Chevy Tahoe (l) mechanic with caption 'You See Something New Every Day In The Auto Repair Industry...' (c) hand holding product page for neutral tool (r)

@royaltyautoservice/TikTok Chevrolet

‘What is happening?’: Mechanic warns of $400 charge that new Chevrolet cars may force you into adding to your service bill

‘That’s why All my vehicles are 2006 and older.’


Braden Bjella


Owning a car comes with a lot of unexpected costs. According to AAA, the average car owner will spend $792 per year on maintenance alone—and that’s not including other car costs like insurance and tires.

Additionally, as cars have become more technologically complex, more things can go wrong with them. For example, one Tesla owner claimed that their touch screen stopped working after just two weeks of ownership. Similarly, a Mazda driver alleged that their vehicle began powering down by itself—and their mechanic didn’t even know why.

Now, a car repair shop has sparked discussion after claiming that certain vehicles—specifically, cars made by Chevrolet—will be more difficult and costly to repair thanks to a change implemented by the manufacturer.

Why Your Chevrolet Might Cost More to Fix

According to the repair crew at Royalty Auto Service in Georgia (@royaltyautoservice), the team recently encountered a strange problem when trying to repair a 2021 Chevy Tahoe.

“I went to put the vehicle in neutral—it’s got the push button electronic shift—and it told me conditions weren’t met to shift to neutral,” Chris, one of the repairmen, tells the camera in a TikTok.

They weren’t the first to experience this issue; the man filming the video alleges that the tow truck driver who brought the car also experienced trouble trying to get the car into neutral.

Upon further research, Chris discovered something strange: if one wants to put the car in neutral without using the push button electronic shift, they must buy another tool for $400.

“A $400 tool…to put it in neutral manually,” Chris states about the “manual park release tool” needed. Later, he adds, “You have to buy a tool and crawl underneath it and install it to put the vehicle in neutral.”

The videographer then speculates that this will become a trend across the industry.

“What they’ll do is, they’ll probably be a different one for Mercedes, and a different one for Honda,” he says, later adding, “You’ll have to buy a tool for every one of them.”

Without this tool, the shop claims they would have to put the car on GoJaks (tools used to reposition vehicles), which could prove costly and difficult given the weight of the car.

@royaltyautoservice What is happening?! 😅 #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #automotive #cartok #chevy #tahoe #chevrolet #gmc #technician #viral #fyp #foryou ♬ Pop beat BGM / long version(1283324) – nightbird_bgm

Are Cars Getting Harder to Fix?

Many commenters agreed with the videographer’s assessment, saying that cars are becoming more complicated for repair shops to work on.

“At this point engineers are intentionally making things complicated so they fail quicker and cost more to fix,” a user said.

“I hate the direction technology is taking cars,” offered another. “I use to love working on them, but even the thought anymore just p*sses me off to no end.”

“As a tow truck operator…now you understand our complaints,” wrote a third.

Others suggested that the only way that the problem can be solved is by buying older vehicles.

“That’s why All my vehicles are 2006 and older,” declared a commenter.

“Don’t buy anything newer than 2020 and really keep your old stuff,” advised a second. “Cheaper to fix it than buy new.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Chevrolet via email and Royalty Auto Service via its website contact form.

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