15,000-Mile Service, Part 3 - 2011 Mazda 2 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Mazda Mazda2 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Mazda 2: 15,000-Mile Service, Part 3

October 30, 2011


After I dropped our long-term 2011 Mazda 2 off at Santa Monica Mazda a second time -- after haggling over the price of an oil change and tire rotation -- I received a phone promptly at 3 p.m. (the promised time) from my service advisor who told me, "Your little Mazda 2 is ready."

When I came by to get the car, he greeted me and handed the car's paperwork to the service receptionist-scheduler-cashier, who sits next to him (it's a small office). She moved me through in less than five minutes, taking my credit card payment and calling the porter to have the 2 brought around. I don't think this was a particularly busy day at this service department because I never had to wait while they helped other customers, but regardless, they're efficient (well, provided there's no disagreement on the pricing).

Soon, the car appeared in the driveway, and it had obviously been washed and vacuumed, and both of the porters who spoke to me were friendly. This kind of little stuff goes some distance in making the customer happy, and if weren't the pricing issues, I'd want to return here with a future personal car.

Mind you, I did get the price I wanted. But it's not as simple as that.


This is the final service receipt. Notice that the service advisor did indeed honor the $69.95 estimate, as the final bill was $73.12 with tax.

But there are a whole lot of other disturbing numbers on this paper that make me think I'd have to haggle over the price on every subsequent visit. I submit as evidence the "total misc disc" line item, which lopped $81.53 off the total to get to the price I agreed upon with the service advisor.

And look at the pre-discounted labor charges... they come out to $89.95, which you subtract the $60.45 parts charges from the "Job #1 Total Labor & Parts" line item ($150.40). I don't even want to imagine how much I'd been spending if I'd come here with an out-of-warranty Mazda 2 that needed actual repairs.

Also, in the two hours I spent researching prices and haggling, I could have grabbed a couple coworkers, put the 2 on our new lift and done the services myself. Further, the lost work time associated with the researching/haggling totaled up to quite a bit more than the $20 I saved (or, rather, that my company saved). You can send donations to erinisonlyslightlyannoying (@) edmunds.com.

If you lived in Santa Monica and had a Mazda 2, what would you have done in my situation? Pay the initial price and be done with it? Haggle and stress out over it like I did? Or, straight up DIY?

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 15,773 miles

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