Are Dealership Service Departments Ripping You Off?
For the record, everything you're seeing above in the video was shot in Toronto, Canada. It's not even remotely local to us at all. Savvy?
There's no arguing, service and labor pricing is generally more expensive at a dealership. Most regular maintenance can be done anywhere, but some of that work involves proprietary methods only a dealership will have access to, I assume...Whether you have a good relationship with your local dealership, an independent mechanic, or your handy and/or willing to watch a YouTube video and do it yourself, the question always seems to be, is the juice worth the squeeze?
First and foremost, up-selling is a trait of any business in the world. Walk into any store in the world, and they'll hope you buy two of whatever you're looking for. It's not the problem in the video above as much as the insistence that it's required or staunchly recommended. The real problem is trust. Do you trust the people you do business with? As the world grows more devoid of social skill development, trust is a hard thing to earn and give. That's why millennials are starting to embrace the idea of small business and independent owners again. They're literally saving mom & pop businesses across the country as they crave knowing who they're doing business with. But years of heavy "milking the customer" ideology is still trying to hang on.
Example - Show of hands... Have you ever pulled into a quick lube for an oil change and the service writer tells you that your transmission fluid needs a change? Happened to me once. After I declined, the mechanic brought me a "sample" of my transmission fluid to show me how deteriorated it was. Looked like slightly dirty golden-brown oil. That's a red flag, because transmission fluid is red. Started changing my own oil shortly after and ever since.
But do they all do that? I don't think so. That's why there's so much value in knowing who you're doing business with. Get to know the service writer at the dealership. Get to know the independent mechanic turning wrenches in his own shop. But most importantly, get to know your vehicles service manual. It's in the glove box. If your car doesn't have one, pretend it's nearly 2020 and download one off the web. Follow that service guide. Know what you need when you walk into wherever you decide to take your vehicle, and if you haven't tried, do a little something from time to time yourself. You'll be amazed how easy 90% of it is.