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If you had multiple issues, would you go to the stealership and have them diagnose it

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by PantheraUncia, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I personally dislike the attitude and over priced parts and labor that my local stealership charges but I have a number of issues that need to be looked at and the stealership told me to bring a punch list of everything I want them to look at. The diagnostic fee is $130 to diagnose everything.

    If I choose to have the stealership repair any of the problems, the $130 will go toward the repairs. If I do not let them fix the issues, then I am out the $130.

    So far my punch list is:


    1. Locate and price the repair of all oil leaks (Headers, value covers, oil pan gasket)
    2. replace the lifters and springs ( the tick noise, typically when it is cold out side )
    3. determine why I am getting white smoke out the exhaust when the truck has been idling for 10 minutes or more. (The 5.3L has issues with coolant getting in one or more of the piston heads ) Not sure if this is my issue, but have them look into it.
    4. Figure out why the power locks stopped working ( no it is not the battery in the key fob, the fuses or relays) already checked those.
    5. Potentially replace the water pump ( still original ) 216k on the odometer.
    6. Replace the fuel injectors (8 of them)
    7. Fix my e-brake because it is too loose even after using the adjuster under the truck (there are TSB's on this, but I am out of warranty)
    8. Install new front left and right wheel hubs.

    I am thinking it might be worth it to have them connect the Tech 2, give me a full diagnosis and eat the $130 and then have the work done by a recommended mechanic outside the stealership. This way I know what needs to be done.

    What do you think?
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Call your normal better priced mechanic and ask him his price and do same at dealer. Also fix what you can on your own to save $$$
  3. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have the stealership do only what they absolutely have to do. For example, I recently took the truck in to have an overtravel condition programmatically dealt with in the HVAC control unit ... something only they could fix. Anything that can be done by me or a mechanic I trust completely ... is done by me or that mechanic, not the stealership.
  4. RayVoy

    RayVoy Well-Known Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    They are going to love to see you.

    Would you give me a little more detail on some of your needs?

    Like, why do you think the injectors should be changed?

    Why do you have the water pump on the list?

    The lifters and springs are an expensive change, did you try an additives that are reputed to clean lifters (lifters will tick if they have a little dirt stuck inside)

    Why new front hubs?

    The price for that amount of work might exceed the value of the truck.
  5. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    The injectors are preventative, I figure I can do them myself, but that is still $800 in parts if I buy them. The stuff that is annoying me is the lifters, the oil leak, and the locks that have issues. Those three alone would make a nice down payment on a new truck cost wise.

    The front drivers side wheel hub has a little play in it, but it is not bad yet. I park in a parking deck so I end up making an extra 6 right and left turns every day that most people don't have to deal with, over 12 years, it adds up.
  6. RayVoy

    RayVoy Well-Known Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Injectors have a life expectancy of 1 billion cycles. Yes they can fail, but with proper filter maintenance and using high quality gas, they should last the life of the vehicle. Injectors can have carbon build-up, this can be removed with a little interstate driving and/or adding, something like Seafoam. They can also wear, but if the mileage is good and there are no starting problems, the wear is probably not a problem.
  7. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Let me address these one by one...

    You can do this yourself with a flashlight and a mirror... Other than an exhaust leak which you can do with your ears and/or a can of Seafoam.

    This isn't a big deal. Leave it alone unless it gets bad. Throw in a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil instead of one of the quarts of oil at the next change. That stuff is AWESOME at cleaning out nasty oil passages. Try inexpensive fixes FIRST! You could easily put in a new cam, lifters and do a complete head job, fire it up and still have your ticking because it turned out to be an oiling issue.

    How much smoke? It is probably just condensation that builds up in the system, during idle. Some cars do that all the time at idle in cooler weather. Others just drip water out of the tailpipe whether it is cool out or not. Are you losing coolant? If not, you aren't leaking any into the cylinders. If you are, you are probably STILL not leaking any into the cylinders. Does your white smoke have a smell... Like coolant? If not, leave it alone!

    Did you take the battery out of the fob? If you did, it probably needs to be re-programmed. Instructions readily available on Google.

    Why? Is it leaking? If not, leave it alone!

    Why? Are they bad? If not, leave them alone! the injectors are going to run about $80.00 each from an Internet retailer, which means probably over $100.00 at the dealer. 8 of those, plus the labor to install them will run you easily to the $1,000 mark. That's HUGE money to fix something that isn't broken!

    Are you sure the e-brake shoes aren't worn out? They are very small and are not very good out of the box, much less when old and worn!

    Why? Are they bad? If not, leave them alone!

    here is my nickel's worth of free advice... You have a truck with 216,000 miles on it. It doesn't make any sense to go dumping a bunch of money into an engine with that many miles on it. (Especially when there isn't really anything wrong with it... yet.) A head job alone would cost you over a thousand dollars. Then you would have a 216,000 mile half-worn-out engine with new heads. With the cost of everything you have listed on here, you could buy a new crate engine! At the very least, you could buy a low mileage engine from the junk yard for just the cost of the head job.

    Replacing parts that are not bad is like taking a bunch of prescription meds to treat health problems you don't have but might get in the future. All you are doing is guessing what might break in the near future and replacing parts... based on what? What happens if you spend all of this money and 2 months later the AC quits, the fuel pump goes out, the radiator starts leaking, the oil pump fails and your engine locks up, the timing chain breaks and bends all of the valves in your new heads (Happened to a friend of mine 6 months ago after doing a head job on his 454), the transmission starts slipping... If you are eager to spend money fixing things, just be patient! You will have your opportunity sooner or later!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I tend to agree with moog: fix only what is broken ... as it breaks ... unless it makes more cash sense to do a full replacement. (Also, look upon each such breakage as an opportunity to do an upgrade!)

    If you've got leaks ... fix them with new seals. If, like me, you have to drop the transmission to fix something in its guts, THEN is when it might make sense to replace or rebuild the whole unit ... but not until you run into a problem like that. The same thinking should really be applied to the engine; if you throw a rod ... then maybe it's time to overhaul the engine, but beyond major issues, fix what little you can. You get the idea.
  9. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    While not nearly as knowledgeable as Moog or Surreal I nonetheless agree with what they're saying. I tend to take my truck into the dealership for even minor possible issues right now, but that's because A) I'm in Afghanistan so actually my wife is taking it B) I and my family has a relationship with many of the people in the service department and I deal with specific people, and MOST IMPORTANTLY (C) it's still under warranty so I want my money's worth. Once it's out of warranty, A) will no longer apply and B) matters less to me when it comes down to cost. (Basically, that long relationship means I trust them to do the work correctly, not that I trust them to do it in the most cost-effective manner.)

    My truck also only has about a quarter of the mileage yours does. Once I get to the point you're at I'm hoping it's running well and I plan to give it to my son for his first car. At that point it's his problem. :)

    If it starts breaking before that point, I'll really have to decide whether to fix it or buy something else. We shall see...

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