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I had a 93 Pathfinder. Mine was a 5 spd manual. Pretty good vehicle except it was under powered and didn't have any cupholders. An real 4X4 built on a truck frame, not one of your pretend SUV's. More like the Xterra than the Pathfinders they build now.

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I think a lot of it has to do with how car-savvy you are. I'm not at all, so I wouldn't be able to pick out a good vehicle that had a lot of KM's on it. If I could I definitely would, I'm sure there's some amazing bargains out there for a little work to put in like Kimmy says.

I bought my car used 6 years ago for 10k. I could now sell it for about 4-5k. No major work beyond routine stuff like tires and brake pads/rotors. Looking at that now that's like 1k per year in depreciation, so maybe next time I'll get something older/more miles. But then again, getting something only a few years old at the time and low KM's, I saved on gas efficiency, had new safety features, newer convenience features, the interior was very clean, and the car didn't look like an old beater haha.

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Im thinking about selling my truck atm, i dont really need it anymore, sold my boat, havent been hunting in couple years, thinking an easier to park, easier on gas, more fun to drive car would be a nice change, only problem is i hate every aspect of buying and selling a car. I need a cheap sell your car for you agent who is as unscrupulous as the average used car dealer.

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Im thinking about selling my truck atm, i dont really need it anymore, sold my boat, havent been hunting in couple years, thinking an easier to park, easier on gas, more fun to drive car would be a nice change, only problem is i hate every aspect of buying and selling a car. I need a cheap sell your car for you agent who is as unscrupulous as the average used car dealer.

I've owned lots of vehicles, but I am not the type to buy cars off a lot often... I've done it maybe 4 times in my life. It's not that bad... I enjoy it. I like test driving lots of different vehicles and taking my time doing it. I set a price and stick to it. I negotiate hard and walk away if I don't get what I want. With a trade-in, you are losing quite a lot of money for the convenience of getting rid of your vehicle quickly. You should be able to get more on a private sale, but it can be a pain.

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I've owned lots of vehicles, but I am not the type to buy cars off a lot often... I've done it maybe 4 times in my life. It's not that bad... I enjoy it. I like test driving lots of different vehicles and taking my time doing it. I set a price and stick to it. I negotiate hard and walk away if I don't get what I want. With a trade-in, you are losing quite a lot of money for the convenience of getting rid of your vehicle quickly.

Interesting.

Different take from me as noted in my post on the first page. I hope to only ever own a total of 5 cars in my life so the amount of time you invest here is anathema to me.

Reminds me of this post about money = time: http://www.behaviorgap.com/weighing-value-money-time/

When and how we exchange time for money, or money for time, is incredibly personal. The decision doesnt fit neatly into some formula. Instead of assuming theres a right or a wrong answer, we need to put the exchange in the context of whats right for us right now. Some days, money will matter more. But other days, well consider the money well spent for the time it buys us. Thats the way it should be.

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As stated previously, I rented a Wrangler for 3 weeks this summer and was jazzed but I am NOT a "car person". Bought my first vehicle at age 40.

I particularly don't understand why anyone would buy a car that's less than 5 years old. I generally buy them at end of life and spend about $2K/year on the outside for maintenance and depreciation.

Cars.

What are your thoughts dear MLWers ?

Remember the "cash for clunkers" program? That got rid of most of the "infinitely repairable" cars.

And no car means no job, given the pitiful state of public transport in North America.

So you MUST go into hock on a car-loan, pay until it is falling apart, then start over - another "Forced TAX" to Corporate North America, along with the "mandatory insurance," fees, licenses, etc

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Remember the "cash for clunkers" program? That got rid of most of the "infinitely repairable" cars.

And no car means no job, given the pitiful state of public transport in North America.

So you MUST go into hock on a car-loan, pay until it is falling apart, then start over - another "Forced TAX" to Corporate North America, along with the "mandatory insurance," fees, licenses, etc

I guess the availability of functioning used cars depends on where you live? I often see cars with for-sale signs in the window around here, private sales often asking $2000 or less. Conversely when I lived in Ottawa I recall noticing that there were very few "clunkers" around. I had assumed that all the salt on the roads destroyed cars before they reach 10 years of age, but maybe there is some other reason.

As for the necessity of a car for getting a job... I partly agree. It depends where you live, and what you do for a living.

If you work in a big downtown office tower, your job is probably well-served by public transit. If you work at an industrial park, you probably need a car, or at the very least you need to car-pool with some co-workers.

And I think that skyrocketing rents are forcing people without financial resources to find homes farther from their jobs as well. In Edmonton I knew people who lived in Mill Woods because that was where they could afford to live, but had to spend 2-3 hours a day on public transit getting to and from work. I wouldn't be surprised if the same trend holds true in most large cities... the people who need public transit the most can only afford to live in areas that aren't very well served by public transit.

-k

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Because you needed them or because you like them?

I liked them... but they were old and unreliable... so I needed another, similar car to keep the main one running! Plus Jeep for the bush and towing boat... then I bought a truck from a friend, and I took a while to get rid of the Jeep.

I am down to 2 vehicles now... and quite a bit newer. A little 4 cylinder car and a Nissan pickup truck for towing the boat.

Plus girlfriend had an old old Datsun... and a regular vehicle for daily driving. I guess that's 6 cars! But 2 weren't mine.

Edited by The_Squid
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  • 4 weeks later...

My question, rooted in an experience over the last couple of days, is how do new car dealership's service centers stay in business? With new vehicles under warranty, my wife and I have always taken them in for service at the dealership that we bought them, with the logic being that they have qualified staff and will have the parts in stock (I've never had a complaint over either issue with GM dealerships), as such, we're willing to pay a little more for quality over what one would find at most Crappy Tires.

Long story short, just over a year and half ago we moved (back) over to Greater Victoria, so we've been unable to take our vehicles into the dealership we'd frequent in metro Vancouver (Eagle Ridge in Coquitlam have great sales and service staff!!), instead dealing with a dealership service center over here (which we've found just as good in term of quality, but a little more expensive).......that is until the last several days.

For the sake of argument, my wife was driving my daughter's truck (that we're babysitting) a couple of days ago and went through a deep pothole and the driver's side window regulator bought the farm, sliding down into the fully open position forever. Thankfully, it hasn't been raining, since we're unable to fit the truck in our garage (it has a 3" lift), as such, a quick call was made to said local dealership. We asked for a rough estimate and were told the repair would be ~$1100 parts and labor, and that they could fit us in late next week.......our major concern at that point was if they could take the truck and keep it inside and out of the weather, the response was they had no room to do that.

With that, we called the other local GM dealership and were quoted ~$1500 all in, but they could repair it this weekend (hence a higher price), but though they couldn't keep it indoors, they could keep it on the lot with a tarp over it......since we couldn't do that ourselves I guess, well not having it stored on a lot in the middle of downtown Victoria, this appeared a bargain :rolleyes:

This lead us to calling the local garage (yesterday late afternoon), which said they couldn't repair right away because they were closing, but they could fit the truck indoors for the evening......to be fixed the next morning (today)....so we jumped on it without even asking the price........so got a call late this morning from said dealership, asking if I wanted to save a few hundred dollars by replacing the part with a Lordco part versus factory GM parts (which they would have to try and source), so went with the Lordco part.........so get a call again from said mechanic near the near the end of the day saying the truck was ready.......go in and it turns out it also needed a front wheel alignment (we noticed the difference for the good after driving it) and they washed, waxed, buffed the chrome and vacuumed the interior (to a state I've never seen since my daughter bought the truck!!!).......all for the price of $294 all in......if we had of waited for the GM part, it would have been about an additional ~$150........

So again, with full knowledge said local garage could be a diamond in the rough, my question, how do dealership service centers stay in business, charging 4-5 times for service?

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So again, with full knowledge said local garage could be a diamond in the rough, my question, how do dealership service centers stay in business, charging 4-5 times for service?

You were going to do that.... until you were forced to find an alternative.

People are suckers. This is what they count on.

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You were going to do that.... until you were forced to find an alternative.

People are suckers. This is what they count on.

Maybe, but how many people take ~15 year old vehicles to a dealership? In my experience, my wife and I are normally taking in our vehicles, that are less than 5 years old, for their scheduled services or the odd warranty issue, we expected to pay more for our daughters truck, but by comparison, not that much more.......

I'd wonder if the service centers for these dealerships are actually loss leaders/write offs, in that the only expect to do mostly "free" warranty & lease work, coupled with inspections on trade ins? Sure doesn't seem like a healthy business model.

None the less, it goes to show that brand and dealership loyalty isn't what it use to be, and I fully intended to call the dealership manager/owner for a "airing of the grievances".

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I'd wonder if the service centers for these dealerships are actually loss leaders/write offs, in that the only expect to do mostly "free" warranty & lease work, coupled with inspections on trade ins? Sure doesn't seem like a healthy business model.

So again, with full knowledge said local garage could be a diamond in the rough, my question, how do dealership service centers stay in business, charging 4-5 times for service?

They stay in business because many.many people think that you are required to have service work done at the dealership to maintain your warranty. Dealers often don't make a lot of money on selling vehciles, they do make plenty of money on two things: service work and financing.

Ever notice when you are negotiating for a vehicle they are always asking how you plan to pay for it? That is because they know that lending you money is big time cash for them.

I replaced a regulator for my son last summer, on a Camry. The part was $280 from Toyota, $65 on the Internet including shipping, about $90 from NAPA. It is almost certain all three otpions are the exact same part from the exact same factory,only the box is different.

They also tout 'GM technicians'. In fact, their regular service work is often done by far less qualified pimply 17 year olds, same as at Mr Lube. Thats why the oil change at GM costs a bit more than Mr Lube... they want you in the place and your car on their rack, where can point out the extra work you really need to get home alive.....And they want you trained in the habit of coming there for everything.

"airing of the grievances". Save your breath, they don't care and know you are already gone as a customer if you just noticed just how large your bill has become for the same work..

Case in point: a major scheduled service on a Honda runs $450, before they discover anything 'extra and urgent'. At my local trusted repair shop they charge an hours labour ($110) plus about $50 for parts and fluids for the exact same work. The repair shop owner, an old friend, says it takes about 45 minutes to be thorough.

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Like you, we stick with the dealer while vehicles are on warranty. After that it depends on whether I can find a good independent shop. Dealers can be funny. They are pretty competitive on some things and outlandishly expensive on others. It depends on how much competition they have. What my Chrysler dealer charges to change a late model Cummins fuel filter is highway robbery and as soon as the truck is off warranty, I will be buying them directly from Cummins and changing them myself. On the other hand, when it comes to oil changes, they are pretty competitive and I just bought a new set of tires for my truck from the same dealer. They beat Costco's mounted and balanced price for exactly the same tire.

I bought a maintenance package for the car which covers the first four years and is a good deal. They even give me a loaner if they are going to have the car a couple of hours or more.

Edited by Wilber
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The dealership is definitely paid for warranty work, just not from the car's owner. They aren't on the hook for those. I never go to a dealer and I often wonder how they maintain business as well. I think a lot of people simply trust that a GM shop is better for their GM.

I would never use a dealer for anything other than warranty repairs... and on my last GM product I got to know them very well. I sold that car just prior to the warranty expiring. My first ever brand new car buying experience and it was a total lemon.

Living in Victoria, what happens when the Tesla breaks down????

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Living in Victoria, what happens when the Tesla breaks down????

We sold it months ago (to my sister and brother in-law, who have since traded it in over in Richmond). When we bought the Tesla you also buy an extensive maintenance package where they will send a mechanic to you (their "ranger" service package) for minor repairs (if there isn't a service center where you live) and major repairs they send it back to the factory (in St Louis IIRC) and they provide you with a loaner.

With Tesla, its a real pain in the ass, even when we got a set of snow tires they had to send a technician out to calibrate/reset something......they've since opened a repair shop in East Vancouver though. Ultimately our only complaints were with service (which is getting better in large urban centers) and with our current situation (renting well building) we couldn't install the charging port in our garage, so had to charge it with an extension cord into the wall (which takes waaay longer), coupled with where we're building is prone to power outages (for days) and my wife's commute really seemed to be taking a toll on the battery.

The later gripes aren't Tesla's fault, and if we had of stayed in Metro Vancouver, now that it has a service center, we'd likely have kept it...........real nice luxury car, comparable to a Benz/Lexus/Jag, but IMHO, only practical if you live in a city with a service center and have a short(ish) commute in terms of distance.......my wife replaced it with a Camaro (originally bought it for myself from above mentioned dealer) and though on paper going Cadillac ESV--> Tesla S--> Camaro SS is a downgrade in terms of luxury, she loves driving it.

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They stay in business because many.many people think that you are required to have service work done at the dealership to maintain your warranty. Dealers often don't make a lot of money on selling vehciles, they do make plenty of money on two things: service work and financing.

Ever notice when you are negotiating for a vehicle they are always asking how you plan to pay for it? That is because they know that lending you money is big time cash for them.

I thought GMAC died when they went bankrupt.........I haven't financed a car through a dealership (same one mentioned above) since the early 80s.

They also tout 'GM technicians'. In fact, their regular service work is often done by far less qualified pimply 17 year olds, same as at Mr Lube. Thats why the oil change at GM costs a bit more than Mr Lube... they want you in the place and your car on their rack, where can point out the extra work you really need to get home alive.....And they want you trained in the habit of coming there for everything.

I've never had an issue with the quality of work done at GM dealerships, nor felt they were fishing for additional work (as we've only really been bringing in newish cars/trucks)........I wouldn't say the same with a few experiences at Crappy Tire over the last 20 years though, those guy are pirates.

"airing of the grievances". Save your breath, they don't care and know you are already gone as a customer if you just noticed just how large your bill has become for the same work..

I called this morning when they opened, they said the head honcho isn't in for the day, but he will personally call me back on Monday......at the end of the day, most of my family has been dealing with this dealership for decades (my Uncle/Cousins business has a fleet service/sales package through them) and I fully expect some answers.

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On the other hand, when it comes to oil changes, they are pretty competitive and I just bought a new set of tires for my truck from the same dealer. They beat Costco's mounted and balanced price for exactly the same tire.

That's been my experience over the years with newer GM service centers when compared to Crappy Tire.......I'm actually going to need a new set of rubber for my truck (a dually) and we were going to buy both my son and daughter a new set for theirs........so a total of 17 off-road truck tires, and you can bet I'm going to be asking for a big discount from the local guys.

I bought a maintenance package for the car which covers the first four years and is a good deal. They even give me a loaner if they are going to have the car a couple of hours or more.

Same here, I've got one for both my 1-ton and the wife's Camaro.

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I'm seeing more Teslas around here and have been wondering where they go for service. I had been looking at up market German and Japanese iron for some time but wouldn't buy one until there was a dealership farther up the valley, I wasn't interested in going into Burnaby or Richmond for work. They finally understood there was a big market out here and in the past three years an auto mall has sprung up in Langley with Mercedes, BMW, Mini, Infinity, Porsche and Audi dealers plus a new Jag, Land Rover dealer about to open and an Acura dealer just down the road.

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I'm seeing more Teslas around here and have been wondering where they go for service.

Yeah, when "we" (as in my wife) first got it, service wasn't really a consideration, and at the time (until the Vancouver center was set up in the lower East side of all places), they would have to send a tech up from Seattle. She looked at a Chevy Volt, but wasn't really thrilled with it ( I felt it a little cramped anyways), but never inquired if they did all the service in the lower mainland at the dealerships.

I had been looking at up market German and Japanese iron for some time but wouldn't buy one until there was a dealership farther up the valley, I wasn't interested in going into Burnaby or Richmond for work. They finally understood there was a big market out here and in the past three years an auto mall has sprung up in Langley with Mercedes, BMW, Mini, Infinity, Porsche and Audi dealers plus a new Jag, Land Rover dealer about to open and an Acura dealer just down the road.

I'm not surprised at how fast the Valley is growing up.

I've never owned a Japanese brand, but have driven them as rentals, a Tundra in Hawaii, which I felt seemed like driving a beer can......and a Hilux in Australia, which I thought a little better (cramped for four people), but nothing to jump up and down over.

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Like you, we stick with the dealer while vehicles are on warranty.

Why? Do you have too much money and need to dispose of some?

I never return to the dealer except to get warranty repairs or recalls, or at least that is the theory. The last two new vehicles our family has bought are both Hondas, with a total of almost 400k kilometers total on the two. The car has had one recall(for a piece of apparently faulty window trim) and no warranty work required. The truck had had zero on both counts.

All maintenance work is done on or ahead of schedule, 95% by myself, and records are kept.

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I've never had an issue with the quality of work done at GM dealerships, nor felt they were fishing for additional work (as we've only really been bringing in newish cars/trucks)........I wouldn't say the same with a few experiences at Crappy Tire over the last 20 years though, those guy are pirates.

That's great. I guess I'll never know how wonderful their service is, because I will never own a GM product again. I've wasted far too much time and money fixing them. When I was young I drove domestic beaters because that was all I could afford. I cannot afford a GM now that I have the ability to buy anything I want.

I went Japanese long ago purely over quality of the product, a value-for-money/total cost of operation decision.

I agree about Canadian Tire. But you present them as the only alternative to the dealer, when they clearly are not. The rare times I've had outside work done, it is done at an excellent local shop.

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