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Friday, December 19, 2014

Servicing my Jeep

Servicing my Jeep
I own a 2007 two door Jeep Wrangler.  It has only 67,000 miles on it.  Last week, I brought it in to the dealer for regular service.  People will tell me that the car dealer’s service center will rip you off.  They will change the oil sooner than required as well as replace parts before they are worn.  People are probably correct.

I ignore these people because I want my car to last forever and run without leaving me stranded due to a broken belt, a leaky hose or a worn tire.  In the past I have been stranded because of all the above.  It is not fun.  In the past I could not afford the luxury of properly maintaining a car.  I ran my cars on a shoestring and duct tape.

I am not a wealthy man, but I can now afford to properly maintain my car and when I bought it seven years ago, I vowed to do so.  Last week’s service visit took over four hours and cost me more than my first car did fifty years ago.  It was less than $1000, but more than $986.  It was painful, and I left the dealer’s service center with a slight limp.  The car ran great.  

They did give me a free key chain. 

I moped a bit when I got home as I had not quite prepared myself for the financial blow I just took.  Within an hour, while still in mid-mope, I received a call from the Jeep dealer.

“Mr. Hagy, this is Larry from the Jeep dealer.  I am calling to tell you that now is the perfect time to turn your 2007 Wrangler for a new Jeep.  We can give you a great trade in and a sweetheart deal on a new Wrangler.”

Still reeling from my four hour expensive ordeal in the service center this morning, I was a bit peeved by this call.

“You have got to be shitting me!”

“Excuse me?”

“I just spent four hours and $987 servicing my Jeep and now you call me looking for a trade in?  Will my trade in include the $987 I just spent?  I’m guessing not!”

“Well, I was not aware you just had the car serviced, but we can offer an attractive trade in.”

“Look, I appreciate that, but the reason I allow you guys to rip me off on service is I expect to drive this car until they pry my license from my cold dead fingers.  If I decide to trade up, I’ll wait until my next check-up is going to cost me a grand, then maybe I’ll pay you a visit.”

“So is that a ‘not interested?’”          

“That is a ‘not interested’ with great prejudice!”

“Ok then, have a nice day.”

“Yeah, well that ship sailed 987 dollars ago.”

I’ll be alright, just give me a day or two.


  1. I feel your pain.
    Ol' Betsy, GS's '94 Mustang, has had some of those days at the dealer.
    OTOH, the Honda only needs new tires every five years or 60k miles.
    So I guess it's a wash.

  2. My 2005 Element needed some pricey maintenance this past year. Doesn't bother me in the least (now) as I plan to keep her for a long, long time.

    But yeah, I feel your pain.

  3. Bet it was timing belt time. Every car I've owned I've told "I'll take good care of you and you will take good care of me." Works like a charm.

  4. We do the same thing here. Hubby drives a Honda and I drive a Mercedes. No one has every worked on them except the Honda service people and the Mercedes service people. I do know that pain. My Mercedes is a 2002 E320 Sport and we just spent 5K in repairs on her. It was needed.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. Hiss and spit. Our last car was old enough to vote (and tired) when we traded her in. Each and every service of this car has cost several arms and legs. Probably worth it, but painful.

  6. ooh, bad timing on that call. :) i take ours back to the dealership for service, too - which is an hour's drive away.

  7. How long does it take to recuperate from spending $987 on your car?

  8. I got my 2012 Corolla last year. It has only needed one repair, and they didn't charge me!

  9. I wonder how little they would have offered you in a trade-in. You might consider finding a Jeep place instead of going to a dealership. Like a casino, dealerships are there to take your money.

  10. Now that I think about it, both my in-laws AND my parents bought new cars while getting their old cars serviced. They said, "The cost to repair the old car just wasn't worth it, so they gave us a great deal on the new." Granted, they sold the cars BEFORE doing the repairs, but I'm starting to think this is something dealers do. They just waited a little too long in your case! They should have said, "You can spend $986 on repairs OR we'll sell you one of these nice, shiny new cars."

    I just take my car to Jiffy Lube and hope for the best on the rest! So far it's worked out okay. Knock on wood.I used to have a lot of problems with cars back in the 80s and 90s but it seems they're made much better now than they used to be.

  11. We cannot win with these dealers.

  12. Good grief, 67000 miles is just properly broken in. What on earth did they do? I would be reeling also. My Toyota has 140,000 miles, is 10 years old and I have only had regular oil changes, new plugs at 90000 and a new battery a year or so ago. Still have great breaks, clutch and she purrs. Sure hope I didn't just jinx her.

  13. At least you still have your Jeep, in good working condition. Unlike the $1000 my husband tossed away at The Good Feet Store for shoe inserts. Which are now laying on top of his nightstand collecting dust.

    My aunt took her Lincoln in for an oil change, and left with a new car. AFTER she paid for the oil change.

  14. A number of years ago, I had an old Dodge Colt that needed a lot of (minor) repairs that I had held off with because money was tight. I mumbled something about getting a discount since it was so much...and after that, I got 15% off on every service and free oil changes. Now my husband always asks me to take the cars in...

  15. Routine maintenance is a must to keep your vehicle running for a long time, I also take mine to the dealership but have not run into these type of costs, my brother in law owns a Jeep and every time he goes into the dealership he drops at least a grand, but his jeep is running good and he has no problems.

  16. Servicing is expensive, but replacing parts at the very first signs of wear is much better than breaking down in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. and it will keep your jeep running well for much longer than many people keep their cars. Is there any chance of getting a discount for being a good and regular customer?

  17. Its always an "ouch" when we get the maintenance bill like this or a repair bill, but if we remember that the vehicle is paid off and we don't have monthly car payments, then it helps just a bit :) I have a 15 year old van with 90,000 miles on it; we were thinking of getting rid of it before we moved but then I realized, it still runs, granted I won't take it on a long trip, but it gets me around for the driving I do. Why would I want to trade that in for 48/60/72 months of car payments? So the new business hubby is working for is shipping the van; win/win here :)


  18. When it comes to car servicing you stick with who you trust and never mind what peoole say. HOWEVER... these dealerships are cunning. They reel you in with the first few services being fairly reasonable then start slugging you with big ones. I had the same situation with my last car. But what really annoyed me was the last time I went there, as I dropped off the keys I said "look, is this going to be another $700 service?" And the guy said "well, we can work something out" and they charged me $200 less! So not only was it still too much, but this indicated I'd been overpaying by at least $200 the last 3 times. Never went back after that. I kind of trusted them until then.


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