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Discussion Starter #1
I have some reasons to question my dealer's competence... like not knowing that warranty for alignment and forgetting to wash the car (when my receipt said it was completed)... among some other things... like seemingly frequent employee turnover but I digress...


I had my first service today... suppose to be oil change and tire rotation I think.


Wheel alignment was a bit of a diversion. I asked about it (to get it fixed while still under warranty) and they came back showing that I could use front and rear alignments. They said they have something that can read alignment when you pull up into the area to drop your car off. At first they said it wasn't covered under warranty but I pointed it out that it is covered for the first 12 months or 12,000 miles... so then they recheck and come back with another sheet showing that my car's alignment wasn't as bad as their first sheet said it was... looks like the front is OK now and the rear wheels could use a minor adjustment and that they would cover it under warranty... so I guess that is good.


Anyway, what if in the alignment 'diversion' they forget to change the oil? The maintenance was reset on the car so it shows 100% oil life left now but how do I know the oil was actually changed? Are there sensors in the car to detect how dirty the oil is or does the maintenance minder just go by mileage and time?


If I had remembered then I would have somehow marked the tires to make sure they were rotated.... darn it, I forgot to do that... oh well... my big concern is how to know if the oil was actually change?
 

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Well, silly me... I guess I can check the oil on the dipstick and see if it looks like what I think new oil should look like..... assuming I can find it. I'm a computer person, not a car person but I think I can figure out some "basic" stuff. :)
 

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Yes, try checking the dipstick first. The dipstick has an orange handle, and is in the left-center area of the car under hood. Fresh oil should look light/golden amber without any traces of dark/black.

With regard to the maintenance minder reset, the oil life calculation is directional (algorithm) rather than exact/ongoing sensor or measure. Once reset, the calculation starts over regardless of whether 'real' oil change occurred or not. There are a few comments in a thread found here which might be worth reading, where franko1927 accidentally reset the car's oil life.
 

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Yes, try checking the dipstick first. The dipstick has an orange handle, and is in the left-center area of the car under hood. Fresh oil should look light/golden amber without any traces of dark/black.

With regard to the maintenance minder reset, the oil life calculation is directional (algorithm) rather than exact/ongoing sensor or measure. Once reset, the calculation starts over regardless of whether 'real' oil change occurred or not. There are a few comments in a thread found here which might be worth reading, where franko1927 accidentally reset the car's oil life.

Thanks. I'll check out that thread.


Looks like my oil is new/clean. See photos.
 

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I know you're not going to want to do this, but, if you drop the belly pan, you should be able to observe the filter and drain plug. The filter should be free of road grime, and the plug and area around it should be wiped clean. If you don't drop the pan, you can look down from above using a mirror to see the oil filter. To your benefit, if there ever is a warranty claim, you have the dealer paperwork stating the change was done. I don't think the dealer would have charged for work that wasn't done. First, that'd be fraud. Second, it would be a risk on their part.

It's not that I don't trust the dealer, but I do my own oil changes and tire rotation. Why? Because I can knock it out quickly without needing to sit at the dealer for an hour or two, and I actually enjoy doing it. The bonus is I know it was indeed done, and done right. The bonus on top of the bonus is that I can do it for less than the dealer charges.
 

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I don't think the dealer would have charged for work that wasn't done. First, that'd be fraud. Second, it would be a risk on their part.

I was more concerned about incompetence rather than outright fraud. Since they were (supposedly) working on the alignment, I wonder how easy it might be to "forget" to do other work.



I'm glad you like to change your own oil but it's something that's just not practical for me.


On the plus side of going to the dealer... you get a quick car wash and I needed one!


Only a few more days and she'll be one year old (since I bought her).
 

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Same, I worry about incompetence rather than fraud at the dealership. Oil changes are usually done by entry level techs (https://www.google.com/search?q=honda+oil&ibp=htl;jobs#fpstate=tldetail&htidocid=8iUxr5BaWnQ2hVW0AAAAAA%3D%3D&htivrt=jobs). The actual Honda certified techs work on diagnostic and repairs only.

I once overheard a customer arguing with the service advisor that they lost his belly pan...

From my personal experience, I had my license plate frame changed without my permission (original license plate frame was from another dealership) before and missing tire caps. Now I check under the hood and around the car to make sure they have everything secured before I drive off.


I also do my tire rotations at Costco cause I trust the guys working there and they will hand torque them again within 25 miles.
 

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Wheel alignment was a bit of a diversion. I asked about it (to get it fixed while still under warranty) and they came back showing that I could use front and rear alignments. They said they have something that can read alignment when you pull up into the area to drop your car off. At first they said it wasn't covered under warranty but I pointed it out that it is covered for the first 12 months or 12,000 miles... so then they recheck and come back with another sheet showing that my car's alignment wasn't as bad as their first sheet said it was... looks like the front is OK now and the rear wheels could use a minor adjustment and that they would cover it under warranty... so I guess that is good.
They probably thought you were paying for an alignment and confirmed you do need one. Once you told them it is being done through warranty, they had to tell the truth on what actually needs to be done, otherwise they would be defrauding Honda on a warranty claim for more work than necessary, which they would not get paid for when proof of work is submitted.
 

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I hadn't heard of technology that checks wheel alignment by pulling into the auto bay. Whether the dealer was intentionally or unintentionally misleading in their report, the fact that their measurement data changes is a credibility problem in itself.
 

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I have some reasons to question my dealer's competence... like not knowing that warranty for alignment and forgetting to wash the car (when my receipt said it was completed)... among some other things... like seemingly frequent employee turnover but I digress...

I had my first service today... suppose to be oil change and tire rotation I think.
This is a legitimate concern. Shortly after I purchased my first new Honda (2010 Fit), I took it to the dealer for an oil change. Picked it up after the change and drove home and parked it in my garage. Noticed when I came out later that there was oil all over the concrete under the car. Returned to the dealership (10 min away) and they realized that the person who changed the oil did not put the oil cap on top of the engine back on. It was still just setting off to the side. When the car heated up during the short drive home, oil splattered all over the engine and dripped down. This really happened. Fortunately the management at the dealership profusely apologized, gave the engine a thorough clean and had a service person drive to my carport and clean the concrete which cleaned in up pretty well. Also, they gave me 3 free oil changes. However, after those free ones, I never returned to that dealership. I ended up buying my next new Honda (2015 Fit) from a dealer 40 miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They probably thought you were paying for an alignment and confirmed you do need one. Once you told them it is being done through warranty, they had to tell the truth on what actually needs to be done, otherwise they would be defrauding Honda on a warranty claim for more work than necessary, which they would not get paid for when proof of work is submitted.

Yeah, I wondered the same... strange how the needed alignment work was reduced once they confirmed that it was covered under warranty... either incompetence or fraud. I hope the former though (lesser of 2 evils if you ask me).
 

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This is a legitimate concern. Shortly after I purchased my first new Honda (2010 Fit), I took it to the dealer for an oil change. Picked it up after the change and drove home and parked it in my garage. Noticed when I came out later that there was oil all over the concrete under the car. Returned to the dealership (10 min away) and they realized that the person who changed the oil did not put the oil cap on top of the engine back on. It was still just setting off to the side. When the car heated up during the short drive home, oil splattered all over the engine and dripped down. This really happened. Fortunately the management at the dealership profusely apologized, gave the engine a thorough clean and had a service person drive to my carport and clean the concrete which cleaned in up pretty well. Also, they gave me 3 free oil changes. However, after those free ones, I never returned to that dealership. I ended up buying my next new Honda (2015 Fit) from a dealer 40 miles away.

I hope those free oil changes worked out better for you. It did sound like they really tried to make it up to you though! I'm glad there was no engine damage.


I had a 2012 Fit before my Insight and really liked it. I wish the Insight was as "practical"... but the tech on the Insight is much better than what was on my Fit... except for the AM radio. It sucks on the Insight. :)
 

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I hadn't heard of technology that checks wheel alignment by pulling into the auto bay. Whether the dealer was intentionally or unintentionally misleading in their report, the fact that their measurement data changes is a credibility problem in itself.

Yeah, that was really strange. Either incompetence or fraud or maybe even the tool they were using isn't very good if the results differ so much from reading to reading.


I saw them go back out to the car while it was still sitting in the bay and re-check the alignment. It looks like they just go wheel to wheel and not something automatic that checks as you drive into the bay. Not exactly sure what tool they were using but they gave me a color print out of the results. I wish I had taken a photo of the first one they showed me with both front and rear tires being out of alignment. I did take a photo of the second print out after they supposedly re-checked the alignment. I'll attach it.
 

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Yeah, that was really strange. Either incompetence or fraud or maybe even the tool they were using isn't very good if the results differ so much from reading to reading.


I saw them go back out to the car while it was still sitting in the bay and re-check the alignment. It looks like they just go wheel to wheel and not something automatic that checks as you drive into the bay. Not exactly sure what tool they were using but they gave me a color print out of the results. I wish I had taken a photo of the first one they showed me with both front and rear tires being out of alignment. I did take a photo of the second print out after they supposedly re-checked the alignment. I'll attach it.
Looks like a hunter alignment printout, weird that all of the values are missing though. I'll see if I can find a filled out alignment sheet so that you can see what I mean.

It's super easy to "fake" a bad alignment. The machines are very susceptible to any vibration or movement and would read incorrect very easily. Or simply by putting in the wrong vehicle.
 

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I had a 2012 Fit before my Insight and really liked it. I wish the Insight was as "practical"... but the tech on the Insight is much better than what was on my Fit... except for the AM radio. It sucks on the Insight. :)
There was a recent leak of the next gen Fit coming later this year. Plus Honda teased back in May the next gen Fit will have a hybrid version.



Yeah, that was really strange. Either incompetence or fraud or maybe even the tool they were using isn't very good if the results differ so much from reading to reading.



I saw them go back out to the car while it was still sitting in the bay and re-check the alignment. It looks like they just go wheel to wheel and not something automatic that checks as you drive into the bay. Not exactly sure what tool they were using but they gave me a color print out of the results. I wish I had taken a photo of the first one they showed me with both front and rear tires being out of alignment. I did take a photo of the second print out after they supposedly re-checked the alignment. I'll attach it.
Most dealerships and tire shops use Hunter alignment systems so it shouldn't take them more than a minute to do an alignment check.

From your alignment readout, it looks like your dealership use the newer hunter quick alignment check system, where it's measured by a bunch of lasers within seconds.
 

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Looks like a hunter alignment printout, weird that all of the values are missing though. I'll see if I can find a filled out alignment sheet so that you can see what I mean.

It's super easy to "fake" a bad alignment. The machines are very susceptible to any vibration or movement and would read incorrect very easily. Or simply by putting in the wrong vehicle.
Hmm, I see what you mean by missing values... sample before/after from internet is attached. It is odd that the report provided by Honda was incomplete.
 

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His alignment report does seem to be lacking some information. Is there a work order number and vehicle name on the printout @CommonSenseAl ? I have attached a copy of mine from when I did an alignment on my 09 Civic last year at my Honda dealership. Haven't done an alignment with my new Insight and with the newer hunter alignment systems so maybe the alignment report looks different.
 

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From your alignment readout, it looks like your dealership use the newer hunter quick alignment check system, where it's measured by a bunch of lasers within seconds.
youtube.com/watch?v=d4HeoAwSRNM
youtube.com/watch?v=9c8cKqj-Uo4
Watching these videos, I noticed that the laser technology 'just' came out in Oct 2018, and the Toyota dealer was raving about the gross profit from using this tool. If this is what the Honda dealer used, my 'inner skeptic' says the dealer may need some training/calibration on the new laser measurement if it differs so much upon re-measurement or when compared to alternate measure. And they must be pushing alignments hard because they're 'easy' to do and almost pure profit, not necessarily in the best interest of a consumer. #buyerbeware
 

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Watching these videos, I noticed that the laser technology 'just' came out in Oct 2018, and the Toyota dealer was raving about the gross profit from using this tool. If this is what the Honda dealer used, my 'inner skeptic' says the dealer may need some training/calibration on the new laser measurement if it differs so much upon re-measurement or when compared to alternate measure. And they must be pushing alignments hard because they're 'easy' to do and almost pure profit, not necessarily in the best interest of a consumer. #buyerbeware
It seems like the quick check system identifies the VIN via the license plate through Carfax. If Carfax has the wrong Vin or can't find one that matches your license plate then your alignment is compared to the wrong factory recommended specs. The dealership doesn't care if it's not as accurate if the system made a wrong recommendation when the laser check doesn't cost them any additional labor.
 

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It seems like the quick check system identifies the VIN via the license plate through Carfax. If Carfax has the wrong Vin or can't find one that matches your license plate then your alignment is compared to the wrong factory recommended specs. The dealership doesn't care if it's not as accurate if the system made a wrong recommendation when the laser check doesn't cost them any additional labor.
Yep - sadly, it's actually in the dealer's best interest (financially) if the measurements are inaccurate, because it can drive up business in 'recommended alignments.' I don't think my dealer has this laser-based check, but if they try to throw a recommendation from it at me, I plan to ask for a second verification measurement before proceeding!
 
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