Do you use the dealer for service? Why or why not? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 08-20-2012, 04:54 PM
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Do you use the dealer for service? Why or why not?

Why or why not? Let's keep this constructive. Dealers, independent shops, and independent people use and support these forums.

I use the dealer for technical bulletins and warranty work but I have maintenance and other repairs performed by local mechanics. If the job is dead easy, I'll do it myself.

Why not the dealer? My local dealer marks up small parts. The plastic rivets that hold the JK front air dam are fifty cents at NAPA, but cost over $4 each at my dealer. That is an 8x mark up of a retail price. If they were competitive on parts I might use them for service.

Local mechanics vary in quality too. But I've got a few that I trust for good advice and quality work.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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I never let anyone else touch my any of my vehicles unless it's a job I can't do at home and that's few and far between. I was an auto tech for along time and I have seen more than my fair share of goofballs, know it all's that knew nothing and people that just don't care (lot's of mistakes). I am not saying that all dealer auto tech's are bad, I worked with some really good one's over the years but at the dealer you don't know who is doing the work and if he knows his head from a hole in the ground. I suggest for those who can not do the work yourself to find a local auto tech through word of mouth, ask around. Most people won't tell you they have a great mechanic unless you ask. Remember if you do someone right they may tell a friend but if you screw someone over they will tell everyone they know. So often to find a good honest tech that you are comfortable with may take some asking around. Just my thought's.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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^^^ This^^^
Except I wasn't an auto tech for a long time. (Briefly) Dealership for some's just a matter of the type of job at hand = complexity, and whether or not it is warranty work.

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Old 08-21-2012, 04:06 AM   #4
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when i got my used 2002 TJ first thing I did was bring it to my local Jeep dealer, who has an outstanding reputation for good, reasonably priced work, and had them change all the drive line fluids (axles, transfer case, trany) and give the vehicle a complete inspection. They did a great job and charged me $199 including an engine oil change.

Sure I could have crawled under there and done all of those fluids changes myself for $50 worth of materials but for me it was money well spent.

I will do all future engine oil changes but not drive line fluid changes.

But when the TJ's head light switch went bad, I replaced it myself.

And my Grand Cherokee has 20,000 miles on it and it has never once been to the dealer, I bought it brand new and have done all the engine oil changes. When it's time for drive line fluids I will let the dealer handle the GC too.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:56 AM   #5
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Unless its free warranty work, I do it myself. I have been through too many bad mechanics screwing simple stuff up and overcharging for shoddy work to trust them to touch my jeep, especially since they don't know my jeep like I do and don't care about it like I do either. I have managed to be able to do everything so far but i am mechanically inclined. I started 7 years ago not understanding why axle gear ratio is important and only knowing basic like an oil change to setting up my own gears, replacing a cylinder head, setting up my suspension, installed a front axle, etc. I figure that best case I save myself hundreds to thousands of dollars in labor, or worst case I get into it, can't do it, and then take it somewhere and I'm out only my time, but that hasn't happened yet. Only thing I can't do yet is weld, but I'm learning, I'm just not good enough to trust my life to my welds.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
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Only dealer service that I have used was the initial "vehicle inspection" when I purchased my Jeep from a private owner. Wanted to ensure the Jeep was up to code.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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I use the dealer to service my WK, i do all the work on the TJ. For me, it is a time issue. I work close to 60 hours a week and one of our accounts' husband is the service manager at the the only Jeep dealer in town. This provides a little inside line to getting good techs and good service. When the weekend comes if the plant is not running I have plenty to keep busy so it is nice to have the WK serviced at the dealer. Any avalible time i have in garage I spend on the old TJ and i do the basic service work on the wifes Ford.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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Under warranty I have the dealer do the work. After that I either trade for another vehicle or work on it myself, if the time/pain/cost ratio is right for me. I'm getting too old to crawl around under the hood anymore. Dealer prices have become relatively more competitive with independent shops as far as price is concerned.

For the most part my time is worth more than the money I pay to have someone else bust some knuckles on the beast.

My Motorcycles are a different story. No-one touches them other than me.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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I do my own work at my dads private shop. Like many, I do not trust a dealership to service my Jeep. I only go to a dealership because I have a buddy that works for dodge and he gets me discounts on OEM parts. I just buy the parts and take them to the shop to work on it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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For the most part I do my own oil changes at home, well in the apartment's parking lot lol. I rotate my own tires, change the oil, any of the minor work. Other wise I have a great mechanic who will do the rest for less than $50. It's great Still learning to do other things, but with not a lot of tools, it can be difficult.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:09 AM   #11
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I don't have a lot of money, but i want the job done right with quality products and proper attention.

I'd go to the dealer for warranty work only, for the reasons stated in the above posts. Also, it's free.

Most everything else i do myself so long as those jobs don't require highly specialized (i.e. expensive) tools that will only be used a couple times.

Those jobs i can't do myself, like gear or engine work, i go to a trusted mechanic. Allen is the shiz.

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