CEL at 62k -- 60k mile service caveat emptor [semi long, but happy ending]

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Todd H., Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Todd H.

    Todd H. Guest

    Short on time, I decided to bring my car in to the local dealer for
    its 60k service in lieu of doing it myself (per prior posts). Since I
    have the Subaru extended warranty I also wanted them to look at the
    intermitted Check Engine Light (CEL) I had that would come and go
    along with horrible acceleration as though there were a few cylinders
    not doing their share, and also have them check the recent return of a
    lot of belt whine and ticking noise on cold startup.

    The extended warranty covered a new cam belt tensioner (wee! Now the
    4th timing belt tensioner that's been on this vehicle!) and
    replacement of a bad knock sensor. Ah, the joy of the first return on
    that hopeful investment on Subaru Added Assurance platinum to 100k.

    Anyhoo, the 60k service was quoted to me at $510 in two separate phone
    calls I had with the service department trying to find out what
    exactly was and wasn't included in their 60k service. I was trying to
    avoid having the dealer throw in more than is actually required by the
    service schedule. Pleased with the answers I go, I then scheduled an
    appointment requesting "subuaru 60k mi service", and when I brought it
    in the service writer wrote it up as "Service Level C."

    Later I got a call from the service dept saying "I see they wrote you
    up for a 30k service, but the vehicle has 62k on it, you want a 60k
    service right?" I agree, "Ok, I'll make that change." I thought that
    was odd, but okeydokey.

    All seemed fine until today when the car became ready and the bill
    they told me was $892.41--almost $400 more than I was quoted on two
    separate occasions! I discussed this with the guy who'd called me, and
    he said "service level D includes a timing belt change" and I said,
    "this vehicle is not due for a timing belt change." Avoiding the
    beating up the Indian when I should be talking to the Chief syndrome,
    I hang up the phone and call back asking for the manager of the
    Service Dept.

    Evidently this dealers "Service Level D" is what was performed on my
    car which is Service level C plus the timing belt change. Evidently
    what the dealer does for what they brand a "60k mi service" does
    exceed Subaru's maintenance schedule. I finally get this info after
    5 phone calls. :)

    After explaining to him that I made 3 prior phone calls trying to
    avoid this situation, and verify what services would be performed, he
    did the right thing and honored the $510 quote.

    It seems the level of diligence we consumers must have on these
    service folks is quite high. However, I'm glad my dealer finally did
    the right thing and honored the original quote despite additional
    services being done. I'm also a happy to have gotten more value out
    of that service than I might have otherwise! However, I am still
    annoyed that I talked to so damn many folks trying to get assurance on
    what a "60k service" was and cost, and they still managed to fugg it
    up. :-\

    In short, caveat emptor. Times 5.

    Best Regards,
    Todd H., Jul 23, 2004
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  2. Todd H.

    TG Guest

    Just one reason why so many of us do our own work, at least the simple stuff
    like the whole timing belt/60K thing. TG
    TG, Jul 24, 2004
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