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Where to Take

 
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Old 11 Nov 2013, 04:46 am
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Where to Take

I've always done my own tune ups on my cars in the past so I've never taken them to a shop for anything routine. None of my previous cars have ever had a timing belt though. From what I've read on here and other sites the timing belt is not a job I feel comfortable undertaking on my own. I've talked to a few friends and that's where my delima starts. Some of them tell me I should take it
to the local Chrysler dealer to have the timing belt replaced and others tell me I should take it to an independent shop.

There is 1 local shop I have used in the past for my other cars when they needed something major done and I was satisfied with the work they did. I went down there the other day to get a quote on the timing belt and water pump and other maintainance that needed to be done and they didn't seem to enthusastic about doing the job. Anyway they quoted me ~$1300 for the 102,000 mile tune up. On the other hand the Chrysler dealer quoted me $900 and they also had a few additional things they suggested to replace at the same time (thermostat being the main one I remember).

I've heard horror stories of dealers ripping people off before and since I've never taken a car to a dealer for service thats new territory for me.

So now I'm stuck trying to decide where I should have the work done on the car. Any suggestions and help would be greatly apprecieated.
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Old 11 Nov 2013, 05:14 am
cruserdad1976's Avatar
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Default Re: Where to Take

well all i woudl say is
Get a WRITTEN WARENTEE or Guarentee or what ever its called that spells it out in writting that
1 What they are going to do exactally---Water pump Tensioner Timing Belt
2> In writting that if the car does nto run 100% right they will ahve to fix it at THERE COST---if the timing belt is 1 tooth off the car will not be right and to redo the Timing belt is as hard as doing it the first time

$900 is a pretty good price for the job espically at a dealer

Nitro would say make sure they have a Certified Mech with a up to date card and On this I agree

If you feel the shop is dependable go there but since the dealer is cheaper this time they get my vote

Remember 1 tooth off is so easy to do and such a pain to redo
and they will try to tell you HEy we did it right we know what we are doing but if it isnt right they missed it and nit wont be right till some one redoes it
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Old 11 Nov 2013, 09:13 am
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Default Re: Where to Take

For both places, be sure quote covers motor mounts (they are usually shot) - thermostat, and the accessory belts (might as well while you're in there) as well as idler and tensioner pulleys.
The shop probably wasn't enthusiastic, because it is a real pain to do....
If the dealer warranties their work (most give a year) and they're cheaper, go with them....
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Old 11 Nov 2013, 09:40 am
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Default Re: Where to Take

I don't have a lot of respect when someone that I am supposed to trust prices me out on work. Can't pick and chose. So like the rest the dealer gets the nod. Or shop some more. Got to be more than one independent. Good idea to get exactly what is to be done for the money. Apples and apples.
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Old 11 Nov 2013, 09:56 am
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Default Re: Where to Take

Talk with the service manager or owner of the shop and ask about previous history with PT Cruisers ,Neons or SRT4 and them doing timing belt changes. You can get an idea from what they tell you their experience with them. It is not a difficult job for a normal "mechanic" Technician would be better. Most shop will guarantee there work for a short period of time so that is not so much a worry. The parts are going to work or not withing 30/60 anyway. Motor mounts are not considered part of the procedure but should be specifically mentioned. Also you might want to ask for an evaluation on other parts while there. So many think that shops do this, THEY DON"T so ask. I often see someone cry because something failed shortly after a procedure and they felt the shop should have seen it ! You did not pay for it and if you don't ask don't blame the shop. I don't look for nails in your tires when I am changing a thermostats!
Like a doctors examination you should ask as many question as you can think of, if the person get inpatient with you for the question that may be a sign to move on. A good shop understands that you don't and that is why you are talking to them. Better shops want your recommendation and return patronage.
Oh if you have a budget let them know up front but don't cut corners with procedures or parts. Most shops supply the parts they choose so that means manufactured from every you can think of. Let them!!!!!! They know what works and what they can get warrantied should something fail. If you bring them your own parts they will not cover the warranty and may not cover the labor should a part fail premature. READ the complete work order BEFORE you sign. If you don't understand something or if there was something talked about doing not on the work order ASK! Don't sign it.
ALWAYS ALWAYS go for a test drive with the shops employee before you pay and except the work. You know your PT better then they do. You will know if something is not right. I always take my customers on a short drive which include a short HWY drive. I also show them my work and talk about it a little with them for reassurance.

Good Luck with your venture!
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