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Dealership Parts Scam

by Eddie Carrara

This dealership parts scam is a simple way for dealerships to increase their bottom line is to install aftermarket parts but charge the customer OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part prices. This type of business is a total scam, and the dealership is blatantly ripping you off! The sad part about this scam is that even some factory reps know about these deceptive operations and do nothing about it!

Here's an example of this scam when you bring your vehicle in for service. Let's say you own a Ford, and you bring it to a Ford dealership because you trust the brand name (and Mike Rowe) and because you know the service department will use Genuine Ford parts. You don't mind paying premium parts prices because you expect the highest quality automotive parts installed on your vehicle. 

Here's What Really Happens

Unfortunately, that's not how it always works. You see, without your knowledge, the dealership could use inferior aftermarket parts from the local auto parts store, and you would never know the difference. The dealership understands very few customers won't even open the hood after the service work is done, never mind pull the parts to check for the Ford logo stamped on it! So the dealership can charge you premium parts prices and install substandard parts while doubling if not tripling their profits! 

The dealership can also charge these premium prices on fluids. Once installed, there's no way to prove the dealer used a specific fluid brand unless you have it sent out to a lab or if you caught them red handed using lesser quality brands. Manufacturers like Honda and Toyota use their brands of fluids like; brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant. The prices for their fluids are premium priced, so make sure you're getting the right fluids.

How to Avoid This From Happening to YOU!

Buy the parts yourself and have your mechanic install them

One of the best ways to save money is to avoid dealership parts scams altogether. If you want premium parts installed in your vehicle, buy the parts yourself before you bring your car in for service. Some mechanics will refuse to install parts purchased outside of their facility, so if they refuse to install your parts, find a new mechanic, you'll be better off in the long run. 

If you would like a specific brand fluid installed in your vehicle, you can even buy premium fluids beforehand and have them installed as well. Hopefully, the mechanic will have no problem installing the parts you supplied, and you will only pay for labor.  

To save even more money on labor, read my other article, "Flat Rate Grid Pricing Matrix." The flat rate grid matrix system is just another trick the dealership has up its sleeve to suck more money out of their loyal and oblivious customers' pockets. It's not your fault! Dealership parts scams are widespread and can go undetected for as long as that dealership is in business, so a little preparation before you bring your vehicle in for service can save you big bucks and guarantee quality parts!

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