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Author Topic: $350 for an Oil Change!?!  (Read 2455 times)

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Offline bblass

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$350 for an Oil Change!?!
« on: November 16, 2015, 10:48:55 PM »
Went to take my Harley in for the 5k service today and when I was handing the tech the keys saw on the board "Big twin 5k service synthetic - $327.95" I asked the tech what all was included in that and he pointed me to the 25 point inspection on the board behind me. This included such gems as "check tire pressure" and "inspect air filter". This may be nothing new to many of you since this is my first Harley and only second new bike. I promptly declined the service and went to the parts department to buy a manual and a filter for $80 out the door. Add in 3 quarts of oil for another $25 and I feel like I really came out ahead. So far I love the bike but have been very unimpressed with the rest of the motor company's efforts. I know many of you on the board ride HDs and for all the hate they get I really do believe they're a great motorcycle for crushing and enjoyment. But I'm curious what your experiences have been after the purchase and living with the bike long term? Are warranty claims and the like going to be as strenuous as this sets the tone for? I seriously wonder how many poor souls got grifted for $350 because they didn't know any better or did I seriously foul up by not bowing to my corporate overlord?

Offline jrobinson

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2015, 11:38:31 PM »
I spend about $70 for filter plus full syn oil, motor, primary and trans. Takes about 40 mins without a lift. I run it 7-10k miles.

Read the service manual, and ask questions here.

Offline Nice Goat

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 05:39:45 AM »
Change my own oil, tires, chains, sprockets, air filters, valve checks, etc.  Someday I'd like to learn how to change pistons, rings, clutches, etc.

Support your dealer by showing up for cookouts, not by paying outrageous service fees.
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Offline Chitza

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2015, 06:52:46 AM »
My first "real" bike was a Harley. And I had never done anything mechanical. I paid the $350. Worries about voiding warranty yada, yada, yada. I will say I had a few warranty issues that they handled seamlessly and even one problem they covered for me that they shouldn't have.

I do most of my own stuff now. Basic things. I have a BMW now and some things require tools that I don't have. I pay Motoace for those. They're great. They give me info on how to do things myself.
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Offline klaviator

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2015, 06:57:06 AM »
It's not just Harley that does this sort of thing.  Pretty much all the brands do this although their prices may not be quite as high.  That first service/inspection can be a real shocker to new motorcycle owners who are used to paying $25-35 to get their car's oil changed.  This is one reason I do most of my own servicing.

BTW, the reason car oil changes are so cheap is that most places just want to get you in the door so they can find other things that your car "needs" and then they charge an arm and a leg for things like changing your car's power steering fluid.

Offline scrappyjon

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 07:59:16 AM »
Just order a K&N filter off eBay or amazon for half the price of Harley dealer. Go to auto zone and buy the v twin mobile one synthetic. It will work on everything (motor,trans, primary). It takes about 20 minutes to change the oil. I never set foot in a Harley dealerships anymore. If you need NEW Harley parts go to http://partsfinder.onlinemicrofiche.com/ronnies/showmodel.asp?make=hdmc . Also, just looking at a parts schematic is very helpful. You can see where everything goes if you get mixed up. If you don't like changing tires like me, take the wheel off and take it to cycle gear or motoace. You have to buy the tire from cycle gear, they are reasonable, and they will mount it for $25. Just call ahead and make sure they have it in stock. If they don't they will order it. Just go to their website and tell them which one you want.  Or, I've heard you can order your own tires online and motoace will mount it for you for cheap.

Working on your bike yourself is very rewarding.


Offline bblass

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 08:31:53 AM »
Thanks for the link Scrappyjon! I fancy myself decently handy but was worried about warranty issues until I read about the Magnusson-Moss Act. Read through the service manual some last night and it's a pretty good one. Looks like a good excuse to buy some new tools!

Offline jrobinson

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 09:38:47 AM »
Buy the K&N oil filter, it has a nut welded to the end of the filter for easy removal.  15 bucks.
https://www.denniskirk.com/k-and-n/chrome-oil-filter-kn-171c.p303841.prd/303841.sku
Cycle Gear carries these also...if you can find someone that can lookup Harley parts.
Warning -- be careful removing a filter without the nut. There is very little clearance between filter and sensor on the block.

Oil I think you will need 5 qts to change engine, primary and trans. 10-11 bucks per quart.
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/castrol-power-rs-v-twin-4t-20w-50-fully-synthetic-motorcycle-oil-1-quart-06080/99997736-P?searchTerm=v-twin+oil

Here's a video to walk you through it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-SYJ9fsT30

This is a pic of the oil/trans pan and the drain bolt locations.
https://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/Owners/om/2012/en/touring/file-8.comp

Offline gene46

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 09:56:07 AM »
I have no experience with a Harley, but I can share mine on a Honda. I bought the new Spirit 750 in May. I have always done my own services but decided to let a dealer (it isn't required) to do the required maintenance while she is in warranty. So far this has been the 600 mile and 8000 mile. At Cycle World in Gadsden this service is less than $200 and includes valve clearance inspection, oil change, final drive fluid change and all of the normal inspections. I did have to call around, other dealers wanted $100 more due to the valve inspection. Cycle World has been reasonable and have been great on the service end, so they will keep my business....at least until the warranty runs out!

Offline catang5oh

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 11:21:46 AM »
Halls Powersports did the first service on the Tenere because it is required to get the YES warranty. $90 out the door, synthetic oil, filter, final drive oil, and the 20 point inspection.

Offline bblass

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 11:51:26 AM »
$90 seems way more reasonable for a service. I would gladly pay that for them to have all of the documentation and to keep things simple if there ever is a warranty claim. On the flip side though, nobody cares as much about your bike as you do. Talking to another friend about it today, he said one of the reasons the Harley service costs as much as it does is because they bill it as 3 hours of labor plus all fluids. I personally feel that's a load of horse hooey and consider the "bond of trust" with the motor company violated.

Offline jrobinson

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 12:06:48 PM »
Harleys require at least a couple more quarts of oil. In your FSM there should be a check list of maintenance points required at each mileage interval. Go down the list, it may take 3 hours. Then you need to consider their labor rate, probably close to $100 per hour. That's what the auto dealers are getting.

I don't fault the dealerships for charging this any more than I fault McDonalds to charge $6 for breakfast. If we didn't have dealerships selling new bikes to the folks we end up buying from, where would we get our bikes?

Even with the purchase of the FSM, you are still ahead to do the work yourself. You will learn about the bike and have the satisfaction of doing the job yourself.

I've learned I can screw up my bike just as bad as a trained professional for a lot less money.

Offline bblass

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 01:40:30 PM »
If they actually took three hours for the service I'd feel less irked by it. My first service on the bike was included in the deal when I bought it. It took them roughly an hour and a half and that included the installation of the security system. Last night going through the service manual 5K check list it took me a little over an hour to check everything to spec after changing the oil. That was going through the service manual step by step for each task and leisurely taking my time.

I'm realize that I'm getting bent out of shape over nothing but to me this is a perfect example of what's killing Harley lately. They've positioned themselves strongly in the fading midlife crisis market and things like overpriced services are going to limit their viability to market towards the next generation of motorcyclists who don't have nearly the same disposable income.

Guess it's time to sell the HOG stock and buy into the Partzilla and Polaris empires... Thanks for letting me vent and ramble! 

Offline jrobinson

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2015, 01:53:06 PM »
Doesn't matter how long it actually takes. Auto, Truck, Boat and Motorcycle repair is based on book hours, the average hours it takes to do a job. I've had techs at the automotive shop I worked at that could finish a 5hr labor job in 3hrs. Sometimes it may take them 10hrs to complete a 6hr job. We would charge, and the tech would be paid on the book hours.

Anyway, you are welcome to vent away.  :)

Offline LawnmowerRG

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Re: $350 for an Oil Change!?!
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 02:29:09 PM »
That is on par with the price of a BMW service.
Half what a Ducati service cost.
I have always payed them to do the first service. Then I do it all myself.
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