2008 Auto Sales Drop By 3 million
USA Today 01-06-09
Recently I read a blog-page where the writer was talking about how she had only eight more payments on her truck and that the payments were “$800” per month. I saw a guy sign the papers on a new Chevy Suburban last summer and it was “$1140” per month.
As I understand it, the “average” car payment in America is now something like $620 per month and the months far exceed 72. Either one of those, compounded by high insurance rates, would be a real killer for me to make. Incredible money to be made in the automotive sector eh?
There are also huge sums of money to be made in the repair of their products. Actually, I believe they jack the price around on the repairs as some kind of twisted incentive to get the consumer to purchase a new car from them. They have gotten so disgustingly high, downright outrageous on repair costs, that a guy would just about say, “Ah screw it. I will take the money and buy me a new one, before I pay that!” It could be designed to do this very thing, I know it sure irks me and I as a consumer, believe it is out of line.
They are certainly off the charts and outrageous when it comes to repair work and parts. It could be greed. It could be because their cars have become so reliable, that they have to get more for repairs now because they see them so seldom. They are after all “supposed to be” more dependable now.
Not like the old days when it was rare to see the 50,000 mile mark.
My old hoopie is almost a teenager, she is 12 years old and she has cost me a quite a lot of money over the years, just to keep the ——– running and in good working order. My current mileage on the truck is now standing at 160,000+ and I have made up my mind that I am going to drive it until it actually falls apart and dies …. Then I am going to take it to the Vet. and have it put too sleep.
Over the years, this truck has cost me some bucks. I used to joke and say “if you start it up and let it go, it will drive itself to the dealer for its own repairs.” It hasn’t been a whole lot of fun at times, and has put me in the foot patrol more than once.
That is what GM stands for, “Get A Mechanic”
or GMC = “Got A Mechanic Coming.”
A week ago, my old pig-iron-pony threw another shoe and went down on me. I recently had to put it in the shop again and it was $1,263.00 to bail it out. Which on average is what I have spent per year to keep it in great shape and reliable, about $1200 per year. Now think about it, do the math, $1200X12= $14,400 over the life of the truck, which doesn’t even count purchase price. So you can see why I am less than enchanted about all this.
This time it was a power assist boost assembly (power anti-lock brakes), replace the fuel pump (you had to crawl underneath it and beat on the fuel tank with a hammer to get it to start) an oxygen sensor (which was #5 on a truck that only has four) at $107 each.
Now here is where the fun begins:
Dealer cost for one fuel pump and installation, $1,060.00, for the power boost assembly, $748 part, and almost $500 to install, (less than a 45 minute job start to finish). After taxes and parts, labor and anything else they could throw in over $2,500.00. Which did not make my day … in any, way, shape, manner.
After driving around and doing three estimates. I took it to an independent shop, ASE certified Technicians, Diagnostic Scope work and they did all of the above, plus they checked all fluid levels, installed a new oxygen sensor, fuel strainer, oil/lubed, and the whole nine yards for the above mentioned $1263.00. The independent shop performed the extra work for a total of $152 and some change, this was not even mentioned on the dealer estimate.
Now look at the parts:
- Power brake booster $170.33 — Dealer: $748.00
- Fuel Pump: $160.95 — Dealer: $568.00
- Labor on booster: $218.40 — Dealer: $500.00
- Labor on Fuel Pump: $405.60 — Dealer: $500.00 again.
In a nut shell here is the cost of everything: Lube, oil, filters (3), differential lubricate, transmission fluid level inspection, all fluid levels checked, frame inspection, air filter and breather inspected, tire pressures, and basic inspection of the truck for “almost HALF the dealer estimate of $2500 and some change.”
When I looked at the Dealer rep and said, “Man, are you sure? You people are pricing yourself right out of a job. I can get this done elsewhere for a lot less money.”
He just looked at me and said, “See you later.”
Which is basically the way I feel when they come to Washington and beg for tax payer money.
See you later boys.