Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Best 'They All Do That' Dealer Service Story?

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At one time, my family used to own a pair of Volkswagens. I had a 1998 Golf GL and my wife had a snazzy Jetta 2.0 wagon. She loved the car at the time, but thought it odd that the Jetta, which was 3-years newer, used about a quart of oil every couple thousand miles while the Golf remained tight as the proverbial drum. When she broached the subject with the service manager at our friendly neighborhood VW dealership, the response was, oh yeah, they all do that.
I thought that response was baloney, but seeing as the car was both fully under warranty and a lease, I didn’t push the cost of a quart added every couple of months. It seems like there are two standard responses to issues brought to the service department. One is the inability to replicate the noise, shake, or spectral apparition afflicting the car, and the other – more socialist response – is to claim that, well, yes, they all do that.
Have you ever been told they all do that? Was it in regards to and issue with you car, or some aspect of your person that you thought shouldn’t be doing what it was doing? If the former, let us know, what’s your best they all do that story.
Image: BettenGM

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  1. Maxichamp Avatar

    I'll just leave this here.

  2. donfehlio Avatar

    My girlfriend's Scion tC (the #millenials love it!) has started burning a slight amount of oil. After doing some research, I was surprised to discover that they do, in fact, all do that.
    So needless to say, it's getting traded in this weekend.

    1. Hoondavandude Avatar

      There's actually an extended warranty and piston replacement for cars that are are consuming too much oil. One of my co-workers JUST received notice about it.
      "Initially, Toyota will inform Owners that they may seek reimbursement consideration for previous repairs top address excessive oil consumption. Additionally, Owners will be advised that if they believe their vehicle has excessive oil consumption, they can contact an authorized Toyota Dealer to have the engine oil consumption test performed to determine if they will be eligible for future part replacement once sufficient parts are available. Once sufficient parts are produced, Toyota will send a second Owner notification letter informing them that they may seek part replacement if their vehicle has excessive engine oil consumption."

    2. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      a quart every 1200 ain't that bad.
      the 5SFE in my '91 MR2 burns about that much on a cold start, due to the leaky valve stem seals. for the 5SFE, They All Do That and it's simple enough to just add oil halfway between changes.

    3. Maymar Avatar

      So, it's not like KaKOW?

  3. Alfettaracer Avatar

    2008 Imprezza Outback Sport warped brake rotors at an alarming rate. Dealer said it was because of the way my wife drove, now she's no granny but not a speed demon either. What a bunch of BS from a company that promotes its cars through rally. Problem solved after installing after market rotors.

    1. Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar

      My wife’s ’95 Doge Intrepid ES, the 3.5L motor, did this, too. Even cracked cross-drilled ones after we moved to the mountains of Colorado.
      After those, I went with a pair of lifetime warranty ones from O’Reilly, or whatever the chain is up there, and sure enough, that did it. I drove it hard enough to learn it’d oversteer at the limit, so it wasn’t like I was gentle.
      And yeah, they all did it…at least on OEM rotors.

  4. Hoondavandude Avatar

    VW Coilpacks in the 2002ish era. First cold snap of the the year my tow-truck driver informed that my GTI was the 3rd VW pickup that morning. No suprise when the same thing happened the next winter.

  5. GTXcellent Avatar

    The General's 5.3L V8 – noisy lifter clattering at cold startup.
    Back in my dealership days, this was far and away the number one complaint the service department heard. The sales guys made sure that all the customers and potential customers knew that yes, They All Do That.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      In the early to mid '70s, lifter noise on startup in Ford V-8s was even noted in the owner's manual.

  6. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    If there was ever a time where I wished Mrs. PotbellyJoe had an account here. She was a warranty admin at the Toyota/Hummer dealer I worked at. She has some gems.
    <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzUwWDEwMDA=/z/T7YAAOSwnDxUbiSL/$_35.JPG"&gt;
    But here's one from my past. My sister had a 1999.5 Jetta. 5-Speed with the 2.Slow. (It "used" oil in similar fashion to your story above. No drips, no puffs of blue smoke, just down a quart every 1000. The "used" coming from the dealer's explanation that The 2.0L engine uses that much oil per thousand.) Anyway.
    I was constantly replacing the upper brake light in the tail lights. Seriously, it felt like every 2-3 months. And finally I had enough with keeping it 100% so i talked to the dealer. "We get that complaint a lot. They all seem to go through those lights."
    So then I start noticing that every Jetta I saw on the road had at least one of the upper lights burnt out. He was actually right.
    She moved away to the midwest, taking her Jetta with her, and while getting it serviced one time had an enterprising, young service tech tell her he knew how to fix it as he had a Jetta before with the same issue.
    He wound up frying the computer and permanently disabling the electronic trunk latch.
    Apparently they all do that.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Maybe there's something regional about it, maybe it's our legally mandated Daytime Running Lights, but there was a time when Every.Single.MkIV on the road had one headlight burned out – Beetles, Golfs,Jettas, all of them.

  7. neight428 Avatar

    Living down in the swamp as I do, it gets hot and humid, so one typically runs his a/c something near full blast for 7 months per year. In the most humid times, condensation will form on anything cooler, including the condenser lines under the hood of your 2001 Silverado with a V-6. You know, the uninsulated one that runs directly above the distributor that will die when dripped upon sufficiently. I had a dealer replace two distributors under warranty before another one figured it out and fixed the issue with $1.00 worth of pipe wrap. He knew they all did that, the first one and GM, evidently, didn’t.

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/1989-honda-gb500-tourist-trophy-3.jpg"&gt;
    My all-time favorite motorcycle was my GB500. Well, I loved it for about six months, right up until I took it on vacation. I did a 700 mile day from Idaho to Denver, and by the time I got to Rusty's house, the motor was thumping like a jackhammer and would do about 65 MPH WFO. Fortunately, Rusty loaned me his Hawk GT to continue my trip while the local Honda dealer (where Rusty worked) tore into my still-under-warranty GB. The inside of the engine was a mess; they guessed the root cause was a crank bearing that had spun in the case, but they weren't quite sure. I picked it up on the way back through Denver a week later, and it performed great but had an annoying intermittent vibration that hadn't been there previously. When I got back to Idaho Falls, I took the bike to my local dealer about the vibration. He took it for a test ride and said, "They all do that." I pointed out that that very bike hadn't "done that" prior to the rebuild. He said, "you were lucky then." He refused to look at the bike further. I was so disheartened and so annoyed; every time I took the bike out, all I could do was remember how nice it had been when I first got it. I sold the bike about 3 or 4 months later.

    1. GianniBu Avatar

      That sucks, the GB500 was such a cool bike. Too bad it was to Euro-retro for the US, like the Kaw W650.

    2. giannibu Avatar

      That sucks, the GB500 was a cool bike. Too bad it was too Euro-retro / cafe racer for the US – like the Kaw W650.

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      that is one good looking bike

  9. donfehlio Avatar

    My girlfriend's Scion tC (the #millenials love it!) has started burning a slight amount of oil. After doing some research, I was surprised to discover that they do, in fact, all do that.

  10. donfehlio Avatar

    Ack, forgot the link:
    Needless to say, it's getting traded in this weekend.

  11. Evan Avatar

    My first wife had a 1995 (I think) Jetta. The molding on the door started to come off. Pretty soon I began to notice that the molding on the doors of other Jettas was coming off as well. Apparently they all did that.

  12. danleym Avatar

    Not quite a dealer, but I like this one…
    I'm a firefighter, for a big enough city that we have our own shop that maintains all the rigs. For a long time, the engine at the station I was assigned had a loud turbo whine. Sounded like a 747 trying to take off. Every time someone new was at the station, they would comment on how bad it sounded, and call up the shop. The shop foreman would always tell everyone, that's normal, they all do that. Finally we were slated for a brand new truck, and surprise, surprise, the new one doesn't have any super loud turbo whine. The best part of the whole story was my officer calling the shop foreman after a few days of having the new truck, and telling him there was something wrong with it, it didn't whine like the other one did, and since that was supposed to, he figured something was wrong with the new one. The shop foreman was not amused.

  13. E34Less Avatar

    Early 2000s GM trucks going through right front running lights like candy. My dad's Quadrasteer Suburban has been rockin' one solitary DRL (the same bulb no less!) for the last 8 years.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      My dad's usual go-to guy for carpentry work has one of those. They had a conversation something like:
      dad: "Hey, did you know there's a law that those GM pickups can only have one daytime running light working?"
      carpenter: "oh really?"
      dad: "Don't worry, yours has one out so you're legal."

  14. Wyowanderer Avatar

    I always figured it was mechanicese for "I dunno how to too stupid/too lazy fix that"

    1. nanoop Avatar

      They'll happily replace it over and over again, though!