$204.95 For A 7,500-Mile Service? - 2007 Infiniti G35 Long-Term Road Test

2007 Infiniti G35 Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Infiniti G35: $204.95 For A 7,500-Mile Service?

August 15, 2007

Last week I took our 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport to a dealership for its 7,500-mile service. I had made an appointment and, having sat down with the service advisor writing up the order, nearly did a Letterman-style spit-take when she gave me a $204.95 estimate. The shortened story is that no, we didn't pay that. Ultimately, the price was $54.17. But the potentially scary thing I discovered was something Infiniti calls "Premium Maintenance."

If you've taken vehicles to a dealership for service before, you know that a dealership will often quote you for service that goes beyond what the owner's manual maintenance schedule actually calls for. You can always spot these attempts for extra work because they're typically presented as a dealership's service schedule and not the automaker's actual recommendation in the owner's manual. This is where the $204.95 estimate came from.

But if you look at an Infiniti maintenance booklet, you'll see a schedule called Premium Maintenance. It says this service is "...an Infiniti-recommended option that is suitable for all driving habits and local conditions." "With Premium Maintenance, more maintenance items are regularly checked or replaced than with either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2."

The list of what's included on the Premium Maintenance is eerily similar to what the dealership quoted. Now, I don't want to chastise Infiniti much for including this. The automaker can do whatever it wants. But doesn't this open up an opportunity for dealerships to more easily push for expensive services? Hoping to avoid unnecessary service, an owner says "I only want the work done that's in the manual," and the dealership says "That's what we're doing."

As justification, the maintenance booklet says the Premium Maintenance schedule "...may optimize the performance, reliability and resale value of your vehicle." I think may is the key word here.

A co-worker suggested that Nissan has something similar in its maintenance booklets. Anybody else know of other automakers with similar "premium" schedules?

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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