My 2004 Chevy Tahoe developed a radiator fluid leak that ended up in the cyclinder head assembly. I found a technical bulletin on this condition that says its caused by metal fatigue due to manufacture defect (Castech). The bulletin recommends that I replace the Cyclinder Head Assembly. When I took it to the Service Center at my local dealer, they charged me $3000 to replace the L& R Heads, Gaskets, and place the old valves in the new assembly. The dealer charged me $364 for a Gasket Kit. I’ve checked a number of autoparts stores including GM’s online store and I can’t find any gaskets that cost that much. Are they robbing me?
It actually sounds fair. A quick look at the Advance Auto site shows a head gasket set is 253 dollars and that’s aftermarket too.
The dealer price is normally higher and justifiably so. One can never compare parts prices at the dealer to prices from parts houses because their costs are not the same.
For instance. The Advance site shows 253 and while I don’t know their markup one can safely figure it’s at least doubled; and probably more than that actually.
The GM set is 384 and while I also don’t know GM’s price/markup policies I have been involved at dealerships with other makes of cars and parts pricing. My feeling is that the dealer cost on that set is probably around 250-275. That’s just wild guessing but you can see how the dealer cannot compete with the aftermarket as the price they pay for a part is as much or more than retail of the aftermarket one.
Many people have the perception that because a dealer is part of the factory network the factory is giving them parts on the cheap. That’s not the case at all; the factory hits them pretty good on the pricing.
What About The Head Prices ? You Did The Research. It Sounds Like You Are Stating, Not Asking.
You ask, “Are they robbing me?”
Switch words one and two, in the question above, switch the capital from “Are” to “They”, and change the question mark to an explanation mark.
In retrospect, there is one thing in your post that makes me curious. You state the dealer “placed the old valves in the new assembly”. I hope more was done than simply swapping the valves over from the old heads to the new.
The old valves must be reground and lapped in to fit exactly. If not, problems are going to surface in the near future and that’s guaranteed.
If the dealer does not have a valve grinding machine and someone who knows how to use it then it should be a contracted out item.
This should be shown as a sublet on your copy of the repair order.
And when the Dealer sells them back to the manufacture (as in warranty)