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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sorry for a wasted and lengthy post, but I would like some insight on a petty..... "conflict" my stepfather and I are having.

I scheduled a dealer appointment for next weekend. I got TONS of coupons today, and wanted to have the following services done:

Replace and change the following:

Oil + filter (have coupon for $24)
Tire rotation (have coupon for $9)
Engine air cleaner filter
Spark plugs
Timing belt
Flush and refill engine coolant


Inspect the following components:

Brake linings (Have coupon for complimentary inspection)
Exhaust system (Have coupon for complimentary inspection)
Front suspension, tie rod ends and boot seals (Have coupon for complimentary inspection)
Generic "Multi-point inspection" (Have coupon for complimentary inspection)
Rear Axle fluid (Have coupon for complimentary inspection)


Chrysler recommends that you change the timing belt at 102,000 miles and flush the engine coolant at 100,000 miles. The spark plugs show needing replacement, as more frequently than not, the Challenger takes a fort night to crank over, and will occasionally stall on start-up.

If I have coupons for free inspections, all I'm paying for is the coolant flush, timing belt, plugs, filter, and the regular oil change/tire rotation.

Oil change: $24
Tire rotation: $9
Air cleaner filt: $20
Spark plugs: $30
Timing belt: $102
Coolant flush: $70

TOTAL BEFORE LABOR: $255.

Estimated labor: 4 hours ???

Local dealer charges about $30/hr. for labor (I think it's a bit lower, not sure, but let's stick with a higher estimate to be safe)

GRAND TOTAL WITH TAX: $399.38.


Now, my problem: My step-dad (who thinks he knows everything about cars) says that Chrysler recommending to change the timing belt at 102k is a BLATANT RIP OFF, and you DON'T change it until you know it's faulty. You don't need to EVER flush your coolant, just top it off. You never need to rotate your tires, it does nothing. Spark plugs don't need changed yet, even though the damn thing takes a fort night to crank over.


I'm getting all the inspections done, he finally agreed to it after seeing the coupons showing they're complimentary.

However, he says to ONLY change the oil, and he won't pay a dime for anything else.

I'm trusting you all because you know your Challengers and how they like being treated, and to seek advice from people with deeper experience with these vehicles, heck, some of you may even be ASE certified.


The Challenger has 98,000 miles. Technically, the coolant/timing belt can be pushed off for 4,000 miles. But with the amount this car is driven, it'll hit 102k within a month. Doing it now and getting it over with won't hurt.

IMHO, I think Chrysler is only going to recommend what needs to be done to keep it running like new. Plus, my biological father and my grandfather (ASE certified, has been a mechanic for nearly 60 years now) taught me the motto of "Take care of your car, and your car will take care of you."

I feel that following the recommended intervals won't hurt anything, it can only prevent something bad from happening because Joe Shmoe didn't change his timing belt like Chrysler recommended, and it breaks while he's doing 70+ mph down a packed expressway and does major damage.

So, should I do everything I planned and Chrysler recommends?
 

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1. Sounds like you want HIM to pay for your car. If true, it's no wonder he doesn't want to pay. 2. Yes. Do all of the servicing mentioned. 3. Pay for it yourself. Why should he? Are you "entitled?"


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A dealership charging $30 a hour for labor? Its like $90 in Columbus.

I thought Challengers had timing chains not belts?

I would do all of that stuff if it were me honestly. There are a few folks on here with mechanic backgrounds that say the spark plug change is the best thing you can do to solve starting and rough idling issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
1. Sounds like you want HIM to pay for your car. If true, it's no wonder he doesn't want to pay. 2. Yes. Do all of the servicing mentioned. 3. Pay for it yourself. Why should he? Are you "entitled?"


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Because the car is his and I'm only 16. It's not "my car" for a little while longer. So yeah, I think that is a form of "entitlement."

It's his car, I just help him maintain the thing so I have a decent car when it's mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A dealership charging $30 a hour for labor? Its like $90 in Columbus.

I thought Challengers had timing chains not belts?

I would do all of that stuff if it were me honestly. There are a few folks on here with mechanic backgrounds that say the spark plug change is the best thing you can do to solve starting and rough idling issues.
The dealer I go to in Toledo is crazy cheap. Plus I think we get a little discount cause my step-dad works at Toledo North Assembly and is a Chrysler Group employee.

HEMI-equipped Challenger's have timing chains - the V6 models have belts.
 

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Sounds like your step dad is a "run it til it quits" kinda guy which is beyond stupid. IMHO I'd go with what Chrysler recommends, after all I'd think their engineers have a better idea of what needs to be done and when instead of the average Joe who only just barely knows how to add gas.

100k is about average for timing chain. If it had an actual belt you be replacing that every 60k.

100k seems reasonable for a coolant change. Coolant does degrade over time and cooling system components can corrode. Not changing coolant can actually shorten water pump and radiator life.

Plugs really should be done every 30-60k depending on electrode material. If you are having that much trouble starting then it's beyond time to change them.

You've got the right idea OP, sounds like your step dad is being a bit ignorant about the whole thing.


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Agreed, I would expect at least $60/hr for normal dealer labor. I will be very surprised if you get charged $30/hr.

Preventative maintenance isn't a bad thing. True, in some cases you may be replacing a perfectly good belt. In others, you may be avoiding getting broken down on the side of the road because your belt failed. Follow the recommendations in the owners manual, no more no less, and you'll be pretty good. Don't let the dealer talk you into a bunch of additional work as result of those complimentary inspections.

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You don't want to F around with a timing belt. When they say it's time to change it, you change it. If that thing happens to go, it could total your engine.
 

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All of the services are routine preventive maintenance. Do it if you want the car to last longer and be as reliable as possible. Don't if you want the car to break down and become unreliable.

I change oil about every 3k, coolant at 36k, serpentine belt, tranny and rear at 48k, and plugs at 60 (recommended at 100) air filter at 18k. I drive it hard but I take care of it
 

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You've got the right idea OP, sounds like your step dad is being a bit ignorant about the whole thing.

A bit ignorant is an under statement IMHO. Rotating tires for one, He says it does nothing...Oh but it does. Proper tire care IMO is one of the most important aspects of car care. Take care of your tires. It's literally where the rubber meets the road. You don't want them to wear unevenly causing a blow out and in the worst case scenario a wreck.

Then there is the timing belt/chain, how do you "know" it faulty??? When it breaks causing catastrophic engine failure. Yeah I'd go with Dodge on that one too.

Spark plugs. Well let's see. Engine is hard to crank and runs like shit. But it's not the fault of the spark plug, the thing that actually causes the controlled explosions that cause an internal combustion engine to function. Really???

Look man, if the old man is paying. You kinda gotta do what he says I guess. But like a few others have said. If you have the money, pay for it yourself. If you can't, well then don't get it done. When you miss curfew because the valves kissed the pistons when the belt broke. Well, then you can tell your step dad...I TOLD YOU SO. :icon_evil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, fun fact for those still in this thread: last oil change was (according to my step-dad) done nearly 30,000 miles ago. :disgust:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to everybody chiming in on this thread.

I'm just trying to make sure I'm not the only one in the world who thinks that there's nothing wrong with doing maintenance on a schedule that's been provided by the very company who crafted everything in the vehicle, knows every spec, every detail and what an item's lifespan is. :werd:
 

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also, fun fact for those still in this thread: Last oil change was (according to my step-dad) done nearly 30,000 miles ago. :disgust:


best way to destroy a camshaft?..................extend oil drain intervals.
 

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It's his car, do what he says. Then when it breaks down, hand him the keys. And if he hasn't changed the oil in 30k miles, I wouldn't want that car passed down to me.
As long as you live under his roof, you'll have to obey his rules. As crazy as it is.
Get a job, save some money and buy your own car.
Rather than being dependent, you must work towards being independent.
I don't like to be given things. I rather work for it.


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I would do the timing belt , and while they are doing it replace the water pump and tensioner. Have heard many times after a new belt is installed the added tension puts a strain on the old water pump shaft and it starts to leak. While the front cover is off do the pump , you sure don't want to have to do it all over again if the water pump goes bad As for spark plugs they are probably ok but the issue is the plugs seizing in the head. Sure they say the plugs will last longer miles but you sure don't want to snap a plug off in the head.
 

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We had a PT Cruiser.It is recommended that the timing belt be changed at 90k.They weren't BS,ing.At 94K it broke.
We were lucky and only had to replace the head and not the engine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We had a PT Cruiser.It is recommended that the timing belt be changed at 90k.They weren't BS,ing.At 94K it broke.
We were lucky and only had to replace the head and not the engine!
Dang, how much of a dent did that put in your wallet?
 
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