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Old 08-16-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Maintenance records, Warranty and Oil Changes....

Hey - I have a question for every one who does their own work. If you change your own oil, will the dealer give you a hard time if you need to have service done for say, a bad head?
I have a new 12 JKU and am wondering if I should have someone else change the oil, service etc. I don't want the dealer to give me a hard time if/when the CEL comes on. No offense to my dealer, but the amount of BS from them is high.
Can they void my deal if I do the work?
Also along those lines, I was thinking about a 2.5" lift - but am scared to do it until I deal with the head problem - I don't want that to put me in the same warranty void situation...
Any and all advice welcome. Oil change time is this weekend!
Thanks!

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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I have the same concern. I did my first oil change myself @ 1500, but I was thinking that I should let the dealer change it @ 3000 so it's on record.

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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The answers to all of this information can be found in your warranty manual. It's surprisingly short and readable, and you can download a copy here.

The short answers are:

(1) Mods don't "void" your warranty. The factory warranty covers the jeep as it left the factory. Changes you make aren't covered (e.g.,, new shocks you add with a lift), nor is anything covered that is damaged by what you change (e.g., new shocks bust open and somehow damage your brakes). Otherwise, your warranty remains intact. In other words, to deny warranty coverage based on a mod, Chrysler has to somehow connect the mod to the issue for which you're requesting coverage. If your mod obviously contributed to the issue, then yes, you've got nothing. But if the mod is unrelated, then coverage remains just as it did before the mod.

(2) Maintenance can be done by anybody, including you. The only concern is that if a potential warranty issue arises (e.g., ticking heads) that could have been caused by improper maintenance (e.g., forgot to do any oil changes), it's up to YOU to establish that you did properly maintain the vehicle. This could be done by receipts from Jiffy Lube or Autozone, or (I suspect) even a well written affidavit. While it's generally more expensive, having the dealer do your maintenance does solve this issue by putting your maintenance history in the dealer's own service records so there's never any doubt.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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In a nutshell: no. As long as you keep the receipts showing your purchases of oil, filters, etc, the dealer can't just automatically void your warranty. Same thing with the lift. But if you do a mod and the dealer can prove it caused a factory part to fail, they can void the warranty on that part.

Research the Magnusson-Moss Act.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Thanks MTH - sorry - totally spit the dummy on that one - I know - RTFM... But practically, I assume if I keep a log, that's good enough. I just don't want things to turn into:

Service Mgr: Sir are you a trained mechanic?
Me: No.
Service Mgr: Nuf said.
Me: FML!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Each of my vehicles has a spiral notebook with mileage, date, and 5w30 Mobil 1 + filter, air filter, wiper blades, etc. Keep a brown envelope for receipts. Never been a problem. The dealer passes warranty work on to Chrysler, so there shouldn't be a battle with you anyway. A good mechanic can tell if a vehicle has been maintained - there will be sludge buildup - tell them to pull the valve cover if you maintain it and they don't believe you.

The notebook works well, it's always available and there is no way I'll remember when I serviced a rear diff or swapped an air filter (that comes with age). Also, you can post things like the oil level (and thus consumption) before the oil change.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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Believe it or not, some service managers aren't trained mechanics.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #8
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I do all of my own maintenance. We keep a small notepad in the glove compartment that we write it all down in. On my truck I can account for pretty much every thing that's been done to it and every drop of gas put in it for the last 17 years. The Jeep we don't worry about gas, just the maintenance and repairs.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TK-213 View Post
Thanks MTH - sorry - totally spit the dummy on that one - I know - RTFM... But practically, I assume if I keep a log, that's good enough. I just don't want things to turn into:

Service Mgr: Sir are you a trained mechanic?
Me: No.
Service Mgr: Nuf said.
Me: FML!
I'm not chastising you for not reading the warranty manual, I'm just saying you should have it and be familiar with it. You can also download your REAL owners manual (not that little thing that came with the jeep) here. Lots of helpful info.

But yes, I would expect a log to be good enough. In the unlikely event of a failure that the dealer wants to connect to improper maintenance and deny warranty coverage rather than a defect and provide warranty coverage, then yes, you'll have to show proper maintenance.

As a practical observation, I note that this rarely, rarely ever comes up unless there are obvious signs of improper maintenance. Your basic warranty is 3 years/36k miles. There's just not that much maintenance stuff that can go wrong in that period unless you just totally don't change the oil, and finding somebody that stupid is pretty rare.

The folks who have the harder time on this stuff I believe are going to be the "lifetime" or "extended" warranty folks. Those warranties generally have exclusions for "wear and tear" parts versus other parts, and generally have requirements for you to bring the vehicle in every few years to get it looked at. Those situations are more likely it seems to me to end up with somebody screaming at a dealer tech than the typical warranty scenario.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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I keep a book with all my maintenance logged and all receipts from oil/filters/parts stapled inside. It all I can think of to do.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #11
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What about trade-in value? Would not having any service records with the dealer be a detriment?
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #12
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What about trade-in value? Would not having any service records with the dealer be a detriment?
Many times, dealership service that's done shows up on Carfax. So, somebody who's browsing the web for Jeeps might give yours a little more weight if they can see on their screen that all service has been kept up with.

Personally, I do my OWN work because that way I know exactly what was and was not done to it. I know what oil was used. I know how much was used. I know that the drain plug wasn't over tightened. I know the filter was changed. I know everything, because I did it. It also adds to the experience of owning a vehicle...it makes it more personal if you get under the hood and get dirty.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #13
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I keep a book with all my maintenance logged and all receipts from oil/filters/parts stapled inside. It all I can think of to do.
This.

I am in a different situation as I have free oil changes for the first 36k miles (dealer service) and a "Lifetime Engine Warranty" on the engine (another dealer special). So for the first 36k miles, they will change it, record in the computer and I will save each receipt.

After that once I take over performing the changes, I will document each receipt and each service performed in an Excel table. All of it gets saved.

The other reason I am having them do the oil changes (besides being free) if they screw it up, they own it. Plus I need to keep all service records up to date for the lifetime engine warranty. I certainly want that in the even the head replacement pops up after 72k miles - which is the extended warranty I have.

And for many years down the road when you go to trade in or sell, a fist full of immaculately detailed maintenance records and oil change receipts goes a long way.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #14
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What about trade-in value? Would not having any service records with the dealer be a detriment?
M'eh. I don't know, would you not believe the notebooks kept by 3JKs1H1, oilwell1415, or Wharfrat?

And in any event, that's a pretty speculative basis upon which to overpay for maintenance for years and years.

Of course, if your dealer charges fair prices, that could be different--I get all my oil changes done at the dealer because they do them at $10 a piece, which I can't beat anywhere else. Of course, they always try to upsell me to other--wildly overpriced--services, which I politely decline.

And candidly, I just don't think it's worthwhile to make decisions on your jeep based on what somebody might or might not pay extra for later if you resell it. You're going to lose money on a new vehicle. Period. It's not an investment. And you have a jeep, which provides endless opportunities for you to do all kinds of cool stuff in mods and maintenance. IMO, forget about resale.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:05 PM   #15
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One place thorough maintenance records are rarely thought about is insurance. If you have complete and thorough records you can make a case to an insurance company for a higher payoff if you're Jeep gets totaled. One of my aunts had a Pontiac Bonneville that got totaled when it was 5 or 6 years old and she got almost $2k more out of the insurance company after she showed them the maintenance records.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #16
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M'eh. I don't know, would you not believe the notebooks kept by 3JKs1H1, oilwell1415, or Wharfrat?
I would, but I don't think it will matter much to the dealership. They have to sell the vehicle to someone who won't ever see the notebook. The only thing they can tell potential buyers is what's in their "official" service records, so I'm sure that they prefer having this.

If it's a few hundred dollars difference when you trade-in the vehicle, then I agree with you that it makes no difference. But if it's in the thousands, then I do think it's worthwhile to consider it if you plan to trade it in eventually. If you're selling it private party, then I think the notebook will work just fine
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #17
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Be careful with the receipts. Many register receipts will fade to the point of not being able to read them some time later. I scan them and save on my computer.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #18
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I would, but I don't think it will matter much to the dealership. They have to sell the vehicle to someone who won't ever see the notebook. The only thing they can tell potential buyers is what's in their "official" service records, so I'm sure that they prefer having this.

If it's a few hundred dollars difference when you trade-in the vehicle, then I agree with you that it makes no difference. But if it's in the thousands, then I do think it's worthwhile to consider it if you plan to trade it in eventually. If you're selling it private party, then I think the notebook will work just fine
I don't think the dealer is going to care either way. Their mentality seems to be that if you are trading in a vehicle it's because you have to, which is usually the case. They are going to offer what they are going to offer knowing that if you have to take it you will. When we replace our current Jeep with a new one in a few years it will almost definitely be to private sale unless the dealer comes up with an especially good number.

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Be careful with the receipts. Many register receipts will fade to the point of not being able to read them some time later. I scan them and save on my computer.
Good call. And don't tape thermal receipts to anything. The adhesive will erase the writing.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:34 PM   #19
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Thanks guys. This has been super helpful. I'm getting a notebook right now - and an envelope for receipts. The whole "I know it's done because I did it" is part of the reason I've always wanted a Jeep. Honestly, I was hoping for an older straight 6 - but that wasn't as practical for where I am in life with kids and a daily driver. I know the new 12 is much more complicated - but I feel pretty good looking at the underside of the car and doing basic stuff. Plus, I'm finding you guys always answer questions and there's a ton of info to search on this board. I'm a total Jeep newbie - but I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and I love knowing what's up with my own rig. I've been a bike (bicycle) mechanic for years -and can pretty much look at or test ride a bike and tell you what's up and exactly how to fix it. That's a skill I hope I can claim on the Jeep someday. Working through stuff like this here - I'm sure I will.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:44 PM   #20
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In addition to keeping your own logs and receipts, you can track the maintenance you do to your jeep on jeep.com, type in the mileage and what you did and it keeps an electronic log for you and updates you when it is time for other maintenance. Maybe redundant, but helpful should any discrepancies or problems arise.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Personally, I do my OWN work because that way I know exactly what was and was not done to it. I know what oil was used. I know how much was used. I know that the drain plug wasn't over tightened. I know the filter was changed. I know everything, because I did it. It also adds to the experience of owning a vehicle...it makes it more personal if you get under the hood and get dirty.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:05 AM   #22
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I keep the receipts but I also take a digital photo during the job, print it out and keep it with the receipts as a record. I doubt you'll have trouble getting warranty service for the head problem because they know there's a genuine defect involved.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #23
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I keep the receipts but I also take a digital photo during the job, print it out and keep it with the receipts as a record. I doubt you'll have trouble getting warranty service for the head problem because they know there's a genuine defect involved.
This is a great idea. To add to that, take a picture of the oil/filter receipt directly in front of the odometer. Now you have the proof of purchase and date linked to the mileage.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #24
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Of course, if your dealer charges fair prices, that could be different--I get all my oil changes done at the dealer because they do them at $10 a piece, which I can't beat anywhere else.

What dealer are you going to in the Triangle area that gives you that price? I'm going to have to switch dealers.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #25
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What dealer are you going to in the Triangle area that gives you that price? I'm going to have to switch dealers.
Sport Durst in Durham. You buy a package--one oil change for $40 and get three for free. So it's four changes for $40.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #26
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You do not need receipts. All you need is a maintenance log. I use a spreadsheet.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #27
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Solid - thanks guys.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #28
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i'm the type that likes to do my own service on vehicles since i know several dealership mechanics who are hacks at best. now that i've learned the inherent head issue of our new jeep. i'll be letting them do the oil changes and such. i'll also be putting the planned turbo/supercharger kit on hold since this would give them an easy out if the problem arises. some dealers are decent to work with on these issues but like mentioned above. our local dealer isn't one of them. they've tried to refuse warranty work to people for things as simple as cold air kits. stating that the extra power they added caused the mechanical failure
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #29
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I keep the receipts but I also take a digital photo during the job, print it out and keep it with the receipts as a record. I doubt you'll have trouble getting warranty service for the head problem because they know there's a genuine defect involved.
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This is a great idea. To add to that, take a picture of the oil/filter receipt directly in front of the odometer. Now you have the proof of purchase and date linked to the mileage.
I think that's a bit of overkill. You've got a receipt with a date on it. The math required to decided if the mieages and times work together is pretty easy. I usually buy 2-3 cases of oil at a time so the receipt really doesn't do me any good anyway.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #30
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How do you know its not just photoshopped? I know people might do unscrupulous things like that

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