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have you been ripped off by an auto repair shop?


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Showing 1-25 of 262 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 5, 2009 2:22:20 PM PDT
CJ LOCK says:
My mom took her Cadillac through the car wash and later that day she noticed her odometer was not reading correctly. She took it to the dealer and they wanted to charge her $830 to replace the instrument panel. I had her take it to my neighborhood shop and they figured out that someone had pressed the english/metric button (must have been the car wash), so they put it back to english and it fixed it. I can't believe the dealer either didn't know or they were trying to make a fast buck from an elderly woman!

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 4:06:20 PM PDT
John says:
My Niece said the honda dealer was going to charge her over 200.00 for replacing her head light because it was behind the battery. I told her to go to the parts store and pick one up. She called me from the store and thought this must be the wrong one because it was only 10.00 or something. When she came by I put it in while she went to the bathroom when she came out I was done. She couldn't believe it. Behind the battery wow tough girls and elderly just get ripped off.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 5:18:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2009 5:19:19 AM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
The next-best thing you can do (besides not using their services) is report new car dealers' crooked service departments to regional managers of the companies that supply their cars. I'm sure it's not GM or Honda policy to lie to their customers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2009 8:35:12 AM PDT
Noodles168 says:
I reported a Mercedes dealer and Mercedes North America said "they cannot control what their dealers do." Needless to say I will not go back to Mercedes for another new car.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 12:09:46 AM PDT
There are so many times they have ripped me off or tried to rip me off it is sad. I will not even let people take tires off the car, I had the stud stripped and then they where going to fix it, costing me, and tried knocking out the wrong stud. By the end 3 where messed up and cost me $210 to get it fix because I went in for the free tire rotation. Another shop I had the brakes installed and set, they did not set the brakes with the computer and they locked up the first time I hit the brakes and I slid under a truck damaging my hood, not bad but when the brakes lock up it sucks. Had the manifold blow off the cat vac took the car in and they took the dipstick out of the oil, did not put it back in and drove the car around. Had the ac start leaking and took it in to get the die put in and check, they said no leaks and then 30 miles down the road I had no ac, there was a leak and I had to get the stuff to do it my self correctly. I have now gotten the computer checkers and things like that for the cars I own and I had to turn into a do it yourself person. Very rare does a shop get to touch my car, usually only for the safety sticker. There are a lot of shops which have gone under around my area.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 9:07:08 AM PDT
JMDragon says:
Dealerships love to rip people off. It's sad but true. Car salesmen and repair guys are often thought of as "sharks" for a reason. They, like the animal, smell blood and attack. The trick is to wait till you have little things wrong with your car. The type of things where YOU know what the problem is, and how it's fixed. Then take the car with that small problem to a local shop and see how they do. Next time something small goes wrong, take it to a different shop, etc. until you find the shop that works the best and doesn't overcharge. If you only take the car in for huge problems that you personally have no idea how to fix, they can tell you any number of things and you'll have no choice but to believe it. Eventually you'll find the local shop (and trust me, it will be a "mom and pop shop" not a big chain or dealership shop) that does a great job for not a lot of money, and at that point if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can start taking care of the little problems yourself again and use your new favorite shop for the big stuff.

Good example of the "shark" tactics:

My mother recently took her Jeep into the dealership where she bought it, to have the mechanics look it over. Just a normal 50,000 mile checkup. (Just to relate to the original poster, I wouldn't call my mother elderly, but she is 62, and knows next to nothing about cars) Well of course, they tell her this is wrong, and that's wrong, and this isn't working right, and that's busted, and so on and so forth. Luckily, she knows that I'm a big gear-head, so she came to my place to have me look it over before letting them get to work on their list. She handed me this list of things they wanted to fix, and their itemized bill totaled well over $1,200. The one that surpirsed me the most, "Oil and filter change: $80 something". I went to the nearest auto parts store, bought the oil AND filter for about $20, and did the change for her myself. Simple as that $60 saved, and yes I got name brand, high quality oil and filter. Then I did a couple other things on the list for her, and when it came to the things I couldn't do, I took her Jeep to my favorite shop. Just like your story, CJ, they found that a couple things on the list simply needed to be quickly adjusted, and did it for free. Long story short, we managed to take care of everything on that $1,200+ list for about $250, and I'm sure they did a much better job than the dealership would have. It seems that especially now with the auto market suffering, dealership based, and large chain repair shops are more than willing to latch onto the non-car-minded like leeches and suck them dry. I would advise people to avoid them whenever possible, especially if you're susceptible to lines like, "well your [insert part name] is [technical mumbo-jumbo], so it would be a good idea to replace that." Which usually translates to something like, "Your air conditioning condenser is a little loose and could be fixed with a quick turn of a wrench, but I make much more money if you buy a whole new AC setup for $900, which you'll do because you have no idea what I'm saying. *Big toothy grin*"

Posted on Jul 11, 2009 5:04:58 AM PDT
REDNINJA says:
I know all to well about these posts. I also try to do it myself. But I found myself a mechanic or two and they not too bad. One of them is like if he does overcharge me for something in my opinion, it balances out because he has undercharged me also. Stuff that I thought should have been more. So I take it to him when I need to put the car on the lift or am just lazy that I don't want to do the job. As far as those dealerships go, their computation of their billing prices need to be revamped. For example, say you need an oil change, a tune up and something else like catalyc converter replacement. What they will do is first way overcharge you on the parts needed themselves. Then they use some calculacation method which calculates how many hours it would take to do whatever job. Now you have three things to do so instead of computing those together, they would do it separate for each one and add them together. The thing is if it takes like 15 minutes to do a job, they might charge the whole hour. A lot of shop have a minimum of time you will be charged. So if it takes 10-15 minutes, you will be charged like at least a half an hour to an hour for something that took them 10 minutes to do. And lets not forget, some stuff can be done at the same time like having the oil drained and replacing the plug and wires or something like that. You still get billed separately. Damn crooks I tell ya. Then when they hit you with the high bill that you may or may not have the money for right then and there, they want to charge storage fees after a day or two. But you don't get paid until the weekend and its only monday. Get to know your car people. That advice I don't think anyone will disagree with.

Posted on Jul 11, 2009 7:27:13 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 11, 2009 7:29:01 AM PDT]

Posted on Jul 11, 2009 7:27:15 AM PDT
Believe it or not, there are some scrupulous auto repair shop personnel. My first idea would be find a mom and pop type place where you speak to the owner/operator/order writer person. This is one individual in the best case scenario. Generally, the more people one deals with, the worse off the honest customer will be. I used to check out consumer reports annual auto issue and Mercedes Benz has/has a HORRIBLE repair history record. Being germanic, this troubled me. I personally feel this is because one who has enough "scratch" to afford a Benz is generally not an auto mechanical type genius. And unscrupulous vultures at the Dealerships prey on them for easy cash. This is a field where a consumer can't be too careful. Best advice I can offer is have a friend or family member, if they can't repair it for you at a reasonable price, take the vehicle to a couple places where older type folks have had good auto repair experiences. I live in a town of about 80,000 and there are a couple repair shops that i would trust. Be sure to tell the owner you can't afford too much and just repair what needs to get you back on the road in as short a period and as cheaply as possible as long as the cars safe. Get a written estimate and tell them if it is going to be substantially more, you need to know so you can decide, BEFORE they commence work. It's good to pay a few bucks, some will do it for free on stuff like checking brake pads if you have a Bmw that displays "brake linings." Mine needed front pads and rotors and the guy gave me a firm price of $320, parts and labor. This is a reputable place where I take my cars for tires and oil changes. Matt even did the pre front brake job inspection for free. An honest sympathetic auto repair shop is like gold. Almost everyone has a car, and a telephone. I was a competent telecommunications repair technician. People like it when one can fix annoying intermittent problems. Mine repair jobs were always free for subscribers. My repair customers received prompt efficient honest and friendly service. Auto repair shops should be able to deliver the same. It's not rocket science. Cheers kids.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2009 3:39:14 PM PDT
J. Roberson says:
Sorry, But Think again...
GM is the most crooked car company in the world. Take a good look at the history......and there is a reason GM cars typically start falling apart right after the warranty expires...it is all planned that way! Take a look at their recall history, they don't care about the customer! ...see more @ carspiracy.com

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 1:49:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 1:50:53 PM PDT
Krazy Dawg says:
Check yelp.com for reviews of honest mechanics. I have been ripped off to and I now drive 30 miles out of my way at the start of rush hour traffic in the bay area, which has some of the worst traffic in the nation ranked previously at #2 and #3 and now at #5 (#2-5 are separated by a small difference). It's not convenient but it's better than spending over $1,000 on unnecessary repairs.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 7:51:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2009 7:55:49 PM PDT
About one year ago i got a timing belt replaced in my porche 924s.This past weekend I fix a noise in the timimg belt cover that had been their for the 10 years i have owned it.Come to find out they never replaced the belt and the noise was a broken clip that holds the belt in place.I fixed the noise after 10 years of hearing it,but I find out I got dry humped.So now I call the better business bureau the news paper in town and the police to possibly set up a sting.What they did is wrong and i will do anything i can too put them out of business.Thanks for your time but i`m still out 900.00 and i`m mad

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 7:22:23 AM PDT
Tonè says:
@Bruce: Timing belt change: make sure you leave with the old one!

* Knocking sound somewhere underneath my car, esp when I turn left. Mechanic says "CV joint." Dismantles the whole front suspension, replaces some parts, grease here and there ... reassembles. 200 yards from garage, my car breaks for first time ever. Towed back to garage, fixed. Knocking sound continues. Driving back to garage, car breaks down again. Fixed. Sound continues. Try a different garage. $300 to fix original CV joint problem (over-tightened) caused by bad repair job. Knocking sound came from weak exhaust suspension, free and easy to tighten.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 10:14:35 AM PDT
Simple rule people: If it's not a warrantly related repair, avoid the dealers at all costs. They are not only more expensive, but they will fleece you with a smile. This is set up that way because the biggest revenue generator at an auto dealer, ironically, is not selling cars, but the garage. Some will give you a line of BS that only they have the equipment and experience to fix your type of car. With the exception of the garages for high end exotic cars, this is for the most part, a lie. Even specialty import garages for most mainstream European cars (VW, Audi, Benz, BMW, and Volvo) will charge less than going to a dealer, much less garages that do more common American and Japanese cars.

Bottom line, the local garages are the best way to go. For the most part, they use the same diagnostic systems as the dealers, can get the same parts, and the labor is much cheaper. Most importantly, they have much more to lose if they try to rip you off. They also won't charge you 99 bucks just for opening your hood. I have yet to have a bad experience since I started going to local repair shops years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2009 9:44:45 AM PDT
Penguin says:
> I reported a Mercedes dealer and Mercedes North America said "they cannot control what their dealers do."

Don't blame the manufacturers, blame you local State politicians. The car dealers over the years have passed so many laws to protect the local car dealers, who consistently contribute to their campaigns, that the manufacturers have very little control over the dealers. They can't even yank their franchises without going through bankruptcy!

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 9:33:12 AM PDT
1234 says:
I grew up poor so had to do all my own car work from the get go.
My first car as a teenager had a blown engine, and I didn't know squat...but I soon did.

Now Im a poor adult LOL! : )

Ok, I took a jeep into the dealer once to have the engine steam cleaned, and decided oh what the
heck rotate the tires and flush the radiator. This was in Kirkland.
After 'service' I drove away, and about two miles down the road the car started shaking violently.
It seems the 'ASE' mechanics didn't tighten any of the lug nuts.

When I was pulling into my subdivision in Issaquah there was a loud POP! and steam all over the place.
It was like driving a comet (of the astronomic variety).
Well, they didn't tighten the radiator hoses, either.

I do all my own work, including heads, transmissions, differentials, axles, brakes, A/C, and electrical,
and for my friends also. I usually get horror stories from them about how they have to keep taking their car back to the dealer or Sears or wherever for a particular problem. I am always aghast at the work quality, and the incredible incompetence on the part of some professional mechanics.

I wouldn't take a car to a shop for anything.
I'd rather just pull it into my garage and 'get 'er done', mkay? : )

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 11:45:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2009 11:46:41 AM PDT
Crankyhobo says:
Learning how to work on your vehicle is a a wise financial strategy. I have been overcharged for work and parts many times. For example i once paid $1000+ for exhaust work only to find that just the rear pipe and muffler and been replaced. I decided then i would buy all my own tools and learn how to do it all myself and i have kept to that and never looked back and saved thousands since then.

Posted on Aug 8, 2009 10:17:37 PM PDT
S. Peluso says:
"just the rear pipe and muffler and been replaced"
that is your exhaust.

Problem here is alot of people go out buy a asian made car, they are not built to be easy to work on or to replace parts, they are built to be cheap and efficient and like european cars things just get crammed in there.

Problem with OP's post isnt the dealers fualt, most car owners should know if their odometer was switched, and hearing the problem the way they described it seems as thought it would be a problem with it, so they just skipped over the simple possible problem thinking it was a bigger issue then it was.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2009 12:28:42 PM PDT
SB says:
<<QUOTE>> Problem here is alot of people go out buy a asian made car, they are not built to be easy to work on or to replace parts, they are built to be cheap and efficient and like european cars things just get crammed in there.<</QUOTE>> That couldn't be far from the truth. Well let me put it this way, that might be true for the higher-end luxury and sports cars. but your HONDAS and Toyotas are the best DO-IT-YOURSELF Cars. I had a van that i used for delivering papers, GM Silhouette 99. In order to work on any engine compartment of the car at home, you had better had a tree to anchor a chain so that the whole engine would be moved about 20-45 deg counter-clockwise. The engine was not mounted sideways like Toyota and Honda do. (yeah some might complain that this is a pain when trying to access the timing chains and belts) but that's nothing compared to what you would have to do if you needed to forexample access the crankshaft on a GM car.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 10:34:18 AM PDT
Falstaff says:
And how about the Chevy Monza V8? You have to drop the engine to replace the spark plugs (and that was when spark plugs were a regular tuneup item, not the last-forever platinum type.) I know, I had one.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 11:17:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 13, 2009 11:18:54 PM PDT
Joe Average says:
I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one that works on his own car!!! Am surrounded by average working folks here who would rather drop $1K on a repair they could have done themselves for $100. Instead they pay for the repair and then spend the next 3 months complaining about the dent it put in their budget. At 100K miles when some cars start wearing out a few parts - they sell their car and buy another car payment and complain some more. They are forever indentured to their car payments, car repairs where even little things are hugely expensive, and they work to pay their dealer.

Even when I offer to help them with my time, expertise and my tools - they would rather play than get dirty saving some big cash.

Meanwhile we're driving two daily drivers in good condition at 162K miles ('97 VW Cabrio) and 182K miles ('99 CR-V AWD). Both cars are easy to work on and parts can be had even from dealer sources online (only online) for cheap. The local dealer is HIGH with 100% markup - literally. I got the copy of his parts receipt that was supposed to be filed. He gave me the wrong copy. Had the internal price and then they realized their mistake. My price was 100% higher. I can usually beat their prices by 90% online from dealers that sell online. I do find that the OEM parts are better than aftermarket when I can afford the price.

I believe to keep a car like new I have to use the same parts the car came with new. Aftermarket producers measure the quality of the parts they produce potentially in ways very different than how the vehicle's manufacturer did. In engineering there is something called "stacked tolerances". That means a series of parts put together with differing tolerances may have a combined dimension that is outside of the allowable tolerance even if the individual parts are close enough to be called "good". I feel the same way about aftermarket parts. Some of these aftermarket parts never last as long as the OEM part did. Sometimes they don't fit as well or perform as well. Front brake pads are a good example. I put the first replacement OEM pads on the CR-V at 85K miles. First time it got new pads. At 160K miles I put a set of aftermarket pads on the car as a moneysaver. Pads were much thinner! MUCH more brake dust. Much more noises coming from the front brakes. I don't expect these pads to last half as long as the OEM pads which were only $15 more. By the way the CR-V has the original rear brake shoes and clutch at 182K miles. Lasting forever. I had another set of OEM brake shoes on the shelf because the end is near. Getting ready to order the clutch kit from an OEM source online to put it on the shelf so when I do have to do the repair I'll have the parts and won't have to wait for them.

Another example. Used to sell parts at a local autoparts store. Fellow brought in some ~250K old front rotors from a Mitsubishi MightyMax (name?) pickup. He brought a caliper. The old rotors were warped and too thin. There is a minimum thickness spec stamped on rotors. The new rotors I pulled off the shelf were amazingly ALREADY thinner than the minimum thickness specs stamped on them. In other words the factory had ground them thinner than the thickness that were supposedly allowed to use them. Owner of the truck checked and rechecked the thicknesses of the rotors with his calipers and then handed me the caliper to check and his numbers matched mine. Neither of us could believe it. He left in search of a parts retailer that could supply parts that were as good as OEM as he intended to keep his truck many more miles. I left that retailer a few months later disgusted with the lack of quality in their parts. They are much better these days but I won't shop them. Cheap does not deliver lasting quality folks. Obvious but some people shop for the lowest price all the time. It's is part of the reason jobs are going to China and Mexico. I'll pay a reasonable price for a quality part. Not 100% markups but a reasonable price.

Don't understand why more modern folks don't learn to fix their stuff. Every job I have to do used to require a new tool or two. Now I have everything it seems and rarely need to buy a tool. I recently did the timing belt replacement on my Honda. Also replaced all the drive belts, cam seals, crank seal, tensioner pulley, valve adjustment, valve cover gasket, etc. Cost me ~$150 parts and my time. Saved me perhaps $500. Over the past 10 years I have given local shops a few chances to fix my cars. Either they left off hardware (bolts, brackets, etc), hardware was loose, or they did substandard work that failed later. Muffler tip fell off my car a week ago. Was only 60K old. Honda has 182K on the original exhaust. Tip had been welded on with the wrong welding supplies by the shop that I took my muffler parts to. Muffler = stainless Borla universal muffler, tip they made was mild steel, shop should have used stainless welding wire but used mild steel wire in their MIG machine. Weld failed. Cracked and rusted. Same shop put a new catalytic converter on my car that I had purchased. Also had them install two new O2 sensors at the same time. Old cat had melted internally, old O2 sensor had failed, other O2 sensor was very old. Anyhow they didn't even both to clip the sensor wires to the bracket on the back of the engine. Wires were swinging around dangerously close to the exhaust pipe when I looked at it later. Took me 5 seconds per wire to fix their sloppiness. Had I not looked both of my nearly $100 O2 sensors would have failed when the wires melted against the exhaust pipe. An average "ignorance is bliss" type consumer would have never known what the problem was and why they had to repeat the repair. Couldn;'t be those sensors... I had them replaced already... What excuse would the shop give? Defective parts? Some mysterious problem that caused the sensors to go bad again. Oh yes sir, we'll find the cause for $450 and fix it right away... Sir - you're muffler bearing was bad. And the blinker fluid had gone bad as well.

Another shop charged me nearly $200 to replace a clutch bearing on my a/c compressor. I took the compressor out and took it to them. Charged me $160 for the bearing and did not ask me about the higher than quoted price. I found the SAME bearing at a local industrial supplier for $23 a day later - same brand and everything! Took me 20 mins to find the bearing! I had originally taken them the auto parts store bearing but the shop reported it was the wrong one and they would source the correct one. Still not sure that I believe them in retrospect. I paid $40 for the auto parts store bearing. I told them so and am surprised they did not ask me if I wanted to pay so much more for a bearing on a 160K mile compressor when I could buy a WHOLE new compressor for another $200. A little warning would have been nice.

To the folks that claim working on a car is too hard - I started learning by doing oil changes. Then I replaced some other very simple parts like spark plugs. Then U-joints. Then brake shoes - one side at a time so I wouldn't screw it up. I spent 3 afternoons trying to get a valve adjustment just right on an old VW Beetle. My first adjustment worked but he valves were too loose (noisy). After some practice I could adjust those valves in 20 minutes. Car ran like a sewing machine and was absolutely reliable. Did some 10+ hour trips in that car several times. Always reliable and I came to know plenty early when something was wearing out. I came to enjoy adjusting the carb, the valves, the brake shoes, and cables when I did the oil changes. Not as maintenance free as a modern car but very easy and cheap to maintain. Note that I had more time back then (20 years ago). Still have that Beetle.

Learned to buy fairly good tools which are easy to find everywhere now. Even cheap tools from the hardware store are pretty good now. Learned to buy the $80-$100 FACTORY service manual. ALWAYS better than the the $15 repair manuals at the parts store. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. When I buy a car I buy the manual.

I have learned to find good brand specific Internet forums like VWVortex (watrercooled VWs), theSamba or Type2.com for aircooled Beetles and Busses, and HondaSUV for my CR-V. On good quality forums there is ALWAYS somebody that has had the same problems as your vehicle, generally somebody to answer a few questions and sometimes somebody who has taken the time to write up a fix with pictures and diagrams. Great references to the best parts suppliers for that vehicle.

There are sometimes people on these forums who have worked their way around brand specific problems that are expensive to fix. For example the cruise control module in my late 90s VW were terrible little computers. They are reliable except the relay inside is too small for the job and wears out (contacts burn and develop a little tip and causes the relay to intermittently pass the electricity it is supposed to). Impossible to source that relay and the module is $350 new. Buying a used one sometimes results in another dead module in a short time. It can be repaired for $100 by AutoECU here in TN. I got mine done on special for $50. Perfect. Thanks VWVortex. Better yet some fellow documented a way to replace the old relay with a new generic relay for $5. Wow. I would have done that had I seen the post before I had mine fixed. Still even the $50 fix saved me HUNDREDS over the dealer. The repair requires 20 mins pulling some trim panels under the dash, an awkward bend of the wrist up under the dash and 1 bolt and 1 electrical connector. I'd pay someone hundreds to fix this for me WHY?

Believe me I don't want this recession we are currently in BUT if we come out of this a little individually self-sufficient, a little wiser, and a little more eager to do for ourselves then perhaps all this doom and gloom in the financial sector isn't a totally negative experience. If this recession lasted a decade we'd have a generation of wiser people than what we were 5 years ago spending like crazy and not storing any nuts for the coming winter.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2009 1:01:38 AM PDT
J. Waldvogel says:
To, CJ LOCK

It's not normally a EASY thing to switch the Odometer from English to Metric by just cleaning the car and bumping into some buttons. You usually have to go though a Menu and hit a couple of different buttons to change it. I don't know, a Rare problem and the person at the dealer just didn't look very good, or understand what he was seeing? Put it this way, YOU couldn't tell it was just in Metric either!!! It's a good catch for your Neighborhood Shop!!! Instrument Panels aren't cheap!!! Some are quite costly!!!

Things like this that aren't dangerous to drive, and your car is not all apart, go ahead and get a second Opinion, Dealers don't know everything. It's Impossible for anyone to know everything. A Doctor working on people has it easier in a way, there's only 2 a Male and Female. Cars on the other hand the Same Model change every year and there's Thousands of different Cars and Trucks, and while the Basics are the same, everything else is changing. So while one person at the Dealer didn't catch it, and made a mistake, the other person did. So YES, even with cars, a 2nd Opinion is a good thing!!! I don't think they were trying to make a fast buck in this case. She did do the right thing though!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2009 1:26:24 AM PDT
J. Waldvogel says:
To John,

$200 for a headlight replace is way to much, even for a dealer. Even if you have to remove the battery to get to it. I do have to think Dealer Labor Rate there is what? $115 a Hour maybe more. Minimum set time, maybe 30 Minutes, so about $58, Plus bulb, say $15. So $72.50. I would say THAT was a fair price for the dealer. $200, NO. Of course doing it yourself is a lot cheaper. I know on my Chevy Truck, I have have to pull 2 long Pins on the Top, and the whole headlight comes right out the front to get to the bulbs really easily. Even for me, they would charge around the same price. I'd do it myself. I pretty much do any and all things myself on my Truck, Motorcycle and Jetski, but then I have the Tools to do most all of it other then things like SMOG Check. Some people just don't care about the Cost, and others try to get as cheap as they can without doing it themselves. I think the Elderly are getting smarter these days!!! Your Niece asked a Second Opinion, and the one above your post did also. That's a good thing. Going to the Dealer for a Headlight wasn't the smartest move either. They're expensive!!! Sometimes you have to, like for Warranty work. Even though I work on Cars, I brought my 03 Chevy Truck down to the Chevy Dealer for AC problems once again. Luckily I got a Extended Warranty of 7 years or 100,000 miles. I got the extra 2 years because I don't need to drive a whole lot. I have 33,000 miles on my truck, So about 6,000 miles a year I put on it! It would have been a $1,800.00, for that new AC compressor(already been done once before, so this makes it the 3rd one!!) a belt, a fan clutch and pulley and a few other minor things, but luckily they said only about $150 it would cost me with the Deductible and the things not covered, at the end, they gave be wholesale prices for the parts not covered and it only cost me $98!!! It only took 2 days, as they had to order the parts. Everything is great again. Otherwise I would have done the work Myself and I can guess at the prices I would have paid in just parts being around $700-$900 plus my time. I'm Happy with the Chevy Dealer!!! I wouldn't have gone there for a Headlight when most any garage could have changed it a lot cheaper, and sometimes just for the cost of the bulb if it only takes a couple minutes to install!!! $200 is to much!!! If it was replacing the whole headlight housing, it could be a whole lot more though!!!

Posted on Aug 15, 2009 2:19:45 AM PDT
J. Waldvogel says:
If you can work on your own car, GREAT. There's also a lot of things people can't do. You have a ABS, or SIRS or some other Dash light on, a cheap CODE READER is worthless and if you had the code and a little info on what it was, then what? Unless it's something so minor like you left your gas cap loose and popped the light on and a simple erase is all you need, great, otherwise, not so easy sometimes to track down the cause. You'd be amazed of the people that just don't care. ABS light on, oh well, no ABS. Don't want to pay and fix it. Sometimes it's just scary the cars that are being driven on the road with hardly any brakes to no brakes, or bald, steel sticking out tires, etc that could cause a crash right into YOU. Don't want to maintain them, stay on top of things and it falls apart into a rolling pile of garbage. Oh and the POT cars are the best. Yet you wonder why when you get pulled over the cops what you out and to check your car, because maybe it reeks of Marijuana!!! How about the BLASTING Radio that I can't find the OFF button fast enough!!! The Kid or Dog Vomit smell, or Pet hair everywhere. Cigarette Stink with the Kids Car seat in the Back, Poor kid!!! I could go on.

My Mom does her own Oil Changes, at at least used to. Has some understanding on Cars. A lot of Elderly Women outlive their Husbands and NOW for the first time have to do things their Husband always did like take care of the car. If you work on you own car, show your wives or girlfriends, if you can, Show them how you go about doing the simple things. If they have to bring their car in to be worked on, at least they have some car knowledge. If they don't seem so clueless, then they are less likely to be taken advantage of!!!!! If you have to bring you car in to be fixed. a Private Shop that's been around for a long time is a good price to go. You don't stay in business a long time screwing people over!!! Repeat business or lack there off and word of mouth can help or hurt the business. Go to a Dealer for Warranty work, or for those problems that only the Dealer can fix. Try the Independent shop first.

Oh and you'd be amazed at the amount of parts CHINA now makes!!! It's most everything, yet people want cheap Parts. There goes more and more jobs out of the U.S. You can see the difference, better Quality with the U.S. part quite clearly at times, but CHEAP is in. I remember when I was installing mostly U.S. parts with the cheap stuff once in a while here and there. It's now completely reversed. The Unions, sorry to say, Used to do good back in the 50's and stuff, but now they just want so much, it's crazy. It's one thing to be FAIR, it's another to drive the company into the ground. In the end you just hurt yourself when they go out of business, which quite frankly Chevy for example should have done!!! Why are US, the U.S taxpayers paying basically the UNIONS so things stay the same??? Should have gone into Bankruptcy, UNIONS would be GONE, Company gotten leaner, and could start competing again like the Auto Makers down in the South making Toyota's and Mercedes, etc without the Unions and still making fair pay for what they do. Which really is almost standing there slapping the same part on over and over again. A monkey could almost do it!!! I won't EVER buy another new Chevy so long as the GOVERNMENT owns it like they do!!! I was never a big FORD person, but I guess when it's time for a new truck, FORD it is. They'll need the help as trying to compete with the Government that can just subsidies whatever it wants and drive out out of business so they can take you over ALSO is what I can predict happening so the government has FULL CONTROL of the US Auto Industry. Then I guess it's a Toyota for me. A First for me. I've NEVER owned a Foreign Car/Truck Before. It's all been American, even my Harley Motorcycle. I do have a Kawasaki Jetjet, but only because there's NO US company that makes Jetski's. I TRY to buy American when I can, but it's getting harder. American Cars and Trucks these days are really quite good. You take care of them and they do last.

Posted on Aug 15, 2009 4:49:49 AM PDT
Joe Average says:
Hate to tell you this but your Harley may not be as American as you think. Worked on a project for a Harley assembly robot and the gas tank on that bike was Chinese. Did another and the fuel injection was Italian as were the front brakes. This was the "V-Max" model I think???

Yeah - companies sourcing parts all over these days. My German car was made in Mexico. German? Not really... I agree with what you said - beware cheap Chinese parts. Especially "white box" parts. These are generic parts that come in white cardboard boxes that the store then pastes their label on to.

Nobody but the retailer to fall back on if the part is defective.
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Discussion in:  Automotive forum
Participants:  80
Total posts:  262
Initial post:  Jun 5, 2009
Latest post:  Jun 21, 2011

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