You Should Never Trust A Dealership

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Yep! I said it, you should never ever trust a dealership. If I could tally the number of times that I have read that statement, it would easily be in the 300+ range. Then a statement comes along that just makes me nuts. It goes something like this

I dont trust dealers at all. I am not saying they are all bad and I am sure there are good ones with excellent techs. I have my reasons for why I despise them more than anything. Remember this they are in business to make money and the service department and used cars are where they make the most. It is no coincidence that those are the 2 that get the worst reputation.

I am not really picking on the guy that posted it, because he seems to be thoughtful of dealers. There ARE good techs and dealers. I know mine is not perfect, but we do a pretty good job, and have a lot of techs that are TOP notch dudes. But it is this part, that leaves me shaking my head.

Remember this they are in business to make money and the service department and used cars are where they make the most. It is no coincidence that those are the 2 that get the worst reputation.

I have a question for everyone, “What business is NOT in it to make money?” I don’t get up and go to work everyday because I love being at work. I do it because I love ~THE WORK~. Let’s be real though, would you get up and do what you do EXACTLY how you do it if you were not getting paid? Odds are you would not. Now I would totally work on cars if I was not getting paid. I enjoy it. But I would not go to work for someone else, for free.

The argument will never end.Customers say dealers will rip you off. Dealers say, customers don’t take care of their cars. The DIYers say they do it cheaper themselves. Folks, here is a news flash. THEY ARE ALL RIGHT, and THEY ARE ALL WRONG! It totally just depends. There ARE dealers and indy shops that will rob you blind. There are customers that will lie straight to my face. I am actually dealing with that right now. The DIYer will come in and whine about how much I will be ripping him off, before I ever look at the car!(<~That one infuriates me)

I think it is easy to get caught up in thinking you will always get ripped off at the dealer. There are bad techs out there. I am willing to bet that everyone knows someone that has felt ripped off. Heck, I have seen it happen! People forget that we have to buy stuff and pay for services too. You don’t want to get ripped off by me, anymore than I want to be ripped off by a plumber, or a lawyer. So what is the solution, consider this list

  • Ask why! Why do I need this repair? What will happen if I don’t do it? Is there another way?
  • Keep great records. Unless you only take it to 1 place make sure you have all the repair/maintenance records. It will prevent you doing a job twice
  • Ask to see what they are trying to sell you! You might not know what it is, but if you see it and have them explain it, you will be better informed.
  • Be informed. Just because you might not understand how a turbocharger works, doesn’t mean you can’t!
  • Get a second opinion. If you are not sure, have someone else QUALIFIED check it out for you.
  • Don’t be CHEAP! At some point, we all will have to pay for a car repair(yes even me). Understanding that things will break makes it easier to deal with.

You know, this post started out as me poking fun at the whole “you will get screwed by the dealer” mentality. It kinda took a weird turn there at the end. I am not really sure what happened. Meh, its cool, I hope that you guys can use some of the tips listed above. The “Bad day for a Mechanic” car is fixed. It was a bad ECM(engine computer). That is the one I think that I am dealing with a customer that is lying to me.

Cabby update: I will be putting a new clutch in tonight. I will get some video for you guys so you can really see what I am working with. Look for the full update tomorrow.

I triple dog dare you to share this. What are ya, chicken? 😉

11 replies
  1. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    “What business is NOT in it to make money?” A CHARITY!!! hahaha but yea I’m pretty sure VW, or any dealership for that matter, is running one. Some people just think that everyone is out to do no good. Good post Charles, Keep up the great work and can’t wait to see what your dealing with for the Cabrio- BTW, have you decided on a name yet?

  2. Charles
    Charles says:

    I had a feeling that someone would say charity 😛 but, as you know, they are very different.

    I have not picked a name yet, but I am going to go back and look at the options again. Decisions, Decisions.

  3. Gezika
    Gezika says:

    I only take my car to the dealership, especially it being a VW. The people at the dealer know my model at better than anyone else, and there is no question about that.
    People who think they are being ripped off more than likely have something else going on in their life (don’t we all?) and when a car breaks its never convenient so the poor dealership catches the ‘blame’
    Imagine if people actually had to know how a car worked to drive one. There would be far less people on the road. This is why we pay masters of their craft to alleviate us from knowing how the car works…
    Blah blah blah I could go on for days… I worked at a dealership once. I even had my car wrecked by the dealer when in for service, but I will ONLY ever take my car to the dealership.
    Great blog! Excited to see the Cabby!!

    • Charles
      Charles says:

      I obviously agree with you!! Also this is the very first thing I read when I woke up this morning. Totally made my day! Thank you for that.

  4. Shane
    Shane says:

    It doesn’t help many push services you do not need that cost hundreds of dollars. Disrespect for the very people that keep them in business leads people like me to say a paycheck, buy a jack and change the oil and do brakes/rotors myself. The jobs are easy, and I can even listen to the TV in the background while saving a simple 5-10 on every oil change; and hundreds on labor for brakes and rotors. I cannot believe how many places literally try to charge you a huge sum more for doing rotors (beyond part cost) to literally slide the old one off, and the new one on.

    Honestly, some of us just get busy. I make a hell of a pizza, but don’t always have time to prep the dough to do it justice-so I’ll go out to a nice place and get one. Its a premium, but they never pitch me some tale of woe that makes it sound like they had to traverse the earth for tomatoes so it’ll be another xxxx amount on top.

    Driver’s ED in the US is a joke as it is. Hand them a wrench and show them some basic stuff. If they complain about the grease, put some in their hair and tell them now they have nothing to worry about.

    Everyone empowered with knowledge, no one ripped off, no one being accused of ripping them off.

  5. gr
    gr says:

    realize that this topic is dinosaurically old yet here is my two cents. treat your service rep & mechanics like actual people, be nice. Yes, I’ve had a service rep who was an absolute [x]. If that attitude matches the dealership, move on (your car’s nav unit is programmed with tons of vw (or audi) dealerships). If the attitude doesn’t match the dealership, the service rep will be fired by the next DSG service interval. My TDI has been un-dieselgated (still have my dpf), my DQ250 DSG has had all the lame & stupid removed, etc… so when my vehicle goes to the dealership, I am nice & respectful. Service knows I keep up on maint, am not off roading nor doing tractor pulls. Sometimes I’ll toss in a couple pizzas. They give me a heads up when ODIS is required and I do what is needed to prevent TD1.

    Long and short, say thank you and mean it. follow their instructions and or advice.


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