So, yesterday I get to take our truck to the shop. Nothing, major, just a bunch of little things. It is nearing 100K miles and the engine warranty will run out. I wanted the dealer to check it out during the normal oil change, with a parking brake issue, and there was a recall on a steering part in the front end.
As always, I have 3 kids in tow. I drove 2 hours to get to this dealer, and had my wonderful mom meet me to pick us up. I get there and the "Service Advisor" hurries to check me in. As I am trying to explain the front end issues and the recall, he lets me know "that he's seen this in over heavy duty trucks, like 2500's." "You'll need some serious front end work done, not just the U-Joints in your front hubs. You'll need a new pitman arm and some steering parts to make it stable."
Hmmmm, so you glance under my truck, say I don't need the recall part, even though the dealer sent me a card with my VIN number on it that says it does. And then you can tell me that I'll need $2500- $3000 worth of work on my front end? INTERESTING, since I had my front end looked at twice in the last month by 2 different shops. Once when I had the clutch bearings replaced before Thanksgiving. I asked him if the front end looked good & he saw anything else that needed done. He told me that my U-Joints were the noise that Honey had heard & they would need replaced in the next month or so. Good deal. When I had new front tires installed, I asked the service man at Goobs to check out the ball joints & steering, because I still noticed shaking when I hit a bump. Goob's man said it all looked good! He did also mention the U-Joints were going to need replaced, but that was the only thing he could see.
Interesting. The dealer guy, Dennis, called me 2 hours, and asked "WHERE ARE YOU??". (take a deep breath) I'm at my parents, like I told you, I was going to have someone come pick me up. "Oh, thats right, you did tell me that." "I was going to have you look at the underside of this truck. It has some SERIOUS problems!" (DEEEP breath) "You are going to need to replace the upper and lower ball joints and the pitman arm like I told you. And the technician says that if you don't replace them soon you're going to need a NEW AXLE" IN.ter.EST.ing. I take a deep breath. The repair total had escalated to over $3000.
I told him I didn't know what to say. I told him that it was interesting that two different people had looked at the underside of my truck and did not see that any of these things were wrong. "Well, they weren't trained Dodge Mechanics, and they weren't inspecting the steering system" (REALLY Deep breath) "You know, this is amazing, you diagnosed all of these problems with a glance under the truck, that no one else had seen in the past month," I said. He again disagreed with me that anyone qualified had looked at the front end. (WOW, you don't have to be a "DODGE" man to tell if the ball joints are bad). I told him that I was very frustrated and didn't know where he and I had gotten off on the wrong foot.
I'll quit going into details now, but about 2 seconds later, he called me RUDE and ABUSIVE. Hmm, because I was questioning him, and his practice of diagnosing a problem (which there was a recall for a related part) in the driveway. WOW! He told me I had no Idea how a large truck worked. INTERESTING. Then how is it that I (not my husband) have put over 500,000 miles on 3 trucks (a 7.3L Ford F350, a 6.0L Ford, and now this 3500Ram). I have never had to do an entire front end of this depth. And certainly not at 100,000 miles. I think the 7.3L had the ball joints redone at about 250K miles.
I have NEVER been insulted this much by ANYONE!!! I was really upset and hurt by his words when I just questioned his diagnosis.
Wow, I think he just saw a little girl (I'm 5foot nothin for those of you I don't know in person) with 3 small children getting out of "her husband's truck" and heard "shakes when I hit a bump" and thought "SUCKER". I don't believe anything a service advisor says. I do have my oil changed by a mechanic, so they look at all the other details of my rig (I specifically ask them to look everything over). But, I can and have changed the oil on all of my trucks myself, so that I am familiar with how everything in my engine looks. When Honey drives, he says something if he notices a sound (like the U-Joints). Wow, we all missed a totally ruined front end! LOL!
Anyhow, the oil was changed. He never bothered to check into my brake problem, and did not check the engine over (the 2 things that I DID want looked at). So if you are in Iowa. Do NOT go to Granger Motors, and have Dennis as your service advisor.
We will be buying a Ford again next time. I think they have resolved all of their Diesel issues. (We had a 6.0 Diesel last time, enuf said)
Sorry for the Total Rant! I just had to get it off my chest. I have talked with his manager, (he didn't sound that he was suprised) and will be writing a letter to the Dealer. But, I will NEVER bother to grace thier door again!!
A good service department is worth its weight in gold!!!