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Author Topic: Need advice from Mechanics, or those familiar with how good auto shops operate  (Read 5346 times)

Offline Atroxus

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About two years ago my 2002 Dodge Dakota sport with ~140k miles on it, broke down on me. I took it to one mechanic whose diagnosis seemed sketchy, so I took it to another shop who had good yelp reviews for a second opinion. There I was given three options.

1 was to repair the existing motor. I can't recall now what the diagnosis was, but the estimate for cost was about $2500
2 Was to replace the motor with a used motor, that would carry a 1 year warranty for like $1200
3  Was to replace the motor with a re-manufactured motor for about the same cost as option 1

I opted for option 2. Mechanic had my truck for about 3 weeks, and when I first got it back all seemed well.

After about 6-8 months I noticed that once the truck warmed up, if I let the RPMs drop below about 2k, that my oil pressure would plummet and the engine temp would start rising rapidly. I did some research and found that my truck has known issues with the oil pressure sending unit giving inaccurate oil pressure readings, but nothing about it causing overheating, so I took my truck in. Mechanic tried a few different things including replacing the oil pressure sending unit, and the fan, with no change in behavior, then he replaced the motor under the warranty. This time he had my truck for about a month. I assumed, because he was now doing the work for free that my truck had dropped to the bottom of his priority list. At first all seemed well.

After another 6-8 months I started seeing the same oil pressure/temp issue that the first  used engine had. I took it back and the mechanic tried a number of different things again and could't figure out definitively what was causing the issue, so he replaced the engine again under the warranty.(I assumed because the warranty period had reset with each replacement?) Again he had my truck for about a month, and again I assumed that I was being prioritized below work that he was actually getting paid for. Again, upon receiving my truck back all seemed well.

Than at the end of June  my wife tells me that the check engine light on my truck came on. I know that can happen if the gas cap is not screwed on tightly, so I reset the engine codes by disconnecting the battery, topped off the oil and coolant(both were about a quart low), and tightened the gas cap. That appeared to resolve the  check engine light, but then a couple days later my wife told me the check engine light had come back on and that the engine was running rough and ticking. This was the evening of July 1st and my mechanic was closed that weekend through the 4th. I took my truck to pepboys instead and was told that I had a problem with the fuel injector,  fuel injector coils on at least 1 possibly 2 cylinders, intermittent misfires on 2 cylinders, and a leaky head gasket.

So I took my truck back to my regular mechanic after the 4th of July weekend, and they updated me Monday. They didn't say why, but stated that my engine needs to be replaced again, and that their shop warranty was still in effect but that the warranty from the engine supplier was not, so the mechanic would have to buy me another used engine, if he could find one. I was also offered the option to get a re-manufactured engine for "more money" but I was told it would take a couple days for them to figure out how much that would cost me or if they could find another used engine.

On one hand I can appreciate that nobody wants to work for free, or even worse *pay out of pocket* to work. On the other hand though, I also don't think it should be my problem if a mechanic provides a warranty that results in them having to eat the cost of parts/labor. Does this all seem legit to you guys/gals? Should I let him replace the engine at his cost with another used engine? Should I pay extra for a re-manufactured replacement? Should I cut my losses and take my truck to a different mechanic?  :dunno:

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Wow thats some great service with all those warranty repairs on a used motor.  Used motors are cripe shoot - you were lucky to get what you got out of it.  Go with reman.

Online Alchase

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Is this a 4.7L motor?
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Offline jackelope

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Well..........
I can't imagine why the used engine with a 1 year warranty is still under warranty at this point. 999/1000, if you have a 1 year warranty, the warranty starts when you purchase it and ends a year later. He's got literally no obligation to work on your truck for free or fix anything for free at this point as near as I can tell. Unless this mechanic has some sort of program that I've never heard of, once the warranty is up, the warranty is up. If you were in my shop, you'd be paying full price. Your warranty expired a year ago.


 :twocents:

 
 



« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 04:43:11 PM by jackelope »
:fire.:

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Offline jackelope

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I'd also not be working on it for free ever. If you buy a used engine from a wrecking yard, there would be a parts only warranty on it. In other words, the engine would be covered under warranty by whoever supplied the engine. The labor would not. If the used engine failed, the wrecking yard would provide an engine and the customer would pay for the labor. That would be made clear up front before purchase of the original used engine.

:fire.:

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Offline PlateauNDN

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Given your location I'd say take it to coach and get it done right the 1st time. :tup:
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Online grundy53

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Given your location I'd say take it to coach and get it done right the 1st time. :tup:
Was just going to type this.  Literally just picked my truck up from his shop an hour ago. :chuckle:  @Coachcw

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Offline PlateauNDN

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Given your location I'd say take it to coach and get it done right the 1st time. :tup:
Was just going to type this.  Literally just picked my truck up from his shop an hour ago. :chuckle:  @ccoach

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If he wasn't an evil Westsider I'd take my vehicles to him, but since he decided to stay with the dark side I have to settle with recommending his services. :chuckle:
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Online grundy53

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Given your location I'd say take it to coach and get it done right the 1st time. :tup:
Was just going to type this.  Literally just picked my truck up from his shop an hour ago. :chuckle:  @ccoach

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If he wasn't an evil Westsider I'd take my vehicles to him, but since he decided to stay with the dark side I have to settle with recommending his services. :chuckle:
:chuckle:

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Offline Atroxus

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Is this a 4.7L motor?

Yes, it is. Why do you ask?

Offline Seahawk12

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I think this mechanic has been more than fair.
I had an engine go bust on me a few years ago.
I had it replaced with a remanufactured unit and have been happy with it.
One of the deciding factors was that i couldn't find a guy to guarantee a used one.
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Offline syoungs

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Honestly seems fair to me on the labor, but still a tough pill to swallow on the parts end. I'd source a rebuilt unit, and have then install it, if the trucks condition/value makes it worthwhile.

Offline deerlick

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you couldn't have gotten better service. Going the cheap route with used parts was your decision, most shops offer no warranty other than their work was performed correctly on used parts. that 4.7 is about the worst motor you could buy used, or from a mechanic
 viewpoint new.

Offline highside74

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Yep the 4.7 is the worst. I have shops that literally have 3 and 4 rigs waiting for motors. Buying a wrecking yard 4.7 that was not fixed of its factory problems was a guarantee of future headache.

 

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