aren't you glad you diy

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Old 12-14-12, 01:54 PM
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aren't you glad you diy

I got a flyer from the local jeep dealer today. Among the specials, 'coolant service' - 'drain and fill' 'tax and supplies extra' 'some vehicles priced higher' - $89.95 Nothing said about flushing the radiator so I guess they just drain the radiator and fill it up with fresh anti-freeze

Even if they had to pay retail for the gallon of anti-freeze, that's a pretty high profit margin
 
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Old 12-14-12, 02:17 PM
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Yeah, I was at an oil change place a few years ago (coupon for $19.99 oil change) and they asked about other services I might want so I asked about a coolant change - I can't remember what the number was but it was close to $100 so I quickly declined.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 04:48 PM
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I can't believe I'm gonna' defend auto dealerships but here goes.

Mark, I'll make the same argument that contractors make here when someone complains about the cost for a plumber, or an electrician etc. It isn't about the cost of the coolant it's all about the overhead. Labor, insurance, utilities, taxes, taxes, taxes etc.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 05:05 PM
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What exactly is done in a coolant flush. My impression is that the drained all the coolant and added new. If there is something more to that, I would think something called "coolant service" would include all of that.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 05:09 PM
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I don't begrudge a company making a FAIR profit but far too often they go WAY overboard.

A few months ago I needed a pair of tires. I pull into my friendly neighborhood (company franchised) tire store and end up getting four new tires. Of course the least expensive tires are not available, not even in any of the surrounding stores or the district warehouse so I have to go with a different name brand. The service manager then works up an estimate of "other work" I need and the bill is close to $700. Among the other work is to replace the radiator hoses as mine are factory original (1997 Camry) and getting "a little soft". The charges are ridiculous, thirty dollars for one hose and forty dollars for the other. The labor charges were approximately $140 per hose! I check at the O'Reilly website and the hoses are less than $20 each. Needless to say, I didn't have my hoses changed at the tire shop.

Another episode, this time at the dealer and more than a decade ago. I had given my then girlfriend my 1987 Camry and some time later the automatic seatbelt stopped retracting. This was the motorized shoulder belt that ran in a track above the door. We needed to take it in for some recall and asked if they could fix the seat belt and we were assured they could. We went back at the end of the day and the service manager told us he had an apprentice work on the seat belt for three hours but had not yet found the problem. He wanted us to leave the car, telling us that he was sure the kid could find the problem in another hour or two. I said no. We had to pay for three hours of "troubleshooting" by a kid that obviously didn't have a clue. I KNOW I could have at least pinpointed where the problem was, if not fixed it, if I had only had a place to work in less than an hour. I know that people need to learn but they don't need to learn while charging me journeyman mechanic's rates. I've never been back to that dealer.

Oh, then there is the surcharge that most shops, at least in my area, charge for rags, cleaners, haz-mat disposal and such. Usually 10% of the total bill. This is on shop rates of around $100 to $120 an hour. I KNOW mechanics aren't making a third of that and most of the non-dealer shops are non-union.


Droo, a "proper" coolant flush entails removing the coolant AND the thermostat. Disconnecting the radiator hoses and using a special water and compressed air gun to force large quantities of water through the engine in BOTH directions and the same in the radiator. It used to be a messy manual procedure but now they have flushing machines that do most of the wet work.
 
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