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Is this an expensive quote from Honda service? (am I getting robbed?)

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Is this an expensive quote from Honda service? (am I getting robbed?)

Old 01-25-08, 05:56 PM
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Is this an expensive quote from Honda service? (am I getting robbed?)

I'm not very familiar with the costs of changing some car/engine parts and stuff, and I know some of it can be very expensive.

So today I take my car to the local Honda dealer service department to get 2 tires changed, and a brake inspection, and an oil & filter change. About 3 hours later, the guy calls me back and says that there are other stuff they recommend me change/service because my car is 10 years old:

Timing belt and water pump
"upper and lower hoses" (i have no idea what these are)
Power steering and fuel injection
Front brakes
2 tires (I brought in the 2 new tires so I'm not purchasing these from Honda) and wheel alignment
Oil and filter change

He tells me the cost will be $2600. I thought about it for a few seconds and I had no idea how important those things are or how much they should cost to fix or replace. But since I figure I'll need them done anyway at some point, and I didn't think it likely that Honda would screw me over, I said sure. That's OK.

Well, right after I hung up, I felt really stupid in saying OK when I didn't know how much that stuff really costs. So I call my dad (who used to be a mechanic a looooooong time ago) and run it by him. He says that's way overpriced. I could get it done for at least several hundred dollars less elsewhere. I figure I'll just have the tires changed, the front brakes, and the oil and filter change (what I originally intended) and at least ask around other places for quotes for the other stuff.

So I call Honda back (this is 3 minutes after said OK).... and the service rep is nowhere to be found. I leave him a message to call me asap. I also left a message with the service desk to reach the guy about a "really important matter" because I don't want them to start doing those things with my car. In all, I made about 5 calls in 5 minutes, and all they could tell me was "We'll try to let him know and have him call you back".

So now 30 minutes later he finally calls me back. I tell him I've changed my mind. At this point, I had a feeling he might say they've started work on it already (my fault for saying yes initially)...... and of course he says they've just started. They can cancel it but to put everything back, it would cost $140.

I then ask him how much it would be for the tire change, the 2 brakes, and the oil and filter change ..... and nothing else (not even the wheel alignment) and he said $575. That's before the $140 charge for "putting stuff back". Now, bear in mind that I brought the 2 new tires in. I said that's ok, I just don't want anything else.

I feel like they just really screwed me over here. It still is my fault for giving the OK at first..... so if they want to charge me the $140 cancellation, then fine. I've been to this Honda several times before and always thought they were pretty good to deal with, but this may be the last time I'm having anything to do with them.

Thoughts?
Old 01-25-08, 05:58 PM
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That does seem high, although I believe changing the timing belt on a Honda is a little tricky. I can't remember whether is super hard or super easy, it's one of the two...
Old 01-25-08, 06:03 PM
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Changing a timing belt is extremely tricky. It's a $14 part with about 3 or 4 hours of labor. Rule of thumb is to get it switched out ever 60k. If it goes and you're moving fast, you're fucked. It's worth the cost to fix. That should be the bulk of the $2600.

Brakes you deal with when you can hear them.

Power steering and alignment...well, you should know when somethings fucked up and needs to be fixed.

I surprised they didn't tell you to get a transmission flush. :rollseyes:
Old 01-25-08, 06:26 PM
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It is always more expensive having it done at the dealer, so saving a couple hundred elsewhere is likely. But some people prefer to do it at the dealer.
Old 01-25-08, 06:30 PM
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just changed the timing belt on an accord last week.

quote from non-honda dealer mechanic - $680
quote from honda dealer mechanic - $950

Mechanics at the dealerships arent neccessarily better, just that they see the same types of cars more often.

Take it somewhere else that specializes in Honda and you would get the same, if not better, and more honest service.

I would tell them to not do anything, then bitch and complain that you called them 5 times, 3 minutes after telling them to not do the work, but they started anyways without getting back to you. Suck up the $140 if you have to.

Last edited by grrrah; 01-25-08 at 06:32 PM.
Old 01-25-08, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Autotelik
my car is 10 years old:
what model?

Timing belt and water pump $500
"upper and lower hoses" (i have no idea what these are) $120
Power steering and fuel injection $120
Front brakes $130
2 tires (I brought in the 2 new tires so I'm not purchasing these from Honda) $40 and wheel alignment [$70]
Oil and filter change $20
and the shop rates where I live are really high, but i posted average prices around here for the above from a local mechanic, not Honda.

I am at about $1000

If you need front brake rotors (not just pads), toss in another $100

Depending on the model honda (I think one of them is more for the timing belt, the civic or the accord, it could be as high as $600)


He tells me the cost will be $2600.
COMPLETE SCREW JOB!

and of course he says they've just started. They can cancel it but to put everything back, it would cost $140.
This is a complete lie, they didn't do shit. They just want to force you in. I would have agreed to his terms verbally and then put the $140 on my credit card to get my car and then protest the charges. You will win.


I then ask him how much it would be for the tire change, the 2 brakes, and the oil and filter change ..... and nothing else (not even the wheel alignment) and he said $575. That's before the $140 charge for "putting stuff back". Now, bear in mind that I brought the 2 new tires in. I said that's ok, I just don't want anything else.

I feel like they just really screwed me over here. It still is my fault for giving the OK at first..... so if they want to charge me the $140 cancellation, then fine. I've been to this Honda several times before and always thought they were pretty good to deal with, but this may be the last time I'm having anything to do with them.

Thoughts?

Leave go elsewhere, pay the $140 on a CC and protest the charge, fuck them, I hate theives.
Old 01-25-08, 06:47 PM
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Yeah, just by going to the dealership you are going to get screwed. Find a good, certified mechanic and you'll save a ton of money in the long run.
Old 01-25-08, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
what model?



1998 Accord Coupe


I'll get a quote elsewhere for all the other stuff. I do realize it's my fault for saying yes, so if they insist on charging me the $140 for cancelling the job, so be it (though I did try to call him back immediately without luck).

What annoys me is the very last quote he gave me for just the tires, 2 front brakes, and the oil and filter : a whopping $575.

When I go and get my car in the morning, I'm going to see all the line items on the invoice and try to figure out where the bulk of that $575 is from.
Old 01-25-08, 07:30 PM
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Wow... that's rape. I wouldn't pay 140 bucks... I would be livid. They didn't do shit to your car - I guarantee it. It doesn't matter anyway - you called to cancel within minutes.
Old 01-25-08, 07:33 PM
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I think the accord is the one that is slight more for the timing belt, so $600-$650 is in the realm of reality for the timing belt.

For a 10 year old car, I would not insist on Honda brand replacement parts. These will be the most expensive and ALL the dealer will install. You can get some good quality aftermarket parts for much less that will perform fine.

check out

www.rockauto.com and find your car, look up parts prices. It would be hard for me to list brands, but looking at the parts they have, you can figure out which are the cheap chinese shit and which are better. Get something "mid-priced" - you don't wantt the $25 brake rotor and you don't need the $120 one, find one for $50 and it will most likely be fine.

This will give you a better feel for parts costs.

Ask your local shop it's per hour labor rates
get what they call the 'book hours' for your repairs
you can get an almost exact price from that.

Honda parts = you pay a premium, sometimes it is worth it
Honda dealer Labor = probably highest in your area per hour, always charge book labor or more, sometimes mark parts up above retail cost
Old 01-25-08, 07:33 PM
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Interesting. I didn't see KY Jelly listed on your quote.
Old 01-25-08, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Autotelik
I do realize it's my fault for saying yes, so if they insist on charging me the $140 for cancelling the job, so be it (though I did try to call him back immediately without luck).
No, it is their fault for not taking your call. Don't fall for this shit and let them get away with it.
Old 01-25-08, 07:35 PM
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Definitely go the CC / dispute route.

-p
Old 01-25-08, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
I think the accord is the one that is slight more for the timing belt, so $600-$650 is in the realm of reality for the timing belt.

For a 10 year old car, I would not insist on Honda brand replacement parts. These will be the most expensive and ALL the dealer will install. You can get some good quality aftermarket parts for much less that will perform fine.

check out

www.rockauto.com and find your car, look up parts prices. It would be hard for me to list brands, but looking at the parts they have, you can figure out which are the cheap chinese shit and which are better. Get something "mid-priced" - you don't wantt the $25 brake rotor and you don't need the $120 one, find one for $50 and it will most likely be fine.

This will give you a better feel for parts costs.

Ask your local shop it's per hour labor rates
get what they call the 'book hours' for your repairs
you can get an almost exact price from that.

Honda parts = you pay a premium, sometimes it is worth it
Honda dealer Labor = probably highest in your area per hour, always charge book labor or more, sometimes mark parts up above retail cost
agree, but even if you wanted Honda parts, the local shop can get them too. Usually they are the same price as the higher end aftermarket ones. Sometimes they are worth it, sometimes not.
Old 01-25-08, 08:03 PM
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To change the timing belt and water pump on my Accord was $620. When I had to change four rotors and get new tires, it cost $575.

If you have never changed the timing belt, you REALLY should get that done. With the way the Accord engine is designed, if that brakes the motor is toast. I did wait about ten years before I changed it knowing I was taking a risk.
Old 01-25-08, 08:10 PM
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Generally you should never go to the dealership for service. Usually they are slower and more expensive. Look for a good garage/mechanic and start to build a relationship w/ them. This way when you eventually get a new car, and it's a different make, you'll still have the same people you trust to take it to.
Old 01-25-08, 08:26 PM
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what are mechanics charging per hour nowadays, in FL where I live now it is $65-90 an hour, in massachusetts it was about $45-60 a year or two ago. Which is backwards cause almost everything else is more money in MA than here.
Old 01-25-08, 08:29 PM
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I think part of the problem is some dealers charge for the job, not the actual time spent.

They may decide the average brake job takes 3 hours, so they establish a job price based on the parts and 3 hours labor. Then if they guy gets it done in two, you pay the same price, but the dealer gets an extra hour of labor to use elsewhere. I personally hate this policy not only because I pay for time not used on my car, but more because it encourages rushed and sloppy work.

Last edited by bunkaroo; 01-25-08 at 08:33 PM.
Old 01-25-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacoby Ellsbury
what are mechanics charging per hour nowadays, in FL where I live now it is $65-90 an hour, in massachusetts it was about $45-60 a year or two ago. Which is backwards cause almost everything else is more money in MA than here.

Obviously he's paying $280/hour if they are charging him $140 after 30 minutes of allegedly taking the car apart.
Old 01-25-08, 09:37 PM
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I'm not very familiar with the costs of changing some car/engine parts and stuff, and I know some of it can be very expensive.

So today I take my car to the local Honda dealer service department...
<snip>
I read this far. Yes

Edit: I read the rest. You are getting screwed by a dry uncut Samoan on Viagra. Go in tomorrow morning around 9am when others are dropping off their cars. Make a very big and loud stink. Make sure the people in the showroom can hear you.

They will immediately hand you your keys and give you your car.


This reminds me of the time I was standing at the Acura parts counter as a fellow walked up to pay his bill. $1800 for timing belt, water pump, and an O2 sensor. Holy shit! Of course that could have been an NSX, but I he didn't seem the type.

My Integra (Civic) costs $450 for the timing belt/water pump and $120 for the O2 sensor.

Last edited by Pistol Pete; 01-25-08 at 09:47 PM.
Old 01-25-08, 10:08 PM
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Another "ditto" on recommending OP replace timing belt ASAP if overdue mileage or if unknown history. You can save money and get equivalent quality at service centers that specialize in Honda and/or Asian cars. As far as other repairs, I generally stick with brake specialists for brakes and tire specialists for tires/alignment. Anyone can do oil/filter change. Only reason to go to dealer for service is for obscure/esoteric repair such as electronics or computer or interior cosmetic or such, or if you learn of a recall.

Generally, water pump replacement is recommended whenever timing belt is done, because of engine design...similar disassambly/reassembly labor steps are required for timing belt as for water pump; it's two-birds-with-one-stone philosophy. So, if future mechanic recommends water pump, it's not a ripoff.

If dealer mechanic were truly getting started on the timing belt/water pump job, they would have drained the coolant and oil as the first steps. So, replacing the oil and coolant may be fair game in "putting everything back together". You should insist on DETAILED accounting of the $140. Is it a "generic" cancellation charge, or is it some minimum diagnostic fee, or does it represent actual tasks performed ? What are those actual tasks? You may be able to nitpick this point and get some reduction. Or, as others suggested, you can make a big stink or go the CC dispute route.
Old 01-25-08, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyquest
You should insist on DETAILED accounting of the $140. Is it a "generic" cancellation charge, or is it some minimum diagnostic fee, or does it represent actual tasks performed ? What are those actual tasks? You may be able to nitpick this point and get some reduction. Or, as others suggested, you can make a big stink or go the CC dispute route.
I'd fourth/fifth/sixth (whatever) motion ignoring the $140 fee completely. Dispute it with management first and be honest as necessary about it. Don't go in there with your tail between your legs.

If the auto dealership respects your business (and subsequent word of mouth business) it would be in their best interest to drop it. $140 is nothing to a dealership.

As far as the insistence on a detailed accounting of the charges, don't count your blessings. That's easily crafted. The problem is ... even if it were disputable, a "he said she said" argument is going to waste more money than its worth it lands in court. That's the attitude you should bring with you.

Best of luck.
Old 01-25-08, 11:59 PM
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Normally dealerships get a bad rap, but I've had nothing but success at the dealership, including two out of warranty repairs that they went to bat for me to get fixed under warranty. I even paid the $39.99 for the oil change they wanted since they saved me $600 on a window regulator just to toss them some business.

As for the pay $140 just to get your car back route, just remember, just because you win a chargeback doesn't mean they can't ding your credit by sending you to collections. Google it and you'll see some real horror stories about that.

A better way would be to talk to the dealer's general manager about your concerns. It might also be good to come in with some estimates, even verbal, from other places. He might be willing to knock $500 off the price of the repairs to keep it in house or do something else to keep you happy. Or he might tell you to fuck off. Either way, it's worth five minutes of your time to find out.
Old 01-26-08, 09:55 AM
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You can have a new high performance engine and transmission installed for that kind of money... Discount tire or a trustworthy full service gas station will mount tires for you for very cheap... I usually do repairs myself unless they involve lifting an engine or if they are really difficult. I change alternators, water pumps, hoses, belts, etc... Some new cars are complicated though and require special equipment though.

Seriously though - the price they quoted you - Vin Diesel should drive up and hand you keys to this:
Old 01-26-08, 11:28 AM
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OP, if you are willing to come to Berkeley, then you should check out Berkeley Minicar. They specalize in Hondas and are incredibly cheaper than the dealer would be. I know tons of people who have taken their Hondas there and all are overly satisfied (including me).

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