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Old 06-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I have seen cars where the only way to replace that belt is to dis-mount the motor.

My observation and theory.

I used to own an older (70's) ford, and my Girlfriend (past, not one I married) an Olds of about the same vintage. In both cases it became necessary to replace/rebuild the heater core.

The procedure (Book says to drain the coolilng system, we don't do that, Just clamp off hoses).

Clamp off and remove heater hoses, connect to each other with bypass pipe (Short Iron pipe nipple).

Remove about a dozen screws, lift lid, lift pad, lift core use car to take core to rebuild place.

Re-install is reverse procedure only add a quart or so of coolant when done to replace what was lost.

That was too easy, so they fired the engineer who designed it and hired a new kid that came up with a better way.

Today's method.

Evacuate the air conditioner, Disconnect lines at fire wall and seal off.

Dissassemble the dash (At least half of it)

Drain cooling system (Ok we still clamp hoses). remove hoses from heater.

Slide air conditioner evaporator out on it's rails and lift heater core out from behind it.

See, much better, turned a 15 minute job into two hours.
Two hours? Don't I wish. Last year had the heater core replaced on my 1985 Nissan pickup. 8 shop hours! I looked at it when it was taken apart. All of the dash was taken out. And I do mean all. I am surprised that they only charged 8 hours.

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #16
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I have learned some lessons here. Certianly, if I know my belt is bad or my hoses are bad, I can do some things, like making the motor (rear radiator type) easier to access, by removing things in the closet. However, I had just asked them to "check the belts & hoses". I really had no idea anything was wrong. You are right, I think they should have called me before they started the job. My bad. You can bet that I will make it clear that they are to give me an estimate first.

When I was younger, I would have climbed all over the engine and even replaced the belt myself. However, I no longer do the heavy stuff. Not to mention that my motor knowledge does not extend to diesels. I won't even attempt to change the filters, etc. I tried once. Lost the prime and had to call a company to come to the house and start my engine....no more.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
Precious few accept responsibility for their OWN actions - or preparations for doing a job, and expect the shop managers or workers to wet-nurse US thru the project. And exactly WHAT is that workman supposed to be DOING, while the shop manager calls the customer, then WAITS for them to arrive - then wait more - at the SHOPS expense - as the RV owner then does what they SHOULD have anticipated and done BEFORE bringing the rig in for repair?

What would YOU do as a shop owner - just smile as that mechanic stood an hour or more, on SHOP time, waiting for the customer?

I seriously doubt it...
I'd have them working on other customer's vehicles.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:03 PM   #18
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I'd have them working on other customer's vehicles.
+1 It happens all the time in our shop .. techs switch jobs when waiting on warranty approvals, customer approvals, a part not in stock, ect. ect. ect. .. No biggie. The shop should have called and told you, that when they CHECKED the systems you asked them to CHECK, more repairs were needed, and the cost to perform those repairs. That is a common in any repair service.

I had hail damage on the roof of my house, and asked a roofing contractor to come CHECK it to verify the damage and what would be needed to repair it. I would have been upset if I came home to find the contractor replaced the roof, without my approval, when I asked them to CHECK it. Just my opinion
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #19
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I'd have them working on other customer's vehicles.
AH - sounds SOOOooo neat - in THEORY!

BUT, after finishing the authorized work, it's time to check the belts and hoses - but since the primary access is blocked, need to "call the customer for approval, or wait for HIM to unblock access"...


SO, all other stuff required needs to be put BACK in place so the MH can be safely and properly removed from the work bay - and the one NEXT in line brought in to work on while waiting for the customer on the first one....

UNFORTUNATELY, the NEXT repair is to remove, overhaul, and replace the transmission... SO, do you START tearing into that next job, and place the "belt and hoses" job at the end of the line - which will MOST CERTAINLY tick off the customer - OR, when the customer DOES finally arrive and authorize the hose and belt job, put the transmission job back together enough to move IT back out of the bay, and the belt and hose job back in again?

Yeah - it's SUCH a snap to juggle jobs around on large rigs, while playing musical chairs waiting for customers!

Believe me, as a production manager in situations EXACTLY like this, it is NOT cheap, or simple, to wait for a customer's approval or inspection of work in progress - NOR can a production shop AFFORD to "eat" many such delays and stay in business in a competitive world...
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #20
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It took you a whole page to come up with hypothetical situations? I'm sure there would be no minor jobs the techs could be doing, so you're right.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
Believe me, as a production manager in situations EXACTLY like this, it is NOT cheap, or simple, to wait for a customer's approval or inspection of work in progress - NOR can a production shop AFFORD to "eat" many such delays and stay in business in a competitive world...
Not sure about a "production manager" but my dad was a service manager for various auto repair shops for over 20 years, and that is exactly what they do. They don't "put it back together" to move it! That is why they have multiple bays and tow dollys that lift the end of the vehicle, they just throw all the pieces in the vehicle and dolly it out. What do you think they do when they have to wait for parts? Just stand around? There really aren't that many repairs that keep the vehicle from being moved ... as long as one axle has wheels, the other can be dollied.

It is VERY standard procedure for anyone dropping off a vehicle, whether auto or RV, to put an expected repair cost cap, requesting a call for approval of anything over. That is another reason all repair shops have a fenced, secure area, to store the vehicles. It may sit a few days before approval is received to continue the repair, especially if you are arguing with someone else over insurance or warranty coverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97windsor
...+1 It happens all the time in our shop .. techs switch jobs when waiting on warranty approvals, customer approvals, a part not in stock, ect. ect. ect. .. No biggie. The shop should have called and told you, that when they CHECKED the systems you asked them to CHECK, more repairs were needed, and the cost to perform those repairs. That is a common in any repair service.

Many states, like here in Florida, even allow you to refuse to pay the overage if a repair shop completes unauthorized repairs. I don't know how long ago this occurred, but if you paid for it on a charge card, you can dispute the charges for up to two years.

Sorry, Gripper - it's a tough lesson, and a good reminder to all of us to ALWAYS put a written limit, not just verbal, on even what might seem to be a simple repair. Ask them approx. how much, then write it on the work order, with a call required to authorize anything more.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #22
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It took 3 months to fix my blown V10. Most of it was waiting for insurance approval. One time when I went to pick up something from my MH, the tech was working on someone else's generator when it was clear there was work that could be done on mine.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #23
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I knew the mechanics were going to need access to my engine under the bed. Cleared everything out including the mattress and covered the carpet with that stick on carpet plastic. The mechanic said oh good, no mattress to work around and mess with, thank you.

I figured it was a pain to do. Of course if we lived in a motorhome full time that could be tough unloading things into your tow vehicle,
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:46 PM   #24
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Also be thankful they did not track grease an dirt all the way throught the coach when they worked on it. I had oil changed and when I picked it up they had tracked dirt and oil on the carpet on the entrance steps. When I asked them about the issue standard answer "it was there when we got the coach". Got the owner involved and their tune changed.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:50 PM   #25
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Tech got light oil stains on my carpet. They shampoo'd the whole carpet, and I didn't even have to ask. Had to wait an extra day for it to dry before they could pull the slide in.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #26
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I bought a roll of that plastic sticky back carpet protector, takes 2 people to put it down, but I put it on all the carpet when I take it in.

I hope to change to allure or laminate in the near future. So much easier to keep clean.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #27
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Last year on a trip from NJ to NC my serpentine belt shredded near Washington DC. Techs came out to my rig, which I had quickly pulled over into a rest area. After determining which belt I need The discovered the closest one to us was in Baltimore. Tech drove there and back about 1 1/2 hrs and replaced my belt in about 20 minutes. $200 dollars later I was on my way. I feel lucky to have found a fair and honest repair facility.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:51 PM   #28
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Yesterday, I took my motorhome ('05 Fleetwood Providence), to the "Cat" , diesel shop, for service. In addition to the oil & filter changes, lubrication, etc., I ask them to check my engine belts and hoses, as they are the original equipment. I am planning a long trip and I don't want any probelms or surprises.

Today, I went to pick it up and got a bill for $837.60 (including taxes). Well, I was shocked! However, they told me that even though a new "serpintine belt", was only $52.58, the labor was $345.00! Then they explained that the mechanic had to go into my closet, remove clothes, shoes and two dining chairs (extra chairs, stored in the closet) and then pull up the closet floor, in order for the mechanic, to get at the belt. Since their labor charges are $115.00 and hour, it took them 3 hours to do the job.

Of course, I was somewhat upset at the total price, but I totally understand their problems when working on a motorhome, as opposed to diesel trucks, with the easy accessed engines. Plus, I am happy to know that I shouldn't have a broken belt, while on the road. Mind you, I'm not complaining about the company or the work...I'm just amazed at the costs of being an RV'er. With a $200 diesel fuel bill, today, I spent over $1,000 on the RV. And I haven't even started my trip!
I think the shop ripped you off. I have always carried a spare belt. At 60,000 the original broke and I was out in bofunk on a week end. Never having done the change, I called a parts house (no Cat dealer was open)and they told me how to back off the tensioner. My wife held the belt on the top pulleys in the bedroom and I did the bottom. Yes it took us an hour to do a 15 minute job and we have a rear radiator. Not bad for a 69 year old. I don't agree with all the comments about the mechanic waiting. Common customer service dictates a call and you should have got one. Belt install 15 minutes, clean closet 3 hours???
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