By on July 18, 2011

 

http://www.spongersltd.com

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?

Sajeev answers:

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.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

65 Comments on “Piston Slap: Because You’re Worth It?...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Thanks for the accurate analysis. That pretty much sums up dealer service.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    A fellow 3-series wagon owner! I pick up my ’11 a week from Friday in Munich.

    Sajeev gives good advice – this is pure profit padding, and the prices of both services are on the far side of extortionate. But, I don’t believe you have a fuel filter that is replacable. AFAIK, it is integral with the fuel pump, and you get a new filter when the pump dies. Which probably happens sooner than it should due to the non-replacable filter.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    I do hope that includes “Rotating the air in the tires” , “checking the blinker fluid” and “lubricating the chassis”.

    A lot of $$ for a bottle of Techron.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Is muffler-bearing balancing included too?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      And don’t forget the Jupiter rings. I can’t even count the number of times those have gone out.

      More seriously, I was once pressed to do an engine flush for $100. After extracting an explanation from them, I found out it was nothing more than two consecutive $25 oil changes.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Meatwad [recounting a mechanic\'s appraisal of the car]: He said that the hobbit, that turns the crank case is depressed, and needs therapy. We need to get us a new hobbit. They’s from the land beyond time, land beyond time’s also gonna hook us up with a unicorn for the radiator, I ain’t even gonna tell you ’bout that haunted air conditioner. Then that air filter, that’s made of plutonium, that’s gonna require Superman, so, you know, plus shippin’ from Krypton. Then the cow, jumped over the moon…

    Frylock: Maybe I should take a look at that estimate…

    Meatwad Maybe you should. I…I don’t even know anymore.

    Frylock: Wow, he really did write all that. What an ***-hole.

  • avatar
    mikey

    When it comes to maintenance. I don’t scrimp. However I don’t waste my money on half the crap the dealer tries to sell me.

    Beware of the word “service” I once questioned a charge for “Air cleaner service” “Did you replace the filter” I asked. “No, we seviced it” On an 84 Chevy with a 305, WTF is there to servive on an air cleaner?

    A few years later I take my 2001 Grand Am for an oil change. “Sir your due for a brake service”. “Brakes are good”, says I. “Well you never know whats going on with your brakes were concerned about your safety” I shook my head.

    This guy must be on commision. He then points out that you “may” need this service to maintain your warranty.

    Really? What part of the brakes under warranty? The pads? The rotors?

    Its just a scam.

    As I mentioned earlier, I stay right on top of maintenance. To anybody other than my mechanic, I tell change the oil, and the filter, DO NOT touch any other part of my car.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      “This guy must be on commision.”

      At a car dealership, everyone but the owner is on commission. Absolutely everyone is trying to sell you something as soon as you come in the door. Never understood why a business model created back in WWII when cars were in short supply persists in a world of manufacturing overcapacity, extreme competition, and consumers with easy access to information via the internet.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. K

      FWIW From an advisor we are almost all on commission and techs only get paid for billable hours – billable to the customer, to the manufacturer, to new or used cars.

      If you are not charged for a service – any service then the tech is not being paid for it!

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I used to work for a company that made fuel injectors. NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG WITH A FUEL INJECTOR. I’m exaggerating, but only a little.

    When your done paying for the fuel injector cleaning I can give you a wallet cleaning.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      The only time I ever saw anyone have true injector trouble was when a co-worker got into some bad-dirty gas which alerted the company to the fact their underground storage tank was having “issues.” (Working for my college’s physical plant, the full time employees got a few gallons of gas a week to compensate them for driving around campus.) So yeah, fuel injection has been a pretty solid piece of technology.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      I had to do a “fuel injector cleaning” (read: bottle o’ Seafoam) once with my now-deceased beater Civic. Stopped the fueling issues I had.

      This was after about 200,000 miles. If the thing wasn’t rotting away in a junkyard now, I’ll bet it would handle another 200K without needing it again.

      If you still have a warranty, your fuel injectors are probably fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott

      The only injector problem I’ve ever had was with the seals on my ’88 Crown Vic. Two of the eight had deteriorated, allowing raw gas to pool along the fuel rails. You’re right, though – the injectors themselves were good, I just wasn’t keen on vehicular immolation.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      For the most part, I agree. I can’t speak for the newer cars (because I have yet to have an issue with any newish car injector, even after 100k miles), but the older GTI’s (circa 1983-84) would have bad o-rings. Fix? 10 minutes and less than 10 dollars for new o-rings.

      And the Tuned Port cars (C4 Corvettes, Camaros, Firebirds) would have to have the injectors sent in for a rebuilding/ultrasonic cleaning. But again, that was after 15years of use.

  • avatar
    sastexan

    “I was regally handed the keys to a Lexus HS250 loaner car. Which made for quite the enjoyable weekend.”

    How could having to drive a Prius around make for an enjoyable weekend?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The injector cleaning service they are selling is never needed. It doesn’t do much if anything, you are better off putting in a bottle of Techron occasionally. If the injectors actually need cleaning then the far and away beast way to do it is off the car. That way they can be flow tested to make sure they are balanced and the pattern checked. You’ll also get new injector filters, yes there is a little filter in each injector, o-rings/seals ect. Depending on the vehicle it can actually cost less. Many 4cyls that have injectors that are easy to access can be done for less than $250. On the other hand injectors that come in larger sets, take more expensive seals/filters, or require removing portions of the intake can run over $400.

    If you are watching your tires closely and rotating them there should be no need to get an alignment if the vehicle is still driving right and no unusual wear is noted. It is highly likely that they would put it on the machine say it’s within spec and send you out the door with a thinner wallet and no change to your car.

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      Or you take a car in knowing full well it needs an alignment, and come back and find it wasn’t done at all, and still charged you for it.

      I took my old Chevy in after I rebuilt the front end, 5 trips later it is still not really right, but apparently within specs for their machine. (old RWD A/B/F/X body front ends are incredibly easy to align if you know how to work the machine) Still has too much camber.

      The shop then told me that it needed a new front end as it was worn out, I flat called them liars and crooks then, as I had just put new bushings, springs and tie rods in two days prior. Sadly it had better alignment with no rubber in the upper A-arms and 35 year old parts elsewhere than it did right after they aligned it the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Yes, exactly correct on the alignment. Watch your front tires (although many cars with independent rear suspension do have a toe setting in the rear as well) like a hawk. If tires are wearing evenly with no abnormal wear patterns, you’re golden.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    My advice: Always ask questions about what, exactly, are you getting? Sometimes it’s better having a dealer service a vehicle for reasons of recalls, TSB’s and other stuff an independent mechanic may be unaware of.

    If a service is not an emergency, you have time to shop around and think about it.

  • avatar
    Boff

    The required maintenance is spelled out in the owner’s manual. Simple as that.

    Although sometimes one can get confused. My dealer says my car is due for a brake fluid and coolant flush. In the manual it says replace. The service advisor says that they are synonymous because they have this fancy machine that does the job. I suspect they are amortizing the cost of the fancy machine over many overpriced fluid replacements.

    Maybe I’m just too cynical.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      No you’re not too cynical. Let’s be honest, the average mechanic could tell the average American that the car’s flux capacitor needed to be serviced and the Mr. Fusion should be cleaned. Most Americans wouldn’t blink and would just pull out their credit cards.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      You hit on a huge pet peeve of mine: The supposed need for a brake fluid change that dealerships start recommending at 60,000 miles (or less).

      My pads aren’t even worn out – and while I know the comparison may be apples and oranges, it points to the fact that the fluid should still be good in a sealed system that hasn’t even had the master cylinder cap removed.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        Brake fluid does need to be replaced – contaminated fluid kills calipers, cylinders and abs components.

        Pay me now or pay me latter.

        5 – 7 years is a reasonable change interval IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        BuzzDog

        You’re right, Mr. K, but I’ve heard it recommended as early as 3 years/40,000 miles. That’s utter hogwash…

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        My motorcycle’s service manual recommends a change at 2 years/12K (ah, the wonders of the whole system being exposed to the elements), but it also takes me all of ten minutes per brake and uses something like 6 ounces of DOT4 between the both of them, so I guess it’s a give-and-take.

        In either case, though, it seems to me like a brake fluid change shouldn’t be based on mileage at all, but on time, unless I’m missing something. I mean, the main contaminant is water vapor getting through the seals, right? That seems time-constant to me.

      • 0 avatar
        The Comedian

        Well there’s your first mistake right there.

        Your braking system is not a sealed system.

        The brake fluid isn’t being changed because it has broken down. It needs to be changed because it will have absorbed moisture over time, lowering its boiling point.

        http://beetle.cabriolets.online.fr/tech/brake.html

      • 0 avatar
        SimonAlberta

        BuzzDog

        the reason for changing the brake fluid is that it absorbs moisture over time through the rubber hoses and seals.

        once the amount of moisture reaches a critical level you can find that, under heavy braking, the water near the brake caliper can instantly boil leaving you with a VERY soft pedal or, maybe, no brakes at all.

        i’ve never experienced it but, for my money, changing fluid as per manu’s recommendations is cheap safety.

        i always flush the fluid if i buy a used vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        I flush my own brake fluid every so often. I drive a ton, more than 40000 miles a year. So I probably hit it once every 18 months (usually right before I buy a different car – Hah!). But I do find it relaxing to do this sort of thing on my own, and I find the new fluid does provide for a firmer pedal, something I appreciate. I recently did this on my Camry, and the difference was huge.

        I also swap the fluid in my power steering fluid resovoir with every oil change. Why? Because I can. I notice no difference when I do this, and I’m not suggesting anyone else do this. It’s just something that has become habit. I might start the same for the transmission fluid, something I know will help prolong the life of the tranny.

        My $.02

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Boff: 100% correct. I follow my owner’s manual as to which services need performed.

      When I was working for a Toyota dealership 20 years ago, it was quite common for the service writer to scare the uninformed (particularly older women) into buying all kinds of services they really didn’t need. Not quite to the level of replacing the blinker fluid, but close. I never saw so many mufflers being sold in the semi-arid Southern environment. Or 4 wheel alignments for the glass smooth Georgia roads…

      I never felt quite right working there, and was relieved when I left.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny ro

        Audi says 2 years on the brake fluid. So thats what I do, and I pay them to do it. I have a power bleeder but I get an A3 loaner for the afternoon and they get to make a little $. Very little at $100 for the job.

        I do not drive at my electronically limited top speed, so I will likely not experience brake fade.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    The level of shameless service department banditry knows no bounds. My dad brought his CRV in for its 12000 mile service; he called to ask me whether he should have the transmission flushed like they advised. I suggested he advise the advisor to have his eyes checked because he’s obviously seeing one more zero on the odometer than is really there.

    Is this happening because the dealer is using service to make up for thin profit margins in sales?

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      No, the dealer is using service as a profit center completely independently of whether or not sales is doing well.

      They pretty much all do that.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Honda dealers in particular have traditionally made all of their money in the parts and service dept. The owner of the largest one in my state once told my Dad parts and service were 110% of his profits. In general though the auto repair business is still slow so in general all are trying to up sell you anyway they can.

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        Which explains why my Honda dealer wanted to charge me $130 for a part with an $80 Honda list price. Plus $90 to install it. This was a seat belt receptacle which had gotten smashed — somehow it had gotten into the Fit’s rear seat mount, and I crushed it lowering the seat from the upright position. I told them I would give them the retail price and not a dime more, or order it online for $56. I told them that when I ordered it, and they agreed to sell it to me for list. Then, when I picked it up and the invoice said $130, I told them again, and again they agreed to sell it to me for list. It installs with ONE bolt, and it took me about 5 minutes to swap it out myself. I should have just ordered it online in the first place and saved myself the money, time, aggravation, and two trips to the dealer.

        On the flip side, they have lifetime free oil changes as long as the recommended maintenance is performed on schedule. It remains to be seen if the schedule is Honda’s or theirs. My first ‘free’ oil change (at over 9k miles based on their maintenance minder oil life sensor) came with a $24 tire rotation, which is fine by me. If it gets to a $260 fuel injector service I may have to get off that program.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. K

      There was a mistake, or the advisor is a thief.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Flushes are overrated. A simple fluid change is all that is usually needed.

    As for the fuel injectors, I would agree that cleaning is not normally needed. BUT it depends upon the type of gasoline that one uses. In any fuel-injected car, I would always use a “top-tier” gasoline that has a certain minimum amount of detergents in it – read more here:

    http://www.toptiergas.com/

    I always used Shell gas in my 1988 Buick with the fuel-injected 3800, and when I sold it at 221K miles, the idle was just as smooth as when I purchased it, and I never touched the injectors. Only one fuel filter change.

    Oh, IMHO, fuel filter changes are done too frequently as well. Sure, it can’t hurt anything, but I have cut open a number of fuel filters that had well over 100K miles on them and have found a little darkening, with a sprinkling of metal flakes, but that’s it.

    Same deal with air filters – install a quality OEM filter, add an air filter restriction gauge to the filter housing, and simply monitor the gauge at each oil change. UPS (or Fedex, can’t remember which) added Filterminder gauges to their trucks and found that they could get over 100K miles on the same air filter with no problems. This is for those of us who like to keep our cars for a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. K

      You might be right about fuel filters but how do you tell with a sealed unit. If we dont sell the customer a fuel filter and they suffer drivability issues or worse due to a clogged filter (which also kills fuel pump$) who gets asked why the customer was not sold a filter a year ago?

  • avatar
    bucksnort

    I don’t think BMW dealers gave loaner cars for routine maintenance. They make you sit there in the nice couches and wait. You only get a loaner if something breaks which means you get a lot of loaners.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’ve found it’s way cheaper to void the warranty and change the oil every 20 to 30,000 miles. I’ve had zero problems associated with under maintaining in the last 2 decades. Saved tens of thousands. Maybe I’m lucky but I learned to warm up a car before I head out. ‘Experts’ say it’s not necessary to warm up car but aren’t these the same experts that recommend all the BS maintenance?

    Never align a car unless you bent a tie rod in an accident. I don’t recommend it for the average driver but the 1st thing I do when I get a new car or truck is set the toe at zero with a tape measurer. This gets me the most miles out of the tires and less rolling resistance too.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      There was a major taxi service company that did the math and realized that, after factoring in the taxi’s downtime during an oil change and how quickly and cheaply you could swap in a replacement engine into a Crown Vic, it made the most sense (for them) to never change the oil, and just change engines as necessary.

      This is why you don’t want to buy a used taxi.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        My neighbor back in the ’80s said his Toyota flatbed work truck had over 200K miles on the original oil. Said the key was to warm it up before every use. He had no reason to lie so I took the cue and haven’t looked back since.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      With a really good oil and a short enough time period, you can get away with that sort of an oil change interval without causing any extra wear. Even with cheap modern oil it should survive pretty good as long as you keep the level up. Far more important than having fresh clean oil is simply having oil. But I enjoy automotive maintenance, including draining old fluid to put new fluids in. So I do everything at a reasonable schedule that corresponding to typical manufacturer recommendations. For a daily driver, I do my changes in the spring and fall, regardless of mileage. I haven’t quite been driving for two decades, but in sixteen years I’ve spent nowhere near $10,000 in maintenance!

      I do agree with your alignment advice. Unless something is damaged or worn out and requires replacement, or there is an obvious indication like pulling or abnormal tire wear, there is no good reason to pay someone to mess with your alignment. I have done some pretty decent tape measure alignments myself, but only for temporary use.

  • avatar
    DenverInfidel

    I had a 97 Pathfinder that ran very sluggish and choppy, especially at higher RPM’s. After I changed plugs, etc it wasn’t much better. My mechanic at the time suggested a good injector cleaning, and it really did make a big difference. He thought the previous owner had used bad gas regularly, but even he admitted it rarely helps all that much.

    It is the classic upsell. As mentioned here several times, a bottle of techron every so often and good gas are all that is needed. Injectors tend to last a long time.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I always assumed injector service was a rip off… all the gas ads say their fuel “cleans injectors” as you drive. I too make sure to run some top-tier fuel thru my vehicles every now and then. If the price is too high or the location is not convenient I’ll but the off-brand gas. For my boat (which has a carb) I use additives to keep it running well, which includes Stab-Bil to fight off the evils of ethanol.

    As for alignments: my experience is with front wheel drive you have to watch it carefully. A slight problem can wear out tires pretty quickly since they are the drive wheels. A yes even FWD can have rear alignment issues, my current VW Passat had problem in the rear and caused a notice wear pattern.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    Use top tier gas when you can

    http://www.toptiergas.com/

    Pour 2 bottles of real Techron,

    http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/additives/tcp.aspx

    not one of the additives with techron
    in the gas when you are low and are filling it up BEFORE you put the gas in and drive it to 1/8 of a tank every year or 18 months, replace the fuel filter every 3 or so years and you should be golden. this advice applies to any modern fuel injected car.

    FWIW depending on the car a throttle body service IS very critical – from 30 or so K in a Chevy TrailBlaze/GMC Encvoy to about 60 or 90 on others.

    Sticky Throttle Body will not idle, night not start and will surge.

    DIY with a can of 2+2 and a rag. Be sure to use a cleaner approved for throttle bodies or you might be buying a new one.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Mr.K: What is 2+2? I’m not familiar with that name…

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        Sorry for the late reply. We used it in place of official GM cleaner because it was much less expensive and helped the parts dept to keep their relationship with local suppliers.

        http://www.berkebileoil.com/special.htm

        BERKEBILE 2+2® AIR INTAKE CLEANER
        Stock No. B3500

        Cleans Throttle Valves, Throttle Bodies, and Idle Air Control Valves
        Safe on Sensors & Computer Controlled Air Intake Systems
        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

        Dont have to use any particular brand but whatever you use must say that!

  • avatar
    william442

    Fuel injectors do fail, but seldom with gasoline. Use a good additive.
    The owner’s manual for my last three series said do not rotate the tires.
    My tire rotation exoerience is that it usually changes the handling, so I don’t do it. However my cars do not get driven much.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      In the old days I did not rotate tires on my FWD cars. I put well over 100K on crappy Goodyear Invicta GL tires on the rear of my now deceased K car. A cord shifted in the tire and I replaced them, and they still had about 20% of the tread. Fronts only lasted 30K at best, but those were the much stickier Eagle GTs. This was the only car I did that to. I rotate every 10K or so nowadays…

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Speaking of car washes, I do spend more for the premium washes, but the marginal utility you get from spending a little more is well worthwhile.

    I avoid wand washes on my full size car because there’s too much surface area to wash it for $2, I have to pop in $3 instead, almost a 50% jump for the penalty of driving a larger vehicle. And it doesn’t clean as well as a touchless or soft brush wash.

    The base touchless washes don’t clean that well, it’s like the cleaning cycled is truncated.

    And of course, the value of a premium car wash is the spotting agent rinse and blow dryer, which prevents hard water spots and getting a layer of dust that accumulates driving a wet car.

    I also keep a bottle of detailer or washless wax spray for touch ups to catch the things it missed, but at least I don’t have to detail the whole paint surface like I have to when I wand wash.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    FI service: ripoff. Use good gas and wait until there’s a driveability issue since the fuel filter isn’t replaceable without also “servicing” the in-tank fuel pump on the E90s.

    Alignment: about $100 more than it should cost even at a BMW dealer, but might be worth more than Firestone’s price to get someone who knows BMW alignments to do it. The specs BMW publishes for alignments are with the car correctly ballasted. I wouldn’t trust Firestone, or for that matter, anyone other than a dealership or independent mechanic that specialized in BMWs to properly do that.

    Brake fluid changes: while BMW’s recommendation (in the manual) of every two years by calendar, not mileage, may be a bit conservative, it’s a small price to pay versus getting wet brake fluid to cause problems with brake lines or calipers or boiling brake fluid when the car is driven aggressively.

    As someone who has experienced the gamut of BMW stealerships in different areas of the country, I can say that the difference between a good one and a bad one is like the difference between night and day. Sounds like you’ve unfortunately gotten a bad one, truly worthy of the name stealership. I have now moved to a city where there’s only one BMW dealer and each of the closest three metropolitan areas also has only one BMW dealership, and I’ve been lucky to find a very good independent mechanic specializing in German makes. Otherwise, despite my ejoyment of driving the cars, I’d be looking at another marque for my next car due to the dealership experience alone.

  • avatar

    $290 for an alignment is absolutely insane – it better include a blowjob as well.

    The MOST I’ve ever paid for an alignment was $150 at a race shop where they took several hours and gave me a hand written sheet by the master tech showing the various changes to my race suspension.

  • avatar
    SimonAlberta

    My overall take on this subject is this; I study my owner’s manual and devise a maintenence schedule suitable for my driving style, climate etc.. I know which items i can let slide a while so i can get more jobs done at one visit, and i may bring forward some cheap items for the same reason.

    the point is, i KNOW what needs doing and when so i TELL the service guys what needs doing and i won’t listen to anything else.

    obviously, if my TRUSTED mechanic tells me something else needs doing i will listen but he will have to physically show me the problem before i give him the go ahead.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    I have a 1997 Odyssey with 140k miles on it. There was an oil leak which got into a spark plug which prevented it from firing. So basically, I was running on 3 cylinders instead of 4, but I got pretty good mileage! :P But I also got little power.

    Ok, seals fixed, spark plug replaced. Honda Service recommended the Fuel Injection Service, but I declined. But now I am reconsidering. Is this a valid reason for FI service? Thoughts?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    The alignments by Firestone are computerized and contain the same wondeful information as the dealer.

    $50 alignments. $20 oil changes. I’m not a big fan of their suspension parts. But their basic services are as good as the dealer for a fraction of the price.

    This stuff is not rocket science.

  • avatar
    beach cruiser

    The old fuel injection service gambit, always a favorite. I have owned many Hondas that have been pushed well north of 200,000 miles and have never had it done. Quality fuel and good maintenance has worked for me. Recently however I had my 1968 Buick wagon in to run down a coolant leak and the “mechanic” said I needed a complete new radiator and engine flush. He also said I needed a fuel injection service and could discount that for me if I had the other work done. Of course Rochester did make some fuel injection units back in the day, but GM didn’t install one in my fine ride, just my old trusty Quadrajet. What a world.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Ask him if he thinks you need the “cabin air filter” changed. That will show you how big an idiot he thinks you are.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        I have seen some ugly cabin air filters – just like the CAC filter at home a clogged filter flows less air…

        OTOH not sure a 68 buick had one!

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        And that’s what I meant. Yes cabin air filters need to be changed. But very few cars built during the pevious century are going to have one. (Including a 68 Buick – and any mechanic worth a crap should know better.)


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India