Dollars wasted at dealership

By | Published Sunday, July 4, 2010

I took my pickup to a local dealership to have the carrier bearing replaced on the drive shaft. I had already found two replacement bearings from a local auto parts store for my truck. One was $17, and the other was $24. I put in the $17 part, and my truck still had problems so I put in the $24 part. What I didn’t know was that it wasn’t the wrong bearing; it just needed to be clocked.

Since I thought I still had the wrong bearing, I went to the dealership to get the price on one from them. They quoted $124, plus tax. Being naive, I left my truck with the service department just to have the bearing replaced.

When I got the bill, I was shocked. The invoice showed that they replaced two U-joints for $110.94, times 2 ($221.88), and the bearing for $171. When I went to the parts department and asked what a U-joint would cost, they quoted $84. That is an increase of 32 percent for the U-joint and 38 percent on the bearing. Then add labor, and the total bill was $707.75.

I never asked to have the U-joint replaced, and the service representative never contacted me to inform me that they were going to replace it. They also clocked the drive train, which is why the bearing that I put in did not work. The U-joint and the clocking were never mentioned until I got my bill.

We as consumers, myself included, need to ask more questions before we hand over our vehicles for repair at a dealership. Do you remember Doug Skinner? He was a mechanic. Look at your next invoice from a dealership. It now calls the repairman a technician, which I guess means a certified parts changer. I got burnt for being naive and thinking they would do the right thing.

Don’t let this happen to you. What about inexperienced teens, your parents or the elderly? Would you want them to pay these high prices? As taxpayers, we have already bailed the auto industry out once. Should we still continue to do so? Oh, by the way, I bought my truck from that same dealership.

Ronald Willis

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