Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failure?
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Thread: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failure?

  1. #1
    NEWBIE
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    Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failure?

    Good Morning,

    My L322 has been at the local dealership for over week having the hvac motor replaced (under extended warranty). This morning the manager calls me saying that the battery on the car is completely dead and they can not finish the job(programming the car), even with a battery tender hooked up.
    Its a 2011 with original battery. However, the claim that the battery is completely dead seem suspicious. I never got warning signs for low battery and when I did my PPI 3 weeks ago the shop did not mention anything.
    They want $450 for the battery installed or want to charge me $180 to put the battery in and reset the monitor if I bring my own.
    Based on my research I can get a battery for about $200 and reset the monitor with my Gap Tool. However, I know it takes a little time to get to the battery, so I cant just drive out and drop it in at the auto zone parking lot.
    I dont want to sound dramatic claiming they are holding it hostage, but this whole thing sounds a little suspicious.
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  3. #2
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    totally possible. batteries with issues arent fun. small price to pay for peace of mind and safety.
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  4. #3
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    If it's the original battery then it's very likely that it's overdue for replacement.

    Does your extended warranty not cover the battery?

    When these cars are in the workshop the SDD diagnostic has a page which measures the battery voltage and requires the battery voltage to be above a certain minimum voltage limit (usually 12.50v+) before it will even allow continuation of whatever programming is being considered. If the battery level is below 12.50v the only option is to abort the SDD procedure.

    Any car in a workshop with the ignition on and a door open, without a battery maintainer attached, will very quickly deplete the existing battery's voltage to below 12.50v.

    If you have a NAPA vendor nearby, I've had good luck with their Premium battery line when needing replacement batteries.

    If it's not covered under the extended warranty, purchase the battery yourself and supply it to them.

    The battery IS a bit fiddly to replace (move the hood to the service position and lift up on the right corner of the windshield cowl while twisting slightly, making sure not to lose the retaining clips) remove +ve and -ve terminals and the two 10mm retaining bolts and then, after installing the new battery in reverse order run SDD in order to "code/re-learn" (maybe 20-30 mins from start to finish).

    Rob
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  6. #4
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    A couple comments/thoughts....

    * Battery voltage is not an indicator of a healthy battery. A battery can have voltage > 12.5 volts and yet not have enough amperage to crank the engine. On the other hand, a batter that cannot be charged to 12 volts or more, is bad.

    * The repair shop should not have drained the battery, had they disconnected the ground lead when they started the procedure to replace your blower motor. On the other hand, if your battery were not weak or on the way out, they would have been able to recharge it. Fork over the cash to buy a new battery and they should replace it pro bono for killing it. It had to be drained for a day or more to kill a battery to the point that it won't take a charge (their mistake).
    2006 Range Rover HSE 4.4L AJ41
    2004 Range Rover HSE 4.4L M62
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  7. #5
    NEWBIE
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Thanks for your responses everyone. Wayne, I spoke to the service advisor and without being confrontational told him I had the battery checked by two shops during my PPI and it tested fine. I suggested that perhaps a tech did not disconnect the battery during work, and asked to split the labor cost with me if I buy the battery. He would not budge and is charging me $450 for the battery and labor.
    I see you are on Long Island. Where have you had your car serviced? I might go to another dealership for my extended warranty repairs...this was just not cool
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  8. #6
    SOLIHULL ROVER
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Considering they're fitting a new hvacmotor under warranty, I'd probably fork over the money to put in the new battery vs arguing with them/ being difficult. Or just show up there with a new battery. Also your battery is 8 years old, it's due to be changed.
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  9. #7
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Considering that the extended warranty company would not pay for the extra step of disconnecting your battery and then reseting the electronics after hooking it back up would you have been ok paying that additional charge? A healthy battery should be able to withstand the procedure of replacing the HVAC motor. Like Brad s1 pointed out, your battery is 8 years old and is due / overdue for replacement. You are lucky that the battery showed itself as being weak while at the shop instead of when your wife was using the car in a bad part of town and it wouldn't restart for her in the middle of the night. If you aren't going to fix your car yourself expect to pay for a professional to repair it for you. It is your car and your 8 year old battery. The dealership owes you nothing and did nothing wrong. Sorry to sound harsh but after working as both a Technician and then as a Service Advisor I have encountered these types of situation one too many times with customers.. I will no longer work as a Service Advisor because of it.
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  10. #8
    FORUM MODERATOR RRToadHall's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Quote Originally Posted by anvilrob View Post
    If it's the original battery then it's very likely that it's overdue for replacement.

    Does your extended warranty not cover the battery?
    No, the battery is a wear item.
    When dealing with yourself, act with your brain
    When dealing others, act with your heart.
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  11. #9
    FORUM MODERATOR RRToadHall's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    There is one other option available. If he has AAA he can have it picked up on flat bed and brought home. If he doesn't have AAA a delivery home would still be far cheaper than what the dealer is soaking him for.
    When dealing with yourself, act with your brain
    When dealing others, act with your heart.
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  12. #10
    FRESHMAN ROVER BillConn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joelhimself View Post
    instead of when your wife was using the car in a bad part of town and it wouldn't restart for her in the middle of the night.
    What is she doing out in the middle of the night on the wrong side of town 🙂
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  13. #11
    NEWBIE
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Lol.....
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  14. #12
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    Joel,
    If the shop manual calls for battery disconnection during the service, I dont see why the warranty company would not pay for it. I understand that some of the customers are a PITA, so I hear where you are coming from. However, my battery was tested during PPI by another dealership AND an indy shop 3 weeks prior. Passed at both places, showed no warning signs, then in a matter of days failed to a point where it can not be recharged. That would not happen unless it was discharged beyond point of failure. I was more than willing to pay for a new battery. However, if a tech did not disconnect it or left a door open, at least do not charge me for labor....I think that's not too much to ask.
    At the end of the day, I did not want to start off a relationship with this dealership on a wrong foot so I agreed to pay for battery and the labor
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  15. #13
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    At 8 years old the battery was going to be on its way out very soon regardless. Good thing you got a new one in there before it failed on you under less convenient circumstances. I actually tried to edit and delete my comment but it wouldn't let me. I recently quit my job as a Mercedes-Benz Service Advisor just a few weeks ago and am going back to wrenching. The job is extremely stressful, you wouldn't believe how some of the customer behave.
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  16. #14
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    I can only image. I bet the more luxurious the product is, the more entitlement you have to deal with. Number one statement must have been "when I pay this much for a car....everything should be free" Good luck with your wrenching endeavors. Im sure it will be MUCH more relaxed
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  17. #15
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    Re: Is this a shady dealer tactic or an honest battery failu

    I don't know why the dealer is being such a "hard ass" by not waiving the installation charge of a new battery when the customer is getting a bunch of other work done. How hard can it be to install for a trained tech (10-20 mins)?

    Especially when the electrical should have been disconnected prior to beginning the HVAC work.
    2006 Range Rover HSE 4.4L AJ41
    2004 Range Rover HSE 4.4L M62
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