Car dealerships still trying to rip women off.

My wife started her car the other day and it started misfiring. She took it into the Nissan dealership she bought it from and they worked up an estimate of $3800.00 dollars to fix it.

I went down to a local auto parts place and picked up a set of spark plugs and ignition coils for a little over $300.00. It took around half an hour to replace everything and that fixed it.

The problem was actually a single ignition coil (about 40 bucks) that looked like the insulator had broken down and arced to the engine block. I replaced everything because the car has a little over 100,000 miles on it.

We had to pay 200 dollars for the “Diagnosis” which I’m waiting to hear back from the service manager to see if they will refund that. Doubt that I will hear anything, but at least we learned to stay away from Nissan.

In February she took it in to the same dealership for a safety inspection and they charged us $2,000.00 to replace the passenger seat because of a faulty air bag sensor. I checked online and that was legit because Nissan doesn’t make the sensor available for replacement, the entire seat has to be replaced.

Thank God for my 2006 F-150. 120,000 miles and still running like a top.

Detroit steel baby!!!

Those places are given targets and some of them will try to rip anybody off who doesn’t know about cars. On balance more men know more about cars than women though so there’s that.

Yeah, their reputations are well deserved.

I was always able to work on my cars and trucks in the past. It’s harder these days because of all the computers and crap, but it is what it is.

I watched something the last year where guys were renovating an old van from the 70s. They lifted up the bonnet to look at the engine and you could have curled up and gone to sleep in the room around it! In my car I can barely get me hand behind the battery to undo a clip that’s invisible from above and there’s no room anywhere else for a cat to sleep comfortably, let alone a human!

Might be different over there with the bigger cars.

No different here with things being so cramped.

My first car was a 67 GTO and I could almost crawl around inside the engine compartment.

It’s hard to find a reliable car mechanic. I consider myself lucky that I have a terrific shop locally which charges fair rates and gives honest advice. I have a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee with over 213,000 miles and it still runs great (after I had to have the engine and transmission replaced, which wasn’t cheap).

This is one of my pet peeves, modern cars have so much electronics and proprietary gizmos which can only be diagnosed with proprietary software owned by dealerships which can charge you anything they want. Back in the days when cars were largely mechanical any decent mechanic could work on them. But I guess that is what the people want, a little display in the passenger dash so you can watch youtube videos or whatever.

Very true. There’s a lot of trust involved. I know a guy who used to scribe subtle marks on things in his car before handing them in for servicing. One of the things he caught them with was wiping an oil filter down instead of changing it. The scribed lines matched up perfectly so they hadn’t even unscrewed it.

It’s going to be worse with electric cars. Fewer parts to go wrong, but more centralised repair and blind trust involved.

Oof. A lot of shenanigans going on in the car world.

Check out this video (great youtube channel by the way):

Why was he holding the hood (bonnet) up when the support arm is clearly visible.

Before Car Fax and other resources to check on the history of a car, rule 1 was always checking the seems in the body. If any of them weren’t straight and true, you walked away.

Yeah, if the door doesn’t open or close properly, that is a telltale sign.

The buyer knew that the car had been in an accident. In and of itself that doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, if it properly fixed, which clearly was not the case here.

Rule no. 1 for me is to have a used car checked out by a good mechanic. If the buyer had done that here, he would have saved himself whatever he paid for this wreck. You can’t trust the cosmetic condition alone (which for this car, despite the paint imperfections, wasn’t bad).

Again, it all comes back to finding a good shop. I once had a BMW, 750i, first post WW II car with a V12 engine. Gorgeous car, but as the kilometers added up, so did the repairs, to a point where it got ridiculous. I had the feeling that the shop was ripping me off but there was nothing I could do about it, it had all these fancy computers that only the official dealer could read.
Got rid of it and bought a Mercedes W126 (wonderful car, indestructible and very reliable).

Dealerships have been milking customers and their techs for all they can get for some years now. And continuing education for techs used to be the norm, but not so much anymore. I hear so many complaints from various people about experiences and costs of service at dealerships these days. Not to mention that the money people at manufacturers are pushing engineering to make things cheaper and cheaper. This has been going on for a long time now. I drive an older GM truck and the damn thing has a plastic intake on it, heads that tend to crack after 120,000 miles, factory u-joints with non grease fittings for service (which therefore fail early), cluster gauge assemblies that are well known to fail, and on and on. Also not to mention the issues with ethanol fuel such as prematurely failing gaskets, the use of red coolant (Dexcool!) so that detrimental antifreeze leaks in the oil are much harder to spot, the use of leak stopping products in the cooling system from the factory.


I’ve had some expensive repairs on my Jeep (new engine, new transmission, smaller stuff) but by and large it’s been a very reliable ride, in all kinds of weather. Gas mileage is poor (between 10 and 19 mpg) but that’s to be expected from a big thirsty 5.7 liter V8. Runs super smooth though, plenty of power. At 213,000 miles still running strong.

Peter, is that the same brick building you were living in 5 years ago? Shit, maybe even longer

I’m still driving a 2006 VW Caddy
No good if you’ve got kids, it’s a 2 seater only
But what a great gig machine
Parks like a car, can fit the whole bands gear in the back with tie points, quads stand up etc
Great for the dog and shopping too, moving house even
I get 700ks before I need to refill the tank
Had an alternator self destruct and a turbo hose blow off, that’s about it, it’s a solid diesel

I’m still a little nostalgic for my old V8 GT Panel Van
No way I could afford to run that now on today’s fuel prices
But it was a blast to cruise in and gig back in the 90s/2000s

I had my share of shyster mechanic encounters back in the day
Hard to find a decent honest one who knows their stuff and doesn’t rip you

I’ve been going to the same mechanic now for 20 odd years
Honest and reliable, best mechanic in his year
He got flooded out when Manly Canal overflowed in the recent storms we had in Sydney

I had to find a new one, which was scary
Spent a long time reading google reviews
I found another decent AAA mechanic who turned out to be legit, near a train station one stop from my job
So I can drop it off and hop on a train to work now
I used to drive 45 min and have to go watch a movie until it was ready

So a little conflicted now, it’s too convenient with the new guy :smiley:

I’ve always driven my cars until they drop.

I put over 200,000 miles on an old Mercury Cougar I was using for work back in the late 90’s. I got paid mileage for using my car and I put that money back into the car to keep it running.

My rule of thumb is when maintenance bills start approaching the cost of a monthly car payment, then I start looking for something else.