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Gotta Love Those Dealer Prices

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Good to know nothing was particularly wrong with my 987 2006S when I took it for an oil change @ 70,000 miles to my dealer this past week. $1600 later, I had clean oil, a new battery and some replaced elastic bands that secure the ragtop within the edge channel. I am just thankful nothing was actually really needing attention or I'd be second mortgaging the house!! Just kidding....but I am always amazed at the pricing. That said, my dealer service group is really good to me and has kept 3 Porsches on the road for me over the past 25 years. Bob
$300 oil change
$500 new battery
$800 elastic bands
free doughnuts in the waiting area
I use dealers for service while under warranty. My 08 has one year left, so I am taking it to an indy this week for service, but also to let me know if anything needs to be taken care of under warranty. One (the only?) reason I go indy out of warranty is price. My last oil change at the dealer was $345. At that time, they also put in a cabin air filter for $160. I an do that myself in 10 minutes! They did it without asking, and I let them know I was pissed. I'm going in this week for oil change and 12K service, called two indy shops and got quotes of $165 and $190. Also, about $450 for the 12k service - hook up to computer, check fluids (which I do regularly), etc. My guess is that the 12k service at the dealer would be close to a grand.

I have thought about the price for oil changes. My Subaru is under warranty so I will be using the dealer for another year. They charge $45. I know my local indy will charge about $30-35. So, I have wondered about Boxster oil changes. The oil costs about $60 (probably less for them), the filter and ring, say $15. Lift time is probably about an hour: 15 minutes to remove the old filter, let it all drain (30 minutes?), 15 minutes to put the new filter on and pour 9 quarts of oil in (ok, maybe 20 minutes to get the oil in, so 65 minutes total). I can understand that having a car on a lift might be charged at the mechanic's rate because the lift can't then be used for service to other cars. But, even if the mechanic's rate is $150/hour we are talking about 150 + 60 + 15 = $225. Where does the other $120 come from?

1999 Arctic Sivler/black/black (sold) 2008s Silver/black/black - so predictable 2011 Outback 8/24/2011 first Grandson
Ummm..... your wallet?

I've always done my own oil changes. Costs me less than $75. It's easy, I know it's done right, using my preferred oil (and not overfilled), and I get a chance to cut open and closely examine the filter.

I don't even need to use a jack. Just drive the back wheels up onto staggered 2x10's, slip a large piece of cardboard under the car and slide in.

And, because the cost is negligible, I'm not adverse to doing them frequently.
I take my Infiniti FX35 to the dealer for oil changes because they only charge $39 for it. At that price, no need to even think of taking it to an Indy or jiffy lube. They don't overcharge me for service and like my Porsche dealer and Audi dealer (for my wife's car), they always offer me a loaner if I ask for one. They never, however, ask me to refill the gas on the loaner back to where it was when they gave it to me when I return it. In fact, even when they spend the whole day trying to diagnose a noise for me, they don't even charge me the standard hour labor charge for it. Wish I could take all my cars to the Infiniti dealership for service. Lol.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2012 10:22AM by boxtaboy. (view changes)
Owning a bottom of the line Porsche - Boxster - puts us with that group of folks who think nothing of buying $100K cars and trading them in every 3 years. If you can do that, $300 oil changes mean nothing to you.
They have a higher tolerance for getting ripped off. Lol
Good point, Bob.
With the Cayenne, Panamerica and 911 representing the vast majority of cars sold in NA ( and with the 911 and Pana stickers well north of what Boxsters sell for), $300+ oil changes would seem to many owners as just part of the ownership cost of a high-end automobile.

Having said that, given the higher prices that some dealers charge for the oil changes, I would think those that lease them would do the max. of mileage or months (20K/24 months) between changes to keep their costs down. So on a 4 year lease--if kept under 40K miles, you might be able to get by with only one oil change.

My last oil change done by an Indi ran just a bit over $100, mainly due to the low labor rate--about 1/2 of what dealers charge.

BTW, here's the latest link on maintenance schedule from Porsche. I thought Porsche was moving away from 20k oil change intervals?

Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
Since you are writing about service prices I must ask this question. I have on my 2003S 54000 km on it, so I called my Porsche dealership to find out what kind of service is coming up. He told me that the next big service would be the 60K and would cost around 700.00 C$ which would include change of the spark-plugs. Question: what are the consensus from the board members, should I do that service this coming spring or should I wait until the following year since I only drive 6K a year. Could an Indy change the spark-plugs easily or should it be done at a Porsche Dealership.
I assume you are out of warranty. I say assume because the warranty varies from country to country.

The only arguments for going to the dealer I know of are:
1. a possible dealer advocating for you with Porsche for some consideration if you have a serious problem while out of warranty and are the original owner and bought it at the dealers and have had it serviced there and have records of all of that.
2. the dealer has a tool or unique expertise that gets you a better repair or a quicker one
3. you don't have a handy independent local to you

A major service is nothing special. Requires no special tools and any mechanic experienced with Porsches can do it in his sleep.

Any experienced Porsche mechanic would be able to give you a quote on a major service off the top of his head. And if they can't, they don't do enough of them to be good in the first place. Find some other P-car ownes and see who they use.

Now on doing the service...your car is 9 years old. My attitude is that I'd look to have the 90k service done because it includes all the 60k items plus more items. That is what I did on a 42k miles 01S I bought when it was 7 years old. And never revisited any of those items again in the next 5 years nor did it have a single reliability problem. But how much to spend on preventative maintenance is a personal thing and only time and miles/kms later will you know if you got it right.
OK, so not everyone has the good jack, jack-stands, patience, double-jointed knuckles, etc. but this is an easy job for an indy.

When you look at what is called for in the 40,000, 60,000, 80,000 mile services they amount to 5 items to be changed, 20 items to be checked. Of course each of the "to be checked" items sits there ready for the picking - a cynic would say that the service rep looks at the size of you hip pocket and decides what to tack on... The rational person knows that the brakes are likely due (front rotors go twice as fast as rear)

Serpentine belt at 60K is also DIY for the mechanically inclined, but when I changed mine, the old one looked every bit as good as the new one.

There was a discussion above of the cabin air filter being billed at $160, which sounds incredible, until you decide to go to the parts desk and ask to buy one!
MikeOH: Where are you located? I know of one small but highly recommended indy in my area (in Streetsboro?), plus a large shop near me in Copley.
I'm outside of Ashland.
Who's in Copley?

I found this fellow in Marango last year--about 30 miles north of Columbus:
I'm outside of Ashland.
Who's in Copley?/quote]

Steinel's = Yes
Copley = Bosch Car Service/Autobahn Service Center 1330 South Cleveland Massillon Road in Copley (not far from I77, I76, and SR21) (330) 666-0442

I don't know which one is pricier. I have heard a recommendation for Steinel's, but nothing for the latter. They are busy, though.
I'm outside of Ashland.
Who's in Copley?/quote]

Steinel's = Yes
Copley = Bosch Car Service/Autobahn Service Center 1330 South Cleveland Massillon Road in Copley (not far from I77, I76, and SR21) (330) 666-0442

I don't know which one is pricier. I have heard a recommendation for Steinel's, but nothing for the latter. They are busy, though.

Steinels would be the "go to" shop if you had an air-cooled car or a 944; Eric has lots of experience with both cars and his technical skills are well respected. I believe they do do work on 986 and 987 cars, but to a lesser degree than the others. Labor rates are similar to those charged by dealers.
In fairness, now that I am thinking about it.....the passenger side window regulator was part of the $1600 repair package.....so the $500 battery now sounds like a bargain!
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