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Old 12-12-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Service department rip-off?

I took my del Sol into the local Honda dealer to have my driver's door adjusted, the fan switch replaced, and the climate control fan switch fixed. I had a few other things checked while it is there.

The dealer called me and told me that my water pump is leaking and that I have a split outer CV boot. I drove down and they showed me the leaking water pump and split boot.

I will have my water pump changed when the timing belt is done... probably this spring. That's not a biggie to me. However, I let the car idle for 20 minutes in the driveway, and it had no spot on the garage floor under the car. Why would it suddenly start leaking at the dealership? Could I have just not noticed it?

The CV boot is another issue. I was just underneath the car while I changed the oil and tranny fluid, and bled the brakes and clutch. I had the left front wheel off and inspected the CV boots... one a week ago. The car had no grease slung on the inner fender or inside the wheel, yet the boot was split in almost two. How could this happen? There was a puddle of grease on the lower control arm, and it was dripping off. I would think that the grease would cause a spot in my driveway as well.

The dealer quoted me $685 to change the left front cv boot over the phone. When I went to the dealer, I explained that I had just spent a weekend under the car and that the boot was not split at that time. I also explained that I had the inner and outer CV boots changed on my prior '95 del Sol for $185. He then told me the price was just over $200.00.

I smell a scam.

I told them to change the boot. I have my intention to pay cash when I pick up the car and not pay for the CV boot replacement. What do you think?
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I think you need to find a non-dealer individual mechanic that you can trust or has good reviews by word of mouth.

I stay away from dealerships if at all possible for car maintenance.

In fact I'm trying to remember the last time I've had a dealership work on my car outside of the warranty.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I'd suggest having the water pump repaired now if you can confirm it's leaking. If the timing belt is continually exposed to coolant it will damage the timing belt possibly causing it to break and if you have an interference engine be very costly. I changed the water pump and timing belt this summer on the '94 Escort that was my dad's before his death. The water pump had been leaking on the belt and even though the belt wasn't very old the belt was coming apart and in very poor condition. It was like a rats nest of fibers from the timing belt down around the crankshaft.

If you're not able to do the work on your own cars, I'd also suggest trying to find a good independent mechanic to do the work for you. In most cases an independent mechanic can do anything a dealer can at a fraction the cost. Although I've never done a timing belt water pump on a Honda I have on my Ford Escorts. If you have tools are mechanically inclined and are not sure how to do it yourself buying a Haynes/Chilton's manual for your specific vehicle will give you step by step instructions and save you several hundred dollars.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Service department rip-off?

You should be able to tell if a coolant leak is recent, or if it has been trickling for a while. Is there a crusty buildup around the leak? The CV joint sounds suspect to me. I would get my vehicle out of that dealership as cheap as possible, and have the repairs completed elsewhere.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Re: Service department rip-off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetch View Post
He then told me the price was just over $200.00.

I smell a scam.

I told them to change the boot. I have my intention to pay cash when I pick up the car and not pay for the CV boot replacement. What do you think?
By telling them to change the boot, you executed a verbal contract. You will be in the wrong if you don't pay for it. Unless you can prove that they sabotaged it to scam you and take the whole thing to court you will be the only one legally wrong. You should have told them not to fix it.

The whole thing sure does sound fishy to me. It could have been an unlikely but honest coincidence until they played that $600 price game.

You could have gotten out politely by saying "You know, maybe this car isn't going to work out for me after all. I'm just going to take it home and forget about fixing anything."
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: Service department rip-off?

Jay: I think the water pump leak must be recent; I let it idle in my driveway for a while while I was running Seafoam through it. The car was completely warm, but it had no drips on the driveway or underneath the car.

Ford Man: I can do most maintenance on my vehicles, but I do not have the equipment and ability to change the timing belt. If I saw someone do one on a Honda, I'm sure I could duplicate it. All I have to go by is the Chilton's manual pictures, which leave much to be desired. The water pump is in a difficult location to reach. If I take the car to the dealer, they change the timing belt and water pump at the same time. I was planning on having the timing belt changed in the spring when I can afford it.

Tradosaurus: I used to have a shop that I frequented, but it is 170 miles away from where I live now. I had a really bad experience with a local shop in Anderson: they ruined my transmission. Another local shop took my car for a joyride. I have not found one in town I like. I had never had problems with this particular dealer before.

THC: As far as the CV boot, what I am thinking I might do is call the dealership manager and state my complaint. I wonder what his reply might be. If I had told them not do do the work, I would have had to pay another dealer to do the work for sure. Replacing the boot should not be too hard in itself, but I don't want to mess with it since I do not feel like spending a day outside in 20-degree weather if I can help it. I had to replace the driveaxles on a '99 Civic Si myself, and I think it was one of the biggest pains in the butt I have ever encountered.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Service department rip-off?

yea dealers are 90% of the time trying to scam you...

i also agree find a independant mechanic and have him do it.

cant count how many times they try to pull that well this this this this and this is broke. or i love the one where you cant legally leave our shop without it being fixed game. then you call them out on it and thier story does a 180 and they seem to get defensive and want you out of there ASAP.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:50 PM   #8
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Re: Service department rip-off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetch View Post
Jay: I think the water pump leak must be recent; I let it idle in my driveway for a while while I was running Seafoam through it. The car was completely warm, but it had no drips on the driveway or underneath the car.

Ford Man: I can do most maintenance on my vehicles, but I do not have the equipment and ability to change the timing belt. If I saw someone do one on a Honda, I'm sure I could duplicate it. All I have to go by is the Chilton's manual pictures, which leave much to be desired. The water pump is in a difficult location to reach. If I take the car to the dealer, they change the timing belt and water pump at the same time. I was planning on having the timing belt changed in the spring when I can afford it.

Tradosaurus: I used to have a shop that I frequented, but it is 170 miles away from where I live now. I had a really bad experience with a local shop in Anderson: they ruined my transmission. Another local shop took my car for a joyride. I have not found one in town I like. I had never had problems with this particular dealer before.

THC: As far as the CV boot, what I am thinking I might do is call the dealership manager and state my complaint. I wonder what his reply might be. If I had told them not do do the work, I would have had to pay another dealer to do the work for sure. Replacing the boot should not be too hard in itself, but I don't want to mess with it since I do not feel like spending a day outside in 20-degree weather if I can help it. I had to replace the driveaxles on a '99 Civic Si myself, and I think it was one of the biggest pains in the butt I have ever encountered.
Wait a minute....I don't recall that conversation.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Service department rip-off?

Oh I know you'd need to take it somewhere else if you don't have them take care of it, but when they're that shady it's bad to encourage them by giving them the work they want and it's bad to let them touch your car again.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: Service department rip-off?

I really hate stealerships and those service dept games are one reason why. It is mighty suspicious to have that boot rip so soon after you declared it OK... if there are high miles and years it IS possible it really failed; or it is possible dealer sabatoge. Seeing the games they are playing with repair pricing, I'm leaning towards sabatoge. Then yes, you sure want to get back at them, but how? You basically can't prove they did it. Hmmm...
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