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daffy

Bad Experience

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Hi,

About 3 years ago I had some starter problems with my 1991 Ls400. At around 550,000 kilometers, I thought I needed a new starter, and told a Lexus dealer. Well, I brought my car in and they supposedly changed the starter and billed me for a new starter- around $1200. I have the receipt somewhere.

Before taking the car in, I had to drive on a short stretch of gravel road to get to my ultralight aircraft. After the work was done, I lifted the hood and there was dirt and a few grains of sand where the intake manifold meets the heads. Now it seems to me, to get the starter out, you have to remove the intake manifold. Before you remove the intake manifold, the engine has to be cleaned first. Now being in the middle of winter, the Lexus dealer probably doesn't like to steam clean the engines unless they have too. I am 99% sure they must have replaced the contacts for the starter, because the starter worked perfectly after that. If this is the case, then they should have told me this, and only charge me for a new solenoid- not a new starter.

Unless you can remove a starter without removing the intake manifold (which I doubt), I think I was ripped off. I haven't been back since and will not trust anyone with my newer Lexus. I will do all the work I can myself. I least I have this option. For many of you Lexus owners- beware!

I had other things done to the car, and now I am not really sure if it the work was really done or not.

Many of you may say, confront the dealer, well I am not an aggressive type and often avoid these situations. I just move on and let other people know my experiences. My 2 cents worth. Daffy

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I do not trust them either. I took mine there once and they left parts off and the n I had to bring it back and wait hours. Now I use a pen that uses ink that can be seen under a blacklight to mark parts before I take it anywhere.

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I forget who taught me this, but it was long ago that I learned the trick of telling the repair facility before the work is started that I want all of the old parts back. I now by my parts online (parts.com or sewell, etc.) and have an independent mechanic do the work. I don't even have to ask any more -- the old parts are always in my trunk when I pick the cars up. This simple request up front for the old parts helps keep them honest. I've got a ton of used LS400 suspension pats in my garage.......

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We're in this perfect storm for such abuse. Poor economy has killed car sales, particularly higher prices brands like Lexus. A lot of dealers are hanging on for their dear life. Toyota safety fiasco hasn't helped for new customers. You've got service areas with leather sofas, expensive artwork, customer computer stations, and complimentary food and coffee all combining to pump up the dealer overhead. Lastly you've got all the workers from service writer to mechanic on financial "performance incentives" based on productivity, average repair cost, and gross margin. It's funny, in many industries like, financial, people who do work for you are legally required to disclose how they are compensated. Not so at the dealer.

It's no wonder some of this abuse occurs. Only remedy is to be a smart owner and ask a lot of questions. It's tough for those in smaller towns with a single dealer. Forces you to find a good indy.

Buyer beware.

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for some really good advice! Marking parts, requesting the old parts back, that's going to happen in the future for sure, if I ever have to take my car in again. :cheers: Daffy

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Daffy I ran a repair shop (small one) for many years. In that time very few people asked for old parts. If I kept them it was to show people how closely they had averted disaster in one form or another, but not because of trust.

If you feel you need to mark parts, or get some stuff back ( be assured there is no lack of old parts from other cars lying around to fool people with if the shop so desires ) then there must be a complete lack of trust, and you should find another shop. That's the way I see it anyhow.

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If you feel you need to mark parts, or get one stuff back ( be assured there is no lack of old parts from other cars lying around to fool people with if the shop so desires ) then there must be a complete lack of trust, and you should find another shop. That's the way I see it anyhow.

That is exactly how I feel too SRK.

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I recently took my car in for recall service that went very badly. A gasket wasn't properly installed which resulted in a lot of oil ending up in the engine bay. The technician who performed the repair knew of the problem, but no one at the dealership informed me of the issue when I picked up the car. I found out about it when the cabin filled with burned oil fumes and smoke from the vents while I was driving down the interstate in heavy traffic on the way back to work. I returned the car and reported the problem, the service guys looked at it again, said they found the problem and fixed it. I left for work again, and the exact same thing happened again. I returned the car a second time and was told it would be another two days before it would be ready.

Two days later, I called he dealership to get an update on the car and was told it would be ready that afternoon. I asked to speak with the service manager when I picked up the car. When I arrived, I sat down with the service manager who assured me that this was an oversite by a senior technician that should never have happened and the dealership would do what it needed to do to make things right. My primary concerns are:

The repair was done incorrectly

No test drive was done prior to my return

A known serious problem was not brought to my attention

I had to return to the dealership for the same problem

Oil in the engine compartment and on the exhaust system was a fire hazard

Smoke and strong fumes in the cabin while I was driving could have caused a life threatening situation

I told him I would call in a couple of days to discuss my concerns once I've tested the car, and had a chance think the whole thing over. As I was leaving the dealership, I noticed there was only a half tank of gas. It's customary to receive a full tank of gas for recall repairs. So much for making things right. I'm not just disappointed and upset, I'm appalled. Is this what Lexus customer service has become?

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I have never gotten a fill up for any warranty work? :(

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The only time I have heard of a full tank of gas for warranty was the recall campaign on the 2004 LS which received new transmissions and new fuel pumps before a particular VIN. That was a one time goodwill gesture from Lexus. Other than that campaign, I don't believe one could expect a full tank.

Regardless, your service manager should offer something to make up for the loss of use due to the "senior technician" !Removed! up. As to your assertions of loss of life and limb possibilities, they are irrelevant. Overstate those and you'll get nothing.

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I recently took my car in for recall service that went very badly. A gasket wasn't properly installed which resulted in a lot of oil ending up in the engine bay. The technician who performed the repair knew of the problem, but no one at the dealership informed me of the issue when I picked up the car. I found out about it when the cabin filled with burned oil fumes and smoke from the vents while I was driving down the interstate in heavy traffic on the way back to work. I returned the car and reported the problem, the service guys looked at it again, said they found the problem and fixed it. I left for work again, and the exact same thing happened again. I returned the car a second time and was told it would be another two days before it would be ready.

Two days later, I called he dealership to get an update on the car and was told it would be ready that afternoon. I asked to speak with the service manager when I picked up the car. When I arrived, I sat down with the service manager who assured me that this was an oversite by a senior technician that should never have happened and the dealership would do what it needed to do to make things right. My primary concerns are:

The repair was done incorrectly

No test drive was done prior to my return

A known serious problem was not brought to my attention

I had to return to the dealership for the same problem

Oil in the engine compartment and on the exhaust system was a fire hazard

Smoke and strong fumes in the cabin while I was driving could have caused a life threatening situation

I told him I would call in a couple of days to discuss my concerns once I've tested the car, and had a chance think the whole thing over. As I was leaving the dealership, I noticed there was only a half tank of gas. It's customary to receive a full tank of gas for recall repairs. So much for making things right. I'm not just disappointed and upset, I'm appalled. Is this what Lexus customer service has become?

I would agree that you're probably barking up the wrong tree with wanting a tank of gas. But you do have legitimate concerns about the repairs done to your car and if the car has been repaired properly.

About two years ago I had my car at the Lexus dealer for several service items, including flushing power steering fluid, changing wiper blades, new battery, and several other items that I can't recall. After I picked that car up and returned to my office, I noticed that the wiper blades had not been changed and that the power steering fluid was overfilled. I called and spoke with the service department manager. I explained and he agreed that with the high prices that are charged by the dealer, I should at least be able to rest assured that the job had been done right. Otherwise, I explained, I could just take the car to an independent mechanic and pay half of the dealer charges. I then asked him how I could be assured that anything they had done to my car had been done correctly if two items I could check for myself were done incorrectly (or not at all). He acknowledged my point and asked me what I wanted him to do.

I explained that I wanted him to drop a loaner off at my office and take my car back to the shop and have his best mechanic check everything that was done to it. After that was done, and any other problems they spotted were corrected, they could drop my car off again at my office and take the loaner back with them. He agreed. They corrected the PS fluid and replaced the wiper blades but found no other problems. At least I didn't have to waste another trip to the dealer, and I had their assurance that the car was in good working order.

The point of this story is that the high price you pay at the dealer is accompanied by a mutual expectation that the job will at least be done correctly. However, even the dealer sometimes hires new (or incompetent) mechanics and mistakes are made. I would suggest that you consider calling the dealer and asking them to come pick up your car, drop off a loaner, and have their top mechanic inspect your car to make sure everything is in order -- and fix it if it's not. You shouldn't have to make any further trips to the dealer or waste any more of your time to rectify their mistake.

Good luck and I hope your car is okay.

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