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2005 Dodge Dakota Laramie, 4 X 4, quad cab
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Are any on you knowledgeable on what dealers' service departments charges are? I am 70 yo and am unable to do the below work myself.
My truck is a 2005 Dodge Dakota Laramie, 4.7L V8, 4X4. Mileage 180,650. It is leaking/using 2 quarts oil/1000 miles. The work stated as necessary by the dealer service tech is as follows:

1) Replace leaking oil pan gasket
2) Replace leaking rear engine seal
3) Repair oil leak from timing cover
4) Replace water pump
5) Replace both map-light bulbs

I was told cost would be $5700. It seems high to me, but I have no idea. If any of you know what a professional mechanic would charge, what SHOULD the charges be?
Thank you in advance.
Kind regards, Paul
 

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2003 Dakota Sport, club cab, 3.9L V6, 5 speed manual
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It does sound high, but dealers get around $150/hour (or more) for labor. And this is a pretty labor intensive job(s).

To remove the oil pan, the front differential assembly has to at least be disconnected from the engine and moved out of the way, as does the steering rack. The FSM states that the engine must be raised to provide adequate clearance.

To replace the rear engine seal, the transmission/transfer case must be removed from the engine.

Timing cover is not too bad a job, and removing/replacing the water pump is necessary to get the timing cover off.

Be prepared to find that, with 180K on the truck, there are problems under the timing cover -- worn/broken timing chain guides and tensioners. There are three timing chains on this engine.

I'm not a professional mechanic, and have never done one of these jobs on the 4.7L engine. Perhaps someone who has experience with this engine can give you better guidance. I'm just pointing out that this is a big job, and will probably not be done in one day. And, I would bet that they find more stuff that needs to be repaired in the process.

So if the rest of your truck is in very good condition, you may want to invest this much.
 

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Yes it is high, but as oldmarine stated the hourly charge dealers get, and extensive work such as this, it does sound about right.

Now consider.....
How much oil can you buy with $5700?

How long do you plan to own the truck after repairs?

Do you know someone who can simply check to be sure it is not just loose bolts, and not the actual gasket?
Would slow down/stop the leak, just to snug up the bolts.

If you decide to get rid of the truck instead of fixing, will the next vehicle you buy need this much to be as good as this one can be, with $5700 invested in it?
In other words, you sell this one for ??, purchase another for ??. Are you ahead of the game, even, or worse off than before you started?

If the truck is everything you need/want, I would get at least 2-3 quotes, then go with the best quality for the money.....as your gut tells you to go.
 

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you might be better off getting a good used engine or factory rebuilt one and having a non dealer garage installing it for you. a lot of these smaller garages do good work for a lot cheaper hourly rate. just a caution because this once happened to me on a ford granada that had a rear main seal leaking. the oil got back on the cataitlic converter and it caught fire going down the road, luckily i noticed it and was able to get it put out with some difficulty.. (water won't work on an oil fire) whatever you decide good luck and be careful!
 

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My Suggestion;
1) Get another opinion. Find a mom and pop shop and get another estimate. If you are going to spend any more than a thousand get 3 opinions and estimates. If they charge for the estimate move on to another shop. Typically unless its electrical in nature much of the estimates are not overly time consuming and if they want the work they will do the estimates as its a cost of business.

2) It appears the description they do not know where the leak is and its probably a mess and they honestly do not want to mess with it. Not to mention its a dealer and they are in business to sell vehicles.

Keep in mind a engine with 180,000 may be half done or be done the drive out of your driveway. I do not condone just keep adding oil mentality. Oil is 4 dollars a quart in my neck of the woods, not to mention the mess it makes (ecologically and on the rest of your truck). Also no one ever keeps up/catches the oil refills necessary. So more damage will be done. While I do agree with the previous post you can sure the hell by a lot of oil for $5700.

3) A rebuilt engine from a reputable shop is probably close to the $5700 mark. Honestly I have swapped way more than my share of engines over the years (3 cylinders to 8 cylinders - my average commute is 100 miles a day and I have been doing this for 25+ years) and honestly in a truck or Van it is usually easier than smaller vehicles.

Keep in mind I have bought engines with 3 years unlimited mileage for around $2500 from ATK engines. Actually I bought a 3 cylinder motor from them for $1700 but that was for a Metro and its been almost 20 years ago. I have heard Jasper can be hit or miss. If you go the rebuild engine route look at reputable places (Napa, Autozone, ATK, or Advance Auto) to get a idea of engine prices. I do this for my transmission replacements as well. Why pay a place to rebuild your old one for $2800 (1 year warranty) when you can get a 3 year Warranty one from Autozone?

This price check will get you a stepping stone to know what the motor cost and then labor can be worked out. Sometimes through suggested places by the engine rebuilder Or a Mom and pop place.

I will say one thing on rebuilds make sure your body of the vehicle is worth the cost and that you will get your mileage out of them. Also you see yourself in that vehicle a while. I had one engine I ended up ripping out of the vehicle later cause it only had 80 K on it when the rest of the vehicle was eaten up by Rust (NW Ohio). I got close to a grand out of the engine/transmission and the pullout I did when I was about 10 years younger than I am now.

Another thing to consider...If the costs are around that point what other vehicle can you get for the same cost?

With the economy going to crap, but still cars are low in supply (driving up cost), there will be a time when the supply will be up there again and economy will still be crap and vehicles will be more reasonable. At least that is what the fed tells us about supply and demand.

Good Luck!
Chris
 

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Too much money go to a local mechanic. I would try to determine where the leak is as well, hoping I can do this when I am 70. I have heard leaks occurred when dealers strip oil pan plugs and not tightening the oil filter. This is why I do my own maintenance.
 
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