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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife took her '08 in for an oil change and tire rotation to the dealer last week and was told that she needed front brake pads. The car has 20K miles on it, mostly trip and highway, and she is far heavier on the gas than the brake. Of course, pads are not covered under warranty. Needless to say I was incredulous and she was outraged.

At my suggestion, she took the car to a reputable independent service center this morning and they told her there was absolutely nothing wrong with the pads, front or back. I told her that maybe the mechanic at the dealer was new or inexperienced and that he should have gotten the service manager to verify. That is when she told me that three different service people at the dealership told her that they had looked at the pads and concluded that they needed replaced.

Ok, so now we have some interesting hypotheses:

1) The dealer service people are correct, but then, they have an expensive ($250) non-warranty repair to look forward to.

2) The independent is in error, but then they lose a sale. Also, my wife asked them how much for the check--it was free.

I am on my fourth Sierra and have always felt that GMC produced a good vehicle and I personally still have no complaints. After a very unpleasant experience with a Merc back in 1979, my wife swore off American cars up until a little over a year ago when she shocked me by saying that she liked the Acadia, which would replace her beloved Honda Pilot. I've enjoyed the fact that even though the Acadia is a bit more plush, it still has a lot of commonality with my truck so I don't have to do the "mind shift" when I drive her car. Now, after this incident, she has probably sworn off American cars for another 20 years.

Frankly, I think it is the dealer and their service department at fault and I trust the opinion of the independent. Since she puts about 300 miles on the Acadia per week, we will be hitting the "pads are only good for at best 1000 miles" mark in two weeks or so--that was the assessment of the dealership service department. I feel pretty confident that we will not be hearing the squeal and wonder what we should do about the nefarious dealership.
 

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If you recognize that the dealership is probably the problem, don't swear off the GMC Badge, Swear off the dealership in entirety alone. It is still possible and within warranty guidlines to have your vehicle worked on at another dealership or service center. Don't let a dealership ruin your experience with a manufacturer.
 

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bonk1313 said:
Swear off the dealership in entirety alone.
Acadianer,

I agree w/ bonk1313. It is altogether possible that the dealership was full of crap. If you trust the other shop, go with your gut. I've had two cases where a tire & brake shop completely missed diagnosed a problem w/ my blazer. And I mean they really missed it by a mile! Since I have a lifetime alignment policy (for the past 21.5 yrs ;D) I let them do the simple stuff & then consult w/ the reputable shop on anything else.

Good luck & continue to enjoy a well-made American car. GMC's do have a good reputation, and brake pads should be the least of our worries.

Smooth[/color] <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bonk1313 said:
If you recognize that the dealership is probably the problem, don't swear off the GMC Badge, Swear off the dealership in entirety alone. It is still possible and within warranty guidlines to have your vehicle worked on at another dealership or service center. Don't let a dealership ruin your experience with a manufacturer.
Oh, I have no intention of abandoning GMC--I have a relationship with my Sierra that sometimes makes my wife wonder what her position in the pecking order is and my son loves that truck as well! The wife's attitude towards GMC is a different matter. All I have heard for the past few days is "the reason you have a late model vehicle is to avoid crap like this" etc., etc., etc. or "I never had this with the Toyota, Mazda or Honda" and so on. My heartburn has to do with the duplicity of the dealer, so I will definitely follow your suggestion. These are tough times. Perhaps the collapse of the big three has caused them to take the less than honorable path to stay in business. Not really a good excuse.
 

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The dealership I worked at wouldnt have warrentied the pads with that many miles. I have seen people that need break pads every oil change, to people that put 80K and dont need them. All depends on how you drive it. My Mother drives a 07 tahoe, like its a 911 porsche and she goes through breaks every 15-20K.
 

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There is no way you need pads at 20,000 miles.
Unless you ride the brake, or tow really heavy trailers down hill-alot; like every day!
 

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Yep, get a second opinion. Many brake places offer free inspections, though they usually want business too, so try to get someone who is recommended and reputible. If they are bad that early, there may be another problem that needs fixing too.

It is too bad that dealers are almost zero in account to the auto makers. The dealer can be as bad as they want, and GM can say almost nothing about it. That's one of the reasons I think American made cars are having so much trouble, is not the makers, but the dealers.
 

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If you would care to do so:

1) Remove the calipers and take pictures of the pads (both sides in case there is an allegation only one side was worn) and/or measure the thickness with a caliper (thickness gauge for those unfamiliar with the tool). This provides documentation as to the actual condition at a set place and time. Perhaps the independent shop could do this for you with you observing/photographing for a small fee.
2) Contact your local TV station's consumer reporter and relate the story to them. While I don't see as many "undercover camera" stories on the news as much as I used to, they still like a good story such as this- it makes news. They may even have a female reporter take a vehicle in after having it checked by a mechanic. I've seen this done and the results were interesting.

If in fact the dealer is conducting shady business such as this, you can be assured you're not the only one this is happening to. They need to have some public scrutiny.

I agree with the above opinions that in effect you can't let one bad apple spoil the rest. We had repetitive problems (tech cracked oil filter housing on engine swap & they wanted us to pay, didn't re-install motor mount bolt, knocked hood off car going into service bay, etc.) with a F**d dealer on the police vehicles I used to be responsible for and I switched to the Lincoln-Mercury dealer. We always received excellent service and they could do warranty work since it was the same company. Not sure if GM does this, but it could be worth a try.
 

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Acadianer

I would trade the wifes Acadia in for what ever she wants, You will be a much happier man. (15 Years ago) After three previous Buicks, I bought my wife an Oldsmobile. That lasted about 6 months. My life was hell. >:D Went back to the Buick and life was good. :blob: I don't care what she drives as long as she's happy ! :thumb:
 

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There are many dealerships and repair shops that target mostly women needing unnecessary repairs. Just plain greedy and untrustworthy businesses. Blue had a great suggestion. I would have the dealership write up that you need new pads but don't sign the paper work to have the work done. Instead, ask the dealership you want a copy and will think about it. Also have them record the mileage on the paperwork as they always do. Take it to the next level as Blue suggested if you want to go through the expense. At least you have found a repair shop that is honest and have your brake work done by them when it is due! Pads should last anywhere from 40 to 60,000 miles. More city, more wear. More highway, less wear.

I had my brakes checked on my Pony when had 75,000 with 75% highway driving. Dealership said their was 60% left on front and 40% on rear. Front end of my Mustang has beefer braking system from factory vs the rear. Sportier cars as a whole, braking systems are designed that way. MY 2 cents. Comments?
 

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Here's why they tried to sell you brakes, this is directly from a former service writer of a Cadillac dealership;

Techs get an hourly rate, TECH X makes close to $15.00 an hour. The factory establishes flat rates for jobs with the option for add-ons. For instance a door lock and window switch are inop. The tech might get .5 hours to replace each switch but can add on .5 hours to R&R the door panel, maybe .5 hours to re-wire. So there is the potential to earn 2.0 hours for the repair. The actual time is irrelevant, 8 times out of ten it will only take 20 minutes to diagnose, complete and test the repair.
There are those times however, when it takes longer to diagnose than allowed (e.g., an intermittent failure) so additional time can be added for diagnostics as well.

A good tech can log 60+ hours in a forty hour work week easily.

I know a tech who could R&R an engine in 4 hours...it pays 8. He did two a day and was booked weeks in advance. Needless to say, he made a heck of lot of money!

When I was a service manager, I made $250.00 salary per week, 8% of the total labor and 1% of total parts on repairs I sold. My last year at DEALER X I grossed over $42,000. I miss the independence that came along with that kind of money but not the 60 hour work weeks!
 

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That is terrible for them to pay like that. Should be simple hourly rate, and good annual review and raises for good work. Don't rip the customer off, or the Warranty provider. :eek:hno:
 

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The flat rate times don't really take into account the time spent getting the car from the lot, diagnosis, getting the parts, turning the parts in if it's under warranty, check out, road test, etc. etc. I know when I worked at a dealership years ago, warranty work didn't pay worth a crap. No where near the flat rate manual. I had a new car come in with an oil leak. A pin hole in the oil pan. The factory rate to replace the oil pan was .8 hour. There is no way to drain the oil, remove the pan, go get a new pan from parts, clean the surface, install new pan, put oil in and check it. Then take the oil pan and old gaskets scraped off back to parts with the paperwork. That's why a lot of mechanics didn't want to do warranty work. I always hated the holiday times and tax time because people were a lot tighter with the money as far as car repair went. You might get 60 hours one week and then have a slow week and only flag maybe 30 hours. I didn't miss that at all when I went civil service.
 

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JLF said:
The flat rate times don't really take into account the time spent getting the car from the lot, diagnosis, getting the parts, turning the parts in if it's under warranty, check out, road test, etc. etc. I know when I worked at a dealership years ago, warranty work didn't pay worth a crap. No where near the flat rate manual. I had a new car come in with an oil leak. A pin hole in the oil pan. The factory rate to replace the oil pan was .8 hour. There is no way to drain the oil, remove the pan, go get a new pan from parts, clean the surface, install new pan, put oil in and check it. Then take the oil pan and old gaskets scraped off back to parts with the paperwork. That's why a lot of mechanics didn't want to do warranty work. I always hated the holiday times and tax time because people were a lot tighter with the money as far as car repair went. You might get 60 hours one week and then have a slow week and only flag maybe 30 hours. I didn't miss that at all when I went civil service.
JLF, could you then charge the R&R that was mentioned, or for an oil change, essentially you did that so it would be justified.
 

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This is a god time to bring up the fact that in order for GM to survive with the bridge loans from congress everyone must be will to come to the table. I am UAW and we will be making concessions, CEO’s will be making concessions, Suppliers will be making concessions, but we really need to look at our dealers. We have too many of them and they are competing for smaller and smaller profits as car longevity increases. We need to have fewer dealers especially in the cities and have tighter quality control. – That will happen.
 

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don willems said:
This is a god time to bring up the fact that in order for GM to survive with the bridge loans from congress everyone must be will to come to the table. I am UAW and we will be making concessions, CEO’s will be making concessions, Suppliers will be making concessions, but we really need to look at our dealers. We have too many of them and they are competing for smaller and smaller profits as car longevity increases. We need to have fewer dealers especially in the cities and have tighter quality control. – That will happen.
I hope you are right. I have had 20+ GM cars in my life and have purchased 7 new GM cars. If I get my way I will buy many more!!
 

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mrvids said:
Here's why they tried to sell you brakes, this is directly from a former service writer of a Cadillac dealership;

Techs get an hourly rate, TECH X makes close to $15.00 an hour. The factory establishes flat rates for jobs with the option for add-ons. For instance a door lock and window switch are inop. The tech might get .5 hours to replace each switch but can add on .5 hours to R&R the door panel, maybe .5 hours to re-wire. So there is the potential to earn 2.0 hours for the repair. The actual time is irrelevant, 8 times out of ten it will only take 20 minutes to diagnose, complete and test the repair.
There are those times however, when it takes longer to diagnose than allowed (e.g., an intermittent failure) so additional time can be added for diagnostics as well.

A good tech can log 60+ hours in a forty hour work week easily.

I know a tech who could R&R an engine in 4 hours...it pays 8. He did two a day and was booked weeks in advance. Needless to say, he made a heck of lot of money!

When I was a service manager, I made $250.00 salary per week, 8% of the total labor and 1% of total parts on repairs I sold. My last year at DEALER X I grossed over $42,000. I miss the independence that came along with that kind of money but not the 60 hour work weeks!
not saying that was crooked, but you can see why they upsell as much as possible. that is the very reason i quit being a tech. i could make 60 hours a week and did. trans and elec repair and you can make some serious money, but the constant up sell to customers was bogus, plus the fact that i was making time. i had my service writer come back and let me know i was doing this and that, i never even said anything. see, i was just as crooked as the rest of them, it was just eating me up. if they paid a tech what they are worth to start, there would be no fudging of numbers. who am i kidding, that is the way it is in the business world. that is how you made up for the pulling in time and parts fetching time, oh, but we hired a runner...things didnt change for us techs, we still wanted customer pay.
check the brakes yourself and you will know who is pulling your chain. i know you already paid for it, but you may be able to stick it to "the man".
 

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bonk1313 said:
JLF said:
The flat rate times don't really take into account the time spent getting the car from the lot, diagnosis, getting the parts, turning the parts in if it's under warranty, check out, road test, etc. etc. I know when I worked at a dealership years ago, warranty work didn't pay worth a crap. No where near the flat rate manual. I had a new car come in with an oil leak. A pin hole in the oil pan. The factory rate to replace the oil pan was .8 hour. There is no way to drain the oil, remove the pan, go get a new pan from parts, clean the surface, install new pan, put oil in and check it. Then take the oil pan and old gaskets scraped off back to parts with the paperwork. That's why a lot of mechanics didn't want to do warranty work. I always hated the holiday times and tax time because people were a lot tighter with the money as far as car repair went. You might get 60 hours one week and then have a slow week and only flag maybe 30 hours. I didn't miss that at all when I went civil service.
JLF, could you then charge the R&R that was mentioned, or for an oil change, essentially you did that so it would be justified.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by charge for the R&R. And no, you can't also charge for an oil change. That's all included in the warranty flat rate. About the only thing a mechanic could do is talk to the service manager and see if the dealer wouldn't use their code and give a little more time.
 
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