Head Examined!

It’s always surprising when something shocks me, but a customer with an invoice from a dealer did it again this week. He brought his car in because he had been to the dealer for a warranty repair and surprise surprise, they told him he needed a few other items maintained as well. This is very normal for dealers, they love to get you in for a freebie so they can “remind” you to repair a bunch of things that don’t need anything done to them. This weeks was a doozy I must say. There is was written right on the receipt, NEEDS HEAD GASKET SET.

Now many of you will not know what this means but its a huge job. Replacing this set entails the removal of the cylinder heads which is the top part of the engine. I asked him right away if he was having any symptoms of needing a new gasket like overheating and he said no. When I questioned why they told him he needed that he simply stated, “they said it was normal maintenance”. This is beyond mind boggling to me because it’s not “normal” maintenance. I know that mostly the dealers are willing to make money any way they can but to suggest something of this caliber is truly heinous. Oh, did I mention that it was going to cost him $2,000 to have this done? Insane.


So let me be clear right now. If you go to the dealer (or any shop for that matter) and have not had any issue with losing antifreeze or overheating then there is no reason to have your head gaskets changed as normal maintenance. This is like going into the doctor for a bum knee and while you’re there he tells you that he needs to replace your heart, just in case. Huh?

Got it?

Questions: Dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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