I have had nine radiators in 40 months for my 1999 Grand Cherokee Limited V8 and the dealer does not know why the radiators fail after 3 to 6 months but keeps replacing them without charge. This is insanity and I need an explanation.
The vehicle was in a wreck and the mounting points are no longer square. Radiators must “float” in there mounts and can not be under stress… OR…
The front support bulkhead that the radiator mounts to is cracked / broken / loose allowing the radiator to shake around…
The radiators are made of aluminum and plastic. Flimsy plastic at that. I think Caddyman hit the nail right on the head. It’s not the radiators…it’s your vehicle. Until the radiator support/mounts are made “square” then this will keep happening until the Cherokee is in the boneyard. Dealers generally do not have “mechanics” they have “technicians”. Technicians do not solve problems or repair vehicles…they simply replace parts in the hopes that the defect will go away.
How exactly are they failing?
My opinion is that lumping all dealers and dealer technicians into the same category is a seriously misguided idea to put it politely. I also consider your varying definition of auto repairmen to be way off base.
Replacing these radiators (the failure mode has not even been given) that many times is insanity but that’s IF the radiators have really been replaced that many times. Maybe they’ve never been replaced that many times and the OP is being given a song and dance that they have.
Some reasons for failure not related to what Caddyman stated could be:
Someone overlooking a radiator rubber mount and mounting the radiator in a solid fashion.
Broken engine mount. (should show up as a fractured hose fitting on the radiator)
Overtightened hose clamps leading to cracked or tweaked hose fittings.
The OP needs to clarify HOW these radiators are failing. What I’m having trouble with is the idea that this dealer would eat the cost of 8 radiators. Even auto parts houses like AutoZone will throw the towel in around Number Three.
As an ex-service manager/shop foreman the failure of No. 2 would have gotten my attention because the more the shop eats the more it affected my salary and bonus pay; much less repeating this process half a dozen more times.
We all have opinions. Your opinion is worth no more than mine. I have been all over the United States and have never been in a dealership service bay that impressed me. The technicians seemed like they just walked off the job at Mc’Donalds and had recently been hired as mechanics. That’s how I formed my opinion over the years. The fact that dealerships charge exhorbitant repair charges, throw parts at problems and have a terrible track record for repairs just furthers my case. Misguided, in my opinion, is your defense of the dealerships.
Yes, in what manner are they “failing” ?
This could tell us a lot.
Ford currently has a recall out due to the mounting rubbing into , and causing leaks for Esacapes.
Dealerships have good and bad mechanics just like any other repair facility. Many of the contributors on this site work or have worked at dealerships and it’s quite obvious they know their stuff. I’d say in many cases their higher rates are justified for a variety of reasons, one of which would be specialized training for a particular brand of vehicle. For most things an independent will work fine, but sometimes you need the expertise of a dealer. For you to insinuate all dealer mechanics are inept and do nothing but throw parts at issues is not only ignorant, but probably insulting to many here.
Taking a 1999 model to the dealer is a mistake in the first place. I know your stuck there now, but in the future use an independent mechanic. You can find some good recommended ones right here on the website.
I let the chips fall where they may. Putting the words “expertise” and “dealer” in the same sentence was a faux pas or your part. I know they are a lot of good professionals that once worked for dealerships…that’s a given. The problem is that dealerships only care about the bottom line and sacrifice proper maintenance and repair procedures because of it. One day your ignorance may go away and you will see the truth. We can only hope it’s sooner than later.