auto mechanic and service center

cyfan21

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Aug 24, 2010
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Davenport
I've got a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 114,000 miles and it either has a leaking radiator or water pump that needs fixed or replace.

I took it to the dealer where it was purchased from for service and repair Saturday night without an appointment hoping to get it back within a week.

I hadn't heard anything from the dealership service center so I called to follow-up and was told they might not be able to get to it until the 28th of Feb to get a diagnosis. That seems unreal to me. I took the same car there to replace an alternator and got it back from them in less than a week.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

TIA
 

BCClone

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Not exactly sure.
I've got a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 114,000 miles and it either has a leaking radiator or water pump that needs fixed or replace.

I took it to the dealer where it was purchased from for service and repair Saturday night without an appointment hoping to get it back within a week.

I hadn't heard anything from the dealership service center so I called to follow-up and was told they might not be able to get to it until the 28th of Feb to get a diagnosis. That seems unreal to me. I took the same car there to replace an alternator and got it back from them in less than a week.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

TIA
Do they not own their own vehicles and just drive customer vehicles until another comes in? A week for an alternator even sounds bad.
 
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DrClone

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Jun 13, 2009
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The dealership I go is about 3 weeks out to get it serviced. Use to be a few days to a week max. They tell me they just can't get enough employees.
 
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AgronAlum

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Jul 12, 2014
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Yes, most dealer schedules are outrageous. I wouldn’t take it there unless it’s a warranty issue or something another shop couldn’t handle.

It’s not Deery in Ames is it? My FIL had a Ram 2500 sitting there for almost 6 months for a warranty transmission issue. The best they could give him to drive was an older Ram 3500 quad cab flatbed that maxed at about 8 MPG.

I ended up getting involved for him and it all boiled down to them not looking for the part they needed. Within about 30 mins I found one sitting on the shelf at another dealer. It was fixed within a few days after the part arrived. The service manager had no idea why the truck was even there, just that they had seen it sitting there for months.
 

ForbinsAscynt

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Why did you go to a dealership? Is it still under warranty or do you have some sort of service package?
 
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BACyclone

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Mar 27, 2011
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Reinbeck, IA
I've got a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 114,000 miles and it either has a leaking radiator or water pump that needs fixed or replace.

I took it to the dealer where it was purchased from for service and repair Saturday night without an appointment hoping to get it back within a week.

I hadn't heard anything from the dealership service center so I called to follow-up and was told they might not be able to get to it until the 28th of Feb to get a diagnosis. That seems unreal to me. I took the same car there to replace an alternator and got it back from them in less than a week.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

TIA

Seriously, with a vehicle of that age and mileage, find a shop with an independent mechanic within your driving radius. Might be in a small town. Probably uses NAPA parts and sells Interstate batteries (buy those too).

You will probably still look at a week out to book a slot, but you'll probably get better service and pay less.

Your friend network may have some good recommendations.
 

DGC

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4wd went out on my ram in July under warranty. They finally got to it between the UNI and Iowa football games. I only go to the dealer for warranty or dealer only repairs.
 
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Tre4ISU

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Dec 30, 2008
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Dealerships don't want to pay the good mechanics enough to keep them from working for themselves since most mechanics will own their own tools and the investment for space for typical vehicles just isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things. They can charge like $50/hour, be less than the dealership and probably double their gross pay all while not having a boss.
 

BACyclone

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An example of why I go to a private shop. I took my vehicle in for a brake job. I go to pick it up when complete and he said he found that one of my caliper pistons had seized up. I had no idea, it must have been slightly working. He said he greased the crap out of it and worked on it for several minutes and got it working again. "I almost gave up" he said. A dealership would have just replaced it. That probably saved me $200 alone.

There are several more examples like this.
 

cyfan21

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Aug 24, 2010
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Davenport
Yes, most dealer schedules are outrageous. I wouldn’t take it there unless it’s a warranty issue or something another shop couldn’t handle.

It’s not Deery in Ames is it? My FIL had a Ram 2500 sitting there for almost 6 months for a warranty transmission issue. The best they could give him to drive was an older Ram 3500 quad cab flatbed that maxed at about 8 MPG.

I ended up getting involved for him and it all boiled down to them not looking for the part they needed. Within about 30 mins I found one sitting on the shelf at another dealer. It was fixed within a few days after the part arrived. The service manager had no idea why the truck was even there, just that they had seen it sitting there for months.
No, it's not Deery.

I went to the dealer because I thought the dealer could get parts ordered quicker and taken care of faster.

I'm starting to second guess myself now though.
 

Cy4All

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Aug 20, 2022
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From my experience working for a dealership and independent shops they both will usually have 1-3 top level mechanics that make good money. From there independent shops depending on the size may have 1 or 2 entry level oil change/tire guys. Dealerships will have a few mid level guys. Some probably should be high level and some should not touch a wrench. These guys don't get taken care of so if they are worth anything they figure that out and go work for an independent. The rest of the dealership is filled with a revolving door of kids who think cars are cool and think they want to work on them. Then realize it sucks to change oil and tires all day so they go to college or switch to a different line of work.

At the end of the day either a dealership or independent will have the same amount of techs who can do anything. The difference is dealers have way more cars coming in than independents so you either wait for weeks or get someone who shouldn't be working on your car trying to learn at you expense.
 
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Cy4All

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Aug 20, 2022
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No. I thought a dealership would get parts quicker and get it done quicker.
This is a common misconception. For warranty repairs dealers have to use OEM parts. Warranties are often common repairs so they will stock parts. On less common ones they still have to order the parts which takes a couple days at best. Anything not under warranty they don't have to use OEM parts and will often use aftermarket parts from NAPA, Orielly's, Arnold's or other such sources. You can usually find parts in town at one of the many parts stores. In DSM at least.
 

Cyrealist

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Sep 25, 2013
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I'm sure there are good mechanics at dealerships but a lot of the private guys are whizzes. I am lucky enough to have one across the street from my business and he can usually diagnose a problem just by knowing the model and the symptoms. He gets out a ways on major repairs but he always keeps our stuff running. He's really good at telling you if something else should be done at the same time, like water pump, timing belt. he's about two-thirds the cost of the dealer.
 

cycloner29

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Dec 17, 2008
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Ames
Neighbor had the their car at the since October 17 and finally got it back last week. Dealer questioned his life time warranty, which he did have. Their car had gone through 3 catalytic converters, yet it did not fall under the lemon law.
 
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AgronAlum

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Jul 12, 2014
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Neighbor had the their car at the since October 17 and finally got it back last week. Dealer questioned his life time warranty, which he did have. Their car had gone through 3 catalytic converters, yet it did not fall under the lemon law.

And they weren't stolen? lol. That's bananas.

Fun fact: Not sure how many miles are on their car but catalytic converters are covered by a federally mandated 8 yr/80,000 mile warranty outside of whatever dealer warranty you may have. (along with some other major emissions parts like the ECU). Some of this varies state to state but other emissions stuff like O2 sensors can have separate warranties as well.
 
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cycloner29

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Dec 17, 2008
11,733
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Ames
And they weren't stolen? lol. That's bananas.

Fun fact: Not sure how many miles are on their car but catalytic converters are covered by a federally mandated 8 yr/80,000 mile warranty outside of whatever dealer warranty you may have. (along with some other major emissions parts like the ECU). Some of this varies state to state but other emissions stuff like O2 sensors can have separate warranties as well.

Car is like two years old only 25,000 miles! That’s insane to have three failures.
 
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