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Author Topic: Need advice from Mechanics, or those familiar with how good auto shops operate  (Read 2716 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.

Offline Alchase

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Is this a 4.7L motor?
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Offline Rainier10

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Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

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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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Offline 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:
If you can read thank a teacher, If you can read in English thank a Marine! 
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He who shed blood with me shall forever be my brother!

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"Give me 15 more minutes, I was dreaming of Beavers!"

Offline 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.

Offline jackelope

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I'm most curious where the guy was going to find and install a reman 4.7 for $2500.00
That's amazingly cheap. I'd venture to say that if you called 3 different reputable shops, you'd get 3 prices and all of them would be more than double that.
:fire.:

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Offline Alchase

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Is this a 4.7L motor?


Yes, it is. Why do you ask?

Because once the 4.7 starts throwing valve/cylinder codes, you might as well get a new motor.
The oil journals and pickup tube on a 4.7 get clogged up restricting oil to the pats that need oil.
You usually do not notice until it throws a check engine light, and by then the motor has been starved for oil and the damage is already done.
This condition can happen with both Synthetic and Dyno oil motors.
I had a 2002 Dodge Ram with a 4.7, ran 10W30 dyno oil and change oil every 3k miles. This problem popped up at 230k miles.
I also had a 2001 Durango with a 4.7 that had Mobile 1 synthetic from day one. Same problem happened at $210k.
The dealers will deny their is a systemic issue, and throw parts at the problem, but it will just keep getting worse until catastrophic failure.
I would never buy a used 4.7.
The sludge issue has happened on 4.7 vehicles with less than 30k miles.

Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
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Offline coachcw

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4.7 l can be a nightmare , honestly if it sounds to cheap to be true it probably is. your issue is value worth cost . my guess is the head gasket leaks or the head is cracked causing a misfire. the engine could very well be slugged up . they make some decent flushes but if your losing coolant into a cylinder your wasting your time.  time to soul search the valve of a 15 year old dodge dakota . :twocents:
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Offline Atroxus

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Thank for all the feedback. Sounds like I have been getting good service, but have a truck with a poorly designed motor, and a mechanic who probably provided more warranty on a used motor than he should have. It turned out I was mistaken about the warranty, they provided a 2 year warranty, which currently has 1 month left on it. Last update I received, they were unable to find another used motor, so they are covering the cost for a re-manufactured motor but the warranty will expire in 1 month. They offered a new motor with a 10 year warranty for $2500, but I just don't have the money right now or I would have pounced on it.

Offline Woodchuck

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Thank for all the feedback. Sounds like I have been getting good service, but have a truck with a poorly designed motor, and a mechanic who probably provided more warranty on a used motor than he should have. It turned out I was mistaken about the warranty, they provided a 2 year warranty, which currently has 1 month left on it. Last update I received, they were unable to find another used motor, so they are covering the cost for a re-manufactured motor but the warranty will expire in 1 month. They offered a new motor with a 10 year warranty for $2500, but I just don't have the money right now or I would have pounced on it.
That shop should get ALL of your business FOREVER. They have gone way above and beyond IMO.
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Offline Rainier10

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Thank for all the feedback. Sounds like I have been getting good service, but have a truck with a poorly designed motor, and a mechanic who probably provided more warranty on a used motor than he should have. It turned out I was mistaken about the warranty, they provided a 2 year warranty, which currently has 1 month left on it. Last update I received, they were unable to find another used motor, so they are covering the cost for a re-manufactured motor but the warranty will expire in 1 month. They offered a new motor with a 10 year warranty for $2500, but I just don't have the money right now or I would have pounced on it.
That shop should get ALL of your business FOREVER. They have gone way above and beyond IMO.
:yeah: Sounds like they have really treated you right.  :tup:
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline PlateauNDN

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Offline jackelope

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I still can't figure out how they're doing a reman engine for $2500.00 installed. Or why they're covering a reman engine for you at all to be honest.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline Alchase

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I still can't figure out how they're doing a reman engine for $2500.00 installed. Or why they're covering a reman engine for you at all to be honest.


And a 10 year warranty, I would have bought two!
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
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Offline Atroxus

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I still can't figure out how they're doing a reman engine for $2500.00 installed. Or why they're covering a reman engine for you at all to be honest.


And a 10 year warranty, I would have bought two!

Well the 10 year warranty was if I got a new motor instead of re-manufactured. I just got my truck back with the re-manufactured motor and it is running better than it was even before the first motor replacement. They went ahead and gave me 2 more months of warranty as well just to make sure that this motor isn't a dud. :o Based on what I have read in this thread I am pleasantly surprised, and they will be getting all of my future business, and as many referrals as I can generate. :) iirc advertising here is discouraged if not paid, so PM me if you want to know the name of the shop.  :tup:

Offline Caseyd

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I still can't figure out how they're doing a reman engine for $2500.00 installed. Or why they're covering a reman engine for you at all to be honest.


And a 10 year warranty, I would have bought two!

Well the 10 year warranty was if I got a new motor instead of re-manufactured. I just got my truck back with the re-manufactured motor and it is running better than it was even before the first motor replacement. They went ahead and gave me 2 more months of warranty as well just to make sure that this motor isn't a dud. :o Based on what I have read in this thread I am pleasantly surprised, and they will be getting all of my future business, and as many referrals as I can generate. :) iirc advertising here is discouraged if not paid, so PM me if you want to know the name of the shop.  :tup:

Post it up!! It's not advertising, it's a referral

Offline Atroxus

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Well the 10 year warranty was if I got a new motor instead of re-manufactured. I just got my truck back with the re-manufactured motor and it is running better than it was even before the first motor replacement. They went ahead and gave me 2 more months of warranty as well just to make sure that this motor isn't a dud. :o Based on what I have read in this thread I am pleasantly surprised, and they will be getting all of my future business, and as many referrals as I can generate. :) iirc advertising here is discouraged if not paid, so PM me if you want to know the name of the shop.  :tup:

Post it up!! It's not advertising, it's a referral

Accurate Auto in Snohomish.  :tup:

 

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