I live about 20 minutes from the closest Jeep dealership. On a weekday, it's not so convenient to coordinate rides to drop off a vehicle for repairs in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon, given time away from work and a busy, pre-NADA Show schedule.
For the better part of a year, I'd been talking to dealers about their new contactless procedures and had decided that when I was ready to take my 2011 Jeep Liberty in for service, I would try pickup and drop-off. I finally decided to address a check-engine light and related emissions issue this month after a jagged crack showed up on my windshield. Best to address all the maintenance at once, I thought.
I scheduled my service appointment on the dealership's website and later needed to push it back by a couple of days to accommodate the windshield replacement in my driveway coordinated through my insurer with Safelite AutoGlass. A service adviser called me to confirm that I wanted pickup and drop-off service. My online scheduling change didn't replace the original date I'd selected, so the phone call served as a good backstop to confirm the correct day. The dealership showed up first thing in the morning and drove off using the key I left on the dashboard so the exchange could stay contactless.
I received multiple text message updates from the dealership throughout the day, including a video walkaround to show me the repair issues and an invoice with buttons to accept or decline service. It was helpful to see the problem highlighted by someone with a mechanical eye. The service adviser also called to talk through any questions I had about the work and pricing.
The bill came to more than $900 for a rusted filler tube and a faulty tire sensor, which was more than I was prepared to spend that day. I declined the service, and the dealership returned my vehicle, spraying it with sanitizer in my driveway.
But before saying no, I asked the dealership what the Liberty might otherwise be worth, given the likelihood of future big-ticket fixes on a 10-year-old vehicle. More on that soon.