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View Full Version : Are 30,000 mile checkups at the dealer necessary, or is Jiffy Lube good enough?


Hokienautic
06-20-2001, 10:44 AM
I'm hitting 30K on my car, and the dealer's recommending a 30,000 mile checkup -- for $450 (assuming nothing's wrong, of course). That seems a little steep to me (and I know dealers have a rep for overcharging as well).

Is getting a 30,000 mile checkup at the dealer a necessity, or can I get the same level of service at a Jiffy Lube-type place? The dealer gave me a list of 27 things they do in the checkup, and almost half of them are of the "inspect XYZ" variety. If I bring the list to JL, will they be able to do the same for less, and have the same quality? Or should I bite the bullet and just take it to the dealer and pay the $450?

Athena
06-20-2001, 11:00 AM
I went through this with a used Honda I used to own. I ended up talking to my Uncle, who has been a car mechanic working at a dealership for the last 30 years or so. In his words - "$450 will pay for a fair amount of repairs if something really does go wrong with the car. If the car is running well, why spend the money?"

That said, we were talking about a ten year old Honda that I bought used, with the idea that it was a good reliable car that would get me from point A to point B. I wasn't worried about it being in A-1 condition and performing to the best of its abilities. I now own a brand new BMW, and you bet I'll get every inspection done, because I *do* want this car to stay as close to 100% as is possible. 'course, it helps that all the inspections are included in the warrantee and cost me nothing, but even if I did have to pay I'd do 'em.

FairyChatMom
06-20-2001, 12:33 PM
I have no problem using the quick oil change places for quick oil changes, but I wouldn't rely upon them for anything beyond that... especially since one of them tried to tell me something about the catalytic converter in my diesel Jetta...

I've had the major inspections done by the dealer - most of the items are on their freebie inspection list anyway. Last inspection - done last week - uncovered about $800 worth of work needed. I'm going to get quotes from some other places, since I know what I'm asking for.

The way I look at it, I've had this van since new and I'd like it to last another 5 years, especially since it's almost paid off. I figure the dealer knows better than Bob's Garage. Of course, I could be wrong...

Fatman
06-20-2001, 10:23 PM
And then I remember a time when I took my car for a
Lube-oil-filter at a Acc-u-tune and they called to warn
me that I needed a new carborator. On a fuel-injected
engine!

But the 30,000 mile check is only going to do the basics.
LOF, check fluids, check lights and maybe recommend a
tire change. I'd head for Jiffy for that.

Maryellen
06-20-2001, 10:49 PM
The dealer explained to me (and the warranty literature states) that Dodge would continue to honor my warranty only if I had all scheduled service done at one of their shops. That way, it's in the computer system at Dodge (nation-wide) and they can verify that I've lived up to honoring the scheduled service. If I'd done it at Jiffy Lube, Dodge would have no way of knowing that I'd had my 15,000 mile scheduled service (or whatever). Each scheduled service has a very specific checklist of things that must be evaluated and if I turn up now, they'll honor any repair without question. If I was absent from their records because I went to Jiffy Lube, they wouldn't have a clue what I'd done to my car, or if I'd neglected it.

But I do go to Jiffy Lube for oil changes, just not anything that would affect the warranty. It runs out in August anyway, but I've always kept my end of the warranty agreement.

City Gent
06-20-2001, 11:31 PM
One thing to be careful of - dealers sell "service packages", often with discount coupons, for the various service intervals. Trouble is, the list of things they do usually has little overlap with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance. Honda dealers are especially guilty of this. If you really want a gold-plated job done, take your car to a dealer but make sure they do what's in the owner's manual, not what's on their coupon.

If you want to save a little money, have it done at a non-dealer garage, but I'd stay away from oil change joints for major maintenance.

And riblet, I believe there's a law against what you're describing. You can have the work done anywhere, just keep the receipts for proof. Any dealer who wants to argue with that should be roasted in his own fat.

City Gent
06-20-2001, 11:38 PM
One thing to be careful of - dealers sell "service packages", often with discount coupons, for the various service intervals. Trouble is, the list of things they do usually has little overlap with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance. Honda dealers are especially guilty of this. If you really want a gold-plated job done, take your car to a dealer but make sure they do what's in the owner's manual, not what's on their coupon.

If you want to save a little money, have it done at a non-dealer garage, but I'd stay away from oil change joints for major maintenance.

And riblet, I believe there's a law against what you're describing. You can have the work done anywhere, just keep the receipts for proof. Any dealer who wants to argue with that should be roasted in his own fat.

Maryellen
06-21-2001, 12:07 AM
Well doesn't that just figure. Over the last five years I've spent hundreds of dollars on these various check-ups at the dealer. The 20,000 mile one alone was $550 and it needed no repairs. I wish I'd known I could take it anywhere. It runs out in August, so they really got every penny they could out of me.

brad_d
06-21-2001, 12:13 AM
I'd only advise bearing in mind that there are some things that have to be done (not just "inspected") at regular intervals in addition to oil changes.

I change my own oil, so I don't know just how much of that is involved in places like Jiffy Lube's services. Air & fuel filters need to be changed periodically; transmission fluid should be changed at specified intervals; radiators should be drained, flushed, and refilled with fresh coolant/water mix; suspension components on many vehicles like to be greased up; spark plugs should be replaced. The recommended intervals for these things vary somewhat from vehicle to vehicle.

Stuff like this is discussed in the Owner's Manual, and it really should be done if you're interested in maximizing longevity. Dealers are all too happy to do it, but as has been pointed out they often like to do it more often than is really necessary.

Badtz Maru
06-21-2001, 05:59 AM
This has come up lately and I have been stressing over it a lot. My 2001 Honda Civic I bought last year is past due for it's 10,000 mile checkup - way past due, either we don't have the time to do it or we don't have the money to spare, and now we have almost 13,000 miles on it. I'm worried that we will void the warranty, if we haven't already.

doreen
06-21-2001, 06:58 AM
When I went to the Dodge dealer for warranty work, they told me I was due for 30,000 mile service that would cost about $500 ( including things I've never heard of, like lubricating the hood and trunk latches). They asked me I I had done the regular maintenence and I said of course I had.Then they said "are you doing what's listed in the owner's manual?" When I said yes, they told me that's really not good enough to keep the extended warranty in force, and there's a law that requires certain maintenence to be listed in the owner's manual, and that's why it's really not accurate. That was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard- the manufacturer's schedule is not good enough to keep the warranty in force and the government requires that they recommend less than is really necessary.I called Chrysler, and as expected, was told that the owner's manual schedule was all that was necessary. Guess which dealer I'm not buying my next car at?

Hokienautic
06-22-2001, 09:41 AM
Thanks all for the replies. Still hemming and hawing, but leaning towards the dealer a bit more now.

Just because it was brought up, here's the complete list of things in my little booklet for the 30,000 checkup:

Change engine oil and filter; BG MOS and BG 44k (huh? what's that?); adjust tire pressure; inspect tires for alignment/balancing wear; inspect automatic transmission/transaxle fluid level; replace engine coolant; inspect power steering fluid (top off as needed); lubricate all door latches and hinges (similar to what was mentioned below by someone about their hood); replace brake master cylinder fluid and flush tire lines; inspect running lights, headlights and brake lights; inspect and adjust A/C and heater operations; replace spark plugs (except 60K plugs); reset the engine specifications; replace the air filter; replace the fuel filter; adjust and inspect the brakes; inspect brake lines, hoses and connections; inspect steering operations and linkages; inspect balljoints; inspect driveshaft boots; inspect exhaust systems; tighten chassis nuts and bolts; inspect fuel lines; rotate and balance tires; inspect emissions hose and tube; replace engine timing belt (at an additional charge).

Whew ... done. Allllll sorts of fun stuff. Just to settle my mind ... is there any of that stuff that CAN'T be done at a Jiffy Lube? I'm guessing yes (which is why I'm leaning towards the dealer).

BunnyGirl
06-22-2001, 11:25 AM
Well, let's add up the estimated cost of the separate maintenance they actually perform:

Change oil & filter: $25
Replace engine coolant $65
Replace master brake cylinder fluid (I'm guessing here on this one): $65
Spark plugs (if they do it): $50
Air filter: $20
Fuel filter: $25
Rotate and balance tires: $25

Okay, that adds up to about $265, right? However, keep in mind that if you were to have some of these done separately (spark plugs, fuel filter), you wouldn't be paying JUST the $50 or so. You'd be paying labor on however many hours their books say it takes to do the job.

Fer instance, it might take me 20 minutes to change my fuel filter. At the dealer, their book says it takes 1 hour. Hence, you pay the labor rate ($45-$60 typically) plus the cost of parts. So it would actually cost you anywhere from $65-$85.

Doesn't look like your dealer is actually giving you a bad deal, all in all, and I'm not a fan of dealer service.

Kent4mmy
06-22-2001, 12:40 PM
It is my opinion that dealer service can kiss my ass. The work involved in these maintenance schedules is not labor intensive and you should not be charged such ridiculously high prices.

The quality of most vehicles today is such that major engine or drivetrain repairs are rare. As a result of this, most dealers have tripled the cost of routine maintenance in their service departments. They can't forego their service department because it plays a major factor in their sales pitch. So what happens? They tote the fact that they have "award winning" service and then pass the cost of running it onto the consumer. No thanks.

In the list Hokienautic posted, over half of the "work" is inspections. Take away the inpections and all you've got is minor stuff like adjust tire pressure,tighten bolts, top off fluids (which is exactly what JiffyLube does).

They have the gall to charge you $500.00 bucks for that!?!

I, as I'm sure most people, can perform all the work listed in Hokienautic's 30,0000 interval (with the exception of changing out the timing belt) at home, with no special tools or equipment, for the cost of parts ( probably less than $30.00).

Changing out the timing belt IS a labor intensive job and as such would most likely require a call to your mortgage holder asking for an equity loan to cover the cost of it.

Am I being unrealistically bitter? Possibly. It's probably due to the fact that when I bought my last car ('98 Toyota), I failed to notice that the cost of shipping the car from the place it was built (Buffalo, NY) to my local dealer (also NY) was passed on to me ($450.00). When I did discover this little item, some four months later, in the mountain of paperwork I received during the transaction, I called the dealership and wanted to know why I was not told I would be absorbing this cost. Their answer? Oh, well that's standard procedure, as if everyone in the world except me knew this fact.

I no longer trust that dealership and will not do business with them again. And I'll know to look for this "standard procedure" the next time out. I know I shouldn't hold this attitude towards ALL dealerships and service departments, but man it's hard not to.

Sorry for the rant.

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