Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Easy, But It's Not Cheap

The oil change took longer than anticipated this AM for a couple reasons. I had to have a diagnostic run on the car for an ABS warning light. As suspected based on my research I have damaged tone rings. Cost to repair $395.00 (Ouch) and the car has to be there for like half the day. I went to my local Ford dealership for a couple reasons.

1) I had a coupon for an oil change ($29.00) and I wanted to try them out.
2) My regular mechanic did not have a slot open until sometime next week, and I wanted to get this brake code thing checked out in case it was dangerous.

I got the oil change and the "complimentary" inspection of the car. The verdict, I needed not only the ABS work done, but a new fuel filter and a new transmission flush and fill. I only authorized the oil change and made an appointment to come back for the ABS work. I am not going to do the other two recommended services because I think the dealership is trying to pull one over on me. I don't think they were too happy when I said I'd pass on the other items until I had a chance to check my sales paperwork at home. The estimate on those items was an additional $220. This is one female that does her homework.

When I got the car, supposedly it was fully serviced, new filters, new fluids,new tires, new brakes, etc. I'll double check the sales paperwork when I get home. If that is the case, it does not need a the new filters and fluids. I have no hesitation calling the dealership where I got the car and ripping them a new one if need be. I don't think I need to. I have put some decent milage on the car (15,000 miles) in the past 7 months, but a fuel filter should not be replaced every 15,000 miles.

I've had my other oil changes at a local place, $34.99 for a full oil service, exterior car wash and interior vacuum. They are not a national chain and many people (including my boss) use them for the basic maintenance on their vehicles. The last time I was in (in August), there was no indication that I needed a tranny flush and fill or new fuel filter. Plus if I do need the servicing the Ford dealer said I do, the local oil change place will do it for one half the cost, in one third the time and I still get a complimentary car wash!

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