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Miller Ferrari Service Cost... out of line!

Discussion in '308/328' started by gio1992, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
    28,155
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I've been on both sides (independant and dealer) and the simple fact is dealers, Ferrari or otherwise have very high overheads, parts costs, losses from under compensated warrantee repairs etc. It costs more for that reason. The franchise agreement dictates that they buy all parts from Ferrari including the grossly overpriced Shell oil.

    If you buy gas at a station in Beverly Hills I suspect it will cost more than a station in the ghetto, the reason is called overhead. To say they are ripping you off is unfair unless you have access to their books and can support it.

    If in fact you are being taken advantage of you should look to Ferrari for many of the causes. I agree the costs are too high but the dealers are providing a service that has very high costs associated with it and believe me I have had access to the books and most Ferrari dealer service departments are not very profitable if they are making a profit at all. The money that supports the dealers is in sales and usually used sales. Most of them would close their service departments before end of business today if they were not a condition of the franchise agreement.
     
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  3. ferrarokid

    ferrarokid Rookie

    Jan 30, 2004
    19
    Rifledriver ..

    You absolutely hit the nail on the head.
     
  4. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,164
    The Brickyard
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    The Bad Guy
    I can't argue with that. But more like FNA.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
    28,155
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    Brian Crall

    Have they made you buy any $10,000 dollar torque wrenches lately?

    Thats right folks, Ferrari made the dealers buy a $10k torque wrench a couple of years ago. Nothing special, just a torque wrench. Shows up one day and it's already on your parts bill.

    Just another way of saying FU to the dealers.
     
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
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    Brian Crall

    Same thing. Like blaming Chevy instead of GM.
     
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  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,164
    The Brickyard
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    The Bad Guy
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!!!!!

    Well I guess they found a way to fund the new F1 V8's. Not only do the owners pay but the dealers too. Man that just sucks nuts.
     
  9. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
    28,155
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall


    Thats just one example. It happens every month, it's just SOP. You have to see it to believe it but it is constant.
     
  10. PassionIsFerrari

    PassionIsFerrari Formula 3

    Aug 15, 2004
    2,454
    To Ferrarokid,

    Had you presented factual evidence like Brian did, this would have been a more open debate...you should have gone into justifications for your costs..... If you notice, in my first post, I agreed that your tensioner bearing prices seemed in line with the normal 'high' prices that dealers carry and I also did not judge you because you only had 5 posts...I would rather 5 quality ones than 1,000 crappy ones...and thought you very knowledgable on the topic at hand.....but I do think........

    1.) The remarks toward Ernie were unwarranted.

    2.) You should have been upfront with everyone and let us know that you were a Miller employee instead of speaking as if you were a third party.

    3.)IMHO, I think the price quote without tensioner bearings is misleading as well...

    I am not expert as you can tell, so I leave this question for the experts. How often is tensioner bearing replacement done when doing a major service.... and should it be included in a major service quote?

    (From what I gather, if you do not replace them...it sounds like a half ass job is being done....and I can't imagine any dealer wanting to do a half ass job thus my surprise for it being optional and not standard...but I would like to hear what you have to say on the matter.)
     
  11. ferrarokid

    ferrarokid Rookie

    Jan 30, 2004
    19
    TMOBILEGUY..

    Sorry for the confusion .. What Rifledriver is stating Is 100% accurate.

    If it were my own car .. I would without question replace the bearings ! !
    But in certain cases .. they elect not to do it.. I have seen bearing with 30,000 hard miles .. and on the motor for 10-12 years and they are still ok .. would I reccomend leaving them in .. no way ! ! but that is a decison the owner must make & the chance he takes.

    But as you can see, it add's a considerable amount to the total cost.. thats why I break it up and offer the customer the choice ! ! I have to use the parts supplied by FNA.. End of story ! !

    I know you can get the parts cheaper from other parts wholesalers but If FERRARI has them in stock then, I by franchise agrement have to use those parts.

    You would fall on the floor if you knew how much money was invested in factory tools that we MUST BUY ! ! We spend a lot each year to keep current with tooling .. and they are here randomly making sure we comply.

    If Ferrari is charging us x for the bearings .. I cannot afford to give them away .. even though you can buy them cheaper then me ! !

    We do so many little extras here .. like refinishing the valvecovers when needed .. takes hours to do .. I am In the business of selling time .. and every hour that I have a tech working on something extra (that I do not feel is right for the customer to pay) we ARE LOOSING MONEY.

    Now im' not trying to say feel sorry for the poor dealers .. but unless you really know what goes on, you are purely speculating ! !

    We also spend a lot of money sending techs to school .. And when the techs are not here .. it compunds the fact that, we are loosing hours we can never get back.

    the fact that some guy's do their own service I think is very cool ! !

    Hopefully some of the negative press dealers get will be cleared up & people will have a better understanding that "we are not trying to rip people off " But, are in business .. just like many of you are.

    My 2 cents -Ferrarokid-
     
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  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
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    Full Name:
    Brian Crall


    The number of timing belts I have replaced prob is measured in thousands. The number of bad tensioner bearings I have seen (making noise or worse) is prob less than 50.
    The number of engine failures I have seen due to tensioner bearing failures is zero. I know it has happened, just never where I worked. Prob because we always use the best parts available and the mechanics were serious about quality work.
    I consider replacement of them a judgement call. If they were the price of a timing belt I would replace them all, but they aren't and I don't.
    Those stats should take into account that I have spent all my carreer in large dealers or my own Ferrari only independant shop and they all took preventative care on regular customers cars very seriously. None of those places had a very high percentage of new or transient clients with older poorly cared for cars.

    Most of the belt changes I do are for time and not miles.
    I have changed a lot of belts with less than 10k miles. I cannot justify changing a pair of tensioner bearings on a 99 360 with 8k miles, IMO its just either stupid or taking advantage of peoples paranoia for a few bucks. I do see however many parts changed at majors done elsewhere for both reasons.
     
  14. Robbin

    Robbin Karting

    Nov 25, 2004
    59
    NY
    wow this has been a great thread.

    I have come close to buying a car at Miller and feel even more confident about doing so after hearing this--though like many I find their prices hard to take at first blush. I think the shop does very high quality work at premium prices--maybe higher than necessary but I am glad they care enough to enter this debate defend their position and explain the passion they have on their side of the coin. In many ways, at least to a novice like me, it is evident just talking to the repair people there and seeing the shop. It remains quite a historic shop in a good sense.

    On the other side, I am in awe of the technical knowledge possessed and EMPLOYED by so many on this forum. To be able to do so well the hard services and help others for free is unbelievably impressive. Repair headaches and being able accurately to determine the true condition of some of the older cars at time of purchase are two of the main things stopping me--and many others I am sure--from buying the cars. It is a great education to learn the facts.

    Thanks for the teaching!
     
  15. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
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    May 21, 2005
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    Mr. Sideways

    My own opinion is that the dealership should be the one place that first recommends the pristine, ultimate, "this is how Enzo would do it" way to the customer.

    If you want to save money, then you should go to an independent shop (or do the work yourself), or discuss your options with a dealership AFTER you've heard the best automotive option.

    But the first fix that a dealership should present, in my opinion, should be the most perfect solution regardless of cost. Other options should come later or at another shop.
     
  16. tiara4300

    tiara4300 Formula Junior

    Feb 27, 2005
    640
    miami ,fl.
    Full Name:
    Adam
    If you were talking about diagnosing a computer problem on a 360 F1 gearbox then yes I would say go to the main dealer. For routine service on a 15 year old car you would be nuts not to find a good local independant shop.Many of the best dealer trained mechanics move on to their own shops.They get fed up watching the customers pay thousands for a job that he does in a few hours.
    Don't fall for that "we have to buy expensive tools" crap. Thats how they can get away with charging $150 per hour labor and above sticker for new cars!!! Then kill you on parts on top of that? My local Ferrari dealer SUCKS from every angle. One or two top mechanics and a shop full of retrained Mazda mechanics. I service a lot of cars and bar none (Rolls and Aston included) Ferrari has the highest priced parts. I don't want to hear the old quality parts are expensive routine, because we all know that they put plenty of easy to source pieces into a little yellow box and quadruple the price. To finish my opinion, paying close to $10k for a service on a Mondial is nothing short of obscene.
     
  17. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
    3,249
    UK
    You guys in the US really seem to get burned on servicing over there.....

    Over here in the UK we'd pay prices along the lines on this page http://www.hamletcg.co.uk/qv/offers.htm for good quality independent servicing.

    And yes, 358/355 etc belt changes would be "engine out"

    These people did the cambelts, checked the valve clearances, changed the camshaft oil seals & checked and adjusted an array of different bits & pieces for me on my 328 for about £1100 (inc sales tax at 17.5%) (call it $1800) earlier this year.

    I changed my brake fluid & rear pads for under $100 in parts & fluid & did a coolant flush for maybe $50. An oil change cost me maybe £35 (call it $60) for the oil (bought locally) & a UFI filter bought from Ferrari ( I happen to live 3 miles from the main F-UK spares place). An oil filter for a 308/328 bought over the counter from them costs under $8

    Last time QV did my belts they replaced the tensioner bearings with uprated parts for the princley sum of £80+tax (call it $140+tax) for the pair. No labour charge because they were already in doing the belts. They checked them this time and there was no need to change them.

    Bear in mind that Ferrari mandate 2 year belt changes on 308/328s here so we tend to follow that. Most of the honest independants (inc. QV) know that the belts would go longer but they can't advise you to go against factory doctrine - to cover themselves. That said they all wince at the idea of 5 year belt changes - too long they say.

    No doubt 348 parts prices might be a bit different - but not THAT different.

    There's no doubt the dealers pay a high price for being dealers & staying in compliance with Ferrari's demands - but had I had my belts & valve clearances checked at a main dealer here I wouldn't have paid that much more. I go to QV because, frankly, the mechanics are better.

    As a general rule when comparing US & UK prices I'd expect to see £1 for $1 on pricing for goods & services - i.e. we normally pay about 1.75 times what you do for the same "stuff". Not in the case of Ferarri servicing it seems.

    Even some of your independent prices look painful to me!

    I.
     
  18. Rareusgold

    Rareusgold Karting

    Sep 9, 2005
    162
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Rich
    I'm going to ship my 328 to Europe for service. Hell its been back and forth twice anyway>
     
  19. gio1992

    gio1992 Rookie

    Jun 29, 2005
    16
    CT
    Full Name:
    Giovanni
    thanks to all for the posts
     
  20. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,164
    The Brickyard
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    The Bad Guy
    Yes we certainly do. All thanks to one Luigi Chinetti and the company he was head of FNA.
     
  21. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
    3,249
    UK
  22. ferrarokid

    ferrarokid Rookie

    Jan 30, 2004
    19
    If the mondial in question is a valeo clutch car .. does he have the proper software/hardware to diagnose a problem ? or to bleed the system ? ?

    Sorry for the wrong info .. should read " check actuator" .. not bleed.
     
  23. Robbin

    Robbin Karting

    Nov 25, 2004
    59
    NY
    Also not all dealers have been great--or as detailed as Miller in explaining things--in my experience. I tried to get PPI's done on two cars one with a west coast dealer and one with a west coast former dealer and in both cases the leak down numbers were almost meaningless. If Bill Pollard hadn't kindly volunteered to talk with the dealers they would have brushed off my objections. It was pretty hillarious listening to Bill ask questions and having them try to respond. I can't say enough good things about Bill. If your Ferrari is one he is interested in working on, he is meticulous, generous with his help and a true enthusisast.
     
  24. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 29, 2004
    28,155
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall

    To give you an idea your $8 oil filter is $24.50 retail here as a result of Ferrari North America's pricing policies. I have a 355 in the shop that needs a power unit for the F1 system. FNA price $18,000. It is less than a third of that in your country. Due to costs of living, laws, rules, regulations, insurance costs, etc. labor rates here run for a real, licensed, insured business, at least in California $125 per hour to prob close to $200 per hour in some locations. Regulations here drive costs very high, for example I have to pay $1 for every gallon of waste antifreeze to be taken away. If I use a 50/50 mix that adds $2 to every gallon of antifreeze I put in. My insurance costs for a shop that works on Ferrari's is astronomical. The insurance company that insures my neighbor that shares the building, a body shop, cancelled him because of the Ferrari's in my shop. His costs went up because of my customers cars.
    Every one of those things contributes to drive the costs up. Lots of people are making good money of the Ferrari business in this country but it is not the shop owners.
     
  25. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
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    May 21, 2005
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    Mr. Sideways
    Right. Verdi charges about $3,600 for the Major Service.
    "Cambelts + 18K
    Additional for
    Valves (Not *)
    n/a £1,395
    +£400"

    U.S. price is around $4k for the 348 and $5k for the Mondial for the above (at an independent).

    A bit more, but not too out of line.
     
  26. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
    3,249
    UK
    Indeed - except for the guy who started this thread who was quoted $8700....

    I.
     
  27. PassionIsFerrari

    PassionIsFerrari Formula 3

    Aug 15, 2004
    2,454
    Since Ferrari sells out of its models like the 430...Couldn't they just raise the price and make the money off the new cars and lower the service costs for the 10+ old models? If you sell out, it means you priced it too low...People are making $100K off of F430's and meanwhile were getting stuck with these service bills that are 50% of the car's value. I'm not *****ing, I know what I got into when I made my purchase...but it would be nice to have the car serviced by the dealer instead of an independent...but at double the cost...I will stick with the independent.
     
  28. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    May 21, 2005
    69,579
    Vegas+Alabama
    Full Name:
    Mr. Sideways

    Ferrari's pricing structure keeps the Independents in business, and that gives Ferrari owners far more options (which is a good thing).

    If we want cost-no-object perfection, we go to the Dealership. If we want to save a little money and perhaps understand our cars a bit better, then we go to an Independent.

    ...and Ferrari making $100k on every 430...and selling every 430 made...is somewhat akin to a college turning out hot business stars, mega lawyers, and enormous numbers of NFL pros...in that it raises the cache/panache of everyone else associated with the marque (e.g. owners of older F-cars).

    Life is good.
     

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