View Full Version : Transmission service, general service at Charlie's Dodge

Don Horner
01-03-2008, 06:03 PM
Doktor A and I managed to hijack a perfectly good thread about transmission problems as 2we discussed my tranny service, so I decided it would be better to start a new thread with the dealer report.

Charlie's Dodge in Fort Pierce, FL has been a good dealership for many years. I bought a Dakota pickup there in '95 and always had excellent service during the 10 years I owned that truck. However, they did not sell or service Sprinters until they moved into their new facility about 8 months ago. I had previously taken my Sprinter to Sunset Dodge in Sarasota, FL, because it was near the RV dealer which handles my Leisure Travel conversion, but that's a 300 mile round trip! When I saw that Charlies was now selling '08 Sprinters, I stopped in and asked if they serviced older models. They were happy to do so, and said they had one experienced and trained Sprinter tech and were hiring another just out of "Sprinter School". I was due for 30,000 mile service, so I made an appointment.

Their service schedule for Sprinters is at 6,000 mile intervals and includes some extra services not mentioned in the Sprinter manual, but that is purely a money making ploy. They acknowledge that the factory recommendation is 10K mile intervals and will perform what ever service you want.

The Diesel oil change, filter and chassis lube was $79.95 including $24.04 for the filter. I don't know what oil they used. They also strongly recommended changing the fuel filter, which cost $129.95 including $58.57 for the filter.

I raised the question of the transmission problems (outlined in another thread), and they agreed it was caused by low fluid. They replaced the electrical connector causing the leak under warranty, then they did a complete fluid change, priced at $269.95 including filter for $38.72, gasket for $!7.76, fluid for $107.10 (they said they used 7 quarts) and labor at $106.37.

I also had a problem with tires that were cupped and very noisy. They rotated and balanced the tires for $39.95 and did an alignment for $79.95.

The total of everything including $10 for shop supplies was $609.75 plus $39.63 tax, for a total of $649.38. Because my bill was estimated to be over $500, they provided a free rental car from Enterprise, for which they paid $25 (contract price).

With the exception of the confusion over how best to handle the transmission fluid change, they were professional and efficient. The fluid change worked out exactly as I hoped, and the techs passed the word back through the service writer that they appreciated Doktor A's writeup of the fluid change procedure (I printed it out and took it to them).

The prices in general seem to be in line with, or even more reasonable, than other dealers. I consider some of the to be slightly high, like the $80 alignment, but overall I'm satisfied that I was not grossly overcharged.

While they had several older trades Sprinters in for service, mine was the first RV conversion they had seen, and the first of any type with the MB badging and grill. They got a kick out of it.

The new facilities are fantastic. The waiting area has a variety of seating, tables, a children's play room, and a long counter with free WiFi hotspot and several phones.