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We Are All Screwed in a World Where Only Dealers Can Service New Cars
Topic Started: Aug 25 2016, 06:01 AM (641 Views)
wilmywood8455
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From Road & Track

When we left the Ford dealership one rainy evening a few weeks ago, Danger Girl turned to me and said, emphatically, "I never want to go back there again." I couldn't blame her. In the five months since we'd brought her Fiesta ST from its former owner's home in Venice Beach to sunny Powell, Ohio, she'd put eleven thousand miles on the car, including six SCCA autocrosses and four trackdays. Somewhere in that breakneck schedule of events, the Fiesta had started acting decidedly. . . odd. It was shaking the steering wheel when you applied throttle, and again when you took your foot off the gas. There was a persistent clunk in the right front corner that was getting worse. I'd put the car up on a jack but I didn't see any obvious damage. Still, something had to be done.

Born in Brooklyn but banished to Ohio, Jack Baruth has won races on four different kinds of bicycles and in seven different kinds of cars. Everything he writes should probably come with a trigger warning. His column, Avoidable Contact, runs twice a week.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/screwed-world-where-only-dealers-164629566.html
I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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Demagogue
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There are lots and lots of part changers around. There are very few mechanics. If you find one, make sure he stays in business by sending him everyone you can find who needs work.
Edited by Demagogue, Aug 25 2016, 09:22 AM.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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wilmywood8455
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That's a fact, D. I'm around dealers all day, every day, in their service departments, and most of those guys couldn't fix a ham sandwich.

This all started about 35 years ago when the Germans started with the remanufactured assemblies to cut warranty costs, and it didn't take long for Japan and Detroit to follow suit.

In 1980, an alternator job cost $350, and it was $75 in parts and $275 in labor. Today the total is the same, but those numbers are reversed.
I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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Demagogue
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wilmywood8455
Aug 25 2016, 12:16 PM
That's a fact, D. I'm around dealers all day, every day, in their service departments, and most of those guys couldn't fix a ham sandwich.

This all started about 35 years ago when the Germans started with the remanufactured assemblies to cut warranty costs, and it didn't take long for Japan and Detroit to follow suit.

In 1980, an alternator job cost $350, and it was $75 in parts and $275 in labor. Today the total is the same, but those numbers are reversed.
Yep, I am old enough to remember places that rewound alternators.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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wilmywood8455
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Demagogue
Aug 25 2016, 12:23 PM
wilmywood8455
Aug 25 2016, 12:16 PM
That's a fact, D. I'm around dealers all day, every day, in their service departments, and most of those guys couldn't fix a ham sandwich.

This all started about 35 years ago when the Germans started with the remanufactured assemblies to cut warranty costs, and it didn't take long for Japan and Detroit to follow suit.

In 1980, an alternator job cost $350, and it was $75 in parts and $275 in labor. Today the total is the same, but those numbers are reversed.
Yep, I am old enough to remember places that rewound alternators.
I bet a service manager a year ago that I could walk through his shop with a set of brushes, a diode trio and a rectifier bridge (the 3 most commonly replaced parts of an older alternator) and not one of his techs could identify one of the three. He agreed, and I had to come back a day later because their local parts supplier had to order them in...so we called it off LOL

I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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Demagogue
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wilmywood8455
Aug 25 2016, 12:26 PM
Demagogue
Aug 25 2016, 12:23 PM
wilmywood8455
Aug 25 2016, 12:16 PM
That's a fact, D. I'm around dealers all day, every day, in their service departments, and most of those guys couldn't fix a ham sandwich.

This all started about 35 years ago when the Germans started with the remanufactured assemblies to cut warranty costs, and it didn't take long for Japan and Detroit to follow suit.

In 1980, an alternator job cost $350, and it was $75 in parts and $275 in labor. Today the total is the same, but those numbers are reversed.
Yep, I am old enough to remember places that rewound alternators.
I bet a service manager a year ago that I could walk through his shop with a set of brushes, a diode trio and a rectifier bridge (the 3 most commonly replaced parts of an older alternator) and not one of his techs could identify one of the three. He agreed, and I had to come back a day later because their local parts supplier had to order them in...so we called it off LOL

That is funny. Sad, but funny.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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wilmywood8455
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We do have a great independent electrical rebuilder here in my town. Ain't nothing they can't fix.
I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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clone
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Got a quote for an alternator on my Mercedes back in the day and about choked...one of my tenants was a Porsche "technician" working on the development team of the Cayenne and showed me how to fix it from a part we got for a few bucks at the pull a part place...some kind of bushing if I recall

Not to nitpick though but your OP makes it sound like they beat the snot out of her Ford with "six SCCA autocrosses and four trackdays" they were shocked the poor car " started acting decidedly. . . odd."

No sh&t.....try that with a Ferrari and get half a track day without it acting "odd"
Edited by clone, Aug 25 2016, 10:18 PM.
Don't encourage me...
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edro14

wilmywood8455
Aug 25 2016, 12:42 PM
We do have a great independent electrical rebuilder here in my town. Ain't nothing they can't fix.
Southend Auto wrecking in Renton Wa. rebuilds alternators, generators, starters. I have taken numerous chevy, ford, Hillman, BMW, alternators there. The cost was 1/3 the cost of any rebuilt replacement from any parts store. Took the alternator from my 633csi there. Cost was sixty bucks.

Today the regulator modules for that same alternator cost 75 bucks from a parts store.

But I can buy a rebuilt alternator from AutoZone for under 100 bucks.
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edro14

BTW most modules these days are either built in Mexico, China unless you happen to own a European import, then most likely those parts are built in Spain or Italy.
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wilmywood8455
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^^ That's because the rebuilders the chain stores use all use crap parts. It's cheaper to use crap and replace under warranty, because there's no labor cost to them.
Edited by wilmywood8455, Aug 26 2016, 09:16 AM.
I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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Demagogue
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edro14
Aug 26 2016, 09:15 AM
BTW most modules these days are either built in Mexico, China unless you happen to own a European import, then most likely those parts are built in Spain or Italy.
I recently changed the alternator in my 2001 Ram 1500. The one I pulled off it (original part) finally died at 260,000 miles. The replacement I bought was new, not refurbished. The new one was rated for more amps than the old one but was physically smaller and weighed less. The original was made in Tennessee, the replacement from NAPA was out of Mexico I think.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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clone
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wilmywood8455
Aug 26 2016, 09:16 AM
^^ That's because the rebuilders the chain stores use all use crap parts. It's cheaper to use crap and replace under warranty, because there's no labor cost to them.
Makes me want to post a Tommy Boy meme.... :cheers:
Don't encourage me...
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wilmywood8455
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Thank you for your restraint; I know it's tough ...
I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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edro14

The modules that keep breaking down in less that one year is the current trend of Chinese built electronics supposedly made to American specs. I wonder who is watching the fox getting into the hen house.
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