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Warning: Dealership Rant!

Most of my driving is highway, up and back to my father-in-law's place. I get 17ish MPG.
I did get the 3.91 rear and tow package that allows me to tow 13,400 pounds, plus the longer bed and off road package. So there is additional weight and additional gearing in mine that won't be as friendly on the highway, but it still sucks. I hate to say it, but my 2017 Yukon XL with the 6.2 liter engine got 21 MPG on the highway, and that was a big heavy vehicle too.
Ya, most of my driving is bumper-to-bumper bullshit. 3.21 rear end and long bed here.
My local dealer wanted to charge me $190 to diagnose a problem that I had already identified on my 2018 Durango. I told them exactly what was wrong but they wouldn't do the repair without the diagnostic check. The real kicker was when I took to my local auto shop for the repair (family business) and they could not run the check engine codes because the system has a lockout code that prevents anyone but the dealer from reading the system.
I will only 'deal' with dealerships on our leases or new cars still under full warranty. They can gouge the mothership all they want as long as it's not coming out of my pocket. Beyond that, I have a great mechanic locally for anything I don't want to do myself... which is most things on a late-model besides regular service tasks and maybe belts/brake pad type stuff.
My 2015 Shaker Challenger with 5.7 went in to the dealer as the rear camera was acting up. I told them I'm sure the plug in the trunk lid is loose. Simple fix, right. Nope. That evening , the dealer called and said they had good news and bad news. Good news- camera plug was loose. Bad news - the technician damaged the trunk lid trying to take the spoiler off. My question, why remove the spoiler? Service advisors reply - He didn't know how to access the plug. He used a steel pry bar to try to remove the spoiler. The advisor said they could just double back tape the spoiler back on and I would not be able to tell. Umm, no! The trunk lid edge is also damaged. They sent it to the body shop. Cost them $1500. The dealer went to install the taillights in the trunk lid and damaged them. Service Advisor said they weren't responsible. I said - yes you are. New taillights for trunk lid cost them $800. They did a wheel alignment on the car a couple of years ago. The alignment guy forgot to tighten adjustments down. I took it on a trip and it ruined my tires. Cost the dealer $600. I now do my own maintenance on the car. BTW, when my car was at the body shop, I told the dealer I needed a loaner car. I was told they didn't have any. I said I'm driving that Scat Pack Challenger that I see on the lot until I get my car back or I'll be sure the customers hear about their service department. I used the Scat Pack for that week. There's only one Dodge dealership in our town, so...
Terry W.

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Wow, that’s incredible that a dealership would let anyone around a customers car with a crow bar for repair of an electrical issue. Who hires an idiot like that? I think I would have had to go to a TV station with an investigative team and flame that bunch in public but good.
Ryan is a member here but hardly ever posts. His 09 Challenger has a lifetime powertrain warranty and his engine went bad last summer. He took it to a dealer in the area and they had his car close to 5 months before a new engine was approved and they were able to get it, due to backorders, and then install it.
He finally got his car back last month, and last weekend when he drove it down to Indianapolis for the Indy Cylinder Head show, he had a underhood fire! It appears the service department didn't tighten down or install something correctly which caused an oil leak, the oil soaked the catalytic convertor and started a fire.

Did I miss the name of the Dealer who installed the “Long Block?
Did I miss the name of the Dealer who installed the “Long Block?
Ryan took his Challenger to South Oak CJDR in Chicago south suburb Matteson. South Oak has had a reputation as being performance oriented, as its owner Denny Guest is a long time Mopar enthusiast who owns max wedge cars. They were sponsors of MCACN and World of Wheels. Denny is "aging out" and the dealership is pretty much in his kids hands now, is my understanding.
I bought my '21 Ram 2500 there even though I am in the NW burbs 40 miles from South Oak, and there are at least a half dozen CJDR stores closer to me. I had a salesman recommended to me by my Mopar car club too. My truck purchase there was 100% no BS no games and my salesman was indeed a good guy to work with.
Ryan lives near me and bought his Challenger in '09 from Fields CJDR, which is in our area and also has a pretty good reputation, as dealers go. I asked Ryan why he didn't take the car to Fields 8 miles from his house instead of South Oak 40 miles away for his engine issue, and he said he liked them, but he "didn't trust them for that kind of work". I didn't ask him to elaborate.
I've been using Fields for the few minor odds and ends I've needed on my truck, and no issues so far other than an oil change is mighty pricy there.
A local Mopar fan friend who has a Challenger drag car, a GTX and a mid 50s Imperial has a son who went to work for Fields after graduating tech school a few years ago, so I always ask for Nick B to work on my truck when I take it in. Having a friend at a Dealership seems like good insurance against getting hosed by them!
My 2020 Ram has been trouble free with 45,000 miles on it so far. But then, the right exhaust manifold cracked and it had to be fixed. This is a common flaw with the 5.7 Hemi (at least in trucks). So I brought it in the dealer to fix this under warranty plus do a state inspection. They called me and stated that my Ram needed a wiper blade to pass inspection. Now it's a major hassle to take your car and repair it and then have them reinspect, so of course I told them to put wiper blades on it.

How much can that cost???
...Well, try $32.95 each wiper blade. With installation, it cost me $75.80 to replace two wiper blades! :realcrazy:
Their labor rate is $179.90 per hour. No, that's not a typo. Then I pay an environmental fee of $3.75, and all that "plus tax".

I'm sorry, but the new car manufacturers (all of them) are nuts. They make super expensive vehicles (sure they are nice), but then they make "proprietary software" and weird fasteners to essentially lock most of the public out of doing the majority of repairs so you must go to the dealerships to repair them. And then they charge you absolutely obscene prices for any repair. :fool:

It's almost like blackmail. You invest $70,000 in a vehicle and then the manufacturer forces you to repair it with them and screws you over for anything it needs.
Sorry, I'm out.

I really like my 2020 Ram, and I will keep it (hopefully) a lot longer. I do have mechanical skills so I can still do a lot of stuff myself, but if I get to a point where I can't, then the Ram is gone. I'll keep driving my old cars and the new car manufacturers can go pound sand! I wonder how much longer they can continue on this path before more of the public refuses to buy new vehicles?

OK. I feel much better. Rant over.

Several of hundreds of reasons I do NOT buy anything newer that 10 model years old. Especially with the "touch-screen" BS that is forced upon us! You want a $5K to $30K repair bill? There are shops around here that are anywhere from $125.00 to over $300.00 per hour. The labor rates are pretty standard.

BTW, I purchased two wiper blades and two hood supports for my wife's 20-year-old Jeep GC the other day. From O'Reilly's. It came to $82.20 with tax.

A battery these days is $200.00 - $300.00 carry-out, nearly anywhere. In fact, I got a battery for my '14 Passat from the DEALER cheaper than the auto parts house. Crazy ****.
How is it possible that you got any Hemi without the car being an R/T or Scat Pack?
Around here, the SXTs were all V6 models.
2015 had SXT (SE) with a "R/T" package I believe, it was on the lot in 16, used & I bought it. Son got me the build "sheet" from Dodge, YUP, SXT!!!! My insu $$$ went down too, COOL!!!
Looking at the posts on this thread, I am thankful to be an old goat in the flyover zone, with old cars, cheap windshield wipers, and younger friends with small shops.
When I drove into the dealer the first thing they did was check the wiper blades!

After 4 Toyotas my wife, in 1977, traded hers for a ’77 Subaru 2WD wagon. After that she and her father bought 7 more.

When my wife died almost 8 years ago I inherited her 3 Subarus. ’90 Legacy that had been her father’s, a ’93 Legacy she bought when she wrecked her ’84, a guy ran a red, she missed him but got the second guy! And an ’01 Forester she bought when she wrecked the ’93, her fault.

When my son got his license my father-in-law gave him his ’85 GL wagon and bought the ’90 Legacy. Right before Christmas the timing belt went and he got towed. Instead of taking the car to the dealer the tow guy said that he could fix it. My father-in-law paid for the job. Then not long after that it went again. Idler pulley went bad. If the dealer had done it was warranty but since the tow guy did it my son paid with his Christmas money.

After that I decided that the dealer would do everything on the cars. Here I am 40 years down the road and I am never going back! 2 ½ years ago the old service manager retired. He and I were buddies. He had worked at the original dealer in the area. The son of the original dealer had worked for me when I was parts manager. The son told me he didn’t get along with the guys in the shop. Not true. The family were devout Christians. The father was except with his customers. He followed the Carbon Rule. “Do Unto Them Before They Do Unto You”! The son couldn’t deal with the father banging the customers in the head!

With the new service manager things were “different”. I took the Forester to get a service and the A/C belt squealed. Went to pick it up and….the A/C belt squealed! The shop foreman came out and tightened it. I took the ’90 in for a cam belt job. A day after I got it back it was overheating. I got a thermostat, it’s easy to do, I opened the drain valve and …. NOTHING CAME OUT! I filled it with coolant and it didn’t leak.

I should’ve known but no. I took the Forester in for a 4 wheel alignment. The local shops have a bad reputation. They did the front but couldn’t do the back because the bolts for the arms in the back were rusted and they couldn’t break them loose. So I got the car back.

I was driving it around and it didn’t feel right. I drive ‘em like I stole ‘em and I was being aggressive on an off/on ramp in the wet and spun it sideways into the concrete barrier! She’s a tough old bitch and I was able to drive it home at 70 MPH with the A/C on! The dealer’s body shop gave me a quote of $7600. Problem was that the service writer’s daughter had just wrecked hers and I was second in line and they told me that parts were not available. State Farm totaled it and I got paid. Yeah we still had comprehensive but not anymore!

I got the rollback to bring it home. I have a friend with a body shop. And I just made the appointment, told them it was customer pay and dropped it off. I told them I wanted as many factory parts as possible. I didn’t want any Chinese crap on my car. The estimate was $2700 plus frame rack time. Three weeks later it was done, $3200. They only used a left headlight assembly from China. Between the day I wrecked it and when I picked it up the left side had gone NLA!

I am walking around the car and… wait, what? The wear bars are showing through the tread! I normally pay attention to that but I missed it. I had a friend put it up on his lift to take a look at the rear suspension. THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG! The guy had loosed up the left side then tightened it BUT IT HAD MOVED! I got new tires and the body shop did the four wheel alignment. The read out showed three corners out less than a degree but the left rear was more than a degree out!

If the service writer had said that it needed new tires and 4 new rear arms I would’ve said yes. It would’ve been $1200 to $1500 to the parts department alone. Yeah, I’m not going back!
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