Monday, October 10, 2011

It's not an upsell.

I was sitting watching the techs work on my wife's car recently when one of them wandered in to the waiting area to talk to another customer. He was carrying an engine air filter that was in appalling condition. It was clogged with debris and was almost jet black. The tech explained that this was A Bad Thing to the customer but he wouldn't have any of it. He complained about the tech trying to upsell him on things he "didn't need". The tech tried again to explain to him that this wasn't doing his engine or gas mileage any good but the customer kept refusing to pay for a new filter. In the end they had to put the old one back in the guys truck and off he went. It bothers me when people have so little understanding of things that they can't even listen to basic logic. This guy was absolutely convinced that the new filter was an upsell of a non-critical part of his engine. I'm sure he'll be quite happy with his lean-running engine as it overheats and gives him terrible gas mileage. Look; if you own a car, please try to understand a little of how it works. That way you won't get ripped off by unscrupulous garages but equally you will be able to sense when they're telling you an honest opinion of work you really do need to have done.

7 comments:

Klaas said...

I presume the engine will be running rich - if the ECU can't adapt to the changing lambda values. Either way, the engine won't be running at its top efficiency so will indeed have lower mpg. More seriously, if it's really clogged, dirt will get sucked through the filter and wear out the engine inside.

Brent said...

It's true that a clean engine air filter is important, but on the other hand, have you seen the prices some places charge for a filter replacement? My local dealership charges $60 for an engine filter and $80 for a cabin air filter! I can get those for $12 and $20 respectively at the local auto parts store and they both take about a minute to install. If I ever have a mechanic try to sell me an air filter replacement, I politely decline their offer to rip me off and then check and replace it myself the next day.

Chris said...

Brent. This dealer is pretty good with their prices. The air filter was $18 ...

Kristaps B. said...

Yeah, indeed, Klaas. My logic says that the engine will be running rich, assuming constant fuel intake, but reduced air intake pressure. Or running isometric reaction, but with reduced power if ECU will adapt. Of course almost all my car-knowledge comes from carbibles.com ;)

Paul said...

As a matter of interest, did the mechanic have a new filter to show the customer as a comparison? If not, maybe that would have helped?

Chris said...

Yeah - he had the old one and the new one next to each other.

Paul said...

And he still questioned if it was necessary???
Good grief. Not sure what say to that!