Anyone else had a dealer experience like this?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Matt Whiting, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Monday I made my first appointment at the local Hyundai dealer (BTW
    where also I bought my Sonata) for some maintenance work that the
    owner's manual suggests strongly is required to maintain my warranty.
    Specifically, replacement of the fuel filter, fuel tank air filter and
    canister which, if memory serves were required replacement items at 30K,
    37.5K and 45K miles, respectively. My car is just about to hit 40K so I
    figured this was a good time to hit all three.

    The dealer asked me on Monday what I wanted done and I gave them the
    three items listed above. I show up this morning and the service
    manager says "We've never replaced the fuel tank air filter or canister
    before and I don't think we even have those pars." So, he goes off to
    the parts department and not only don't they have the parts, the parts
    man can't even find a number for the fuel tank air filter! I had found
    it in my shop manual so I ask to see is diagram and I quickly point it
    out for him. The service manager says that they never replace any of
    these parts unless the check engine light comes on and also they tell me
    that the canister is $245.

    I told them I was doing this only because the manual lists them as "R"
    (replace) items rather than "I" (inspect and replace only if necessary).
    I said I didn't see a need to replace them either, but didn't want to
    jeopardize my warranty. The service manager assured me that warranty
    would be unaffected if I didn't do this maintenance, so I said "Sounds
    good to me" and left.

    I'm not sure what amazed me more, the fact that the dealer sets up an
    appointment and doesn't even check to see if they have the requisite
    parts, or the fact that the service manager and parts manager didn't
    even know about one of these parts!!

    Strange, but it did save me a pile of change!

    Matt Whiting, Sep 19, 2008
  2. Well I'm not going to fret over those parts either.

    As for scheduling and not checking parts availability. I've never been
    asked about what parts are needed or the model, vin when making an
    appointment. Seems like a lot of extra work for the dealer. How many
    customers know in advance what part they want replaced? How many dealers
    actually know what parts will need replacing when a customer says "it makes
    a funny noise"?
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 19, 2008
  3. Matt Whiting

    631grant Guest

    I posted the exact same thing happening to me about a year ago! The dealer
    I went to also never stocked the parts, never replaced them on any cars!
    Only one person even knew where the fuel tank breather filter was located!
    I never replaced them yet. I wouldn't trust my local Hyundai dealer to even
    change my oil! Sorry Hyundaitech. :eek:( My Kia dealer changes my oil only
    because it came with the deal although it did with the Sonata also but
    Hyundai wants to charge me $16 or $18 for my free oil change while I've
    never paid a dime for oil changes on my 03 Sedona. The only problem there
    was that the idiot must put the drain plug in with an impact wrench. I had
    to hurry up and change the oil before a trip earlier this year and it took
    130 pound feet of torque to break the drain plug loose! It is supposed to
    be tightened to 30 lb ft with a new washer. Sooner or later they are going
    to be buying me a new oil pan.
    631grant, Sep 19, 2008
  4. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Yes, I understand if the car is coming in for repair of some unknown
    defect. However, in my case the car was going in for very specific
    maintenance that is listed in the owner's manual! To not have checked
    to see if they had the parts in stock before I arrived is simply
    incompetence, in my opinion.

    That is like you going into surgery and after they have you in the
    operating room they discover they have no gauze and no sutures!

    Matt Whiting, Sep 19, 2008
  5. I was going to replace the fuel filter in my '01 elantra, and the parts
    guy at the dealer was amazed that anyone would bother. Something like
    "It's never a problem, and it's hard to get to, so don't worry about
    it". I actually put it off for a while, but when I did do it I got a
    different guy who didn't say a thing when I asked for the part.

    That's my story.

    Richard Dreyfuss, Sep 19, 2008
  6. Only a fool would go into surgery without a roll of duct tape by his side.
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 20, 2008
  7. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    And a can of WD40.
    Matt Whiting, Sep 20, 2008
  8. Matt Whiting

    hyundaitech Guest

    Unfortunately, if dealers routinely managed their stock with this method
    they'd have items stuck on their shelves they couldn't sell. Too man
    people never show up for their appointments, and most have no idea wha
    they'll need. I have, though, seen exceptions made for certain customer
    on request. Usually, a well-managed dealer parts department will hav
    supply on hand for normal maintenance requests.

    As for the fuel filter, I think your owner's manual is wrong. Near as
    can tell, it's a throwback from the inline fuel filters. Newer cars wit
    the same type filter have maintenance intervals around 100k if I recal
    correctly. Worst case scenario, your fuel pressure becomes low and yo
    need to pay for a fuel filter then. Personally, I don't think it'l
    happen. In 15 years in the automotive industry (actually, it's exactly 1
    years today), I've only once seen a car have poor performance due to a fue
    filter. And in that case, the problem was that the aftermarket fuel filte
    had too small a hole and didn't allow enough fuel through.

    I think the fuel tank air filter (canister filter) is a similar deal.
    Probably in the maintenance chart to underscore the fact that if there's
    problem it's the owner's responsibility. I've seen a few of these ge
    restricted enough to turn on a check engine lamp (vacuum builds up in th
    tank) or make refueling difficult, but that's about the limit of th
    damage. At that point, you can pay for replacement. I've never seen thi
    filter referred to in any of the service literature (service manual, part
    catalog) as a tank filter, so that's where the confusion probably started
    In fact, I'm presuming it's the canister filter. I've never seen anythin
    official stating that the canister filter and the fuel tank air filter ar
    in fact the same thing.

    As for the charcoal canister, I thought the days of listing them o
    maintenance charts for replacement went out with the eighties.

    I've never heard of a canister being denied warranty because the vehicl
    was over 2 years/30k, so I cannot imagine any warranty issue there. O
    the other items, since they're filters, I'd say they're not covered beyon
    the 1 year/12k warranty, but problem rates are low enough as to make 30
    replacement overkill. Perhaps replace the canister filter if you drive i
    dusty areas. Otherwise, I'm with the dealer. Skip it
    hyundaitech, Sep 23, 2008
  9. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I agree with you and the dealer, but why couldn't they have told me that
    when I made the appointment and SPECIFICALLY said I wanted these three
    items serviced per the Sonata owner's manual maintenance chart?
    Fortunately, I only missed 30 minutes of work and am salaried so I just
    work a little later at the end of the day, but in other cases this could
    have been a significant inconvenience for no gain at all.

    I got a call from Hyundai (well, actually sounded like someone in India)
    asking about my recent visit. I rated the dealer a 7 and told the
    caller why. I'm not sure it makes any difference, but maybe it will get
    them to tighten up their system a little. I wish Hyundai would post a
    maintenance schedule that was actually meaningful like those in my Chevy
    and Chrysler manuals. My Chevy calls for 100K fuel filter replacement
    and my Chrysler doesn't even list the fuel filter as a maintenance item!

    I was surprised to find that my Sonata has twice as many scheduled
    maintenance items as my Chrysler minivan. If I followed the Sonata
    schedule, I would spend more than 3 times as much on maintenance for my
    Sonata as for my Chevy truck and Dodge Grand Caravan. I'm glad to see
    that Hyundai doesn't really care if you follow their schedule to the
    letter as that would be very costly given the price of the parts, the
    canister in particular!

    Matt Whiting, Sep 23, 2008
  10. Matt Whiting

    hyundaitech Guest

    The reason they didn't tell you in advance is that about 50% of servic
    advisors know nearly nothing about automobile service. If you called m
    employer, it'd be hit or miss whether you got someone who knew enough t
    check on the actual applicability of the items beforehand.

    Either that, or they thought they were going to switch you to thei
    probably overinflated 30k service
    hyundaitech, Sep 24, 2008
  11. Matt Whiting

    631grant Guest

    Wow, you hit my MAIN gripe about dealerships right on the head,
    hyundaitech!!! Why do they hire the most ignorant (car wise) people for the
    service advisor position when he/she should be the most knowledgeable???? I
    absolutely hate talking to them because it's like talking to the wall. I
    pride myself on knowing cars after 50 years of shade tree work and when I go
    in explaining all the symptoms and the tests I've done, I expect them to
    take that into account. All they do is write down some stupid non-technical
    explanation of what the car is doing. So damn frustrating! I've gone as
    far as insisting that I talk to the mechanic who will be working on it.
    631grant, Sep 24, 2008
  12. Matt Whiting

    Bob M Guest

    I believe that the primary reason is the pay rate they are willing to offer
    for this position. Anyone with sufficient knowledge, either by schooling
    or experience, would require considerably more and close to minimum.

    Just my $.02 USD
    Bob M, Sep 24, 2008
  13. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Does the result from the Hyundai phone survey mean anything? I rated
    them a 7 on this experience, but I have no idea if that even matters.
    I'd have rated them lower, but I really did appreciate them being honest
    with me about not needing to DO the maintenance listed in the manual. I
    just wish they had told me that before I took time off work unnecessarily.

    Matt Whiting, Sep 24, 2008
  14. Matt Whiting

    631grant Guest

    Of course, you're right but why would they NOT put more money toward
    gathering all the facts and formulating at least a preliminary plan of
    attack instead of just throwing a nonsensical description of what might be
    wrong at the poor mechanic and let him try to figure out what the symptoms
    are and then the solution? Wow, that was a 'lawyer' sentence, wasn't it?
    631grant, Sep 25, 2008
  15. Matt Whiting

    631grant Guest

    Your survey is still probably sitting on a rickshaw seat in New Delhi or
    631grant, Sep 25, 2008
  16. Matt Whiting

    hyundaitech Guest

    Hyundai compiles these numbers for each and every dealer. To my knowlege
    7 is a failing score, but I haven't seen Hyundai's explanation of th
    grading. For all I know, that's part of the BS the customers are fed t
    get them to give higher ratings. FWIW, more and more surveys now hav
    high score requirements to combat the high-score coaching that customer

    Hyundai currently has a reward program set up with advisors based on thei
    csi scores. To my knowledge, advisors get "money" or points or somethin
    similar that they can use to choose items as reward. Reports from th
    advisors I work with are that it's decent stuff. Can't recall an
    specific examples off the top of my head
    hyundaitech, Sep 25, 2008
  17. Your situation is far from the norm. How many people give the service
    writer technical information? I'd bet that 99.9% give information like "it
    makes a funny noise" or "it sounds like a rattle" and a few technical terms
    like "it goes thump, thump, thump" The service writer is there for his
    special talents like "do you want a tire rotation too?"

    Rather than have a high paid and high skilled writer, that person is
    probably doing the real diagnostics of translating that thump to what needs
    to be done. No matter what you or I think, it comes down to what is most
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 25, 2008
  18. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Yes, I suspect this is true more often than not. However, in my case I
    asked for three very specific maintenance items and it would not have
    taken any knowledge at all for the person who gave me the appointment to
    have walked 50 feet to the parts department to see if the parts were in
    stock. And then when the parts man said, as he did while I was there
    that morning, "we don't stock those parts as nobody ever replaces them",
    they could have had the service manager call me on the phone and tell me
    that they don't replace those parts even though the manual calls for it.
    I could have then saved a trip to the dealer. This isn't rocket science.

    Matt Whiting, Sep 26, 2008
  19. Matt, you don't think the guy you spoke to actually knew what parts to ask
    for do you?
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 26, 2008
  20. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I don't know what he knew. I specifically told him that I had a 2006
    Sonata and wanted three things replaced per the owner's manual chart:

    Fuel filter
    Fuel tank air filter (and I emphasized to him that I did NOT mean engine
    air filter as I do that myself)

    I don't know how much more he would have had to know to ask the parts
    department for these three parts for a 2006 Sonata. :)

    Although, when I was there the parts man couldn't even find the fuel
    tank air filter. I had to show him where it was on his own diagram!

    Matt Whiting, Sep 26, 2008
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