2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Service Visit - The Game Continues
October 27, 2011
Scene: Service department at Long Beach Mitsubishi
A customer walks in carrying an owner's manual and computer printout for the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Customer: I'd like an oil and filter change and a tire rotation. And please do these inspections (points to the service manual).
Service advisor: Let me get the VIN and mileage from your car. (He exits, then reappears moments later) I see that you are close to 16,000 miles so we recommend this intermediate service which is $195. (He hands a sheet listing all the services and prices.)
Customer: No thanks. I'll just take the oil change and tire rotation and inspections.
Service advisor: Okay. That will be $69.95
Now for the quiz. Is this vehicle being properly maintained? Or would the more expensive service be a lot better for the Outlander?
According to the paperwork, the service department agreed to "Perform lube, oil and filter change and perform 27 point inspection, top off fluids and set tire pressure." Also, they rotated the tires. Sounds pretty good.
Now, let's look at the "intermediate" service that was offered, and compare it to the agreed-on service. Hey, wait a second There is very little difference! All that is on the higher priced service is an air filter replacement and "battery service & install terminal protectors," neither of which are called for in the owner's manual. And that costs $125.05 more.
I also reviewed the offer of a "major" service for $392.95 which is recommended every 30,000 miles or 24 months. This adds the cleaning and adjusting of brakes (not sure what needs adjusting on the brakes ) "lube calipers" (sounds important!) fuel injector service, (not called for in the manual) replacement of spark plugs (ditto) drain and refill cooling system (ditto again) and "visually" inspecting the wheel alignment. I'm not sure how accurate this visual inspection will be. Maybe the mechanic crouches in front of the car, looks at the tires and says, "Yup, looks good to me."
I want to quickly point out that the service advisor was very friendly and didn't try the hard sell or guilt tripping once I declined the additional service. And many dealerships do this present this "dealer recommended" service, not just Mitsubishi.
On the same sheet that lists these minor, intermediate and major services, is an "a la carte service menu." Here, you can get an oil and filter change for $29.95 and many other services at pretty reasonable prices. We recommend ordering from the a la carte menu and getting exactly what you need. Then, you'll have enough money left over for dessert.