Friday’s featured repair is air filter replacement on a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee, brought to us by a client from Richmond, BC.
Our featured 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee came in for several repairs: engine stalling, a maintenance tuneup and drivetrain fluid replacements. The air filter was not on the list, however during our tune up and complimentary inspections we found it incredibly dirty. This was surprising as this vehicle had just had a lube, oil and filter service done at the Jeep dealer a couple of weeks ago. It should have been changed then, or even at the previous service.
While an air filter replacement is not a particularly profound topic for auto service the fact that this very dirty one was not replaced during a routine maintenance service merits discussion. What prompted me to highlight this item is that this is the second dealer serviced vehicle we’ve seen in the past month with a hideously dirty air filter.
Air filter inspection and replacement is a very simple service on most vehicles, usually taking a minute or two to perform. True, some filters are very time consuming to inspect and beyond the scope of inclusion with a basic oil change service, but neither of these vehicles was in that category.
My perception, and I think this is widely held is that while dealer service is expensive it is the best quality. After all you are paying a premium for the manufacturer’s technician training and premium OEM parts.
Unfortunately as time passes I often see that it is not the best quality. Frequently corners are cut and you get less than you think you are getting.
Why is this? I think a lot has to do with the dealership business model and the fact that their technicians are paid on a flat rate basis. There is huge incentive for them to do the job as quickly as possible.
And this brings us to why the air filters may not be inspected: the technician gets paid no extra money to check it. It’s a shame that more don’t take pride in their work. Their dealership would make a slight extra bit of profit on selling an air filter and most importantly, you the customer would save money on fuel and benefit from the proper service that you are paying for.
For more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee click this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Grand_Cherokee
For more about what’s included in a tune up click here http://www.autotap.com/techlibrary/whats_a_tune-up_today.asp