January 24, 2008

It pays to be informed

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:24 pm by sillydreamer

I’ll try to make this short and not too technical boring because it’s definitely worth telling.

Several months ago my check engine light came on in the van.  We had it checked out at an auto parts store, they hook it up for free and give you a code that tells you what the problem is.  We discovered it was something to do with the car’s computer system.  There is a more technical name but basically it’s the computer.  It’s ok to drive but something that eventually will need to be fixed.  In the mean time, we start to hear a slight knocking noise in the front end, usually when driving over the speed bumps at school.

We take it in to the dealership, explain our concerns and wait for their call, which we never got, we had to go down and find out what was going on.  The mechanic gives this big dramatic breakdown of $1700 because we need a new rack and pinion steering and something done to the computer.  They also began giving us a list of things that we should get done that would also be included in that price.  Ok thanks, we’ll get back with you.  We don’t like this dealership anyway so we decided to go with someone else.

The new rack and pinion steering that would have cost us $700 was not needed.  Another mechanic put some new bushing or bearings, not sure of the name, but am sure that those parts were $20 and with the labor we paid around $100 to fix the problem with the knocking noise.  So we’ve gone from needing to spend $700 to spending around $100.  Not bad huh?

It gets better.

My hubby gets on the computer yesterday just doing a little research on this code and guess what?  The replacement of the computer is actually under an extended emmisions warranty through the dealership.  We call another dealership and ask them and they confirm this.  They tell us to bring the van in so they can have a look.  They say yes, we need to have it replaced which would normally cost $3000 but would be free of charge. 

Now, if this dealership knew this, don’t you think the original dealership also knew this?  You bet they did!  Getting informed, especially when you have access to a computer, is free and it’s so important because there are so many businesses out there that are not honest and are looking to make a quick buck off of you.  I know there are also many, many good, honest businesses out there too but the sucky ones make it harder for them.  I’ll never set foot in our local dealership again and I’ll tell everyone I know about my experience with them.  On the same token, I am going to tell everyone about the great experience I had with the other dealership and will remember them when it’s time for my next car 🙂



  1. Rhonda said,

    Free is GOOD!

    And it looks good around here 🙂

  2. clevergrl said,

    Ooo like the colors…

    It’s always good to find a dealership that you can actually trust! Equally good to figure out the ones you can’t without losing too much money to them…

  3. leafless said,

    You should report this to your local Better Business Bureau. You should also file a complaint to have the business license of the dishonest dealership revoked. 🙂

  4. Lady Luck said,

    Ouch! It does sound like they were trying to rip you off.

    I agree with leafless – report it and by doing so help someone who may be less switched on than you, to avoid a similiar problem.

  5. sillydreamer said,

    I don’t think I could do much by reporting them because I never got anything in writing but it would be nice if I could make them face the music for how they handled it.

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