For various reasons, not the least being the long, wet and cold winter, it’s months since Sharon and I got the Triton off the bitumen but the odometer keeps rolling on and the 90,000 km service is now due. Unfortunately the “fixed cost service” period is over and I got quite a shock when the Mitsubishi dealer quoted $1250! “It’s a big one I’m afraid, the valves need adjusting” I was regretfully told.
“Oh” I said, “I’d like to think about that before I book it in.” The salesman actually followed me to the Triton as I was leaving, “Is that too much?“ He suggested that he probably could reduce the cost and I assured him that I’d take that offer up when I came back.
Now that I realised the fixed cost period was up I decided to go elsewhere for a competitive quote. We had signed-up to a scheme with a mechanical franchise to save money on our car services so I went there as they had been OK on the one occasion they’d done the Magna.
Once the mechanic had identified the correct model of Triton on the internet, the first thing he said was “We can’t do the valve adjustment!” But he added that it looked like it was optional anyway. He quoted $950 for this major service and we had $160 available to deduct from that on the pre-paid scheme.
I was now looking at a reduction of $460 on the Mitsubishi quote which was pretty compelling in itself but I was faced with the dilemma of not knowing the consequences to the engine of not adjusting the valves and not going to a genuine Mitsubishi workshop.
It was time to do a bit of research — the Triton service booklet had the valve adjustment scheduled for every 30,000 km and according to my records this had actually been done twice already, most recently only 15,000 km earlier (a couple of my services been done a bit late with the 60,000 happening at 75,000 km).
I also started to consult a few others starting with a guy I work with who is a former test mechanic for Jaguar back in the Old County; his opinion was that the worst that could happen was reduced fuel efficiency due to the increased valve height. I also contacted the Club’s Technical Officer and questioned my fellow members at the most recent Club committee meeting.
The consensus was that no harm would come to the engine, fuel consumption may increase (I haven’t detected any increase) and that the engine may sound a bit noisier. Someone commented that the valves can be adjusted too close and also that some diesel owners don’t get their valves adjusted, period.
Back at the Mitsubishi service centre I asked “How much is that 90,000 km service without valve adjustment?” No one was quite sure how to work that out but we eventually shook hands on $850, including a free loan car for the day! As I prefer to take the Triton to Mitsubishi I booked it in reasonably “happy” having saved $400. I was prepared to spend a few extra dollars to have the service done by Mitsubishi.
Of course I’m still not 100% certain I’ve done the right thing but at least I feel better about having made a conscious decision about who does what to my vehicle — just paying what they ask and leaving it up to others is often the easier option.
I know that many of our members are very mechanically minded but I’m sure there are others like me that aren’t particularly — if you do need help with technical and mechanical issues please take advantage of the Club’s Technical Adviser and of the wealth of knowledge that many other members of the Club have and are only too willing to share.