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Alignment Recommended at 30,000?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by jrb451, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. jrb451

    jrb451 Junior Member

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    Location:
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    I took my Prius in for it's 30,000 mile maintenance last week. It was my first service done after the complimentary 2 year/ 25,000 service mile had expired. I was surprised when checking out that they'd done a 4 wheel alignment for $79.00. I wasn't expecting this as it's not shown in the Prius Owner's Manual nor information posted here. What particularly chapped me was that the billing sheet said "Customer requests this service." when I hadn't nor would I because I hadn't noticed any of the symptoms of the wheels being out of align.

    I asked to speak with the Service Manager and was told that "Toyota recommends this for tire wear, to extend the life of the tires." I told him that if Toyota recommended it then it should be noted in the list of services identified for the 30,000 mile check-up in the manual and it wasn't. (I showed him the manual.)

    I also told him that they should have approached me about needing this and sought my approval before doing it and that it felt like I was being "up charged".

    The end result was that he gave me $25 credit towards my next service visit. Are others experiencing this 30,000 mile alignment service "recommendation"?
  2. aneumayr

    aneumayr New Member

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    If there were no signs of bad tire wear, most places wouldn't even bother. Also, your tires are nearing the end of their life. Alignments are usually done with new tires and if signs of wear are seen. Every Toyota I have owned has rarely been out of alignment...never at 30k.

    Also, you should not have paid for the alignment unless you signed off on it. I have had this very thing happen to me before on other vehicles and have politely said "thank you" for the free service. If I didn't sign a paper authorizing the work, I don't have to pay for it. If I were you, I would look to another dealer to continue my scheduled maintenance if you have one close.
  3. Yogi56

    Yogi56 New Member

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    If my car runs straight and the tires are wearing correctly I pass on the alignment. I've been talked into an alignment before and that's when the car started pulling. There's usually a reason a car needs an alignment, hit a curb, big pothole etc.

    All alignment techs are not created equally. If they aren't experts on the equipment, it's garbage in and garbage out.
  4. jrb451

    jrb451 Junior Member

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    So, no truth to that "Toyota recommends..."? I suspected as much and hate to hear that. I'd left a Toyota dealer and sought service elsewhere for my previous Toyota - Camry because of this type behavior. Trust is an important component here. My Toyota alternative is 35 miles away.
  5. Judgeless

    Judgeless Senior Member

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    I would never go back to that dealer. I have over 72,000 miles and never had an alignment. If I notice the car is pulling to one side or odd wear on the tires I will look into getting an alignment. If I never see that I will never get an alignment.
  6. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I would speak to the service manager and demand a full refund for the service they performed without your approval. If he won't do it, speak to the GM/owner. Many states (not sure about yours) require prior customer approval on car servicing.
  7. oldasdust

    oldasdust New Member

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    I have had alignments on some of my cars. They all needed it by the way they handled. You should know your car and be able to feel when things are not right but first check simple things like tire pressure. I never agree to an alignment based solely on the odometer. It is sad how many professions have people out there stealing. Pride and professionalism is getting harder to find.
  8. oldasdust

    oldasdust New Member

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    I almost forgot beside checking tire pressure also balance. I had the front end feel not right on one of my vehicles and a trip to my tire shop found one of the tires out of ballance they checked all four , made adjustments and it was fixed. Cheaper than an alignment. Like it was previously stated alignment is an art i have had some that were perfect and some that were terrible.
  9. frodoz737

    frodoz737 The Mechanic

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    You can not be charged for unauthorized work performed to your vehicle by law. The problem is when you accepted the $25 discount towards next service and paid your bill, technically you authorized it. You got chumped.

    I differ from others here in that you should have your alignment at least checked when you rotate and balance, or for cause like pot holes. Yes, I said balanced too.
    ChipL likes this.
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Two problems here.

    #1 Obviously the alignment is NOT part of the recommended service. Which is probably why The Dealership tried to define it as a "Customer Requested" service to start with....

    #2. You obviously DID NOT request the service.

    I disagree that accepting the $25.00 credit is "authorizing the service" it is not....

    Accepting the $25.00 credit? Is accepting a $25.00 credit as resolution to the disagreement.

    I wouldn't of accepted the $25.00. The dealership was wrong in two places at least, #1. Fraudelently putting in paper work, the lie that you authorized and requested a service you did NOT authorize and request.

    #2. Presenting to you that Toyota recommends this service.

    Your best move? Would probably be to seek out a new Toyota Service center. I wouldn't accept that happening to me.
  11. frodoz737

    frodoz737 The Mechanic

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    "and paid your bill"...like I said he got chumped.

    You are right however that service should be done elsewhere in the future.
  12. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    You have been ripped off by a disreputable car dealer. Go back and request a full refund. If they refuse complain to Toyota, which may not do any good.

    You should report them to your states Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau. In a lot of states the Attorney General will actively pursue these kinds of white collar thieves.

    The fact that you were coerced into accepting a $25 discount on a future service that you won't be getting should not be relevant.
  13. jrb451

    jrb451 Junior Member

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    None of these responses surprise me. <sigh> I just didn't want to hear them. I guess, like Diogenes, I'll go in search of an honest (repair)man.
  14. jhinsc

    jhinsc Active Member

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    I just had my 25k mile service done. Since this was my last free service, I was prepared for an onslaught of "recommended" services to be piled on me, and here's what they came up with: Nitro-fill the tires - $50; Alignment - $75; 4-wheel balance - $55; Cabin air filter - $45; A/C service - $70. In all it totals $295. The only item on the list I needed was the cabin air filter since it was dirty - but I was perturbed by several things: First - recommending I needed all these various service even though I didn't, even going as far as telling they were recommended by Toyota; second - the price for the cabin filter at $45!! When the service tech mentioned the alignment, I reminded her that I had the car aligned 3 times to straighten the steering wheel, plus with 25k, I'll worry about it when it's time for new tires. BTW my tires are not showing unusual wear patterns and the car tracks straight down the road. I might have sprung for the cabin air filter if it was priced reasonably, say $20, but NO THANKS. I'll get one myself and pay $12-$15.

    I forgot to ask what the oil change and tire rotation service cost will be at $30k miles. What have others paid?
  15. jhinsc

    jhinsc Active Member

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    Just picked up a cabin filter for $11.19 at the auto parts store. Hmmm, I wonder if it takes nearly $34 in labor to put it in? Not to mention the mark-up on the filter itself!
  16. jrb451

    jrb451 Junior Member

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    At least they alerted you in advance of providing the service and gave you the opportunity to accept/reject the service.
  17. jhinsc

    jhinsc Active Member

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    I've never experienced the kind of service you received. I wonder if this happens a lot at this particular dealer or was it a mistake where someone assumed you ok'd the work to be done when it was actually someone else?

    I know you've heard this before, but I would've questioned it and not pay it. When I had my Honda, I would sit in the waiting area and watch at least half the people waiting for their car be approached by a sevice tech stating they needed new brakes. The percentage of cars in for service that day needing new brakes seemed suspicious to me.
  18. Dark_matter_doesn't

    Dark_matter_doesn't Prius Tinkerer

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    My usual dealership now has a guy lurking who offers windshield chip repairs. I took him up on that last time I was in, and it ended up costing me an extra hour of wait time when I was told the vehicle was "ready". The guy hadn't started the repair until I arrived. The repair wasn't perfect - I can see where it was done.
  19. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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    the word "recommended" to me means "not needed"
  20. jhinsc

    jhinsc Active Member

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    What I can't understand that at 30k miles, if you still have the original tires, you're 3/4 of the way through their useable life. Why recommend or pay for an alignment at that point?
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