: Dealer vs local shop vs private mechanic (who do you go to?)



tjwhite721
08-01-13, 06:33 AM
All,

I'm curious to see who do you trust more doing work on your DTS. Do you trust the Dealership more? Do you trust your local shop? Or Do you trust a private mechanic more?

Obviously, GM would want all their Cadillac owners to take their car to a GM Cadillac Dealership. However, we know that is not the case. Reading through these forums, you can easily tell people take their cars somewhere else.

I also know that if your blessed to have the ability to do your own work, then your saving $$$. Maybe it might be cheaper in the long run to learn how to do basic service work, like Brakes, Rotors, and fluid changes. So you don't have to take it anywhere.

I know GM has the preferred owners program as kind of an incentive to keep their Cadillac drivers coming back to the dealership. However, can any one think of a better program that might convince more Cadillac owners to go to the dealership?

I think the main factors are : COST, CUSTOMER SERVICE, QUALITY OF WORK PERFORMED ON CAR, and WARRANTY on Parts and labor. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Tom's Caddy
08-01-13, 09:52 AM
Dealers know your car. The Northstar is not for the novice.

stormnn
08-01-13, 10:55 AM
The Cadillac dealer I bought my 06 from was not honest with me about the car but I guess that is to be expected. I've had it twice to a dealer in Florida for service & was really happy the 1st time but the 2nd time they tried to sell me a brake job. I played "show me" & the pads were 1/2 worn. If I get Super Jim's mileage, they'll go another 50,000.
I have a large independant shop in Leesburg Fl. that is very knowledgeable & his shop rate is $50. Was pleased with 2 repairs done there. Here in Ont. I have a backyard shop that charges $45 & does excellent work. I don't know if he'd want to tackle engine or tranny repairs. They would be jobs for a dealer.
Norm

Superjim
08-01-13, 11:18 AM
I would love to find an honest shop that didn't rob you on labor and was always trying to sell you something you don't need.

I "KNOW HOW" to do just about everything mechanical on the car... but I am getting old and have bad knees and bad hips.
It is kinda hard for me to bend, stretch and lift/pull on stuff like I used to do.

It is past time for plugs to be put in my car...(almost 132,000 on original plugs)...but I don't know anyone I trust to do it right.
The bracket on the rear head seems to be hard to take off and put back on.
I am afraid they will just do the six easy ones and not do the two in the center of the back head but tell me they did... LOL

Tom's Caddy
08-01-13, 01:39 PM
I always ask for my old parts back Jim.:bouncy:

BlackRavenDTS
08-01-13, 07:50 PM
I go to a local shop. The man is friends with my Father so I am lucky. He can handle 99% of my needs for 75% cheaper then a dealer.

I turn to the Dealership for those intricate issues and when I have $100,000 laying around to cover the inspection fee.

hazcaddy
08-01-13, 08:19 PM
I always ask for my old parts back Jim.

I once had a dealer who did that, but after a friend told me how he got someone else's parts back and they swore the parts were his, I stopped trusting the process. How would Jim know that all 8 "old" plugs were his?

Rick46032
08-05-13, 05:55 AM
Have a great local mechanic/garage I use. Have over a 10 year relationship. They point out problems but don't push the sale. They also know their limits. Which lets them handle 95% of my issues.

Has done repairs for less than $20. No free donuts etc. but it is close and I trust them.

jazoo
08-05-13, 03:04 PM
I go to my local shop for not too complicated jobs like Brakes, Rotors, Wheel cylinders, Wheel alignment/balancing, Tire rotations, Coolant replacements, all other fluid changes, etc. His shop rate is $70. I go to the dealer's repair shop for intricate/complicated jobs.

Tomko
08-06-13, 12:53 AM
Dealer. And just not any dealer. There are a half dozen Cadillac dealers in my region. But one will have the most experienced K body, 4T80, Northstar technician.

Going to an independent is like going to your GP for orthodontic work. They can do it in a pinch, but you're not going to win any smile contests.

billbill1
08-06-13, 10:34 AM
Hi
I'm still in a little mental turmoil from yesterdays, visit to Firestone Tire.
I have "Life time alignment" on my 2006, with 106K miles. I try to get it in for alignment at least once a year
I know the "FREE" alignment is ALWAYS a chance for a HIT at some replacement of a worn part, but I'm ready for the "HIT". From 10 years of "free alignments".
First off, I'm a watcher. It may be behind the car, in the parking lot, but I watch.
After watching the mechanic go at my "Left" tie rod, including a torch, I asked if there was a problem.
He told me he couldn't adjust the toe in, inner and outer tie rod frozen,in outer end, alignment "STOPPED".
Went to talk to the Manager on price of replacement, us hit with an after Tax cost of over $500.
This was over $300 for the parts alone, I told him, just pull the car off the hoist and I'd do some checking, and come back later.
I'm 71 and have changed several tie rods, in my time, and this $500 would fit my pocket better than His.
Long story, short. I let him shoot me a "discount price", just for me, being as I would just be cumming back
anyway, for "free alignment" after tie rod replacement. Being talked out of taking the car home, would not of happened 20 years ago, but in life , things change.
It took the mechanic 30 min. to change the tie rods. Another 15 min. to complete alignment.
Cost totals: Parts $296.07, supplies $6.16, labor $102.16,tax $ 23.34= Total $428.17 ( special price)"PAID"
When I got home, I checked MY Amazon"PRIME" price for MOOG parts, it came to $82.71, delivered.
That is a mark-up of $242.86 on parts alone, not forgetting $102.16 for 30 min,. labor.
I'll get over it, but "FIRESTONE TIRE", is do a little SHAME to.
I've had my " Dealer" install "my" parts, at labor cost. This JOB would of cost less than half of what Firestone charged, with my parts, but the mark-up of the parts at the dealer, wouldn't be $242.86.
The added kick in the "A" was the inner tie rod was tight like "new",and the outer was good for 50K more, and YES I saved the parts, to stew over. PS. Soak your outer tie rod end, threads with penetrant , under the NUT, worth the time, I wish I had known.

Superjim
08-06-13, 11:08 AM
BillBill1...

I am sorry to hear that about your alignment place.
It is sad that so many places try to take advantage of people.

bwv565
08-06-13, 11:37 AM
The Cadillac dealer I bought my 06 from was not honest with me about the car but I guess that is to be expected.

Unfortunately I think you are 100% correct. It boggles the mind as to how they can be so sleazy, just to sell a vehicle. Don't they realize word of mouth is really powerful? I love the saying "fully loaded, impeccable"...NOT.

I have been overcharged hundreds of dollars by bringing my 03 STS to Old Mill Cadillac, and they still didn't fix what was wrong. So I went to City Buick/Cadillac and they are more honest, have done a couple of extra things and not charged me, which I really appreciated. The guy who takes my car is very responsive (Jessie) and always looks out for me. That's more than 1/2 the battle, if you ask me.

I agree with Tom's Caddy above that (supposedly) the dealers know the Caddy better, especially the Northstars, so I am probably going to continue going to City Buick for service until I sell the car.

Tomko
08-06-13, 08:37 PM
Hi
I'm still in a little mental turmoil from yesterdays, visit to Firestone Tire.
I have "Life time alignment" on my 2006, with 106K miles. I try to get it in for alignment at least once a year
I know the "FREE" alignment is ALWAYS a chance for a HIT at some replacement of a worn part, but I'm ready for the "HIT". From 10 years of "free alignments".
First off, I'm a watcher. It may be behind the car, in the parking lot, but I watch.
After watching the mechanic go at my "Left" tie rod, including a torch, I asked if there was a problem.
He told me he couldn't adjust the toe in, inner and outer tie rod frozen,in outer end, alignment "STOPPED".
Went to talk to the Manager on price of replacement, us hit with an after Tax cost of over $500.
This was over $300 for the parts alone, I told him, just pull the car off the hoist and I'd do some checking, and come back later.
I'm 71 and have changed several tie rods, in my time, and this $500 would fit my pocket better than His.
Long story, short. I let him shoot me a "discount price", just for me, being as I would just be cumming back
anyway, for "free alignment" after tie rod replacement. Being talked out of taking the car home, would not of happened 20 years ago, but in life , things change.
It took the mechanic 30 min. to change the tie rods. Another 15 min. to complete alignment.
Cost totals: Parts $296.07, supplies $6.16, labor $102.16,tax $ 23.34= Total $428.17 ( special price)"PAID"
When I got home, I checked MY Amazon"PRIME" price for MOOG parts, it came to $82.71, delivered.
That is a mark-up of $242.86 on parts alone, not forgetting $102.16 for 30 min,. labor.
I'll get over it, but "FIRESTONE TIRE", is do a little SHAME to.
I've had my " Dealer" install "my" parts, at labor cost. This JOB would of cost less than half of what Firestone charged, with my parts, but the mark-up of the parts at the dealer, wouldn't be $242.86.
The added kick in the "A" was the inner tie rod was tight like "new",and the outer was good for 50K more, and YES I saved the parts, to stew over. PS. Soak your outer tie rod end, threads with penetrant , under the NUT, worth the time, I wish I had known.
In my community Firestone was caught by one of the local TV stations in a sting operation.

They had an inspected car go into Firestone for a check and had it come out with damaged parts and a large repair estimate.

Firestone was exposed and all of their shops in town closed a few months later. This happened a good 20 years ago and they've never come back.

Now I know that they may have been franchises and that it only takes one bad apple - but Firestone was ruined in this town.

Sad, because when I was a kid Firestone was the only place my father would go for wheel alignment and balancing.

DSNCB919
08-08-13, 06:33 AM
Even though it cost more I prefer dealers. Especially the dealers who service teams will say come let me show you when its a pricy job. I will never take my cadillac to a jiffy lube firestone or even a mom n pop shop. When I use to take my old cadillac to chapel hill tire I would sometimes have it returned with greese stains on hood. And 1 time they did oil change then belt blew off on me riding home to thanksgiving ( fixed free) and when my 90 seville died it was a year later when I did maintenance there as soon as I hit highway transmission went out. Ive only took my 03 dts to dealers had it maybe 5 years now 153k miles she still running smooth n quiet

Caddydave1
08-09-13, 06:35 PM
Anyone know of a good independent shop in the San Francisco Bay Area that specializes in Northstar's? Also of the several Cadillac dealerships in the area, any recommendations/experiences with their service departments?