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Old 12-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Service department rip-off?

can very closely inspect the slice, is it torn (or dry rotted - could be non dealer fault) but if its a crisp clean cut then yes they did it, a natural tear should look well natural a forced cut or tear is usualy obvious
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I was just suggesting the water pump/timing belt be done soon if the belt has had long term exposure to coolant and is an interference engine. If it's a non interference engine the worst that can happen is being stranded on the side of the road and have to pay for a tow. An independent garage would likely charge about 1/2 what the dealership will to change the water pump/timing belt.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:29 AM   #13
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Re: Service department rip-off?

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Originally Posted by VetteOwner View Post
can very closely inspect the slice, is it torn (or dry rotted - could be non dealer fault) but if its a crisp clean cut then yes they did it, a natural tear should look well natural a forced cut or tear is usualy obvious
It looked cut. The boots were in perfect shape. As a matter of fact, they looked new when I was under the car a week ago. No dry rot or stress cracks. They rubber had nice color to it.

The "tear" was on the inside of one of the notches. If it was cut by road debris, you would expect it to tear on one of the bulges that hangs downward, not one of the "pockets."
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:59 AM   #14
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I can't see how they could have sabotaged the water pump. I'd replace that water pump soon- especially if you plan on doing any long distance driving. I have seen a water pump seal go from no leaks, to dropping 1 gallon while the car is parked and not running (I got off work and found a huge puddle of coolant running out from under my car). At the very minimum, keep a few gallons of coolant in the trunk. If the water pump has an external weep hole then the timing belt might stay dry. But if coolant is dripping from under the plastic timing cover (behind the crank pulley) you can bet that there is coolant in there and on the belt.

It is very possible that they sabotaged the CV boot. My CV boots usually tear in the creases after dry rotting. I think boots are more prone to tearing at a stress cracks in the winter because the rubber is more stiff when it is cold. Maybe they "check" the CV boot by forcefully pushing on it- and boots that could have lasted a few more years give way under their "test". At highway speed, the grease will be slung in a perfect circle around the tear and it takes some speed to sling that grease out.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #15
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Re: Service department rip-off?

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I can't see how they could have sabotaged the water pump. I'd replace that water pump soon- especially if you plan on doing any long distance driving. I have seen a water pump seal go from no leaks, to dropping 1 gallon while the car is parked and not running (I got off work and found a huge puddle of coolant running out from under my car). At the very minimum, keep a few gallons of coolant in the trunk. If the water pump has an external weep hole then the timing belt might stay dry. But if coolant is dripping from under the plastic timing cover (behind the crank pulley) you can bet that there is coolant in there and on the belt.

It is very possible that they sabotaged the CV boot. My CV boots usually tear in the creases after dry rotting. I think boots are more prone to tearing at a stress cracks in the winter because the rubber is more stiff when it is cold. Maybe they "check" the CV boot by forcefully pushing on it- and boots that could have lasted a few more years give way under their "test". At highway speed, the grease will be slung in a perfect circle around the tear and it takes some speed to sling that grease out.
I never thought that they sabotaged the water pump. There is some kind of grease floating in the top of my radiator that was not there before, but that could be from the thermostat installation.

The del Sol is leaking outside of the timing belt cover, so I think the belt is safe for now. I think the entire cooling system only holds a gallon or so of coolant. Heck, the radiator only goes halfway across the front of the car. I'll keep an eye on it, but I think it'll be OK until spring, when I will have the timing belt and water pump replaced. I can't afford it now.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:02 AM   #16
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I took my Toyota in to the dealer once to have a recall fix applied that I had gotten in the mail. It was mandatory and free for all the models produced of the year I owned. When I went to pick it up, the sales guy in the shop showed me all these different fluids and things that needed to be changed with my car. The total cost was close to $600!!!

They had this little graphic that showed what my fluids should look like and what they supposedly did look like. I thought about it, and realized they could have easily used fluids from another car and pulled a bait and switch on me to get extra work and make money off me. Two things, the transmission fluid and the break fluid were really dirty when I knew they shouldn't be.

So when I went to get my next oil change I took it to a local, reputable and reasonably priced mechanic. He went over each thing the dealership had claimed I needed replaced and told me it was a scam. He told me my ride was in great shape and didn't need anything based on his observations. He was right.

My car ran just fine and when it came time to replace all those things about three years later, I did it and nothing ever happened bad to my car. I don't trust dealers. They seem to play these games to get you in their shop and then charge you a bunch of money for stuff you don't need and then try to scare you if you don't do it. My car has never had a mechanical issue other than a starter going bad in the 14 1/2 years I've owned it either.

Moral of the story: Don't trust the dealerships. Find an independent and reputable mechanic and let him take care of your car. I swear by my guy and I've never had a problem.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:16 AM   #17
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Re: Service department rip-off?

It's not just dealers, and it's not all dealers. Certainly dealers, and chain/franchise independent shops (like quicklube-style places and well-branded full service shops), feel that they can get away with it...but there's plenty of independent shops with bad employees, or one-man shops run by someone who has no morals. Bad people are everywhere.

Whether dealer, chain/franchise, or independent, you need to do whatever homework you can and you need to always be on your guard. If something sounds fishy, say "thanks, I'll look at that when I get home" and take it somewhere trusted for a second opinion.

By far the best thing you can do is be educated and practiced; do as much of your own work as possible, learn about the things that you don't do (I learn by participating in forum discussions and reading service manuals), and so on.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:06 PM   #18
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Re: Service department rip-off?

Many years ago I took my car into a chain store to have the tires rotated and they told me I needed new tie rod ends. I was living in NC and had bought my tires at another one of their stores so the rotation was free even though I was in TN at the time. I told them not to replace the tie rod ends that I'd see about them later. The thing they didn't know is prior to the trip I had checked the front end for worn parts and everything was fine. Since I had NC plates and was about 500 miles from home they probably figured it would be an easy sale, but the joke was on them. If I hadn't checked the front end prior to the trip there's a good chance I'd have told them to replace them. I ended up driving the car about another 100K miles before selling it and it still had those same worn out tie rod ends when I sold it. Maybe I should feel guilty about selling my friend a car with worn out tie rod ends. LOL

Stories like this is why I work on my own cars unless it's something I can't do or don't have the tools to do and in those cases I tell them exactly what I want done and nothing else. I trust most mechanics about as far as I can pick them up and throw them.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Service department rip-off?

usually ive found out when talking with shops is i play dumb (somewhat) to see if they really are trying to screw me over, if they do i go somewhere else and usually call them out on it before i do if they dont i explain exactly what i want done (get as technical as possible at this point so they dont try anything funny) and then have them do it.

kinda give them the "heres who your dealing with i know my stuff dont try to pull anything" run down. usually they will take me out and show me stuff that could be a problem (or they think it is , where its not good but it aint going to go anywhere)
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