OT Now I'm going to rant, just a bit!

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: OT Now I'm going to rant, just a bit!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 02:33 pm:

My son brought his Chevrolet to a local Chevrolet dealer to have his oil changed and have a headlight bulb put in. While there they did a little bit of an inspection and told him it needed an oil pressure sending unit.

Then, while repairing that sending unit they determined the "low oil sensor" on the bottom of the oil pan was defective and he told them they should change it.

After replacing the sensors they determined the oil filter adapter (not the gasket, the adapter) was leaking and needed to be replaced. At that point I told him to get his car out of there.

He felt however they were being honest with him and let them repair it.

Now this morning after a week and over $500.00 in parts and labor, he got his car back.

He drove the car a mile across town, went into work for a couple hours then got in it to drive it home.

He drove it another mile toward home, stopped at a stoplight, and suddenly the car started shaking and rattling and his traction control light came on. Then the car died.

He started it and it was knocking and clicking and running very rough. He drove it to the dealership and got them to look at it.

Of course the first thing they did was pull the oil dipstick, looked at it and stuck it back in the engine without showing it to my son.

My son is nowhere close to being mechanically knowledgeable. He is always willing to give others the benefit of a doubt. He doesn't like having me work on his vehicles because he feels it might inconvenience me. And therefore allows himself to become a victim.

Now, he's asked me to not become involved with his current situation. So, to appease him I'm minding my own business. He has however said he'll keep me informed as this saga continues. Meanwhile, though they gave him a loner car, he's borrowing one of my trucks.

My son didn't think to check the oil before leaving the dealership, and he didn't think to check it when it died at the stoplight. He also let the service department guy look at the oil level without showing it to him.

So, assuming the motor is shot how much of the liability does my son have responsibility for and how much is the dealers? Is it reasonable to assume you can trust the service department will do the job they're expected to do? He had no indication the sensors were bad and yet the dealership convinced him they needed changing. Should we have to stay with the service people and double check their work? At what point can we trust them?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 02:52 pm:

Assuming faulty work is the cause, the dealer is responsible for this.If the service manager tries to brush this off, go to the dealer himself/herself.Keep us posted how this goes. I was co-owner of Pepple FORD-L-M in Wabash Indiana, so obviously I have experience in this area.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 03:04 pm:

Some are legit, and some are crooked as the guy who found the sixpence. My aunts thought the service manager at the local Chevy dealer was the nicest man on the planet. But they kept everything, and looking through the receipts later it was obvious he was ripping them off for years. The bad ones will scam anybody they think is scammable, but they especially go after women.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 03:17 pm:

What I don't understand with this place is; they've been in business and respected in the community for many, many years. It's a small community and they live there. They're friends with a lot of the people I'm friends with. Yet for the last 20 years I can't remember one time that a family member went there that I didn't feel they were a victim. They pulled this crap when I first moved into town and I learned my lesson. Yet my ex-wife, my 37 year old son and several friends continue to use them. I won't do anything to spoil their reputation in the town because I don't think others would listen. But, you can be certain, I'll try to get it into my son's head to seek alternate sources.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Wilson - Omaha NE on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 03:34 pm:

Find out who the Chevrolet district zone manager is and plead your case to him. They usually can make things happen if you are in the right, and would sound like you are


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 04:21 pm:

Have they yet denied responsibility for this? Your first step is to talk to the general manager or the dealer himself. If they give you the runaround, then you can pull the zone reply or factory hot line trigger. What year and model is car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kirk on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 04:34 pm:

They were the last ones to work on the car that makes it their responsibility.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Lyon, PDX, OR. on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 07:15 pm:

A friend took his truck back to the dealer three times for the same problem. Every time they told him it had been fixed. The third time he took the service manager and the dealer manager out to the parking lot and showed them the chalk mark he had made on the ground when he dropped the truck off. They had no explanation about how the truck had been repaired without being moved. He never went back. Don


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 07:34 pm:

I would think that someplace in the dealership there should be a computer log of the diagnostics done on the vehicle. Ask to see a print out of it. That should be part of the service record logged at the dealership. Also ask for the bad parts back. Also stop down unexpectedly and visit the vehicle to see what's being done. Don't let them give you any garbage about "insurance regulations" not allowing customers in the service bays. If they won't let you see it, pull you phone out and ask law enforcement to escort you to it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 08:21 pm:

There are a couple issues in this one.

It is not always the dealerships fault because there are good and bad mechanics.
When a bad mechanic screws up the dealership needs to take the responsibility and fix the problem. This case sound like they forgot to put oil in the motor and they know it. Trying to cover it up mistakes is only allowed by Hillary and the Dems so the dealership should fix it.

Sometimes sons, daughters, etc. want to take care of thing on their own. We parents need to,give them room to learn and make mistakes even if it is hard.

I can't describe the number of times my son or daughter would have been better off if they had asked or listened to us but it is their life and they need to be responsible for their decisions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 08:28 pm:

It's a Chevy. They do that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard L Grzegorowicz on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 08:39 pm:

when is someone going to say to this man-don't let them have the paper work, hope they gave him some. good luck.Greg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By RJ Walworth, New York on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 08:47 pm:

thats why Chevy's dropped down from being #1 to #3 and give out big accentives discounts for buying their junk. I stopped buying chevy crap since 1997.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Laughary on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 09:03 pm:

Put spycams in the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 09:29 pm:

my mother had a service station that was "the only place she trusted". one night the guy packed up and left town sticking all the suppliers. later, mom sold the car to a friends wife,and the glove box was full of receipts showing that darn near every time she went in for gas, she also got brake fluid, or antifreeze, or a bulb or somthing on nearly every visit. i guess i should have been paying more attention!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 09:46 pm:

The latest is that "it's probably a lifter" that by some coincidence "went bad" within three miles of the shop. They told him his options are to have them fix it or take an allowance on a trade for a new car.

Fred D it's not easy to sit back and let him handle it but, up to this point he's doing quite well. I'll be here to provide for what he needs but, I'm hands off on this one. Trust me, this ain't easy, but you're right, they have to learn.

I appreciate the other advice and will mention some to him but he's gonna be his own grandad on this one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 11:05 pm:

I bet your dealer is part of a national group. You need to deal with only a locally owned dealer. Your son needs to talk to the Chevrolet zone man. They gave him back a "repaired" engine with no oil in it. Their insurance will cover it sooner or later. If you are stonewalled by both the dealer and Chevrolet then you may need to hire a lawyer.

If it's a locally owned dealer then talk to the owner face to face.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 11:16 pm:

Fred,

Before you knock Hillary too much, I think you might consider that either way you vote you are going to have to hold your nose!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 12:31 am:

This strikes me as a paradigmal problem on a much more basic level than wrangling
with a dealer. Let me e'splain, Lucy ....

My "new" truck is a 1986 Toyota Hilux 4x4. I have owned it for 12 years now and will
likely drive it until I die Paid $1700 for it and dumped the rest of my $4500 budget into
getting it in top shape, bodywork, and new paint. I have probably spent half that much
again on maintenance, fixes, new tires, etc. since. It gets 26+ mpg and is terrific in our
Spokane snow.

The 84-88 Hilux trucks have a large following and parts are cheap and easy to get. The
22r engine is well known for long miles, and excellent economy. Without exception,
everyone I know well on this subject is baffled by my approach to driver-status vehicles
and goes the new/near new route, with all the dealer headaches, full retail costs, and
vastly more headaches than I ever have with my old truck. Yet they will talk the hind leg
off a mule about owning new to save themselves "all that trouble". As far I see things, a
vehicle is only as good as the original engineering, current condition, and what a person
does to keep it in top operating shape. One can take several routes to arrive at this point,
but new cars with technology that requires $100K of equipment to maintain, thusly requiring
reliance on places with said equipment, and paying through the nose both in purchase and
service (on a vehicle that is no more reliable than my "old beater") makes no sense to me.

My old business partner has owned nine new trucks since we began working together in
1997. It is interesting to sit back and take in his whole approach to this. Several trucks
have been real lemons. ALL cost over $40K to buy, and for various reasons he has traded
them in to get something "different". He showed up this week to pick up a check in a new
Dodge (I guess they call them "Ram" trucks now). Question: Why the new truck ? Answer:
The 2-year-old Silverado (gas) did not pull his new 28' RV trailer well.

Hmmm .....

Well, the Silverado sure was ugly. But so was the F-250 he had before that. Not sure
what makes some people tick. But dumping huge piles of green rectangles into a vehicle
budget is not my idea of a "good idea", especially when it offers no greater surety of trouble-
free ownership than my well taken care of "beater". I'd rather buy a proven design vehicle
that I like the looks of, get it in great shape, keep it forever and do something else with
all that money ... like enjoy my hobbies !!! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 10:45 am:

Burger, what part of your post explains why this is a "paradigmal" problem. And what the hell is a "paradigmal"? Are you saying his situation presents us with a paradigm? The paradigm in this case is lousy mechanics at a dealership and the lousy excuses they come up with for their failures. It's a pattern that seems to repeat itself in quite a few places and that's the paradigm.

My sons car is a 2008 Impala that's been in the family and had excellent maintenance for the past 8 years. It's got 180,000 trouble free miles on it. It went to hell within three miles of driving it from a dealership that talked him into additional work beyond what he brought it in for.

If there's another paradigm it's the fact that our trade schools are turning out lousy mechanics and dealerships are hiring them.

This guys focus seemed to be more on selling additional parts and labor rather than what he was hired to do. And sadly that's become a paradigm in the dealership service departments.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 11:49 am:

G ~

Visualize this paradigm .... buy a decent survivor 60's car with proven engineering, spend
what it takes to put it in top shape, and you have a bulletproof vehicle for half the price of a
modern hunk of sh!t. AND you can fix it without being put in a stranglehold by other "outside
interests. Kapische ?

OR, ... we can go the old paradigm, which is buy into the nuevo-tech at full retail, be bound
and gagged to do half of the work ourselves do to the designed-in complexity, and as a result,
find oneself in a bind like your bambino's, because that Chevy isn't a simple-to-fix 66 Bel Air
with a 283 4bbl and a 4-speed.

My point is, we set ourselves up for this kick in the teeth by accepting the bullsh!t cars being
foisted upon us by govt. regs and the "compliant" manufacturers. The 2008 Chevy is 1/10th the
car a 1965 Chevy is/was, at 10 TIMES the price !!! And then you have to buy shoes with handles
on them when it comes time for service ???

This answer is too obvious. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 11:49 am:

Michael - You mentioned,.....the dealer is well respected by the community and has been in business for many, many years,.....

Reminds me of a well respected Pontiac dealer in Chicago (long gone now however) that had been in business for many years,......

I worked for this outfit as a "car hiker/parts chaser" when I was a kid going to school. They had night service, and as such, worked on many other makes of autos (mostly GM) besides Pontiac. I can't tell you how much I learned about how they "REALLY" did business and why I have had a pretty dim view of "dealer" service agencies ever since! Granted, this was back in the early '60's, and I'm sure there are honest ones nowadays, however, I still avoid dealer service agencies as much as possible and watch them pretty close when I am forced to take a vehicle in to them for warrantee work and such.

That Pontiac outfit I spoke of in Chicago convinced me to start my own little tune-up business when I was going to school and I made a pretty good little business out of that, back in the days of the necessary 10,000 mile "points, plugs & condenser" tune ups. I could write for an hour (but I won't) about the sloppy and dishonest work that that Pontiac outfit did,.....like cars with V8 engines that left the place after a "tune-up" with only 7 new spark plugs, because the 8th one was hard to get at on some cars! And carburetor "rebuilds" that were anything but! Many times, I was sent to a nearby Chevrolet dealer "parts department" for cheaper Chev parts that went into a Cadillac that this Pontiac outfit was working on. I even saw Pontiacs that I knew to be salesmen's "demo's" that were steam-cleaned under the hood and sold for brand new!

O.K.,....enough! But I'm betting that there are "still" dealer service agencies today that are just as bad,.....FWIW,.....harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 01:08 pm:

Burger you're almost right. But your choice of vehicles is ah maybe, um not quite, really isn't, the best choice. Any Tri-five cookie cutter Chevy can't come close to the 85 horse, 24 stud, flathead in a '46 Tudor. :-)

Oh, now look what you've done. You've caused me to focus on a subject totally different from my original rant. This wasn't suppose to turn into a pissin' match for what turned out to be the greatest engine (flathead) of all time. Even though I'll admit, the sbc became the most versatile, my contempt for Tri-five Chevy cars causes me to become confrontational and unwilling to back them as the better choice.

At any rate now I feel it necessary to defend my sons choice of a free 2008 Chevy that always starts in January in Minnesota and has gone 180,000 miles as opposed to a 60 year old Chevy that isn't as dependable and has a price tag 10 times what it was when initially purchased. And, Would have been considered a wonderful and miraculous machine if it would make 100,000 mile. There's a case to be made for fuel injection and modern electronic ignition.

Your turn. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Fedullo, Milford MI on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 01:51 pm:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Asb3Ad-tg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 03:13 pm:

Send a roll back to the dealership and retrieve the car. That was the option they didn't offer. They ran it without oil, are trying to cover it up with the two options they gave you.

Offer the dealership two options. Option 1: buy a used engine and replace the one they screwed up. 2: See them in court.

That engine if taken care of should have gone another 100K.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 03:19 pm:

BTW. I sold at a Chevy dealer for a couple years. If the district manager has to get involved, you will likely see something go in your favor. You can bank on it if he has had to be involved at previous disputes with this dealer. If that's the case, don't be surprised if they have another dealer fix the car. Also, it would be a new engine and not used.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Spaziano, Bellflower, CA. on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 04:01 pm:

I taught an Industrial Design class at the local community college a few years back.

On the second night of class, after all the students had figured out where the classroom was and where they should/shouldn't park, I would show that video of the 2009 vs. 1959 Chevrolets to my class to illustrate the advantages of computer aided design.

Before I showed the video, I would describe what I was about to show them and then ask the class which car they thought would survive the collision with the least amount of injury to the driver. Invariably, 99% of the students would answer "The '59, it's a TANK".

At the end of the video, the looks on their faces were remarkable.

In another version of that video, the test results and conclusions of the study done after the crash states that the technicians determined that the driver of the 2009 Chevrolet would have sustained an injured left knee, the driver of the 1959 Chevrolet would have died on impact.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 08:14 pm:

But seriously, and in defense of true style, the 2009 is no different than every other modern day, featureless piece of crap on the road. Safety, reliability and performance might dictate design but it also promotes boredom.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 11:53 pm:

If one researches that 59 vs. 09 Chevy crash, they will learn that the 59 was
"doctored" to serious disadvantage for purposes of selling the "safety" of their
new cars. That test was flushed out as total BS.

As a survivor of the Seattle School of Stunt Driving (lived in that madhouse for
30 years), I found the risk of crashes due to these self-proclaimed masters of
speed and lane changing to be a major driving force in me choosing to leave.
My 1 ton truck (1957 International and 74 Power Wagon) squashed the crap out
of modern cars, causing death and serious injuries, and never once requiring my
trucks to be towed, or injuries to me. That crumple zone and airbag better be
filled with pure magic when Mr. Physics brings his lesson of mass and inertia
to bear against that plastic econobox. Nevermind the 18-wheelers and other
large trucks on the road.

Garrison, I am with you on tri-fives, and honestly, one must walk another 10
years forward to really hit the zenith of tough and reliable car design. My 58
DeSoto might have the looks, but the 66 Coronet is an overall better designed
and built car. I just tossed out the mid-60's Chevy examples as being relatively
inexpensive cars to buy that have HUGE parts availability and maximum ease
of maintenance.

Just about ANY pre-70 car has 100x the character of the "bar of soap" cars
being built since 1990.

Can you say "turd" ? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Fedullo, Milford MI on Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 06:01 am:

Burger,

Can you post the info that shows the test was doctored? I have never seen it. The IIHS did choose a vehicle with an X frame, but I am not aware of any modifications or doctoring of the car or video.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 08:06 am:

Geez Burger, what dinosaur were you following around?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 01:37 pm:

New cars as many as we have all had are not nice looking like the oldies. Your at the mercy of the dealer to diagnose these new cars and be fair but it's all about money, so if they don't get it right they know we will be back. If they mess up they done care and act like we should just so ok and pay more $$$$$s. Little like government work..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 09:11 pm:

I would suggest that you stay out of it and let your son learn on his own.

Most dealers around here are honest, but they will take an old car and tell you it needs repair because it does not meet factory specs. for example, I had a rough running Chrysler wagon with a 318 and the dealership told me it needed a new timing chain and gear. $600. I took it to a locally owned shop which said they would put in a new timing chain for $300. That shop called me and said the car was running great, they just had to adjust the timing, not to the marks, but to where it ran well. I did not get a timing chain. The dealer was correct in that the chain and gear were worn to the point that the timing could not be adjusted to the correct marks. But it was an old car that did not need meet factory specs to run smoothly.

Locally owned shops are the way to go. I needed an inspection and went to a tire franchise chain which did a courtesy inspection while they had the wheel off and told me I needed a new rear wheel cylinder. I told them just to put the tire on. They wanted to show me the leak. I told them to just put the tire back on. They told me I could lose my brakes on the way home. I told them it had a dual master cylinder, just put the tire back on. They did. It past inspection the next day and I drove it several more years with no brake problems.

Everyone has horror stories about auto repair shops around here, I have found it best to stay with the locally owned shop. They are honest.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 11:51 pm:

The review of that test was dissected on another forum I frequent - The Forward Look -
that specializes in Exner era Mopars.

Garrison ~ No dinosaur. Just Detroit's styling model for the past 40 years. It just happens
to look like my normal morning "growler". ;-)

Wish I was cool enough to buy a new car ....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 12:20 am:

I bought a new car once. 1968.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 10:43 am:

I know I am the lone voice crying in the wilderness at times on this Forum, but I'll take issue with all those folks that think vehicles were so much better in the "good ole days". Before finding myself pursuing a career in education I did have a a formal tech school mechanics education training program back in the early 70's. I remember working on stuff where the tolerances were way too generous and inconsistent on parts and assemblies. Back then a vehicle with 100K miles on it was ready for the scrap pile most of the time. Thanks to CNC machining, quality lubricants, and better quality control, today's vehicle are substantially more efficient and last longer than their predecessors. I liked my '78 Ford p/u better than my '66 GMC. Like the '97 Chevy Silverado better than the '78 Ford. And I like my 2016 F150 extended bed Supercab better than all the rest of them. I rides better, is more comfortable, has more room, better performance, and get 22-23 mpg consistently. Which is better than any of the rest of them got. No complaints here! I won't keep it forever either, and will trade in on another new one in 4 years. I prefer to spend the money I would lay out constantly paying for parts and some service on an old vehicle towards a new one. And then I can spend the time working on my Model T and bust my knuckles on that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 11:24 am:

Kevin - I can't imagine anyone saying that vehicles from before the 70's are superior. I have a '94 Ranger with 200,000 miles, but it gets me where I am going and I have not had to repair anything other than the cooling system in the last five years. The AC still works!

Back in my day an engine with over 80,000 miles was an oil burner. Now, thanks to the EPA and government mandates for better mileage and less pollution, engines run cleaner and one can expect at least 200,000 miles before the rings are worn or the valves burnt. Vehicles can now run down the road safely at 75 mph, and government required airbags and seatbelts make them much safer.

And mileage. I used to consider 15 mpg good. Now I have a Ford Fiesta which gets 37 mpg driving around the county and I have gotten as 41 mpg on consistent 60 mph long distance drives.

Old cars are fun, but they are slow, dangerous, polluters which do not last long without major repairs. Thanks to Uncle Sam's regulations new cars are far superior to the old stuff the car makers used to push on us.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 11:36 am:

My take:

New car engines can easily go 250K miles with regular maintenance but that distance must be done over a relatively short period of years and many long road trips, otherwise you will be straddled with nuisance repairs on the rest of the car.

I'm a stickler when it comes to maintenance and repairs. I don't mind paying for regular maintenance and repairs for items that are expected to wear out over time.

However, it's the ancillary items that should never need to be replaced that drive me nuts.

Even when I save money by getting the parts wholesale and doing the work myself, I get tired of spending the money and wasting time.

I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix that just turned 80K miles. For the past eight years, I have driven only 3000 miles annually of mainly city driving.

Once the car hit 50K miles, it seems that I am always dealing nuisance repairs on items that, in my opinion, should last the life of the car and rarely require attention.

For example, I am on my third power steering rack. The original factory issue lasted 55K miles, the second one, a rebuilt unit which was supposed to be better than factory issue, lasted only 24K miles before the seals went.

I had problems with the ignition switch at 50K miles which required dismantling the switch and cleaning the contacts. Instead of self wiping, rotary contacts, it has multiple open and close contacts which arc and subsequently carbon up over time. This is a common problem with GM cars.

The transmission shift lever interlock (the mechanism that requires the brake pedal to be pressed when shifting out of park) went haywire so I completely disabled the mechanism. Another example of poor design because it involves moving wires, which are solid instead of braided, which eventually leads to worn connectors and open circuits.

Currently, I have been experiencing a problem with the turn signal switch which is a another common problem with GM cars. Yet again caused by poor design. Due to the tilt steering column, the wires, which are solid instead of braided, move/push and pull and ultimately the connection to the switch wears out. And it's not like I'm constantly titling the column - I typically only do it when cleaning the interior. This part is $235 wholesale. Good thing I will be able to install the new one myself.


Dissecting and cleaning contacts on the ACDelco ignition switch at 50,000 miles:
1


Reference photo of wire routing I took while removing ignition switch - notice the carbon on the two lower left open contacts:
2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 11:56 am:

Well, Erik - sell that POS GM car and buy a Ford -
..or a Volvo, they pay my salary so I've got to give them some credit :-)
How about 3,174,000 miles with the same car since new in 1966?
http://nypost.com/2016/02/28/this-guys-1966-volvo-has-over-3-million-miles-and-i snt-slowing-down/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 12:19 pm:

What I've done with modern cars (Camry): Buy a used one with up to 100,000 miles (maybe six years old). Drive it until the fancy electronic stuff starts going south expensively (around 250,000 miles). Sell it. Repeat. So far the only thing wrong with the 2008 is that the CD player has quit, so I use the radio. I can live with that. It uses no oil between 5000 mile changes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 01:14 pm:

The dealership is trying to coerce my son into paying $1000.00 to replace the lifters in his engine. I think he's going to do it. I'm about as pissed about it as I can get. But I'm staying out of it. If he needs the money I'll see that he gets it but that's going to be the end of my involvement.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 01:19 pm:

I don't care to buy unknown used cars so since I got to where I could afford it, have bought new and then driven them until the body disintegrates (thank you Indiana salt) or the wheels want to fall off. My 70 Camaro and 76 280Z had serious body cancer way too early in life. The 86 Honda got 170K before my better half talked me into getting an automatic transmission even though the car ran great. The '98 Honda was still great with 150K when some texting dingbat drove into the trunk and totaled it. The '09 Nissan is happy at 88K and we'll keep it until it we or it can't go any more. I don't miss rusted out bodies and tuneups every 10K from the 50's to 70's stuff. Maintenance on a T or 60 Volvo is fine and I understand it. Reliability on the newer Hondas and Nissan have been superb. Oh, my '06 Silverado will be with me for a long time too, I'm sure a new one would be more fuel efficient but how many miles would I need to drive to justify the price of a new truck over the perfectly serviceable one I have now that gives 16 to 18 MPG?

Is my approach the most cost efficient of environmentally favorable? Maybe not but I'll stay happy if it still looks good and starts when I turn the key.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 01:29 pm:

Michael, I know it is rough, but unless your son asks you to get involved it is probably better that he learn on his own.

From what you are saying, this dealership is criminal. I can't say I would show restraint in this situation, but if your son wants to handle it on his own it is best for your long term relationship with him if you leave it alone. Just don't even talk about it.

Sad, and surprising to me, that a dealership service department would be like that. Sales is another matter...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 02:02 pm:

The dealership has been in business since 1930 in the same little town. My ex-wife purchased the car new from them and a couple trouble free years later gave it to my son. He drove the car 3 miles at 30 mph and the engine failed. By the time they get done bending him over he'll have nearly $2000.00 worth repairs into an 8 year old car that'll be worth less than the repairs. I'm giving him the money to pay for the dealership's poor business practices, he won't give the car up and cut his losses because he loves the car. And I'm not going to be involved with anything but paying for someone else's negligence.

Now understand, I'm not a personable guy on my best day. I've got a rotten temper and I hate getting screwed. Add to that the fact I have some minor anxiety issues because of battle related PTSD and you'll understand why it's real hard for me to stay out of this. But, this is going to be a real test of my resolve and my ability to take a real screwing and not become bitter.

I hope the dealership understands why I'm not going to suggest to my friends and neighbors in the community that they purchase their new chevrolets from them or have any service done by them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 02:22 pm:

there is no excuse for the dealership's business practice, but look at the long term and the total damage.

$2000? Truly an aggravation, but not the end of the world. You could go down and give the dealership and give them a piece of your mind, but then your son might have to bail you out. For $2000? Your long term goal has to be a good relationship with your son, if all you have to do is eat $2000 to accomplish that you are lucky.

I had a local dealership flat out lie to me about buying a new car. I called them out on it on the showroom floor, loudly accusing them of being liars. The salesman admitted that he had lied. the General Manager got involved, he told me he was a Christian and his dealership only served gentlemen. He told me I would have to leave or he would call the police and have me removed for trespass. I left, no sense in going to jail for dealing with liars. And I fortunately do not have anger issues or PTSD. My sympathy to you and all those who do, thank you for your service.

It is only $2000, forget it, move on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 05:04 pm:

I'm too closely related to Jack Benny, I guess, 'cause $2K isn't small change in my eyes!
Now, I appreciate your wanting to let your son handle this himself (did you mention his age? Youth ofttimes doesn't know better); but, living in a small town, do you know the dealership's owner? Can you sit down and POLITELY tell him your side of the story? He, or she, may have no idea what the service department is doing. I would have the meeting in a neutral place, coffee shop for instance, NOT at the dealership, where things could go badly. Of course, this does mean being diplomatic, and being ready to not succeed at anything other than being able to tell your side of the story. Other than being able to eat Lutefisk, I understand that Minnesotans are pretty fair-minded folks.
Hey, but what do I know???
And TT is probably right, small potatoes--I just exist on a very tight budget and NOTHING is small potatoes here! :-)
T'ake care,
David Dewey


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 05:10 pm:

tt newbee - I'm surprised that YOU are surprised that a dealer service department would (as you said) "be like that."

Earlier in this thread, I related some of the dishonest practices that I knew of first hand regarding a dealer that I worked for some 50 years ago. And I'm sure they were not the only ones, and the thing is, we all know that "business ethics" in general have really taken a downward "plunge" in recent years. In fact, think VW for example, right?

Also, and I just can't let this one go,.....you just mentioned the General Manager of that dealership that "told you" that he was a Christian! In my opinion, anyone that feels the need to "tell you" that he's a Christian,.....well,......beware! A real Christian "radiates" Christianity without having to verbalize such,.....FWIW,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 05:49 pm:

TT Newbie - I understand many dealerships make more out of the service department than from sales. Anything extra you can squeeze out of the unsuspecting or ignorant is all gravy. If you ask for the used parts, are they really the ones that came from your car? I never worked for a new car dealership but spent some time turning wrenches for a used car lot. Not a good place, stayed about 4 months part time and was glad to leave. That's not to say that all dealers take undue advantage or that independent shops are necessarily better. Not sure how you find the really honest ones other than word of mouth from folks you know.

Harold - My Dad, a man who took his faith very seriously, told me several times that if a business person feels the need to claim their Christianity, it's best to steer clear. He was speaking primarily of Life Insurance and Real Estate folks but it applied to all. Dad was right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 06:07 pm:

Harold, I read your first post and respect what you said, there is nothing like first hand experience.

I have never worked in a car dealership, but I have found the service departments at dealerships here in central Virginia to be honest. I only go to them when the locally owned shop can not do the repair or it is under warranty.

And I do remember there were Firebirds with V8's that required the motor to be raised to change one plug, #7 I think. Those plugs were often not changed until they totally failed and the car would not run without a miss.

Sales is another matter. The only way to get a fair price is call all five Ford dealerships in the area and tell them the specs on what you are buying and that you want an Out-The-Door price. Tell them you are calling all five dealerships and are buying from the one with the lowest price. When they give you a price ask if you want you to call them back if you get a lower price elsewhere. That answer will tell you a lot! Work them against each other, don't listen to the BS, and eventually you will have the lowest price in town. All this can be done in a day from home on the phone. You won't make any friends, but you will know you got the lowest price, and you don't want those guys for friends anyway, they are scum who rip everyone they can for all they can.

Now, on one occasion I went to buy a car (not a Ford) after going through that process with four dealerships and when I got to the dealership I was told that there had been a mistake and they could not sell me the car for the price quoted on the phone. I confronted the salesman who agreed that we had a price and a deal, but said his Manager had changed his mind and would not sell for the price we had agreed to. I got loud on the salesfloor, accusing the dealership of being a bunch of liars and using bait and switch to get me in the door. That is when the General Manager stepped in, gave me his bonafides (Christian, deacon, where he went to church) and told me he only served gentlemen and I would have to leave or he would call the police and have me removed. This is no reflection on Christians in general, but an example of someone clearly in the wrong using Christianity to justify throwing me out of his dealership.

From my perspective, dealership service departments in the area are honest, but high. Dealership sales departments are full of scum, but can be handled by making them bid against one another. The one that threw me out was an exception, I have bought cars for my wife, children, and myself using that method and only had a dealer welch that one time.

I don't doubt that dealership service departments in your area are scum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 06:14 pm:

Walt, the blatantly dishonest ones in this area are the franchises. Locally owned is the only way to go.

I don't care if a dealership makes more from service than sales. I do care if the service departments are crooked. I believe that service departments at dealerships in this area are honest.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 07:00 pm:

ttnewbee-you are precisely correct. I was an F-L-M dealer. The dealership I worked at before I and my partner were appointed dealer was a great training ground. The motto the dealer principlal lived by was"treat the customer as you would like to be treated yourself".BUT, with about 160 employees total, there were incidents where people were being abused that he had no idea of. Another of his old Missouri farm boy expressions was "don't kill my chickens, I want to gether(sic)the eggs".No dealer pleases all the customers all the time. But, that dealer in Minnesota must have a reasonable customer satisfaction rating, or they would likely have been eliminated during the reorganization. AND, at my service department we would actually turn away work on many older vehicles.I would tell people that the cost of repairs exceeds the wholesale value of the vehicle,and an one of the independent shops could handle their problem just fine,for a helluva lot less. My shop was always so busy with late model non-warranty and fixing piss-poor assembly and recalls we did not need the work. And the few old shitboxes we did work on for good new car customers we would have NEVER, with my knowledge, anyway, suggested non essential repairs. My shop rate had to reflect a lot of specialty tools we were FORCED to buy. ONE abortion they forced upon us COST 50K.And it gathered dust.My guess is the dealer principal has no idea that something like this is going on. .I am glad I was in the business, and damn glad I got out.The guy my partner sold my share to after l had had my fill got carried out of there feet first, I was told. He lived, I might not have.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnCodman on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 08:20 pm:

To Michael Garrison : As a retired vocational teacher in a public vocational school, I take issue with your statement that Vocational schools are "turning out lousy mechanics". I take my modern car to a garage that is owned and run by one of my former students. Our school shop was (I believe) the first in the Commonwealth to be ASE-certified. All of our instructors were ASE Master Technicians and college graduates. Two of us were L1 certified (advanced engine performance). Out of a state population of 6 million plus, there were only about 640 technicians with that certification. Our program regularly placed near the top in the VICA (later Skills USA) competition. We won the state title a couple of times. We even placed in the top three in the national competition once. You will find no apology for the quality of the public vocational schools here. If a kid wants a quality education, we can provide it, but please remember that you can lead a horse to water...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 08:44 pm:

"And I do remember there were Firebirds with V8's that required the motor to be raised to change one plug, #7 I think."

I have commented in the past that automotive engineers who end up in Hell should have to work for eternity on the cars that they designed.... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:14 am:

John Codman, I apologize, the vocational schools aren't turning out lousy mechanics. I shouldn't have confused this particular mechanics abilities with his ethics. And seeing as how he's a reflection of the dealership he works for, perhaps he's no more to blame than the people who are putting him in a position to perform the way he is.

When I went to vocational school we were taught lessons in diversity and human relations as part of our curriculum. My instructors spent a good amount of time teaching us to respect our customers, being honest with them and give them their monies worth.

I seriously doubt this particular mechanic woke up the other day and thought; "I think I'll screw someone out of a couple thousand bucks today". But because of his lack of abilities to do a competent job, my sons paying $2000.00 for a headlight, an oil change and several other repairs he didn't ask for.

Is it a standard practice in the automotive service areas to try to sell services and parts that aren't necessary? According to the dealership, the problem with my sons car is a broken lifter. But, rather than replacing one bad lifter, my son was told they have to replace all the lifters. Not inspect them and decide whether they're capable of performing. They say that General Motors feels it's a better practice to change all the lifters because one failed. It sounds to me like General Motors has found one more way to rip people off. To sell additional parts and services.

Is this what the automotive industry has become? Are people being taught these business practices? A few years ago I had similar treatment on a Ford F-150. Now I'm seeing it happen on a Chevrolet Impala.

My neighbor just purchased a 2017 Dodge Ram. He took it to the car wash, one of the brushes slammed his outside mirror against the door and the glass popped out. When he took it to the dealership he was told it was his fault because he didn't use a brushless car wash. He's been using the same car wash for the five years I've known him and has never had a mirror pop out. But now, in order to keep his truck from falling apart he has to change the way he washes his it. He's had 4 Dodge Rams in five years and this is the first time he's had a mirror pop out.

The sad fact is touchless car washes don't wash the truck clean. Those with brushes do. But this particular service person feels it proper to tell my neighbor to change how he washes his damn truck. Who in the hell teaches these lousy mechanics and service people this kind of logic?

He changed to a different dealership for servicing his truck. He told me how shocked he is that the service people in the new dealership treated him like a customer rather than a victim. Guess what, being competent at turning a wrench is important but good mechanics don't treat customers like this and the fact they do is a reflection on the people who teach them.

Throughout this thread are examples of people being ripped off by automobile dealerships and service departments. This comes as no surprise to most of us. It's way past time for businesses and suppliers to stop treating people like they're a problem and start realizing they wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for the customers they're bitching about.

If you're in business supplying products and services to a customer you need to respect that customer, listen to his concerns and understand, regardless of how stupid that customer is, he's always right. He's paying you for products and services and as a result feeding you and your family and keeping a roof over your head. So, thank him, respect him and move on.

If I've pissed anyone off during this rant, I've probably done a pretty darn good thing. Its time people understand they're being victimized by poor service and products. And, just maybe, one other person that's in a position to improve this situation will do what they can to get it right.

Really it's simple; the consumer wants; quality products and services in a timely fashion. If, you can't provide any of them, get out of business and let somebody else do it or figure some way that you can. And trust me, you can be the best in the business at turning out a quality product but if your service and delivery aren't good you better realize a lot of people can provide your quality product, give good service and timely delivery and they will put you out of business. In the final analysis, as good as you might think you are, you aren't.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:21 am:

This whole discussion seems to have gone past the original question of whether or not they put oil back in the engine. If they didn't, they owe him an engine in the same condition it was when he brought it in for an oil change. If it had oil in it, he may be the victim of unfortunate timing and bad luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:37 am:

Stan, you have, in a nutshell, summed it up very well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:46 am:

Michael, I still feel you should communicate directly with THE dealer in this instance.YOU are the guy that is being hooked for this. and, Stan, the only way we would ever know for sure whether they let the damn thing out without oil in it would be to quiz the lot porter or one of the other -I hate to use the term-flunkies about the place and find out what they heard. The techs have a code of silence when one of them @@@@s up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 01:36 am:

I haven't been following this because it is basically just a rant but.............. I re-read the initial statement about the car and what was supposedly done to it on the first visit.

Assuming that they did the work they said:

The low oil sensor was replaced.

If there was no oil in the engine the "low oil" light would have been on when he took it out of the dealership and the computer probably would have shut the engine down. At the very least the "check engine" light should have been on. The driver should have noticed if those warning systems were doing their job.

My guess, and I am certainly no Chevy mechanic, is that the on board computer reset all systems to default when they had the diagnostic reader hooked up to the computer, it was trying to retard the timing for the low grade fuel they are selling in Minnesota and when trying to idle at the stop light it was doing what used to be called "dieseling" which will make an engine rattle and buck.

They also may have done an engine flush prior to to replacing the sensor and changing the oil, which is pretty common practice.

My check engine light in my 2007 Ford Sport Trac kept coming on so I hooked up my code reader which said that #3 plug was having intermittent misfires. Took it to Ford. Plugs for it are over $20 each, it has 8 individual coils, they replaced 3 of them at $85 each, flushed the cooling system, replaced a rear brake caliper and pads on both sides, did some other things, $1800 later it is back running with all 292 ponies, the gas mileage went up 2-3 mpg and the brakes are better. 133,000 miles, 9 years old, it is all wheel drive, 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive low. Everything from a DVD player in the back seat to climate control. Ford says it has 7 computers keeping it all running. Amazing technology

I am surprised that any car, including the one above, can leave a dealership with only a $500 bill.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gary hammond on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 07:22 am:

The most ridiculous thread I've ever read, by several folks who have no knowledge of the actual workings of a dealership. A couple do, but most don't. Posting the ''turd'' picture definitely describes the accompanying comments by the poster. I and others don't come on a site like this to read very poor taste comments or product bashing, which are 99% unproven remarks which are parroted by unknowing types. I worked professionally in Ford and GM dealerships for 35+ years, and I KNOW of what I speak. Since 1985 I have put well over a million miles on my personal GM vehicles with No issues, except one. My '98 Intrigue with 162,000 trouble-free miles needed the planetary gears replaced. It was more cost-effective to replace the tranny. My fault, I had never changed the fluid. The old cars were nice, but the reliability and safety weren't worth a damn. Breaking clutch pedal springs, burnt valves, drum brake wheel cylinders leaking, etc etc. Cleaning plugs and changing points were a never-ending pain, at least every 4-6 months if you drove at all. Sure, they were tanks- the main cause of the horrendous injury and death rates of those years. Passenger compartment integrity was unknown, with the massive metal bumpers and frame horns insured that the vehicles would collapse at the dash line and kill the occupants. Non-collapsing steering columns guaranteed impalements. Sure the injury and death rates are high now, but based on miles driven they are a fraction of what they used to be. Cars are FAR FAR better now than they have ever been. Not posted for debate, my 2 cents worth. Thank you all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee Thomas R. Hicks Central Va. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 08:36 am:

"Cars are FAR FAR better now than they have ever been. Not posted for debate"

That's because there is no debate.

Nowadays:
Cars are faster
Cars are safer
Cars get better mpg
Cars last longer
Cars pollute less
Cars require less routine maintenance

Due for overhaul is the way cars are sold. Dealerships have a huge lobby and regulate the way cars are sold to benefit the dealer, not the customer. Car prices can come down a lot, but the present state legislated dealership business model needs to change.

And back to the original thread... someone mentioned that if the car did not have oil in it a dash light should have come on. And someone should have noticed it. Did the car in question have an idiot light that would come on if the oil was low?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carey on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 08:37 am:

Having run an independent shop for years I know about keeping your customers happy. A tech that worked for me went to work on another car before finishing up the one he was working on. The customer picked up the car and drove about 3 miles and the engine stopped. He called me and we picked the car up checked , no oil. We replaced the engine with a factory rebuilt engine and gave him a loaner to drive till it was ready. Mistakes can happen, you just need to deal with them to keep your reputation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Everett on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 09:38 am:

In the early Spring of 1996, I bought a used '89 ¾ Ton Suburban. In pristine condition, it had a 454 which I felt was probably needed to pull our new Haulmark trailer.

As Spring turned to Summer, the overheating became increasingly frustrating. We tried everything we knew to try, and replaced everything we knew to replace. No matter what we did, when the temperature outside got above 85 degrees, this Suburban would overheat whether we were pulling a trailer or not. After shutting off the engine, we had to wait about 15 minutes for cooling off before the starter motor would operate. This made quick re-fueling during a road trip into a joke. (Something called a pancake starter did fix this).

I won't belabor the details (although if anyone wants 'em, I'll send them to you) and efforts to correct this overheating because this thread focused on new car dealerships and their approaches to service.

I phoned the Chevrolet Zone office, and even tried the Chevrolet USA home office. Both calls were handled courteously, and essentially told me to work with a dealer because that's where the feedback to Chevrolet came from. That sounded reasonable.

Both dealers I took the truck to here in the Memphis area (Chuck Hutton, and Bill Heard), both expressed complete ignorance of this type problem. When each said, “No, we haven't seen or heard of this before”, I knew to not leave the truck with them.

To tow our trailer during a summer day, I had to have the windows down and the heater on. After sunset, I could run the A/C for about ten minutes at a time before that temp needle went over the edge.

We had this Suburban about 19 months and traded it in on my wife's '98 Expedition which we still have (remember the post I did a while back when the odometer crested 400,000 miles?).

About two months after trading in the Suburban, I went to south Texas on business, and Monkey Business, which was to look at a '31 Chevrolet Deluxe Phaeton. During that trip, although I didn't buy the car, through luck, I met a man, retired, who had owned a couple of Chevrolet dealerships. He had no connection to the '31 Chevrolet Deluxe Phaeton, but he did have an eye-opening story.

After talking a while, and hearing out my saga of the overheating Suburban, I asked him if he'd heard of this problem before. To his credit, he answered directly, “Yes. The '88 – '91 Chevrolet 454 equipped ¾ and 1 ton trucks and Suburbans all experienced this. In addition to the scorched oil dipsticks, and the starter motors requiring cooling time, transmission oil would boil up out of the transmission oil dipstick.

This gentleman made it clear that Chevrolet's position to the dealers was if they wanted to keep their dealerships, then their responsibility was to deflect this problem, to hide it, to “make it go away”, and to blame the owner of the truck(s) in question.

The design which caused the overheating had been frozen in 1985 or 1986, and three full model years of 454 equipped ¾ and 1 ton trucks and Suburbans that had this problem were produced, knowingly.

My first old car love was a '31 Chevrolet which came into my life in December, 1969, when I was 16; I can see it right now through the glass door in my office leading out to the warehouse. The story of GM's founding by William Durant always fascinated me, and still does. His friendship with John Raskob, Treasurer of DuPont who was assigned to find a suitable investment for $100,000,000 in DuPont's World War I profits, led to GM's dominating world auto manufacture until the first oil embargo in 1973. Corporately, GM is almost as interesting history as Ford.
However, GM became a landscape of committees, conferences, meetings, and too many people concentrating on “next quarter”, all of whom had no stake in the long-term health of the company.

Along with Tesla, Ford is the only U.S. based auto manufacturer that has not filed for bankruptcy. Although I can't speak for Tesla, I believe that the only three words that are necessary to define WHY Ford has not had to file for bankruptcy, when all other U.S. auto companies ultimately did, are “IT'S THEIR MONEY”. I believe that Ford has been run by people who have been incentified in a more balanced approach to “next quarter” and “next five years”.

GM's response of hiding, denying, etc., to a bad design for the 454 equipped vehicles was revealing. As much as I love the 1931 Chevrolets, I'll never buy a new GM product.


As far as any dealership's service department taking advantage of customers, I believe it probably happens. Why GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Etc., tolerates it is anyone's guess, but I believe that they are aware of the practice, and turn a blind eye.

Michael, I'm sorry about your son's experience. Corporate culture that fosters anything first except “take care of the customer” is, I believe, ultimately self-defeating.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 09:53 am:

Why I love this Forum...

So much information shared, about so many things!

May this "old, antiquated, out of date" Forum continue in its present form - how else would the reader find these stories....in which category could they be placed?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 10:36 am:

I'm sorry folks, you can't pin this one on the owner no matter how hard you try.

My son is a very conscientious owner and driver and maintains his car as he should. He's trying to get through his last year of college and can't afford to have his car break down. He's a victim of an 86 year old dealership that won't accept responsibility for poor workmanship. And there's no way I'm going to accept that it was a coincidence that his engine lifters went to heck right after the dealership worked on 4 different areas involving the oiling system.

He picked his car up at the dealership and drove it 4 miles at 30 mile per hour. The only idiot light that came on appeared at the 3 mile mark. It was the traction control light. It flickered and went out at the stoplight on the edge of town. The engine started running rough and "rattling" and making a lot of noise. The engine died, he got it to run again and drove it to the dealership. He never went over 30 miles per hour and never went more than four miles.

TTNewbee, as I see it you're on the money. Cars are unbelievably dependable and are much better now than ever before. Even in Minnesota with its "bad gas" and miserable Winters modern cars start at -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Hell, they're so dependable I even start mine on cold days from inside the house. I love it. I wish my Dad and Grandfather could have had it so good. But, let something go to hell on one of these magnificent machines and it's a crapshoot whether it'll get repaired and get repaired correctly. I think (just my opinion now) automobile manufacturers felt the loss of business because of foreign competition in the '70's and '80's and started designing great functioning, albeit ugly, vehicles.But it appears now there needs to be an awakening taking place in the dealerships that involves defining and adhering to quality service methods.

Oh, and the story I told earlier about the neighbor who's mirror keeps popping out at the car wash? He got a message on his phone this morning telling him there's nothing wrong with his mirror. Apparently, a new feature of Dodge trucks is to have your mirror pop out when you shut the door or fold the mirror back. This is his 4th new $45000.00 Dodge truck in the last five years. Of the four, this is the only truck he's had that has the new disappearing mirror option.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 10:52 am:

Call Detroit. Experience talkin' here. Had a Buick that the reverse drum on the trans went bad. Wouldn't shift. 2 months left on the warranty. The first thing the service manager asked me, without even looking at the car, was how much towing I did. I never did and said so. They began a buck and wing dance and the next day I called GM directly. Problem solved car repaired. Talk to the Big Boys. If you're legit they will help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 11:24 am:

I guess I am the only one in this discussion who finds post-1970 vehicles to be
offensively ugly, overly complicated, and absurdly expensive to repair ... emphasis
on offensively ugly. I don't give a damn how "reliable" and smooth riding they are !
I felt this way before the war, but after 3 years in AFG, I am deeply unhappy at the
way Americans have become little prissies, who cry like babies over the slightest
discomfort or inconvenience. And our expectations of our vehicles is just symptomatic
of a larger mental conditioning.

I won't own a car I hate to look at. After that, I run it through a filter of reliability
(and what I might be able to do to make it as good as possible). All the trash talk
about older cars overlooks a serious factor, .... driver care and responsible driving.
People trashed their cars back in the day, just as they trash them now. Pre-70 cars
required upkeep to fight this abuse back and keep going. Perhaps new cars do not
require this (?), but the price to pay is a vehicle that is styled like a turd, loaf of bread,
or well worn bar of soap, AND when it does crap out, it does so to the tune of many
times more dollars required to diagnose and fix it, because the parts are plastic,
electronic, and often require super tech machines to diagnose. Never mind that a
buyer has to ante up HUGE piles of green rectangles to buy this ugly-ass turd-shaped
motorized conveyance in the first place !

So, as my XO used to say .... "let's review .... "

1. Define the mission .... is it about character and style, or is it about sloth and not being inconvenienced ?

2. How much value is placed on "carefree" vs. cheap, plastic, and ugly ?

3. Is "carefree" and reliable really carefree and reliable ?

4. How much money (and related stress) does a $40K+ vehicle really cost, as opposed to a well maintained
$1500 vehicle that the owner knows intimately and enjoys keeping in top shape ?

This is all about priorities to this observer. And when some boob gets in my truck and
starts blubbering about the heat and turning on the AC, I feel the urge to pitch their
whining ass out the door, as I gesture to the window crank and explain to them what
a summer in Helmand Province was like.

What ever happened to my grandparents' America ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnCodman on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 11:36 am:

Hi Tom (Carey). I agree with your post. I must say that after having a bit of a scare with a couple of loose wheels, our vocational shop at my insistence, adopted a policy the if a car looked like it could be started and or driven, it must be safe to do so. If the wheels hadn't been torqued, leave it off the ground on the lift. An engine should never - ever be left with no oil in it unless the key was removed from the vehicle and there was a sign taped to the steering wheel that said DO NOT START ENGINE - NO OIL etc, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 11:42 am:

My grandfather bought a new 1926 coupe when they came out. He had arrived from Russia in 1910 virtually never having seen a car. 7 kids, a dying wife and a pregnant 17 year old daughter in law. in 1916 he bought a new Ford and learned to drive. He was about 67 at that time. If he were alive today, he would probably be looking over the 2017 Mustangs -- as I am. I keep thinking how much old crap I could sell and turn it in to a down payment on a new one for my 75th birthday. I'm thinking a wine or dark blue convertible with a sand colored top and saddle interior, the V6 with the 6 speed and the 18 inch wheels and tires.

I like old cars but I drive 30-50,000 miles a year and I'm glad I'm not doing it in a 49 shoebox Ford or his 26 coupe. Since January 1, I have put over 12,000 miles on my 2007 Sport Trac, 13,000 + miles on my 2001 Sport Trac, about 5,000 on my 2014 Subaru (which may have saved my life last winter when I hit an Elk at about 70 mpg) 3,500 on my 92 F-250 - virtually all pulling a trailer, 5600 on my 98 Dodge 1/2 ton (I just went out and looked) and probably a couple thousand on my 71 International stock truck. 1,000 on my 54 Willys pickup and another 1,000 on my 48 CJ2A. I'll take that 2007 Sport Trac over any of them.

The businesses I am in and my life style in general require that I have a vehicle that is ready to go any time, no failure, no break downs because I have to be there on time and ready to either perform or do the auction. I often make a 2,000 mile trip over a weekend to South Dakota to work an auction. Anybody can drive anything they want but I'll take a new Ford over anything.

Let's see, I have 5 Willys pickups, 3 or 4 60's and 70's Internationals, 2 CJ2A's, a whole chingo of Model T's and parts, half a dozen tractors I don't use, a backhoe, a couple balers............ maybe I can turn that all in to a new Mustang. That's what my Russian Immigrant grandfather would have done. =)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 11:48 am:

I drove my 1964 Eldorado Convertible 41,000 miles touring playing music. When I got home I put it in the garage and drove my new Eldorado. The 64 was a PIA on the way home. It was cool while you were there and looked great in the parade with some cowgirl driving while you stand up and wave to the crowd but it wasn't half the car the 1990's Eldorados were.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:07 pm:

I'm going to try to back out of this. I've gotten uncomfortable in the past when people have bashed others on this forum. Now I've become the lead basher by feeding this thread and waiting for others to respond.

Though we're kind of off by ourselves talking about an emotional issue, the folks we're talking about aren't here with us to present a viewpoint. And that's not fair!

I've tried to turn the entire automotive service group into "bad guys" based on a few examples.

It's a fact in every profession there's room for improvement. But to make a statement that condemns all dealerships with such few facts isn't right.

My emotional state of mind resulting from my closeness to the failure has caused me to ignore sensibility and accept the idea that the dealership is at fault. But the truth is; there is a chance the car really was about to fail as a result of old age and wear and tear.

My unwillingness to not accept a coincidental failure isn't right. Perhaps there's an outside chance it was time to fail. So in the spirit of fairness I'm offering an apology to those who, in the past and at the present time, have worked in the automotive industry.

(I'm sorry folks though I might appear perfect to you, there might be a bit of tarnish on even my shine. And as you might suspect my humility is only overshadowed by excessive vanity.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:28 pm:

Stan, as a result of my disabilities I retired early from my chosen professions. I decided it just wasn't any fun trying to adapt and overcome. I'm comfortable now and live well.

At any rate I can't help but admire you for what you do. All the miles and hours and personal sacrifices have got to take their toll. Yet you continue on and your strength has to come from your lifestyle. You probably get asked a lot why you don't retire. I can't help but think retirement, though lucrative might not work for you.

Some day I'd enjoy watching you perform on stage whether at a dance or an auction. You've got a gift and I'll bet people really enjoy what you do.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tt newbee Thomas R. Hicks Central Va. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:35 pm:

Great thread, no apologies needed from anyone.

Hey Burger, you do know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

And you are correct about Americans becoming prissy. My wife complained so much about my rough riding, rough shifting, piece of junk looking '94 Ranger that I went to a Ford dealership a couple of years ago. I wanted a 1/2 ton 4X4 with a four speed floor shifter. All they had was automatics! I told them I did not want any sissified vehicle, I wanted a truck. I still drive my Ranger, which was an amazing vehicle when it was new.

The new F 150's only come with the auto transmission, and they drive smoother, quieter, and more comfortably than Cadillacs used to. Women love them, crew cab with space for kids and a tiny little bed for groceries. AC, stereo, heated seats, power windows and everything else, etc. Back in my day it took a man to drive a truck, now any woman can do it. What is this world coming to? We are going to hell in a handbasket the way things keep improving!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 02:24 pm:

Michael,
Are you saying the rumor of you humility was an exaggeration??
:-) (With apologies to Samuel Clemens!)
I guess the real proof will be if you son ends up with a reliable car again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Miller on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 02:48 pm:

Michael, I have not read all the comments, but the problem sounds like an issue with the active fuel management. About six months ago I decided to upgrade my 01 Suburban to a 09 suburban. I drove the suburban home and within 24 hours it went from running fine to horrible. Basically the same symptoms as your son, just mine did not die completely. They said it was a collapsed lifter and it needed a new cam. Chevy dealership wanted $4k to fix it. Fortunately I bought it from a different dealership that actually had some integrity and took the suburban back. The problem with the suburban happened on the same day my local chapter was having a tour. This was my first attempt to participate in a tour. I was able to drive to the first stop, and the transmission went out on the T. Not a good day for vehicles at my place.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 03:39 pm:

Michael - I agree with what "tt newby" just said,....."Great thread, no apologies needed from anyone." I just re-read the couple posts I wrote in this thread as I wondered if perhaps I unfairly got out-of-line in any way,....and I don't think I did. I think most of what I was trying to explain (from actual experience) is that I think that 50+ years ago when I was a kid, there were some dealer service agencies with varying degrees of unethical and/or downright dishonest practices, and I firmly believe that situation within the automotive industry still exists today. There are good ones, there are bad ones, and some that fall somewhere in between. As I said before, unfortunately, that's just the way business ethics have deteriorated nowadays. I believe that I have found a good one from which I have bought the last several new vehicles and they treat me very well. Is that because I'm considered "a good customer" and they treat me better than others that trade with them for sales & service because they want me to remain a good (repeat) customer? Or do they treat "ALL" of their customers as well as they treat me? As "Unca' Stan" would say,....."I dunno"! But I watch 'em pretty close on the rare instances that I have to take a car to them for service or warrantee work or whatever.

In the meantime Mike, I hope your son is treated fairly and gets the car back with an engine comparable to what he originally brought in to them,......but the question remains,......how much force can you (and should you) apply here, and how much is going to be necessary? What develops in that regard will determine how ethical or unethical that dealer service agency really is!

We're a long way from Model T Fords here I guess, but this "HAS" been an interesting thread,........harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 09:26 am:

I repeat: CALL DETROIT!!! Get the regional Chev Service Manager on the phone and explain the situation. You'll get results.


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