There really is nothing fun about going to a car dealership. The cars are overpriced, the people are there to try and oversell every part of the car to you, and the maintenance of the car is always going to be questionable compared to taking your car to a skilled friend who knows exactly what they are doing.
There are very few cases where buying a brand new car is a smart financial decision, and you may as well buy a used car from your local classifieds section, as you will probably pay about half as much for it, and therefore have more money in your pocket to fix the problems that any used car may come with. Having said that there can be fun things about going to a car dealerships, like checking out brand new models of the best sports car, or test driving a brand new motorcycle that you have never ridden before.
Whatever you do, though, be careful when you go to a car dealership. Sales managers can be really slick, and they love to try and read your emotions and your personality to manipulate you into spending a lot of money! If you own and drive a car, you know how much of an emotional roller coaster it can be!
If you go to citetseerx.ist.psu.edu you will find a very interesting study conducted to compare non-automotive retailer workers with retail workers in other occupations. The study showed that car salespeople were more likely to cheat on the spouse by a substantial percentage. Affairs can be super awkward, especially when you are the one dealing with secrets and concealing truths to others. It’s not that you want to conceal the truth, it’s just that you want to avoid any indication that anything ever happened, because the whole situation is just very uncomfortable, and would be best if forgotten about. Sketchy is a great word for marital affairs in general, adding the occurrence inside of a car dealership makes it double sketchy.
The insane of amount of times that brakes have been improperly installed at a car dealership is up there in the numbers with wheels that fall off the car shortly after leaving the dealership because of not being torqued down properly.
The way brakes work is generally the same from car to car, however the construction of the brakes is always changing, and that makes it hard for inexperienced technicians to install them properly.
There is an instance written on wheels.ca where the customer writes about their brakes on their van failing twice after being repaired in the workshop. If you take your car to the dealership for brakes, make sure to test them really good when you leave the dealership to make sure they are functioning properly.
If you go to Jalopnik.com you will even find a wild story where the car salesman devises a plan and steals the identity of the customer! How crazy is that!? The story doesn't go into detail, however, protecting the identity of the customer is an important part of the sales associates jobs. It is even very possible for the sales associate at a dealership to accidentally give away the customer's identity over the phone to an illegitimate source pretending to be the bank. There is a very interesting article on dealercredit.com that will tell you "the easiest identity theft scam in the world is to contact a creditor and demand to be sent a copy of the credit application."
The car falling off of the lift is more common of an occurrence than you might think. As easy and secure as some cars are to put up in the air, some are a beast, and they aren't going to stay up there for long if you don’t secure them with some sort of pogo jack. There really is nothing safe about working on automobile, which is why you should use extreme caution when doing so. If you use an auto lift, you need to make sure it is inspected properly and routinely to help prevent risk of injury or worse.
Some technicians are religious about using their torque wrench on everything that is necessary. These are techs who usually do really good work, and have been doing it for a very long time. Search artstehnica.com and you can find a very entertaining feed where people will tell you stories of how their wheels fell off right on the freeway after having work done on their cars (some self inflicted, others by workshop).
You will also find very experienced older technicians who no longer need the torque wrench nearly as often because they know how tight to put a certain part.
But when it comes to something as simple as installing the wheels, a torque wrench is very commonly forgotten about, and the car will drive off onto the highway and immediately lose a wheel. Make sure if possible that you watch the wheels be ripped off of your car and reinstalled with a torque wrench!
Getting tire bead to seal around the wheel can be one of the most frustrating things in the whole world. Whether it’s a low profile tire that is just stiff as concrete, or a big truck tire that hangs around the wheel like jewelry, there is always the use of something flammable in one last attempt to make the vehicle you are working on roll out of the shop as soon as possible. The technique can and will work, but it is definitely one of the sketchiest things to do, as you could use too many flammables and blow up the whole unit into your face, never to look nice ever again!
It is not uncommon to find that a salesperson has taken a trade in car on a test drive without it having been inspected, and this can be very dangerous if the car has crucial parts that need to be replaced. You should always ask the salesperson whether or not the car has been inspected before your test drive if it looks like it has just arrived at the dealership.
In fact, when a customer buys a used car from a dealership it can be a lot more complicated than if they were to buy a new car.
If you go to consumer.ftc.gov you will find very helpful consumer information about buying a used car. You don’t want to be driving down the road in a dealer owned car when a tie rod breaks and you are no longer able to steer the car in the direction that you want to go.
When cars are being serviced, the dispute between the customer and the service advisor can be a never-ending battle. That’s why there is a job specifically for dealing with the customer, so that the technician doesn’t have to argue over the price and quality of the repair. Furthermore, when you get into a car accident, and the insurance company is taking care of the repair for you, arguments between the insurance company and the shop performing the work is relentless. Nerdwallet.com has a really informative article titled "Why Insurers, Repair Shops, Argue Over Car Insurance Claims" that will give you a lot of insight to some of the sketchy arguing that happens in car dealerships.
Even if you are wearing safety glasses there are still ways of metal shards making it up into your eye. There are many cases of this. If you walk into some shops you may find that none of the technicians are wearing safety protection on their eyes. Some of them are even great techs. Regardless of your ability to work on a car, you need to take care of your well being, and make sure that you put on safety glasses even for routine things like oil changes and brake pad replacement. Vision is something that once deteriorated can never be re-attained.
Tires can be very hard to install on the wheel. Hand in hand with successful installation of new tires, comes the fail reel that is a part of everyday life inside of a dealership. It can get pretty sketchy! For instance, the 2012 and similar Nissan Versa's had a recall campaign where their coil springs literally broke! You really don’t even know what is going to happen with an automatic tire machine, which is what most dealers have these days, and it is never fun to inflate a massive rubber tire with dangerous amounts of air. You also have to be careful that you don’t get your hands and clothes stuck anywhere between the wheel and tire in the process, or the situation gets much hairier!
Replacement of coil springs is always one of the most potentially dangerous repairs that have to be done on the automobile. As great as they are when driving on the road they are definitely a necessity for smooth and safe driving. There is even a case where the 2012 and similar Nissan Versas had a recall where the coil spring would break! You can read about it at Nissanversaforums.com.
You should always use a locking spring compressor when compressing difficult springs, and using zip ties like displayed in this picture is definitely a very sketchy way that will get you killed if you are standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Also, if you don’t feel comfortable compressing the spring, then you shouldn’t hesitate to take it to a specializing dealership, where the workers have safer tools and more experience. Coil springs can still be sketchy regardless of how you replace them!
Hybrid vehicles are a whole different ball game when it comes to servicing them. A lot of engine repairs require that you work around the electrical wires with your sharp metal tools, and this is not safe if one does not completely disable the hybrid system. Because of the new technology, dealers are still figuring out how to correctly service hybrids, and servicing automobiles is not what it used to be back in the day. Even on gas and diesel powered automobiles there are networks used between modules that all communicate with each other flawlessly when functioning properly. There is a classic story from geek.com where the dealership wanted ~$4,000 to replace the hybrid battery, when the customer pulled the battery himself to find that the battery terminal connectors simply had excessive corrosion. So just remember, if you have a hybrid vehicle, and you open the hood, remember to be careful about where to put your hands!
You really have to be careful when you pull into the service drive of an automotive dealership. If you are not careful, the service advisor will try to sell you every last little thing for your car, even if you don't necessarily need it.
Sometimes you will even be able to catch them in a lie where they didn't do a repair they said they were going to do and charged you for it.
This is not true about all service advisors however, as some can be very helpful and honest. Some will even go out of their way to give you things that you don't have to pay for. It is important to develop a good relationship with a certain service advisor if you plan on taking your car in for service every time that its due.
An article titled "Here Are Your Most Awful Dealership Stories" pretty much sums up the rest of this article. Featured once again on jalopnik.com, this article starts out with stories about simple disputes concerning repair, and elaborates further, featuring another wild story where the dealership technician takes the customer's car for the weekend and leaves an Eminem CD in it, and a huge chunk taken out of the front bumper! The article gets even more absurd featuring a bit where the salesman backs into the customer and then insists that he was rear-ended! So the next time you go to a dealership, make sure that if there is candy in the waiting area, you eat a lot of it! As you probably paid for it twice over.
The sales office can be fun to be inside on successful days, where people are happy, and often sharing food and fun with each other and having a good time. But, if you walk into a sales office on a day where nothing is sold, or even where a deal is shared between two salespeople, you are going to see quarreling like unto two dogs out in the rain.
Retaildoc.com has an article with some really great information about commission based sales that gives some good advice on what a salesperson is to do when someone tries to steal their sale.
There is something about not having enough money to pay the rent that will make a salesman or woman grit their teeth, and sink their pain into the next sales guy or gal who might be making more sales then them, or having a better day in the least.
Cash is the one thing that you definitely are going to find in a car dealership, and you might find a lot of it. The problem with excessive amounts of cash is that the dealership may be hiding paper trails in order to avoid paying taxes and other fees.
Cash deals alone can cause distrust between the salespeople, and anyone involved in the sale of the car.
Although large-scale dealerships typically don’t like cash deals because of their large involvement with banks and massive monopolizing loans, a smaller dealership will thrive off of cash deals because it may make them more money long run when they don’t have to deal with as much paperwork. Cash deals aren’t exactly a bad thing, but something that you should stay aware of, because they can be sketchy.
Sources: Conrad.com, insideevs.com, 428cobrajet.org, wheels.ca, citeseerx.ist.psu.edu, artstechnia.com, nerdwallet.com, jalopnik.com, nerdwallet.com, retaildoc.com, geek.com