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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife took her 2016 Malibu to the dealer for an oil change special and the service writer came back with pictures saying there was a "bad oil leak", which freaked her out since she had no idea what she was looking at. She was told they had to perform a "dye injection" test to find the leak and she'll have to make another appointment to bring it in and have it diagnosed and repaired. The dealer charged $151.13 for this. Unless things have changed drastically since I retired as a tech, all you do to install dye in engine oil is dump a bottle in the oil filler hole. Yes, I am totally familiar with using dyes in A/C and cooling systems and the only time "injection" was needed was for A/C systems. Am I missing something here? I believe I've just been ripped off but want to make sure that there is not such a procedure.
 

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Dealers have been making the bulk of their money from service for a long time. Currently, they are making most of their money on service. The $151.13 fairness depends on what it includes. A bottle of ACDelco UV detection dye costs about $14. If the $151.13 includes the oil change, dye test, write up, and eventual diagnostic it is a deal. If the $151.13 is in addition to the oil change and includes dye test and eventual diagnostic, it is reasonable. If the $151.13 is in addition to the oil change, includes only dumping in the dye and you must also pay a full diagnostic fee on the next visit, that is not a good price IMO. They might charge for the application of dye, the dye, perhaps cleaning up old oil to prevent a problem (like oil on exhaust). They might even put tape over the drain and fill to prevent tampering, though that would usually be for cars under warranty which I assume this isn't? What's the mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dealers have been making the bulk of their money from service for a long time. Currently, they are making most of their money on service. The $151.13 fairness depends on what it includes. A bottle of ACDelco UV detection dye costs about $14. If the $151.13 includes the oil change, dye test, write up, and eventual diagnostic it is a deal. If the $151.13 is in addition to the oil change and includes dye test and eventual diagnostic, it is reasonable. If the $151.13 is in addition to the oil change, includes only dumping in the dye and you must also pay a full diagnostic fee on the next visit, that is not a good price IMO. They might charge for the application of dye, the dye, perhaps cleaning up old oil to prevent a problem (like oil on exhaust). They might even put tape over the drain and fill to prevent tampering, though that would usually be for cars under warranty which I assume this isn't? What's the mileage?
What I'm thinking right now is that they are trying to pull a scam - not the first time from this dealer but we are stuck with this one unfortunately. I got the pictures from the service writer which do show some oil drips at the very bottom of the engine, but which are obviously coming from much higher up. Nothing was cleaned which is the first step in diagnosing a leak. I questioned the service writer as to whether the leak diagnostic was included in the charge. No response. I questioned him as to the method they are using for the "oil injection". No response. I believe all they did was chuck a bottle of dye in and charge my wife for it after scaring her. I will find out more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to clarify - the $151.13 was in addition to the oil change. She only went there because they were offering an "oil change special".
 

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Your warranty does not require you to use the dealership, so if they're scamming you and/or you feel that they can't be trusted, go elsewhere, even an independent shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your warranty does not require you to use the dealership, so if they're scamming you and/or you feel that they can't be trusted, go elsewhere, even an independent shop.
I normally go with an independent if it's something I can't deal with myself. She took it to the dealer because of a special she thought she could take advantage of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At this point I am convinced that Jerry's Chevrolet has ripped us off. I have emailed the service writer several times about my concerns and gotten no reply. I have done a website chat with one of their support persons and was promised answers but have gotten nothing back. Believe me that I was respectful when asking my questions and not being confrontational. I believe that they will not respond because they know they've been caught and don't want to go on record exposing it. $150 may not seem like a lot but when you are retired you have to watch every cent. I worked as an automotive and motorcycle tech for almost 50 years, and it pains me that people in the industry can be so dishonest.
 

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I guess if you are convinced of the "ripoff" and you don't want to actually go to the dealer or talk to someone, it is what it is. Based on the partial info provided already, I don't find the charge unreasonable for diagnosis of an oil leak. With info/details unanswered and conclusion reached, I don't see how further discussion could advance this. Thread closed pending new info.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An update to my closed oil leak post. After taking the Malibu back to the dealer and insisting that the $$150 charge for the "dye injection" covered the diagnosis of the oil leak, we sat in the lounge and waited for an answer. After a few hours the service writer told us, and I quote, "100% that it's coming from the upper and lower pans. 100%. Or maybe the vacuum pump. Worst case it could be the main seal. Let's hope it's not the main seal". Then the wonderful news that the extended warranty would not cover it because the vehicle was 54 - that's fifty-four miles over and it'll cost over $1000. This is a photo I took of the bad oil leak.


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Bumper Automotive exhaust
 

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I moved your post over and opened the old thread back up. I'm glad you kept at it.

Looking at the position of the leak I would look closely at the vacuum pump. The bulk of your pic is the extreme lower front right of the engine and transmission (standing in front of the car). The vacuum pump is directly above. It's not the lower pan, you can see it in your pic and the leak would be jumping sideways (and around the exhaust).

When I preemptively changed my vacuum pump it lost a little oil. Those spots are exactly where it drained to. I hope it is only the pump - it's not very expensive and at this high mileage is good maintenance anyway. If it is the pump it is very lucky they noticed the leak. If that thing runs dry the bearing shatters sometimes destroying the exhaust camshaft and fills the upper engine with debris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I moved your post over and opened the old thread back up. I'm glad you kept at it.

Looking at the position of the leak I would look closely at the vacuum pump. The bulk of your pic is the extreme lower front right of the engine and transmission (standing in front of the car). The vacuum pump is directly above. It's not the lower pan, you can see it in your pic and the leak would be jumping sideways (and around the exhaust).

When I preemptively changed my vacuum pump it lost a little oil. Those spots are exactly where it drained to. I hope it is only the pump - it's not very expensive and at this high mileage is good maintenance anyway. If it is the pump it is very lucky they noticed the leak. If that thing runs dry the bearing shatters sometimes destroying the exhaust camshaft and fills the upper engine with debris.
Thank you for re-opening my original post. I was not going to let this go from the dealer. Of course, the pans aren't leaking, it's clear from the picture and the ones that were sent to me that I didn't post, but the amount of BS we got fed was enough to really piss me off. We were never able to speak with the original service writer, he stayed well out of sight when we returned to the dealership. His manager "handled" our complaints and I don't think he realized that he kept digging the hole deeper each time he would come up with another story. We are as meticulous as we can be about vehicle maintenance, her old Malibu went over 350,000 miles before we traded it in on the 2016. At just over 100,000 (now) on the 2016 it's been somewhat of a money pit needing way too many repairs. Each time they've found a way to deny the extended warranty and it took at least 2 trips back to them to get them to actually fix what was wrong. I'm done with them and they know it. I'm going to dump in a bottle of Lucas Stopleak (yeah I know) and keep a close eye on the oil level (which never showed significantly low) until the weather gets warn enough and I can take a good look.
 

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Thank you for re-opening my original post. I was not going to let this go from the dealer. Of course, the pans aren't leaking, it's clear from the picture and the ones that were sent to me that I didn't post, but the amount of BS we got fed was enough to really piss me off. We were never able to speak with the original service writer, he stayed well out of sight when we returned to the dealership. His manager "handled" our complaints and I don't think he realized that he kept digging the hole deeper each time he would come up with another story. We are as meticulous as we can be about vehicle maintenance, her old Malibu went over 350,000 miles before we traded it in on the 2016. At just over 100,000 (now) on the 2016 it's been somewhat of a money pit needing way too many repairs. Each time they've found a way to deny the extended warranty and it took at least 2 trips back to them to get them to actually fix what was wrong. I'm done with them and they know it. I'm going to dump in a bottle of Lucas Stopleak (yeah I know) and keep a close eye on the oil level (which never showed significantly low) until the weather gets warn enough and I can take a good look.
It is a pain this time of year to do work if you are in a cold climate. My rear brake pads finally started hitting the wear indicator at 118k and I wanted to change them myself but it was just too cold. The car has snow on it which will just be ice if I clean it and I'd be working in a puddle in the garage.

I hope whatever is leaking on your car can hold out but if it is that vacuum pump you are right at the mileage they can clog up. It can be bought for about $80 and took me an hour to change. I see the "yeah I know" in reference to the lucas so I won't share any thoughts on that. Ha.

If you think your 2016 was in need of a lot of repairs... check this out. Post 5 if it doesn't link right: Gen 9 longevity
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is a pain this time of year to do work if you are in a cold climate. My rear brake pads finally started hitting the wear indicator at 118k and I wanted to change them myself but it was just too cold. The car has snow on it which will just be ice if I clean it and I'd be working in a puddle in the garage.

I hope whatever is leaking on your car can hold out but if it is that vacuum pump you are right at the mileage they can clog up. It can be bought for about $80 and took me an hour to change. I see the "yeah I know" in reference to the lucas so I won't share any thoughts on that. Ha.

If you think your 2016 was in need of a lot of repairs... check this out. Post 5 if it doesn't link right: Gen 9 longevity
Ours hasn't been quite that bad but we have had a bunch of those problems like the shift to park issue. Probably the worst was when it started just completely cutting off and would not restart until it sat for a good while. No warning, no loss of power and no check engine lights, and no codes set. In the middle of traffic. Had it towed to the dealership, explained the problem and asked them to please check the charging system and batteries since when it cut off it was completely electrically dead and would recover after it sat. Classic battery issue.2 days and it's done, we were assured the problem was fixed and $600 later my wife takes it home. Aaaannnd it cuts off. I looked at the invoice and they never checked the charging system or batteries. Which turned out to be the problem. And which we had to pay for since the batteries were no longer under warranty. I've owned GMs since the late 60's but we're looking at Subarus now.
 

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Ours hasn't been quite that bad but we have had a bunch of those problems like the shift to park issue. Probably the worst was when it started just completely cutting off and would not restart until it sat for a good while. No warning, no loss of power and no check engine lights, and no codes set. In the middle of traffic. Had it towed to the dealership, explained the problem and asked them to please check the charging system and batteries since when it cut off it was completely electrically dead and would recover after it sat. Classic battery issue.2 days and it's done, we were assured the problem was fixed and $600 later my wife takes it home. Aaaannnd it cuts off. I looked at the invoice and they never checked the charging system or batteries. Which turned out to be the problem. And which we had to pay for since the batteries were no longer under warranty. I've owned GMs since the late 60's but we're looking at Subarus now.
I own a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Limited driven mostly by my wife. It has about 95,000 on the odo. It went to the dealer for the first 4 oil changes, a trans fluid change, and a recall on a brake light switch. Other than that, oil changes, filters by me and not a single other issue. I wonder about the CVT but so far it and the AWD system have been smooth and problem free. It has been interesting to watch them age side by side. I can't say anything negative about the Subaru product. Even with my Malibu being a donkey I still like it but that's mostly because of my dealer. If my dealer was acting like your dealer I'd have an understandable hatred and it would be long gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I own a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Limited driven mostly by my wife. It has about 95,000 on the odo. It went to the dealer for the first 4 oil changes, a trans fluid change, and a recall on a brake light switch. Other than that, oil changes, filters by me and not a single other issue. I wonder about the CVT but so far it and the AWD system have been smooth and problem free. It has been interesting to watch them age side by side. I can't say anything negative about the Subaru product. Even with my Malibu being a donkey I still like it but that's mostly because of my dealer. If my dealer was acting like your dealer I'd have an understandable hatred and it would be long gone.
What I really resent is the flippant attitude these clowns take towards anyone that claims any knowledge about vehicles. When I enquired why the engine had not been cleaned to do the "dye injection" the response was "Oh, you want the engine cleaned?" and that they would clean it and put dye in again and we would have to return for another diagnosis. Cleaning the engine is the first thing you do after a visual inspection. The engine already has dye in it, you don't need to add more. Clowns! Like I can't look at a picture and actually see what's going on? Where the drips and oil tracks are? When you say you're 100% certain, 100% of where the leak is coming from and in the same breath say it could be something else or maybe not, but maybe it might be something else entirely. And then the pictures show the leak is most definitely NOT coming from where you say. Just disgusted.
 
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