all over the US and Canada. Does not matter where they are, they all have the same to report of how horrible it has become to work in dealerships. I can say for sure it started about 2007, and has been a rapid downward slope since.
 

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Here's my 2 cents nobody asked for. I agree with almost all of you. I'm a flat rate collision tech in a 7 store mom and pop shop. It's an uphill battle. There are no young people entering this business. The insurance company pretty much dictates what you get paid. The cars are getting harder to work on and the money end stays the same. I DO NOT sacrifice quality for speed however. At the end of the day, these are people's cars and they gotta be safe. We warranty all our work.
I try to do as much work/maintenance on my own Element whenever possible. But I also have access to a lift and a wide array of tools. This isn't always an option for most DIYers so I can see having to visit the dealer. My dealer experiences have all been negative. I haven't gone to my local Honda dealership once without something being unsatisfactory. Does that mean all dealerships suck? No. But their shop rate is usually higher then the mom and pops. So I tend to gravitate towards a place like that when I can't do something myself. Luckily, I have found a solid 2 man operation out here in the sticks of PA that I can trust.
In the end, I think you have to pick and choose your battles. If you can confidently tackle a repair yourself then go for it. If not, seek out a pro. Just know that when you do, you will be at their mercy. It's just the nature of the beast.
 

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I guess I am the anomaly. I have been fortunate and have a really good relationship with both the service advisor and his supervisor at my local Honda Dealer. I know my service advisor by name and have his personal cell. Granted I have spent many thousands of dollars over the years on repairs, maintenance, extra but they have also tolerated my OCD, crazy concerns about noises, and taking back the car no questions asked. I once had an oil leak and they put UV dye in oil and when I brought it back after doing some miles they put it on a lift with UV light and confirmed that they had not fixed it right the first time and reinstalled the oil pan all over again. I also had them adjust my valves and install aftermarket Injen cat-back exhaust, tons of suspension work, had them do both airbag recalls, and they replaced seatbelt buckles for free one time and cleared SRS light. I could go on and on. Sometimes, I just swing by to hang out or talk to them as they are all familiar with my custom supercharger build and open 7AM rain or shine. If I need to I can drop my car off before work and they will pay for Lyft to take me to work or will let me use a rental car for free.
 

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