Allpar Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Based on conversations I've had with other customers, we are all inundated with coupons for service items like oil changes and tire rotation. I get them from Ram, from Chrysler and from the dealer. They are apparently sent at random, though some claim to know that I'm neglecting to service my Ram (I'm not).

I've gotten spoiled to the $17.95 oil change and now have a hard time paying more than $20 for one. But the pricing is all over the map - as low as $15.95 or high as $24.95 - and sometimes includes tire rotation or wiper blades. It's hard to understand where the margin lies; if they can do it for $16 one day, why not always?

But I have never paid more than the coupon says, even though the fine print says I might, since I have a Hemi. There's a list of exceptions, but in the nearly two years I've had the Ram (and the previous years I've had the same experience with my PT Turbo and Liberty) it's always been the coupon price.

Today, I asked about the fine print, as it appears to say that a tire rotation is included but the dealer argued that it isn't. I wasn't making a big deal about it, just pointing out that the language isn't clear whether it's included or specifically excluded and they really should clarify that in the future.

And suddenly, they are charging me $6 extra for the Hemi oil change. When I asked the service manager why, the response was "Because we can". And when I asked him it was worth losing my business, he claimed they had always done this but a review of my records proved him wrong. So he then said a new coupon system meant they could "track these charges better".

Can anyone with a dealer comment on whether there is some system wide change in coupons?
 

·
Radioactive
Joined
·
5,347 Posts
The oil change is likely a loss leader to get you in the shop.

They then recommend spark plug replacement, note that your tires are worn, and that there is play in the tie-rod-ends....

As for the "because we can"; the retort should have been "not any more - g'bye."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Every time I go in, different people in the service department. I've never met this "manager" before. The only person I recall is the greeter.

They've never tried to push unnecessary service on me, except once insisting I change the air filter for the low low price of $30! I declined, and bought one myself. Of course, my truck has 23K miles on it, so it isn't in their interest to suggest anything.... yet.

My biggest problem is that I don't have another dealer close by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
At our dealership, we do honor chryslers' coupons if the customer does have one, and usually the dealer assignes the price whether the boys at the desk know it or not. We charge for the extra two quarts for a hemi if you have one, and our normal cost is 26.95. The coupons from detroit sometimes include rebates for us, like the wiper blades allow for a discount on the parts we purchase, however 99% of the time on the get something free, we lose money. As stated by Jeff, they are just to bring you in and make sure your vehicle is ok. We use mopar bulk oil, and even at cost just 5 qts $11.50, mopar filter, another $5... not including paying a Tech ... so if your getting your oil changes for less then $20, they are losing money for sure, and or not using Mopar. Now a days, the average customer cares less actually what goes on the vehicle, which isn't always a good thing. Just my opinion.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,813 Posts
We now do free alignment checks, which somehow always find out your wheels are slightly out of alignment and recommend fixing it. Allows us to make up for the underpriced oil changes. There is always a catch, there HAS to be. This is a money making enterprise.
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
14,683 Posts
Every time I go in, different people in the service department. I've never met this "manager" before. The only person I recall is the greeter.

They've never tried to push unnecessary service on me, except once insisting I change the air filter for the low low price of $30! I declined, and bought one myself. Of course, my truck has 23K miles on it, so it isn't in their interest to suggest anything.... yet.

My biggest problem is that I don't have another dealer close by.
Just about everytime I go in they "recommend" changing the air filter - even if I changed it the week before.

Define "close by". the nearest dealer to me is 12 miles away and not open on Saturday's (small dealership). My "normal" dealership where I have service work done and where we've purchased our last three vehicles is 30 miles.


We now do free alignment checks, which somehow always find out your wheels are slightly out of alignment and recommend fixing it. Allows us to make up for the underpriced oil changes. There is always a catch, there HAS to be. This is a money making enterprise.
And I have never known a time the alignment wasn't out of spec..........Many shops (dealer and independent) recommend checking and setting the alignment every 6 months.

On oil changes, our dealer has a nice special all the time - 5 oil changes (5 qts & filter - Hemi and Diesel extra) for $69.99. Considering the usual charge for an oil change for my Journey normally runs ~$35 and ~$41 for my Ram, that's not a bad deal.


It is good to build up a good relationship via regular maintenance. If and when you do need a major repair, they may discount the repair bill. I know my dealer has done this when and unexpected expensive repair came up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
As mentioned, the coupon program usually is something the particular dealership signs up for, at their desired pricing levels. Just another program to sign up for, so to speak. Some dealers send out coupon books . . . I talked to one customer who said that that's why she bought vehicles from a particular dealership. No coupon book, no business from her. Funny thing was that her coupon book had "run dry", so she wanted another one!

Many dealers also have their own coupons on their websites. Just check the "Service" icon and see if any pop up. Print them off and take them to the dealer.

Recommended service items can happen anywhere. Firestone has one that's mileage-based and prints out separate from your repair order. I usually thank them for their recommendations and either do it myself or not at all. If it's something like needing tie rod ends before an alignment, then I'll let them do it . . . at that time or later.

Many dealers are also tracking service customers who have declined particular recommended services. If the customer hasn't had the services done somewhere else, then they will see if they can schedule the vehicle back in for that work, at some time in the near future.

Without the local service station operators to look after their customers' vehicles any more, that task is now with the dealership service departments and chain store repair shops. Each can have their own advantages or disadvantages. Key thing is that somebody is looking under the hood and under the vehicle. If the lube tech knows what they're looking at, not trying to over-sell, it can be a win-win situation for the dealership and the customer. It's up to the service advisor to further prioritize the relative importance of the items recommended, when they go over the repair order and recommendations with the customer. Tracking these recommendations and their approval or disapproval can be important to give the service advisor something to see if it might still need to be done, with a higher priority at that next visit. Back to the "We'll take better care of you, with genuine OEM parts, than others might" orientation.

Many dealers just started doing the vehicle check list in more recent years. When they realized that with declining warranty claims, which many had tended to live off of for a good while, they needed other revenue streams. Hence, the start of dealership "Quick Lube" operations, possibly combined with "Quick Service" bays, or even a complete facility devoted to these things, apart from the normal service area. In the middle 1980s, a friend was running a Firestone store and he had his people doing these vehicle evaluation activities THEN, as they were printed on the back of the repair order. There were spiffs for doing it and also spiffs for upsales from the evaluation list.

Oil change pricing, as noted, is "all over the board". It's important to also know what type of oil the coupon will pay for, which can be reflected in the pricing. It it's normal type oil, syn-blend, or on the order of Mobil 1 can relate to the price, in addition to the number of quarts figured into that situation. I think that if I had a HEMI or other gas engine which takes "more than 5 quarts", they were charging me the normal price (without the premium for the more-quantity of oil), I'd just let them keep on doing that. But when they started charging for things they should have been all along, I'd just be glad the earlier bills were less expensive. Even the first-gen 3.5L Chrysler V-6s took about 6.5 quarts for an oil change. For many vehicles, the days of the "5 quart oil and filter changes" for newer vehicles are severely historic. One reason to have bought a Buick Park Avenue over a Cadillac DeVille was the fact the Buick 3800 V-6 took 4.5 quarts and the Cadillac Northstar V-8 took 7 quarts.

Just some thoughts,
CBODY67
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top