Dealer rant - updated 2.27.06 - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 7:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Dealer rant - updated 2.27.06

The Focus has been having intermittent cold start issues for the last few months so I took it back to the dealer before warranty runs out. Get a call from the counter guy yesterday that it's ready for me to pick up. I asked him what the problem was and he said there was some sensor on the fuel rail that went bad and they also found some other electrical problems. All is fixed, tested, etc. and the car is ready to be picked up.

Dropped off the rental, walk out to the lot and go looking for my car. I get in, let it warm up for a few, let the e-brake(I noticed the e-brake lever was pulled a little higher than I normally pull it, and I pull it up as high as it goes. Didn't think anything of it) out and go to take off. Car won't move. E-brake is froze up. Try to gently nudge the car forwards and backwards a few times to try and get it unstuck...no dice. Walk back up to the counter, tell the guy what's going on, he takes my keys for ~5-10 minutes and then I see my car pull up. He comes back, says it's all set.

I get on my way and go back to the office. Pull in 1/2 hour later. No problems to this point. Park in my usual spot, turn the key off, open the door and get ready to step out...except that my radio is still playing and my dome light is off...my dome light is never off. I figure the tech might have shut it off to save the battery if he had the doors open...but that doesn't explain why my radio is still playing. So I go in, eat my lunch, call the service guy and tell him what's going on...he says to bring it back. Bail out early, go back to the dealer. They're not exactly excited to see me since they just had my car for nearly a week, but they go to give the car a quick look to see if it's maybe a door switch or something. Both guys behind the counter and the mechanic that did the warranty work look at it for a solid 15 minutes and can't find anything. They said I'm gonna have to leave my car, they have no clue what it is and will likely have to go behind the dash and look at what it could be.

Here's where I'm skeptical...When I initially got in my car I noticed my clock on the radio was on...it's not supposed to be on when the car is off. I also noticed my dome light was off at that time....just didn't put the two together. Me thinks the mechanic knew there was something wrong with the car, but just tried to brush it under the carpet. Why do I say this? Because when I brought the car back at the end of the day, counter guy A says to counter guy B... "Guess what, it's another Brad car". Not a smart thing to say in front of a semi-unhappy customer.

For some reason I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a saga....
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post #2 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 7:24 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Oh man, electrical gremlins are a bitch.

The shop I worked at lost money on the job just about every time a car came in with electrical issues. (but for long standing customers you have to take care of them)

Good luck, stay on top of them.




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post #3 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 7:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dealer rant

It's warranty work...they won't lose money.
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post #4 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:01 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

even if it wasn't warranty with the $100/hr labor rates now they make plenty of money.

I take it that its not like a newer GM where the radio shuts off after you open the door (or a certain amount of time, I think 10 minutes).

just remember Ford ****edUs.

really sucks not having your car in the winter (or just when you don't have a bike or other second vehicle)

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #5 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:06 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by ND4SPD
It's warranty work...they won't lose money.
I don't know how dealers are paid for warranty work.

The problem with electrical is there is no way to goto the Bible and pull out the required hours for the job. It's very difficult to say how many hours it will take. And invariably, it takes longer than you can bill for.

For example, most operations on a car have an alotted number of hours for a repair. Changing the clutch in your ****us takes say 5.7 hours according to the book. The shop at $100/hr charges you $570 for labor, though a good tech might get it done in 3 hours. (or a bad one in 10, though you can only charge 5.7 hours in most cases) Since there's no way to goto the book for "mysterious electrical problem" there's no way to estimate the costs. And often they take so much time, you can't even bill for all of the hours spent on the job as it simply turns into a huge number.

I'd imagine Furd is hard on their dealers for time chasing things too.

CBR929RE, if you think a shop is getting rich at $75/hr labor rates, you don't know much about the biz.




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post #6 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
I don't know how dealers are paid for warranty work.

The problem with electrical is there is no way to goto the Bible and pull out the required hours for the job. It's very difficult to say how many hours it will take. And invariably, it takes longer than you can bill for.

For example, most operations on a car have an alotted number of hours for a repair. Changing the clutch in your ****us takes say 5.7 hours according to the book. The shop at $100/hr charges you $570 for labor, though a good tech might get it done in 3 hours. (or a bad one in 10, though you can only charge 5.7 hours in most cases) Since there's no way to goto the book for "mysterious electrical problem" there's no way to estimate the costs. And often they take so much time, you can't even bill for all of the hours spent on the job as it simply turns into a huge number.
Yeah, they said they're gonna have to pull out schematics and likely have to go behind the dash to trace wires. Not a job I would want to do. I'm sorta hoping they can't fix it. I'm about due for another car
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post #7 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:17 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
I don't know how dealers are paid for warranty work.

The problem with electrical is there is no way to goto the Bible and pull out the required hours for the job. It's very difficult to say how many hours it will take. And invariably, it takes longer than you can bill for.

For example, most operations on a car have an alotted number of hours for a repair. Changing the clutch in your ****us takes say 5.7 hours according to the book. The shop at $100/hr charges you $570 for labor, though a good tech might get it done in 3 hours. (or a bad one in 10, though you can only charge 5.7 hours in most cases) Since there's no way to goto the book for "mysterious electrical problem" there's no way to estimate the costs. And often they take so much time, you can't even bill for all of the hours spent on the job as it simply turns into a huge number.

I'd imagine Furd is hard on their dealers for time chasing things too.

CBR929RE, if you think a shop is getting rich at $75/hr labor rates, you don't know much about the biz.
Hippies always think the rest of the world is getting rich at their expense (while destroying the environment over a glass of baby seal blood)

Must obey the sheep dog
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post #8 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:23 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
I don't know how dealers are paid for warranty work.

The problem with electrical is there is no way to goto the Bible and pull out the required hours for the job. It's very difficult to say how many hours it will take. And invariably, it takes longer than you can bill for.

For example, most operations on a car have an alotted number of hours for a repair. Changing the clutch in your ****us takes say 5.7 hours according to the book. The shop at $100/hr charges you $570 for labor, though a good tech might get it done in 3 hours. (or a bad one in 10, though you can only charge 5.7 hours in most cases) Since there's no way to goto the book for "mysterious electrical problem" there's no way to estimate the costs. And often they take so much time, you can't even bill for all of the hours spent on the job as it simply turns into a huge number.

I'd imagine Furd is hard on their dealers for time chasing things too.

CBR929RE, if you think a shop is getting rich at $75/hr labor rates, you don't know much about the biz.
I ain't saying they're getting rich but they aren't doing too bad. The "markup" on repair work is higher than the markup on cars. Plus you figure they charge 5.7 hours for a clutch job. if it only takes the mechanic 3 hours then he has another 2.7 he (and the dealership) is getting paid for and is now onto another job.

Ernie Boch is (was now cause he's dead. but his son runs it all now) the biggest car dealer in New England. He didn't get rich just by selling cars. The guy owned his own jet (which his son just got rid of to buy a new one). Just to give you an idea of how much money he has.


So thats another thing to keep in mind people. lets say your car is at the dealer for only 6 hours and they charge you more than 6 hours you don't have to pay for any longer than it was actually there regardless of how the flat rate system works. Not that this applies to you ND cause its been there overnight anyway.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #9 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:26 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepofblue
Hippies always think the rest of the world is getting rich at their expense (while destroying the environment over a glass of baby seal blood)
hey I let you call me hippy (not that I have much choice in the matter) but I am not a supporter of hippy ideals.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #10 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:27 PM
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Re: Dealer rant



ND, many dealers hate warranty work as they don't always get compensated fully for the hours they put in a chasing a problem like yours. Easily identifiable problems have set labor rates...unkown issues don't.

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post #11 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:30 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR929RE
I ain't saying they're getting rich but they aren't doing too bad. The "markup" on repair work is higher than the markup on cars. Plus you figure they charge 5.7 hours for a clutch job. if it only takes the mechanic 3 hours then he has another 2.7 he's (and the dealership) is getting paid for and is now onto another job.

Ernie Boch is (was now cause he's dead. but his son runs it all now) the biggest car dealer in New England. He didn't get rich just by selling cars. The guy owned his own jet (which his son just got rid of to buy a new one). Just to give you an idea of how much money he has.


So thats another thing to keep in mind people. lets say your car is at the dealer for only 6 hours and they charge you more than 6 hours you don't have to pay for any longer than it was actually there regardless of how the flat rate system works. Not that this applies to you ND cause its been there overnight anyway.
The flat rate system has several jobs that are normally "losers" too. My friend claims going to it had no real impact on the bottom line either way. Some you come out ahead, some behind.

The owner of the biggest car dealer in New England owning a jet has nothing to do with where the labor rate for a shop goes.




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...you are trying to insult me, and I agree it is very easy to do, if you haven't sufficient respect for yourself. - Tolstoy
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post #12 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:44 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
The flat rate system has several jobs that are normally "losers" too. My friend claims going to it had no real impact on the bottom line either way. Some you come out ahead, some behind.

The owner of the biggest car dealer in New England owning a jet has nothing to do with where the labor rate for a shop goes.
Thus they are called 'estimates'

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post #13 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 8:45 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
The flat rate system has several jobs that are normally "losers" too. My friend claims going to it had no real impact on the bottom line either way. Some you come out ahead, some behind.

The owner of the biggest car dealer in New England owning a jet has nothing to do with where the labor rate for a shop goes.
yes there are some "losers" in there but thats also depends on the skill of the mechanic. ask any ford mechanic thats flat rate what the best job is. I bet almost all of them if not all say ball joints, especially on an explorer. pays 2.5 but takes .5-.75 once they get it down to a science. Warranty is really where they lose since warranty stuff pays less for the same job under non-warranty situations.

all of the mechanics I know (5 total) are flat rate. 1 used to be hourly. he makes more money now that he's flat rate. And they all say the flat rate guys at each of the 5 different dealerships make more than the hourly guys at the same places.

As long as the work is coming in they end up making more being flat rate. If its a slow dealership or slow time then yes they don't make as much.

The jet was just an example of how much money that guy has. He also has a huge house on Martha's Vineyard, owns a luxury box at Gillette Stadium (Patriots). You don't think a decent chunk of labor rates ends up going to him eventually. I know the rates go towards paying the mechanic, service advisor/writer, shop supplies, basic shop upkeep, etc but there's definetly a good profit in there.

maybe there's more overhead out there in CA. but in MA at $100/hr (which is most dealerships now around here) they are making a profit.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #14 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 9:03 PM
 
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Re: Dealer rant

ND, how long have you had that turd? I forgot, but has it been a year?
Take delivery of the vehicle (even if you can tell it's not fixed), drive it for a couple days then bring it back. After they can't fix the same problem three times contact the Ohio Attorney General's office.
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post #15 of 64 Old 01-20-2006, 9:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dealer rant

Funny sidenote...as I was picking up my rental on my way home I had to walk through the shop to get to the back where the rental car was. In the detailing area a guy was finishing up a Mustang while the Gone in 60 seconds theme was playing on the radio
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