Was My Mazda Dealer Ripping Me off Recommending a Wheel Alignment?

I took my younger sister's 2019 Mazda 3 Maxx Sport in for it's 30,000 KM service just recently at a Western Sydney Mazda service centre. Left the car at the service centre and 1 hour before I was supposed to collect it I received a phone call from the service centre telling me that they strongly recommend a wheel alignment as it is off significantly and were asking me if they can perform it for $88.

I have literally just got my wheel alignment done exactly 2 months before from Kmart MyCar. I told Mazda to not perform the wheel alignment and to provide me the wheel alignment report and that I will take it to MyCar and they can fix it under their workmanship guarantee as the wheel alignment should not be off that much in just 2 months (1000 km driven).

Today I went to MyCar and showed them the recommendation and report. The mechanic tells me that the Mazda 3 has a solid rear axle and that wheel alignment can't be performed on the back wheels. He stated the 2mm on the front is perfectly fine and claims that the 8mm on the rear axle as seen on the report is normal and was puzzled as to why Mazda tried to charge me for it because I don't need it.

Hoping someone with more knowledge can chime in on this.Also if I should make any complaints, bit of a nuisance that I had to drive 20 mins to my closest MyCar to be told that what I was told was nonsense.

Thank you!


  • +2

    MyCar are dodgy as, its more likely MyCar charged you for the alignment and didn't actually do it.

    • +6

      Prior to the alignment the car was steering dramatically to the left when the wheel was straight and after the service it was driving perfectly straight so I think they did fix the issue. But someone in my current situation is bluffing and that's what I'm trying to determine right now.

  • +4

    Going back to my first posts on OzB forums, a Honda dealer tried to make my partner get a new windscreen cause there was a 1mm chip on her FOV to pass safety certificate. Said we will replace it for $500 or so. We said no, we will go through insurance as it's free.

    Insurance guy comes out and refuses to fix windscreen saying that Honda were having a laugh… (which I agreed of course). Insurance guy wrote a report for us and a phone number for us to take back to Honda and get them to pass the original certificate. We go back and Karen the front desk to ask to speak to Manager. Manager comes out and inspects and agreed it should never have failed, very much apologised for inconvenience.

    You would be surprised how many businesses will bend you over backwards if they get the chance unfortunately (and it's not limited to mechanics) so maybe MyCar didn't even do it, or Mazda is trying to get free money for an easy service.

    For the record, the missus wears glasses and has like 6/12 vision lol… that chip was the least of her worries seeing out the windscreen.

    • Damn, guess they don't call them stealerships for no reason haha.
      I feel like Mazda is just trying to get some easy money.

      • +1

        Unfortunately mine and partners' line of work is such that we move states a lot. It's always fun getting a roadworthy in a new state for rego. The windscreen was one, twice I've had the place call up and say yeah look everything is good but the wipers are smearing so it will have to fail unless you pay $ for new ones. One of these times was less than 6 months from getting them replaced so when I rocked up to pick the car up (as I said I would do it myself for half the cost) it was miraculously passed along with a "sorry they called the wrong owner".

        Both those cars are now sold and replaced with 2 x brand new cars purchased mid 2020, but I am almost certain the mechanic will find a reason to hit me up for some extras when I move to WA next year…

    • I took my car to the dealership to fix something that had a recall. They tried to add $600 worth of work, that actually would not even be worth $100.
      When I asked what the list of additional work was, the manager simply crossed it out. I still have a picture of that "worksheet".
      BUT to my pleasure, that place has closed down. :-)

  • +13

    I was expecting a diagnostic type report… instead it looks like a dodgy letterbox ad with fonts from Wordart.

    • +3

      Thought I was being served an advertisement in Imgur first lol

    • I've actually had that report format from three different mechanics, and the numbers definitely changed. I suspect its something auto-generated from the software shared by these mechanics for their wheel alignment doohickeys. So to be fair, as much as some of us would like the full tabulated report, 98% of the population's eyes would glaze over if given said full report.

      Though my mechanics had the decency to print it in colour, so that the gradings actually meant something lol

    • …from the 1980s era.

  • +1

    if that called a report, my 7 years old can draw one for your, free of charge.

    should look something like this

  • +3

    The Mazda stealership is having a lend! That is not a wheel alignment report … that’s clearly a poorly constructed leaflet ad that they con people with. I bet the 2mm and 8mm are not even specific to your car!

  • +2

    Same with my dealership (not Mazda though).. Every service, there's always an out-of-pocket addon they throw at you (wheel alignment; or some random filter cleaning; this or that).. I fell for it once or twice.. I now let my partner take the car in for servicing.. Last time, he challenged why it needs to be done; does the car have an issue; and if it is required, why is it not in the schedule of service (this was for a car less than 3yo, that does ~12K mileage a year).. Of course they couldn't find a proper reason. It's brazen gouging..

  • I'm lucky that the dealership that serviced my Elantra were really good with extras. On the 2nd last service I got from them they said the battery will need replacing soon and they can do it for X price. I told them no thanks I'll do it myself, and they just straight up accepted that and didn't try to hard sell.

    Another time they recommended I change the cabin air filter, same deal, no thanks, okay.

    • Same with me. They do the basic service, tell me what's (allegedly) wrong with it, and I'll get it fixed it elsewhere

      • +1

        And the battery thing with mine, I had a battery tester at home, and my battery was actually on the way out. I just wanted to replace it with a Supercharge battery.

  • +3

    The very definition of "stealership"

    We used to charge people for wheel alignments on Land Rovers… They had a solid front and solid rear axle and the only thing we could alter was the front toe-in/toe-out… That's $66, thank you… *happy cash register noises*

    • MyCar told me the rear axle is solid on the car so do you think Mazda are the ones playing games here? Also, does toe in/toe out refer to camber?

  • +7

    Oh are we doing dealership stories? I once bought a new car offering an extra year of warranty. They printed out the contract and it looked fine.

    As I had the pen in my hand ready to sign they told me they had to re-print the contract because there was a spelling mistake. When they passed me the new contact, I noticed the extra year of warranty was now missing. When I pointed it out, salesman told me he would need to speak to his manager to confirm the promotion.

    I walked straight out of there.

  • Well the report is correct in one part, save money. Everyone has advised you to do just that, and ignore rest of the report 😜

  • Stopped taking my 2015 Mazda 3 to the dealership years ago…'fixed price servicing' my a$#%, always extra crap to charge me on top of the price (also wheel balancing, other non-standard checks).

    Have moved to a mechanic who not only walks me through the condition of my car when I pick it up and things to looks out for (such as "5yr battery life, but the battery's fine at the moment so just be sure to turn off start/stop to keep it going as long as possible" and what's likely to need replacement at the next service, but has fixed some small things for free between services.

  • I have owned a Ford a Holden a Hyundai a Mitsubishi 3 of them with capped price servicing and I found Hyundai to be not to bad at charging for extras Ford and Mitsubishi are on a par ( they should be called extract every last cent from customers) but Holden were far and away the worse I had a 2007 commodore I took to it to a different mechanic who serviced it for a lot less and did a good job.

    • +2

      Doesn't seem like you have owned "a punctuation".

  • English wasn’t my best subject at school !!

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