TTAC Commentator jkross22 writes:
Sajeev, I’ve got a question for you. I took my car in for a warranty covered service (oil and brake fluid change) and the dealer suggests I have a fuel injection service done along with an alignment. The FI service is $260 and the alignment is $290. I’m driving an ’07 3-series wagon.
I can’t imagine why they would recommend an FI service other than to help pad dealer profit, and the alignment cost at the dealer is literally double what Firestone charges for the same thing. There is no drivability problem, but this is the 2nd time this dealer has tried to sell me on this FI service.
They have posters of it in their cubicles to ‘educate’ the unwashed masses about the dangers of dirty fuel injectors. It’s actually pretty funny. What gives on the FI service and is this something that is actually needed… ever?
Injector service is never needed at your car’s age, unless you’re a traveling salesman with tons of miles in areas with old and junky gas stations. And that’s me being quite generous to the plight of your dealer service department. But replacing a fuel filter is probably a good idea. Nobody here would judge you harshly for slapping in a new one.
Here’s the thing with dealership service department tricks: I wish more places would be more forthcoming about the necessity of these things. Sorta like the various levels of service at the car wash: would you like the basic wash or a Super Extra Platinum service today? And if you order our Deluxe Gold package that includes an underbody wash, you get a free antenna waxing! Wrapping these services in a “premium package” lets some people get what they need, and gives others even more reason to hyper-maintain their vehicle. Because these people exist and they believe their vehicles are worth the extra effort. Don’t try and change them!
Now let’s talk pricing: the average BMW service department is worth the extra money for people who value time over money. And a stylish, comfy place to chill out while your ride gets the treatment it needs. So if you want a latte, flat screen TVs, WiFi, leather couches and a 3-series loaner car waiting for you, by all means, get the wheel alignment done there. Let’s face it, the local Firestone can’t match that, and some people quite love the treatment of a premium brand’s service department.
Even this old school Fox Body and Lincoln Mark VIII drivin’ fool gets it: when my mother’s CPO Lexus GS (a great used car value, btw) needed brake and NVH service, she rang up her favorite greasemonkey manchild to do it for her. While I normally take matters into my own (or my local wrench’s) hands, messing with Mom’s warranty-laden car isn’t the smartest thing to do if something goes wrong. Plus, the Lexus dealer has the most awesome couches in which to sip a Mocha Latte and scarf down a 1000-calorie jumbo Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate muffin. And when they found bigger and more involved problems, I was regally handed the keys to a Lexus HS250 loaner car. Which made for quite the enjoyable weekend.
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