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Discussion Starter #1
My local Kia dealer is about 15 minutes away. I tried to purchase my Niro PHEV from them, but got frustrated with the sales manager and wound up purchasing from a different dealer about an hour away. Today I tried to schedule an oil change with the service department at the local dealer and was told that they don't work on PHEVs. I was astonished, because they continue to have a few brand new PHEVs listed for sale on their web site.


Has anyone else had the experience of coming across a Kia dealer that sells the Niro but doesn't offer to service it?
 

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Well... an oil change is an oil change.!? either they remember you and dont want to give you the service, or they dont know how too change oil! hahaha!
 

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So now it seems that my local Kia dealer probably can provide service to the PHEV, but the service manager told me today (for a second time) that they don't. It was only after I explained to him at some length that a plug-in hybrid is a hybrid, not a zero emission vehicle and not a full EV, that he said "we can work on that one". Which leaves me wondering if it might be a mistake to take it there: It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence when the service manager thinks a plug-in hybrid (several of which they've had on their sales lot for almost a year) is an EV. To top it off, given his evident assumption that I was driving a full electric car, it seems like he might have at least wondered why I was asking for an oil change.
 

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Sounds like the "Spirits" are telling you something.....I would take it elsewhere. Imagine the hassle you'll have if you have a problem. Better to "establish" yourself as a regular customer with a dealer that will go to bat for you, if you ever have a problem.
 

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Sounds like the "Spirits" are telling you something.....I would take it elsewhere. Imagine the hassle you'll have if you have a problem. Better to "establish" yourself as a regular customer with a dealer that will go to bat for you, if you ever have a problem.
I was tempted to go with the "spirits" but I wound up going to the local dealer instead, and had a happy outcome.


Got my oil changed in an hour, for just under $50. Kind of pricey, but considering the cost for synthetic, and the typical dealer markup cost, not outrageous. I might go back to doing my own oil changes in the future though.



When the folks who answer the phone at the service number for my local dealer first told me that they couldn't work on a PHEV, I was flabbergasted because I knew that they sold them. So I posted a somewhat critical review on Google for the dealership. It elicited a prompt response from the dealer's customer relations department, suggesting that I was mistaken and they certainly did work on PHEVs. That motivated me to call a second time and try to schedule an appointment for an oil change. Initially, the person who answered the phone told me once again that they aren't certified to work on plug-in hybrids. And then after I explained that a plug-in hybrid is not an EV, he set up the appointment.

It didn't leave me with a lot of confidence, because you shouldn't have to explain that to a service writer, but when I arrived there this morning, I met a completely different service writer who didn't need to be educated on the different Niro "flavors" and all indications are that they did a decent job: new oil is clear and at the perfect level on the dipstick, everything seems in order under the hood and under the car, etc.

If I hadn't posted a complaint against the dealer that was sufficient to antagonize their customer relations team into a response, I would have believed what I was initially told, and would have wound up on a two hour round trip for an oil change at the next closest dealer. Sometimes, complaining publicly has benefits!
 

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This is by far the easiest car to change oil in I have ever owned.
Advanced Auto runs 5 quarts of synthetic oil plus a free filter for $29 all the time.

Filing a complaint generally gets your food spit in...how do you think they are treating your car knowing that you just hurt their reputation? 4 1/2 quarts...close enough. Maybe just wipe the old filter off with some brake cleaner so it looks new.
 

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Filing a complaint generally gets your food spit in...how do you think they are treating your car knowing that you just hurt their reputation? 4 1/2 quarts...close enough. Maybe just wipe the old filter off with some brake cleaner so it looks new.

I was concerned about that possibility, but it worked out well. When I arrived, I met a completely different service writer who didn't need me to explain that Niro has three different flavors (hybrid, PHEV, EV). He totally got it. I killed an hour at the dealership while they changed my oil and then my car was ready to go. I checked the oil before I landed there, and again when I got home: it was cleaner when I got home, and the fill level was perfect on the dipstick both before and after. Of course, I have to trust that they put in synthetic, but the service writer mentioned the need for that before I did, so hopefully they got it right.



Didn't see any indication of spit on the dipstick either :) Not that this is proof positive.


I had a nice chat with the customer relations person shortly after my oil change. She had responded to my original complaining post on Google to suggest that they certainly were prepared to service my car. I let her know that while it was great that they had trained a couple of mechanics, it seemed like they had overlooked the need to train the people who schedule service appointments, and there were at least two people in that role who didn't understand the difference between a PHEV and an EV. She seemed to appreciate the feedback, especially after I pointed out that those people were going to continue sending service business elsewhere until they received the training that they evidently hadn't been provided with and began to understand that their shop was certified to work on PHEVs as well as HEVs.



Bottom line: if you lodge a well-worded complaint on social media that doesn't flame anyone but points out that something seems seriously amiss, maybe you'll get the kind of response that you hoped for. It worked out for me.
 
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