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Old 09-01-12, 09:52 PM   #16
DavidTB
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Originally Posted by cartman57 View Post
Wonder how they could tell if you were 19, or just too lazy to get out of the danish and coffee area!
I was 50, when my wife and I were looking, no one walked out to ask us if we wanted help, drove up in a Lincoln LS too!
We're a LS,Rx family too.
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Old 09-02-12, 07:37 AM   #17
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Reminds me on my experience at a Toyota dealership a few years back. I walked in right from the office. I was carrying my briefcase and was wearing a suit and tie. The sales guys were all over me the minute I arrived. The sales manager even noticed my Rolex and asked if I wanted to trade that in on a new car.

It was apparent that these sales guys are trained to "read" their potential customers based on their appearance. I tested this theory by going to another dealership wearing jeans and a tee shirt. I walked around for 10 minutes and no one bothered to ask if I needed help. I had my wife go back to the first dealership, wearing jeans and they totally ignored her.

If you want immediate attention dress for the game, LOL.

This advice doesn't apply only to auto dealerships either. I fly a lot and I always dress moderately well when I travel. When I encounter flight delays or other issues I get immediate attention. Same for rental cars, restaurants, etc., I always get better service when I dress for the game.

It stands to reason that if you are a sales or service guy, you probably will choose to help the person who seems to offer the best chance of making a sale or giving a sizable tip. Awareness of this information can be an asset.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:26 PM   #18
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FWIW I bought a used '05 RX AWD recently and immediately took it to Sarasota Lexus for the recommended service. Here's my experience:

I was called; the rack was shot and was leaking p/s fluid and was almost empty. i went over to the dealer to look at the vehicle and the service writer told me that bad racks were one of the most common problems in these vehicles; the passenger boot was torn and leaking. The mechanic stepped in and said he could get an aftermarket rack for $500 versus the factory rack "which was out of stock" and did I want to save the money on the rack by using a non-factory part. "Yes, of course" I replied and so the rack replacement cost about $400 less.

The also did all of the maintenance that the previous owner had failed to do (I checked Lexus online, put in the VIN and checked before buying, so knew that timing belt and water pump were past due), so wasn't surprised by much that needed work. Also, the mechanic told me that the rear wiper arm wasn't stock, but that it would be cheaper if I just got a new blade from a parts store rather than have him replace the wiper arm to Lexus standards. Nice experience, and nice mechanic.

There were other things too. They had a "discount maintenance sale" going on, so some other items were also cheaper "than usual," so I took advantage of them as well. A recall part included a free tank of gas which they also provided.

I can't say enough about Lexus of Sarasota, and it's not a far drive from Tampa/Clearwater. Their service is great (Gary did my work and even showed me around the RX up on the rack pointing out what he was working on, new parts he was going to install, etc) and they saved me a lot of money. They were honest and told me they needed the work but would bend over backwards to save me everywhere they could. Gary also opined that he/they liked my '98 GS400 (also serviced there), that it would run forever and everyone around the shop thought it was one of the best they'd ever made. Likewise, he told me the see lots of RX330 like my '05 that have well over 200,000 miles on them.

I also had a bad ballast on the drivers side which I told them I would do. Denso Ballast cost me about $125 with shipping, and about two-three hours work I had it replaced and up and running again (I'll be posting pics and procedure soon) and while Gary quoted me the usual Lexus price for the job he also noted that I could probably do it myself pretty easily if I knew a bit of wrench-turning. So I bought a DVD shop manual on ebay for $10 and checked the process out and decided that indeed I could.

I'm always amazed that people buy a $50,000 to $70,000 vehicle then balk at routine $300 maintenance costs. It's insurance money against the possibility that something you don't know about can go wrong and cost more to fix than prevent (timing belts come to mind since a blown belt will munch the entire valve train). Of course it's dealer profit, and not all absolutely necessary, but it's also preventive maintenance and peace of mind for the owner/driver.

I also realize that largely folks here are more than capable of doing their own quality work, some even having been Lexus mechanics. But not everyone falls into that category, and telling someone who may not know a valve guide from a piston ring to avoid routine maintenance may do them a long-term disservice. I also realize that in these times money isn't free, and that their intention is good.

But, in our environment here in S FL, this gray grime that looks like sand sticks like glue to everything it touches - just drive through a puddle by the beach and then try to wash the goo off the inside of your wheel well! - and it's obvious this stuff could be damaging if it ends up where it doesn't belong. True, an air filter may not need replacing every dealer visit, but if that gritty crud gets into an engine it will cause premature wear and serious, severe (expensive) damage.

Bottom line: if you can look at your own vehicle and determine what needs or doesn't need to be done as routine maintenance, then by all means, do so. Same goes for family and relatives, assuming you do look at their vehicle early and often so that you catch something a mechanic might see (leaking rack, for instance) before the p/s fluid is totally gone, then by all means, do so. But this also assumes that you look over their vehicle at least as often as the routine maintenance schedule dictates. But, as general advice for others reading these forums, their dealer mechanic may well be their first line defense against unforeseen damage. AND, it is important that you can trust your dealer's mechanic or all bets are off. Again, I highly recommend Sarasota Lexus for service if indeed Tampa and Clearwater service departments are a problem (and it sounds like they are).

I am not associated with Lexus (would I own two Lexus' both over 7 years old if I was?), and am only giving my opinion here, not trying to knock anyone who is qualified to know what to do and when. It's great if you can - but not everyone has the same level of expertise.

And one more point. When I was a kid, out of necessity I did a lot of my own work on my cars, back in the days then carburetors were more common that fuel injection, and I rebuilt more than one engine, so I can talk to a mechanic in language they understand, and more importantly, I can understand their language and still add an intelligent comment or two without looking like a total rube. These "kids" working at the dealership are quite often the "cream of the crop" of auto mechanics or they wouldn't be working at luxury dealers. They really do appreciate an informed customer, and like anyone proud or their craft and craftsmanship they like to show off what they're doing and how well they're doing it. Do not confuse your mechanic with the dealership they work for; they are far and away different entities altogether, and a few nice and kind words to your mechanic - as well as some understanding of his rock-and-a-hard-place position will get you more good will from the person actually doing the work than all the complaints about the dealership will ever accrue. YOU become a person to them, not just a vehicle, and THEY will bend over backwards to return the understanding that you give to them. It never hurts to extend the olive branch first and if you don't get good service, go somewhere else. This should almost be like a manifesto! It is, to me anyway, always surprising when people adopt an antagonistic attitude towards someone doing critical work for them, then wonder why their service was shoddy and/or expensive.
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Old 09-03-12, 07:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfelbab View Post
Reminds me on my experience at a Toyota dealership a few years back. I walked in right from the office. I was carrying my briefcase and was wearing a suit and tie. The sales guys were all over me the minute I arrived. The sales manager even noticed my Rolex and asked if I wanted to trade that in on a new car.

It was apparent that these sales guys are trained to "read" their potential customers based on their appearance. I tested this theory by going to another dealership wearing jeans and a tee shirt. I walked around for 10 minutes and no one bothered to ask if I needed help. I had my wife go back to the first dealership, wearing jeans and they totally ignored her.

If you want immediate attention dress for the game, LOL.

This advice doesn't apply only to auto dealerships either. I fly a lot and I always dress moderately well when I travel. When I encounter flight delays or other issues I get immediate attention. Same for rental cars, restaurants, etc., I always get better service when I dress for the game.

It stands to reason that if you are a sales or service guy, you probably will choose to help the person who seems to offer the best chance of making a sale or giving a sizable tip. Awareness of this information can be an asset.
So true...
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Old 09-03-12, 09:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 99rx View Post
Now since she has done all prescribed services from day one at the dealer, does she really need a throttle body cleaning every 15k miles? I personally don't think so, I did the first one on my RX at 90k, and it made little difference. Also, having the air filter changed every 5k miles is something I think is unnecessary. Please give me some incite as to if you think she should have this 15k mile service done, or if having the throttle body service every 15k miles for the last 105k miles was enough...
2nd gen RX ownership isn't even necessary. For any vehicle if you're relying on a shop for maintenance then use a shop you can trust. Our dealer recently told us we needed an alignment and that certainly wasn't the case as we had just had one done and the alignment was still completely in spec. Don't just assume that the dealership (for any brand) is safe. Dealerships can vary even among the same brand.

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Originally Posted by jfelbab View Post
It stands to reason that if you are a sales or service guy, you probably ill choose to help the person who seems to offer the best chance of making a sale or giving a sizable tip.
If you're a shoddy salesperson. My wife is an interior designer for a high-end Italian furniture dealer that works solely on commission and knows you can't rely on appearance. I see no reason to give in to sales people that rely on appearance as I probably don't want to deal with them to begin with. That said, do whatever works for you.

Last edited by takeshi74; 09-03-12 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 09-03-12, 01:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul1307 View Post
FWIW I bought a used '05 RX AWD recently and immediately took it to Sarasota Lexus for the recommended service. Here's my experience:
...
Again, I highly recommend Sarasota Lexus for service if indeed Tampa and Clearwater service departments are a problem (and it sounds like they are).
...
Thanks for the recommendation. I've never had service done at Tampa, nor will I unless it's an emergency. The Sales department took care of that, all but chasing us out of the building when it became clear we were not going to be talked into a new RX450h right then and there. They did it again when I was considering replacing my 04 Cadillac XLR with a newer (but not New) SC430. They even told me to drive my XLR over to the used-car end of the lot, perhaps having noticed a couple of possible customers looking at it...
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Old 01-20-13, 12:44 PM   #22
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What is the name and location of your mechanic in the Tampa Bay area--I need some work done on my LS400. Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-20-13, 02:23 PM   #23
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What is the name and location of your mechanic in the Tampa Bay area--I need some work done on my LS400. Thanks for your help!
Sent you a PM for some suggestions along I-75.
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Old 01-20-13, 06:39 PM   #24
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Sent him my via PM as well. Hopefully it helped.
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Old 01-20-13, 07:45 PM   #25
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Sent him my via PM as well. Hopefully it helped.
You got west I got east.
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Old 01-20-13, 07:45 PM
 
 
 
 
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