sick of maintenance costs

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by jhouk, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. jhouk

    jhouk New Member

    My 20,000 maintenance cost me $875. I really wonder how much of that was necessary. I am fairly certain that I am being fleeced. This morning (same dealership-Baton Rouge HD) I went in to buy a new key fob (mine got busted up) and have it programmed. First thing tech does is measure the tread on my front tire (it is not obviously bad at all) and tell me that they can't work on my bike due to safety issues unless I pay to have the front tire replaced. He explained that the tech could not test drive it. Well, I hit the roof. For one thing, the front tire has less than 10,000 miles on it. I wonder how Dunlop manages to manufacture a tire that doesn't even last 10,000 miles. I'm quite sure it is intentional. I caused a ruckus and they eventually agreed to program my new fob. Oh, and by the way, they told me both the front and rear brakes have to be replaced. My rear brakes were replaced at 10,000 miles! The bike has 24,000 miles on it.

    I can already see now that my next maintenance check is going to cost me $900. I'm just sick of it. I love my bike but I wish I had known that Harley can't make a bike where you don't have to replace the rear brakes every 12,000 miles or that the tires they sell won't even get you 10,000 miles.

    I will have to literally stop riding due to the fact that my bike is draining my bank account. And, mind you, please note, these are not repairs, just maintenance. I'm sick of it.

    Does anyone in southern Louisiana know of an independent Harley technician that I can trust? I'm desperate. thanks
  2. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    If you want to get around high maintenance costs, learn how to do it yourself. Learn how to check your brake pads; measure and compare them to a new set. Measure your tire tread and carefully inspect how close it is to the wear bar that's molded into every tire. Every tire manufacturer will tell you to replace your tires when you're down to the wear bar. Buy a repair manual. The more knowledgeable you are about your ride the better for you and for talking to your dealer/repair shop.

    I have over 30,000 miles on my EG UC with the original brake pads still in place and about 1/2 worn. And on my second set of Dunlops with my rear tire now on the wear bar.
  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    A Harley service manual for your bike costs $70. If you have any mechanical aptitude you can do all the services yourself. In my opinion, once some dealers see you as a mark, they will get you for everything possible. Very low on the ethics scale. Good for you to raise a fuss and get what you needed. Sorry I don't know of an independent in your area.
  4. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

    I can understand your frustration, but with the way I ride, the OEM tires and brake pads don't last me 10000 miles. I also know there are some dealerships who do everything they can do deceive you and take your money but they are few and far between. Most of us don't like paying $85+ and hour for someone to change our brakes, tires, oil and other really simple routine things so we buy the manual and do it ourselves.
    If you have the manual you will see what they did on the 20k service and know it's absolutely necessary if you want the bike to make it past 100k. I think the numbers are closer to $200 to do what you need for 20k if you already have the tools and don't need new brakes or tires. Add in the $75ish for one set of brake pads and $150ish for a tire if needed.
    You are going down the right road looking for a good indy. I moved from an area saturated with genuine HD dealers to the middle of nowhere and finally found an indy. May have to look 100 miles away, but hey, it would be a nice ride, probably.
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    On a previous bike I got 3500 miles out of the rear tyre and brake pads and 7000 miles out of the front tyre but bike stuck to the road in most conditions and stopped very quickly
    I do all my own maintenance as I do not fancy doing a 400 mile round trip to pay a lot of money to have a trainee work on my bike I trust me to get things right most of the time and I know exactly who to blame when I get it wrong
    Use the money to buy the tools and do your own work if you are mechanically inclined

  6. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Sad that this dealer wouldn't stick with the service you requested (FOB issue) and had to hunt for other ways to try and guilt you into spending more money. Definitely keep searching for another dealer or a good indy. Always helps to have a healthy relationship with a good wrench somewhere, even if you plan on doing a lot of work yourself.

    As a side note, I've found that the Firestone Auto Care Center by me does the same thing. I can go in for an oil change and they'll find several other things that they try to convince me are dire safety issues that need to be addressed immediately. It's even worse when I send either of my daughters there with their cars - they simply assume that most females are dumb as dirt about mechanical things and are easily intimidated into spending unplanned money. I just tell them to inform the Firestone folks that they need to come home and talk to me before they authorize any other work.
  7. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    The ability to program the fob is proprietary to HD. They work pretty hard to keep quite a bit of critical ability limited to the dealers. Partly because they lay such a heavy burden on the dealers that they want to provide guaranteed incentives to buy in and comply. There are a few active class action suits pending that address this very issue. One of which involves not selling parts to Indies.

    That being said, fob programing is one of the proprietary abilities that is not shared with Indies. Getting you over an alleged safety barrier would work for a large percentage of folks (actually a form of strong-arm tactics). You essentially will not be able to ride your motorcycle until you spend more money than you came in for.

    The following should be done without anger or rancor:

    Now, the simplest approach is to speak to the service manager or facility manager, in person. Ask to receive the notice, of the refusal to program the fob due to some safety issue, in writing. Then offer to acknowledge the notice, by signing a release for them, stating ONLY that you have received notice of what they consider to be a safety issue. Get copies of both documents to take with you. They should then understand that you know and are able to pursue your rights. They may be simply trying to protect themselves from lawsuits, due to "failure to warn." Their ability to prove that you have been notified will satisfy their needs in the matter. Once they take your motorcycle to the service area, their are some duties they may owe to you, legally. They are not able to legally "bar" you from performing an unsafe act, but they may have a duty to warn you that you may be at risk or in danger.

    If they persist in their refusal to program the fob, effectively robbing you of the ability to ride your own motorcycle, ask them for the name and address of their statutory agent (where legal papers can be served on them). Then begin to quietly withdraw. They may then stop you and comply with your request. If not, proceed to a local attorney. They frequently provide an initial consult for free, to let you know if you have a case. By the way, if they refuse to give you the name and address of their statutory agent, it is readily available from the web site of your Secretary of State, or whichever agency regulates corporations in your state.

    There are a lot of factors that can weigh in your favor, especially if this dealer is the only dealer within a reasonable distance. Take detailed closeup photos of the tire(s) in question, especially including wear indicators.

    Good luck,
    Rich P
  8. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    Find a new dealer, programming a new fob has nothing to do with a safety issue and they know it. What's next, we can't sell you oil and a filter because you need a new tire!!!
    roadking96 likes this.
  9. trike lady

    trike lady Junior Member

    A service manual and tools to do your own work.
    The fob has nothing to do with the rest of the bike.
    From the way it sounds is like the staff there gets a commission for every new part they sell you.
    The procedure for programing the fob may be in the service manual.
  10. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

    Ditto on the service manual & tools. You can get nearly everything you need to do basic service for less than you paid for your last service. :s Some specialty things like tire replacement, you may still need to pay for, but you can save a bunch and learn by doing it yourself. I do my service, & I did my 10K service, with the help of this forum & the manual.

    Also, there are a lot of good independent mechanics out there with reasonable rates. Search around and see what you come up with. There are a lot of fly by night operations too, so be wary, however if you can find a good dealer to take care of the harder things, or an independent you might find that you enjoy it much more.

    One more thing, I keep all my receipts and print off the checklist for the services for my records. :s