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What Is Your (Worst) Dealer Experience


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I was thinking not to say anything about this, but I changed my mind.

I have only been to the dealer once. For an (expensive $180) oil change using synthetic. The price is high, but I can swallow that (even though they do not provide loaner). But there is one thing I do NOT accept, it is the fact that when I drove home after the oil change, I had oil dripping from under the car unto the floor of my garage. I went under to have a look and found out that the technician who did the oil change was either too lazy or too stupid to use a towel and wipe the excess oil.

I cannot accept such service. I am greatly disappointed by the Lexus dealer and I will need time to consider if I will ever go back to that specific dealer. Fortunately for me, there is a second Lexus dealer in town and it is owned by a different party.

Has this ever happened to you? And what would you describe as the most negative experience you have ever had with a Lexus dealer?

Thank you.

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Hmmm ... the most negative experience at a Lexus dealer ... hard to choose from the long ... oh so long ... list.

I'll just copy and paste the information from a thread from the past:

In about 1993-4, the engine on my first LS started to occasionally die while driving -- my basic 4 year/50K mile warranty had just expired. A service adviser at Superior Lexus in Kansas City told me that the main engine computer had failed and that they would replace it and fix the problem for about $1,000.

When I told him that I was going to take my LS to an indie Lexus repair shop for a 2nd opinion, the dealer service writer "did a little dance" and told me that the mechanic had discovered that the problem was instead caused by a bad battery cable.

C$180 for an oil change seems a bit much. Did you get some "free" coffee and a snack. Here in Kansas, 6 quarts of Mobil 1 and an OEM oil filter and oil plug gasket are currently right at $47 before tax. A few minutes out in the garage and I'm done ... and I don't have to worry about a dealer grease monkey violating my car or one of the clean up people/porters doing something bad like scratching my car or "losing" my headrests -- yes, they actually misplaced the rear headrests once and I never got a straight answer on why they were removed in the first place.

"My car had rear headrests when I brought it in."

"No it didn't."

"But I'm certain it did. Could you have a look around for them?"

"I'm pretty sure rear headrests were optional on the 90 LS. Are you sure yours had them? Did you leave them at home?"

The headrest episode was a little like the Monty Python Parrot sketch:

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Hmmm ... the most negative experience at a Lexus dealer ... hard to choose from the long ... oh so long ... list.

I'll just copy and paste the information from a thread from the past:

In about 1993-4, the engine on my first LS started to occasionally die while driving -- my basic 4 year/50K mile warranty had just expired. A service adviser at Superior Lexus in Kansas City told me that the main engine computer had failed and that they would replace it and fix the problem for about $1,000.

When I told him that I was going to take my LS to an indie Lexus repair shop for a 2nd opinion, the dealer service writer "did a little dance" and told me that the mechanic had discovered that the problem was instead caused by a bad battery cable.

C$180 for an oil change seems a bit much. Did you get some "free" coffee and a snack. Here in Kansas, 6 quarts of Mobil 1 and an OEM oil filter and oil plug gasket are currently right at $47 before tax. A few minutes out in the garage and I'm done ... and I don't have to worry about a dealer grease monkey violating my car or one of the clean up people/porters doing something bad like scratching my car or "losing" my headrests -- yes, they actually misplaced the rear headrests once and I never got a straight answer on why they were removed in the first place.

"My car had rear headrests when I brought it in."

"No it didn't."

"But I'm certain it did. Could you have a look around for them?"

"I'm pretty sure rear headrests were optional on the 90 LS. Are you sure yours had them? Did you leave them at home?"

The headrest episode was a little like the Monty Python Parrot sketch:

Yes, $180CAD (which is actually ~$189US at the current exchange rate) is, IMHO, highway robbery, but such are car dealerships in Canada. Yes there were free munchies and coffee, but I abstained. This was my first time at a Lexus dealer and I couldn't believe it. Obviously, if they cannot even do a proper oil change, one wonders what will happen when they will have to do some real repair work? I was planning to get them to do oil changes and maintenence work required as per the warranty, but now I am reconsidering going a second time to that dealer. I might even start doing the oil change myself next time it's needed, instead of waiting after the warranty is over.

I mean, I do oil changes twice per year on my three other cars and I do not spill oil all over. I know it's not their property, but still. And btw, they charged me for 7 litres because, I guess, it exceeded slightly 6 litres of oil. Too bad they were too cheap to give me the left over oil in a small container so I can use it to top up if needed. I guess being classy isn't a characteristic of Lexus dealers.

P.S. I enjoyed the video. I've seen it before.

P.P.S. Did they find your headrest???

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I was thinking not to say anything about this, but I changed my mind.

I have only been to the dealer once. For an (expensive $180) oil change using synthetic. The price is high, but I can swallow that (even though they do not provide loaner). But there is one thing I do NOT accept, it is the fact that when I drove home after the oil change, I had oil dripping from under the car unto the floor of my garage. I went under to have a look and found out that the technician who did the oil change was either too lazy or too stupid to use a towel and wipe the excess oil.

I cannot accept such service. I am greatly disappointed by the Lexus dealer and I will need time to consider if I will ever go back to that specific dealer. Fortunately for me, there is a second Lexus dealer in town and it is owned by a different party.

Has this ever happened to you? And what would you describe as the most negative experience you have ever had with a Lexus dealer?

Thank you.

I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

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I was thinking not to say anything about this, but I changed my mind.

I have only been to the dealer once. For an (expensive $180) oil change using synthetic. The price is high, but I can swallow that (even though they do not provide loaner). But there is one thing I do NOT accept, it is the fact that when I drove home after the oil change, I had oil dripping from under the car unto the floor of my garage. I went under to have a look and found out that the technician who did the oil change was either too lazy or too stupid to use a towel and wipe the excess oil.

I cannot accept such service. I am greatly disappointed by the Lexus dealer and I will need time to consider if I will ever go back to that specific dealer. Fortunately for me, there is a second Lexus dealer in town and it is owned by a different party.

Has this ever happened to you? And what would you describe as the most negative experience you have ever had with a Lexus dealer?

Thank you.

I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

You might want to give them a call and ask how much it costs, instead of doing like me and asking the service adviser in person at the dealer. Because after I did, he put me down. No joke. The funny thing is that a few weeks earlier, I was at the same dealer and had test driven a LS 460 since I was contemplating buying a brand new car. I didn't want to deal anymore with any hassles, including oil change, and thought the purchase of Lexus top of the line might provide me with that.

But after seeing pics on the net of Lexus cars that were just a 2-5 years old with wrinkled leather seats and doors, I started to have some doubts. And decided to buy a used one. Originally I was planning on buying a new LS 460 and then a RX 350. Instead I bought a 2009 RX 350 with 20K miles. I figured if I made a mistake due to shortcomings with Lexus cars, or the service at the dealer, it will have been a less expensive lesson to learn. Boy am I glad I did.

And btw, since you bought a used Lexus from a (non) Lexus dealer, let me give you a tip. Years ago I ended up buying 5 used cars from the same dealer over a period of 2 1/2 years. Since I was very close to the salesman, he once told me a little dirty secret. When a dealer receives a used car for sale, they will immediately look at the tires on the car. And if they are very good, they will remove them and install older tires (with less thread left). The 'fun' thing is that some dealers will not bother balancing the wheels after swapping the tires. And of course, you will not be told about it.

This is what happened to me. I bought the vehicle and they didn't say a word about it. But then I went back to the dealer I bought the car from and got a work order of what was done on the car, so I have a copy for maintenance purpose. When they gave it to me, they didn't realize that it was written to swap the tires with tires 'from the back store'. And the tech then added 'no balancing'. I find it ... to knowingly sell a car with four unbalanced tires without saying a word about it. On top of that, I don't know why, but after swapping the tires, the TPMS needed to be reset, so they sent the car to the Lexus dealer to have the TPMS reset. But they didn't ask the Lexus dealer to balance the wheels at the same time. As per what is written on the work order, there is 4mm left on my Michelin Energy LX4. Brand new there is 10/32".

Regarding oil change, you might want to do it yourself, in particular since your warranty should be over very soon, if not already. It is a piece of cake. I've done more than a hundred oil changes on non-Lexus cars over the last 15 years or so. And after going under my RX 350, I can tell you it is very easy.

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I maintain my 08 RX350 by myself even it still has manufacture warranty. However I use dealer for earranty repair. Couple weeks ago I went to dealer for reparing the windows master switch which stopped working. The dealer handed me an 'action list' which indicates that my front brake pad has only 1mm left. Hence they highly recommended 'installing new brake pads and machining the rotor'. I was very angry because I just did tire rotate a week before and I am sure that front brake pad had 5mm left. So I told the dealer 'I am sure there has more than 1mm left' and I got answer 'Oh..'. I also told the dealer 'just perform the warranty repair'.

The dealer is desprite in getting revenue for repair. So if you are not comfortable with the charge by the dealer, go somewhere else for a second opinion. Many independent repair ship has high royalty and custom satisfaction.

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I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

One more thing I forgot to say; make sure to verify how much engine oil you have. Since you got it from a dealer, they had to certify the car and do an oil change. In mine, there was oil up to the lowest (minimum) point on the dipstick. And on the work order, it said 'oil change up to 4 litres'. The RX takes about 6 litres.

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I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

One more thing I forgot to say; make sure to verify how much engine oil you have. Since you got it from a dealer, they had to certify the car and do an oil change. In mine, there was oil up to the lowest (minimum) point on the dipstick. And on the work order, it said 'oil change up to 4 litres'. The RX takes about 6 litres.

Thanks for all the tips...funny thing about the tires when I went for my first test drive after my wife had driven it, the salesperson we had been dealing with wasn't there and I spoke to one of the other guys. We were walking around the car and he mentioned that he thought the tires were a bit worn - we both felt the tread depth and there was average depth on all four (maybe 4-5mm but not entirely sure). Next time I came back to purchase the car, I mentioned to our sales person the depth concern on the tires and this time we measured 6.5-7mm on all four. Is it possible they actually swapped in a different set of better ones? Brand was exactly the same - Michelin Energy. Sounds to good to be true from a dealer, although they are a Mercedes dealer so not sure they are looking to rip me off for some used tires...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have never had a bad experience at a Lexus dealership.. :rolleyes:

Neither have I.

Kind of a self fulfilling prophecy to start out by asking what are your worst experiences. Why not ask what are your best experiences. This dealer charged way to much for the oil change, but it gets old when people buy $40,50,60,000 cars and then whine about how much it takes to maintain them.

Paul

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I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

One more thing I forgot to say; make sure to verify how much engine oil you have. Since you got it from a dealer, they had to certify the car and do an oil change. In mine, there was oil up to the lowest (minimum) point on the dipstick. And on the work order, it said 'oil change up to 4 litres'. The RX takes about 6 litres.

You need to find another dealer. Also on the tire swapping why would a dealer do that? Most car dealers higher end ones anyway don't even sell used tires. So why would they want to trade 4 used tires for 4 better used tires? Then send it to another dealer to set the tps? Also...if you can't tell when test driving a car that the tires haven't been balanced come on! All 4 tires not balanced and you need to see a work order?

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I am a new owner and haven't yet had any dealer experience as I purchased the vehicle from a non-Lexus dealer. Hopefully where I am located the dealer doesn't charge me $180 for an oil change....

One more thing I forgot to say; make sure to verify how much engine oil you have. Since you got it from a dealer, they had to certify the car and do an oil change. In mine, there was oil up to the lowest (minimum) point on the dipstick. And on the work order, it said 'oil change up to 4 litres'. The RX takes about 6 litres.

You need to find another dealer. Also on the tire swapping why would a dealer do that? Most car dealers higher end ones anyway don't even sell used tires. So why would they want to trade 4 used tires for 4 better used tires? Then send it to another dealer to set the tps? Also...if you can't tell when test driving a car that the tires haven't been balanced come on! All 4 tires not balanced and you need to see a work order?

I definitely will not be going back to that dealer. As a point of interest; there are two Lexus dealers in my town. One (the one I went to) is a pure Lexus dealer, while the other is a 'joint' Toyota/Lexus dealer. The 'pure' Lexus dealer charges $125 for balancing 4 tires on a RX 350, while the Toyota/Lexus dealer charges $85. I think it speaks for itself.

Regarding tires swapping; I could also tell you that some employees working at dealerships never have to buy tires during their whole life... I was reminded of that last year by an acquaintance working for a European independent garage (they also occasionally buy cars at auction for resale). This acquaintance actually told me that only once he had to buy tires, after that, he just swapped them.

Regarding me not being 100% sure that a SUV hadn't balanced tires; you need to keep the following in mind: I have driven RWD for 30 years. I had never before driven a FWD (AWD) and this was my first ever SUV. There were too many new/different factors for me to be 100% sure about it. To be honest with you, this will also be my last FWD (AWD) vehicle (though I plan on buying Lexus again). I find FWD to be a very unnatural method of displacement. When under acceleration, part of the energy is sent to the rear wheels, this is felt by you being pushed back into your seat. IOW, some energy is lost when driving a FWD because some energy is sent towards the rear wheels, but nothing happens to it. I do not wish to start a 'war' on this subject and this might be only me, but FWD (AWD) is a very unnatural way to move in a car for me. On highway it is fine since once in motion at 'high' speed this 'effect' isn't as noticeable. But when starting from a red light, this is really horrible to me. I love the RX 350 on highway (in nice weather), but city driving is 'unnatural' to me, lol!

P.S. They did send it to a Lexus dealer for the TPS because it is written on the work order (that they mistakenly gave me).

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