Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Model: 1990 GL1500
Having been on both sides of the fence, I can see it from either way. In many cases lack of knowledge is the most likely reason. Although I have reason to believe that milking the ignorant customer is fair game to many dealers. My sister in law left her ancient relic in for brake work and an oil change. They quoted her $1100 as it is after all 25 years old and then there are parts to be imported etc. I told her that that she was being fleeced.
I replaced all the parts she needed, slave cylinder, 2 discs, two sets of pads some hoses and various fluids and an oil change. $190, it did take a few days to source the parts, but remember I don't have the same access to the jobbers or trade prices or have a lift to raise the vehicle or the overhead mind you.
One of the biggest hassles when working on older vehicles is that things break, the studs shear when replacing a muffler or a clamp has rusted through, carb work is hampered by the rubber manifolds which have hardened over years of use and become brittle and don't seal and have to be replaced. All these take time, experience and care. Most mechanics in this day and age are used to just replacing parts. They hook up their diagnostic tools and replace what the computer recommends. It's quick, turns a fast buck and they are on to the next job and the customer is happy or feels stung. This equipment doesn't come cheap at 7 grand or more plus software and training. Sadly many of todays mechanics haven't been trained to look for the obvious or real hands on mechanics. Often perfectly good parts are discarded before finding what the actual fault was, maybe a loose or perished hose, blown fuse etc.
The dealer knows certain things wont wash with us, they want cash up front when you order parts and want a premium to work on your machine. Some owners are willing to let certain things slide, like using a hose clamp rather than the original Honda item, but when a dealer gets his hands on it, especially a HONDA dealer they have certain ethics to adhere to, ie using genuine Honda parts, time is alloted to each and every service, so many hours and minutes for each job. Then there is a storage fee while waiting for parts and then of course they come express so add DHL + phone calls and now you have shop supplies. It all adds up and it all comes out of your pocket.
Thank goodness I can do it myself.....!
<-----------Zoe and Duff
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