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Dealer Service Or Trusted Shop?

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You guys who don't do the work yourself, who do you use? Seems the opinions I 've read on this forum is that the dealer charges way too much for the work they do. What do ya think?

I got a 90K service coming up. :unsure:

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Which will cost you over $1000 from Lexus.

In my opinion, no preventative maintenance should cost a 4 figure amount LOL. If something's broken, then fine. If its not, then dont charge me as if it were. I mean, isn't this why we no longer drive our old clunkers? So we wouldnt have to drop a g note on them for service?

Take the car, and a list of what Lexus does to a good mechanic you have references from and save yourself probably $600.

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Gotta agree with SWO It is really unfortunate that some executive at Lexus hasn't figured out that if they supported the owners of their older cars, it would dramatically increase the value of Lexus as a true world class luxury automobile. If I owned a Lexus dealership, I would offer open houses to people like you and me. Perhaps I would also have some of the technicians discuss the vehicles. I suppose that's why I'm not a Lexus dealer. I'm not greedy enough to suck a grand out of someone with a 13 year old car.

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I am not defending the dealers here. I am merely stating that just because an expensive car loses its value (capital) over time, does not mean that its maintenance costs are reduced as well. Certainly the cost of maintenance does remove many cars from the road each year, and many cars end up after fifteen years having cost more in maintenance than they are worth by that time.

I have owned a couple of Mercedes autos, and after buying the Lexus I will never have another. One of the reasons is that Mercedes V-8's of the 80's have some fairly big problems at higher mileages. A valve grind on a 420SEL is about $5000.00 Canadian. If the car is only worth $9000.00 on a good day, that's a problem.

Aircraft are much the same. Used aircraft, even airliners, and quite cheap compared to new, and one of the reasons is the cost of maintenance. And the costs go up as they age, just like cars.

Routine maintenance is predictable. Those costs are known when we buy these cars. That's why I have purchased a full set of manuals. I work on other people's cars, I am going to work on my own, even though I have almost no experience with Lexus. I am going to learn. But I was never under the impression that the Lexus would be cheap as far as maintenance is concerned. Major repairs should be few and far between, and that's what impresses me about them.

Pal of mine has a Subaru. His 96k service will cost over $800.00. And after the service, it will still be a Subaru. If he is willing to pay that, why aren't we on these cars?

When a car is more than a few years old, the manufacturer is done with them. Their task is to convince people to buy a new one. The old one is out of the picture for them, except as a service opportunity. That loaner car you get when the dealer services yours? It ain't free. You pay for it, just in the column that says "parts" and the one that says "labor" that's all.

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Many good observations SRK. Interesting about the MB valves, hadn't heard that before. $5,000 even in Canada seems excessive. I also agree that those of us who choose to have a Lexus were not misled about the costs. From my point of thinking I believe that people will buy cars from dealers that truly support them. Doing nice things for owners sends a positive message. Besides, they know that once you have a Lexus, other vehicles are supplemental. I have a new truck sitting here thet I rarely drive. Nope, I drive my 1990 LS instead. They know most of us will buy another Lexus when we feel the need. Wouldn't you feel better buying from a dealer who was cool with you even when your car was old?

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I do agree Denny - one of the things that always bothered me was how the Mercedes dealers got all snotty and less than helpful when you brought an older model in. They only want to talk to owners with new cars. On the other hand the Lexus dealer here always finds some way to work the phrase "That's a beautiful car" into a conversation when talking about my '92. They may be trained to say it, but it still means something about their service and parts departments.

I am certainly looking for another Lexus to add to the driveway. My Camaro will eventually go and be replaced with an SC400......one '94 model year for another '94 model year I hope.

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my dealer told me that my 90k service would cost me 1400$, so i bought parts myself (660$) and did everything myself. my mechanic told me that he would charge 375$ for labor with my parts.

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my dealer told me that my 90k service would cost me 1400$, so i bought parts myself (660$) and did everything myself. my mechanic told me that he would charge 375$ for labor with my parts.

:o

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Oh I agree that the maintenance fees shouldn't be expected to decline as the car ages. The contrary they go up because there is more to do.

My qualms with Lexus (and it is downright dirty of them) is the costs they assess to their NEW car customers when compared to other marques. Benz and BMW, Audi all have FREE scheduled maintenance on their vehicles for like thge first 4 years. Lexus does not. Lexus labor rates are significantly higher than those of most BMW, Mercedes and Audi dealers. Benz, BMW and Audi have much more expensive parts, but Lexus dealers make WAY more money on service. I mean, I bought a $40,000 automobile and they want me to spend $400 on the 10,000 mile maintenance. Thats only the car's second oil change! Its a brand new car and they want me to spend $400 for them to "inspect" things. All they do is change the oil, filter, rotate the tires, retorque the flange bolts. Then they "inspect" about 20 components, and their replacement is over and above the $400. If I'd bought a BMW the service would be free, and theres a shop in Bethesda thats going to charge me $100 for the whole job, including all the inspections. Lexus' price is just sick. The reason the independent shop is less is because his labor rate is HALF that of the Lexus dealer. They want me to pay them $120 an hour. I wish I made $120 an hour! Most doctors dont make $120 an hour!

Then at 15k, 5,000 miles later they want me to pay ANOTHER $400-$500 for more inspections. BS! And I have the cheap car! The V8s are MORE, and the SUVs are MORE STILL!

Most people pay it too. My dad has a 98 LS, and he puts it in for sceduled maintenance and it rarely comes back under a grand. He never bats an eye, but he makes more than $120 an hour I suppose :rolleyes:

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