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Finally, a good dealership experience!


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A number of months back, I had an oil leak develop. It started out slow, just a drop a week on my garage floor, but its a daily driver so that could not have been all it was losing.

I'm thinking "sh*t", 20k miles and I have a leak, the last thing I want to do is take it to the dealer. I'm one that does all the work myself but I am short some tools for certian jobs.

So during my next oil change, I had a look around. Maybe it was not leaking on the floor much because it was all over the bottom of my motor! I like to keep even the bottom side fairly clean and it was a mess!

After cleaning things up, it looked to be coming from the passenger side front, down low. I then ran some dye through it and tracked it down to the front cover, second bolt up from the oil pan, passenger side. Well if it is one bolt, maybe its a bit loose or it was not torqued properly. So I found the torque spec (I think it was 27 lb/ft) and put the wrench to the bolt and it moved ever so slightly before my wrench clicked, maybe that was it!! Well, it was good for about 3 weeks and it started leaking again. And after a bit of time, it got to about 2-3 drops overnight.

One tidbit of info I found when looking up the torque spec was what exactly was required to remove and replace the front cover gasket. Well the shop manual says in order to remove all of the accessories from the front of the engine in order to get access to the front cover, the engine needs to be dropped out of the car! This is out of my league because I dont have a lift so to the dealership if I want it taken care of, but will I get my car back the same is the big question, let the nightmares begin.

I figured that since the motor needs to be dropped and some of the suspension needs to come apart in order to get the motor out, might as well make lemonade and at least have TSB 9-24-16 (front LCA's) performed.

So, I made a apointment with the SVT tech at my local dealership, brought it in and asked the service writer if I could meet the mechanic and get the car on a lift to show the mechanic what I know up to this point to save him a little troubleshooting time. I told him I ran dye through it so he started to get out his blacklight and he could clearly see where it was coming from.

They said it would take about 10 days to do the gasket and the TSB, so I slid the mechanic a C-note and asked that he take care of my baby! Since its under warranty, its not gonna cost me anything and $100 bones is not much but a solid gesture and a little assurance to help me sleep while my car is away from home.

I stopped by about three days into the work to have a look. He managed to already replace the gasket, and without removing the motor!!! He just lifted it up just enough to get access. He told me that there was a slight pinch in the gasket that was causing the leak but just to make sure, he replaced the oilpan gasket as well. He then told me he F'ed up something. My heart sank a moment before he told me that he bumped a wrench into my radiator and showed me a small area of fins about the size of a dime that were folded over, somethong that could of been combed out, but he said he is going to replace it!!!! Cool, a fresh radiator!!

Here is a pic that I took that day, he just reinstalled the water pump, and steam cleaned the front cover, nice and new looking!


On the seventh day, I recieved the call that it was ready. WhooHooo!!

Went down to pick it up and go over it with a fine tooth comb. Oh yeah, my other request was also honored, Do Not Wash My Car!! If you have ever seen the water in the soap bucket at a dealership car wash, you would understand this request! So, everything was soild, no nicked wheels, no door dings, everything looked soild under the hood, oh wait, one thing, and its kinda my fault for not telling him. I forgot to mention the tight clearance for the JLT CAI and he had it installed where it was rubbing on the strut tower brace, and the test drive was enough to wear at it a bit, did not crack it but wore it almost through to the carbon. I think I will smear a bit of epoxy over the area to build it back up. Other than that, everything else is solid and everything feels great. I can tell that the new LCA's are there because the front is tightened up a bit but the new LCA's did not cure the popping sound I get when turning hard and going up a driveway, I think that noise is coming from my camber plates.

So, all in all, a very soild experience at the dealership, other than my bruised CAI, the oil leak is fixed and I got a new radiator and front LCA's out of it! The only thing I wish I had done was to have the IW balancer installed, but the pocket could not afford that right now.

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So, I did a fix to the bit of damage to the CAI, instead of putting some epoxy on like I stated earlier, I decided on something a little different.

After closer inspection, the damage was just on the surface and not down into the fibers so I thought that lightly sanding the "damage" would smooth the surface down, wait, why not lightly sand the entire piece and go for a flat, utility look? Why not! I lightly sanded it down and then shot it with clear satin finish for a nice uniform look, and I think it looks great! Unfortunately, it is tough to capture the look with a camara, I tried shooting it under different lighting but this is the best shot I came up with so far.




The "damaged" area is hiding behind the crossmember but it is 95% gone, I should have taken a before shot of the "damage".

The fiber is still clearly visible but the gloss is gone, just a nice clean satin finish that I think blends in with it surroundings better. I tend to like the look of things when they have a clean appearance, where one thing alone does not stand out and grab your attention, which I felt the CAI was doing, with the gloss look and the "JLT" on the rubber hoses, no offense to JLT, they make a fine product, I just like it better toned down a bit so I turned the rubber hoses around to hide the advertising and I think the overall look is much improved and more "clean"!

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Great story-glad to hear you were treated right. I have had great service from SanTan Ford in the Phoenix Arizona area to make a shameless plug. They did my tranny TSB and changed second gear even though it was serviceable-just because the car was close to new and we could see it had been grinding a little.

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I like that satin look, I would maybe buy a bunch of CF dressup stuff for the engine bay if it was a flatter finish... I don't want anything flashy under the hood really...



I agree, I love the look of carbon fiber but it tends to look a bit ricey and out of place as an add on piece, unless of course it was designed from the factory then it looks proper. A flat, satin finish helps blend the piece into its surroundings.

But I did have an idea that would be different. Since the color of my car, Alloy, and carbon fiber are a close match, I want to get a carbon radiator cover, have the satin silver stripes painted on, then have it all coated in clear satin. It would tie in with the exterior but the satin will tone it down and help it blend in and not take attention away from that beautiful engine!

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