Here was my $415.22 bill:
- $0.00 Maintenance lube, oil & filer and perform multi-point inspection
- $0.00 Tire Rotation (Check remaining brake wear)
- $31.50 Reset tire pressure monitor system
- $170.79 Brake Maintenance, cleaner, Sylglide & Antiseize
- $90.38 Cabin air filter replacement
- $38.04 Battery service and test, battery cleaner/sealer
- $31.50 Battery service and test
- $0.00 Provide customer with batter test print out
- $0.00 Service Loaner rental
- $5.25 Environmental fee
- $47.76 taxes
$0.00 Maintenance lube, oil & filer and perform multi-point inspection
Good start. Good thing they didn't charge me for oil & filter since there is none. To be fair, I think the inspection has value, and that helps partly compensate for the gouging later on. But I think this was also a marketing trick, to butter me up with good deals at the start before sucking me in.
$0.00 Tire Rotation (Check remaining brake wear)
Good deal. Not essential, but can't argue with the price. In my experience, a good dealer will give you an actual measurement, in mm, of your tread depth. Didn't get that here.
$31.50 Reset tire pressure monitor system
I asked for this, because I had bolted on my summer tires myself. They hadn't included ant cost for this in the quote, so I thought they were agreeing to do this for free with the tire rotation. It's a bit rude to surprise your customer with a charge, but I'm not upset yet. A tire rotation alone might cost around the same, and that was free, so it's evening out so far. You can buy an OBDII gadget for your phone for about the same price and do this yourself, and that's what I'll do next time. Or you can just ignore the TPMS indicator, but I think it's a useful safety feature.
$170.79 Brake Maintenance, cleaner, Sylglide & Antiseize
This was the baffling WTF item. Why do I need $170.79 of brake maintenance at 25,000 km on a car with regenerative braking? Other people on this forum have expressed the same bewilderment:
Brakes are the last system I want to save money on, so I went and paid it, but after some research I think I goofed. Let me summarize the arguments for and against.
The 2016 Leaf owner's guide does say to replace the brake fluid every 24,000 km or 12 months, even as part of the standard schedule, not for severe use. Nissan says that short interval is needed because the car uses regenerative braking, but it's hard to make any sense of that: regenerative braking reduces the wear on traditional braking system. My Prius has a brake fluid interval of 48,000 km, and my Toyota dealer stretches that out to 60,000 km. And many cars without regenerative braking are extending their schedules to 80,000 km or more. So what makes the Leaf brakes so fragile?
It turns out that the Nissan Leaf requires the older DOT 3 fluid, whereas the Prius and other cars have moved on to the newer and longer-lasting DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. This is weird. There were problems with the first silicone-based DOT 5(.0), but why would a modern car not accept DOT 5.1? I don't know. It might be driven by some compatibility issue with Nissan's regenerative system, but then why can't they copy what Toyota did? And why does the Leaf need a shorter brake fluid interval than other DOT 3 cars?
My best guess is that Nissan is assuming that Leafs will get much fewer km per year than normal cars, maybe assuming just 12,000 km per year. Brake fluid goes bad primarily from age as opposed to use, but most people service their cars based on km driven. So to be super-safe (and super-safe is a good approach with brakes) they converted a two-year interval for DOT 3 into 24,000 km. But for a heavy user like me, (50,000 km per year) I should have at least insisted on a test of the fluid before replacing.
A good dealer would also have given me brake pad amount remaining, in mm, and I didn't get that here.
Note that my bill doesn't actually say they changed the fluid; I'm calling them Monday to confirm that. If all I got was some lubrication for that price, then I really feel like a sucker.
$90.38 Cabin air filter replacement
Not essential, but I like clean air. I could have cut this charge in half by buying an after-market filter and installing it myself.
$38.04 Battery service and test, battery cleaner/sealer
I'm an idiot for agreeing to this. This was just for the 12V battery, which is only $150 or so for a new one. No test results were provided.
$31.50 Battery service and test
What? I thought they said the EV battery checkup was free, and the 12V batter was serviced and tested above, so what is this? Didn't spot the redundancy until I got home, so I'll get an answer Monday.
$0.00 Provide customer with batter test print out
This is necessary to maintain the battery warranty, but the test print out is nearly useless. It gives the total bars still available on the battery, which you can count on the dashboard, and stars rating your charging habits. I guess those star ratings can help alert a user to a problem in advance, but in my case I had 14 out of 15 possible stars.
$0.00 Service Loaner rental
In ten years of getting cars service, this is the first time that anyone has ever given me a loaner for free. Nice. But I guess they charge for it elsewhere, and nothing is ever really free in the end.
$5.25 Environmental fee
I don't begrudge my taxes. Government performs useful functions and we have to pay for it one way or another.