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Disappointed With Dealership


kbrod
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Hopefully this will save many here heartache and money. I have a 2001 LS430 which I've noticed was having difficulty engaging the shift after I started the car. It would be locked in park for a second or so. This was happening at increasing frequency and the check SVC light would go on. I took it to the dealership which I've been going to for nine years now. They diagnosed it with a solenoid problem but they service guy mentioned that when the mechanic drove the car to check it out he 'heard a noise' and after checking stated I also needed a rear differential which would cost $3300. I told him to order the solenoid but I would let him know about the differential. I know this honest mechanic and I called him. He looked it up and he said that he could replace at half the cost but didn't want to order any parts until he checked it out himself. So I took it to him and he put it on the lift and then took it for a spin. Upon his return he stated that there was nothing wrong with the differential and it didn't need work. Of course I was overjoyed but then reality hit me. Then I realized for years now I've been taking my car to the dealership for oil changes etc. and many many times they would find something else wrong and I would have to pay a thousand or so to repair it. I thought that I had a lemon but was stuck with it. Now I question if this was real or not. The mech. said many times at dealerships the mechanic works on commission so the bigger the repair the more they make thought of like an incentive to find things wrong. When I brought the car back to Lexus to replace the solenoid the service guy's response to my statement that my mechanic stated the differential was fine was that his mechanic heard a noise. Well this time I watched the car like a hawk and they have a balcony at the dealership where you can watch them work on your car. It took an hour for them to get my car back and I thought it strange that two mechanics drove in the car. Finally one comes back with what looks like a plastic meter/laptop and goes by the driver's seat. Literally after 5 minutes he exits then drives the car out. I thought that maybe he found something else wrong or the it didn't work so I went to the service desk and the guy said it was done. I said so fast? His response was the guy knows these cars very well and is very fast. (Who knows if he replaced or just reset the system). So I paid my $174, $117 being labor. (I'm in the wrong profession as General Practitioner that could never happen). I noticed that he didn't mention the differential so I guess the two mechanics that drove the car back didn't hear a noise. I realize now that I've probably been ripped off for years at this dealership. I want to buy a new car but it will not be there. I trusted Lexus and expected honesty but now I've lost all my trust with them. In fairness this probably happens at many dealerships not that it makes it right. You expect a higher order of service and integrity when going to Lexus dealerships. So for you guys if you ever have the dealership find some new repairs needed out of the blue get a second opinion you might be surprised. Good luck to you all.

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Hi kbrod and welcome to the Club.

It sounds like the old child's game of "Button, Button, who's' got the Button?" Your told one thing by party 1 in the beginning, then yet another by party 2, finally to be told yet another possibility by party 1 again. From my chair, it's pretty hard to figure out your best option. But given the possible expense involved, you might want to try going to a Toyota dealer and see if they will give you an opinion. If they are willing to at least drive it you might walk away with enough info. to put together an intelligent decision.

Also, if you pick from some of these to do the repair find out what their warranty is on parts and labor. How much does it cover and for how long.

Let us know how things are going.

Paul

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I am going to make a wild guess, maybe the solenoid was chattering and causing you your shift solenoid problem...To replace is easy. Then they put the Toyota diagnostic tool on the car to actuate and adjust the solenoid...Again and easy problem. Yes the dealerships have to be evaluated. I too would try Toyota, or a recommended independent. Knowledge is important in any product, so you came to the right place. When you have a problem in the future, bounce it off these forums, be educated, and than proceed to the mechanic for the solution. You will then not be at the mercy of the stealership.

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I got a response from Lexus today: They recommended I contact the Dealership's Customer Relations Manager or Sales Manager and inform them of my experience. Well we all know that'll be a lost cause. Be it as it may I made an appointment at the Toyota Dealership for next week for them to check out my car. This will be the definitive call and then I will inform Lexus again and after that the dealership.

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I think one of the main reasons that most of us ended up driving Toyota/Lexus products is because they hardly ever break (or "make noises"). Lexus dealers love you when you are buying and you gt coffee and all that. Once you own the car then it is game on. Get what you can from them up front then find an unaffiliated (with the Lexus dealer) Toyota dealer and take it there. IF they also own a Lexus dealership, they will turn you away. If they don't, they will welcome you. Keep in mind that some things are very Lexus specific but most things they can handle. I just have to suck it and and try to keep my mouth shut when I'm there.

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My opinion is for older Lexus cars, I'd consider independent Lexus/Toyota experts for service and repairs. This is a similar situation to what Porsche owners have experienced, dealer service expertise is mainly with cars younger than 10 years old.

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Yes, it's worth the trouble to find them. And btw I've seen many doctors charge over $117 for even less not that it has anything to do with Lexus.

Athough my late model Lexus gets excellent service via my Lexus dealership (1 in particular), I use top notch independents/specialists for my Honda and Mercedes cars.

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