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Posted: 9/19/2003 1:01:22 PM EDT
Long rant, with no bearing on guns, ignore if you desire. Well, guys, for those of you that don't know that my car is in the shop yet again, it is. This is NOT the incident after the 8/23 CE shoot, but rather a completely new incident. When I got my car back from Ledford's Automotive (thanks to those who recommended him, he does a good job) on Aug 27, I had shelled out close to $1500 for a new starter, rebuilt condenser, and repairing the evaporator. Less than 2 weeks later, on Sept 6, my car died AGAIN!!![>(] I had it towed from my workplace to Ledford's, and they went through all the wiring and stuff and found out that the Powertrain Control Module was messed up. So...now he has to see how he can get a new one, because he says this is rather uncommon. Apparently, he had to send it to some supplier who is supposed to repair it or something like that, and they are slow as hell. Ledford sent it on Sept 11, and they were supposed to have it done and sent back by the 17th. Well, its still not here, and the supplier said it would be Monday before its sent. Ok, sure, fine, I guess I will survive yet another weekend without a car, saving up the necessary $750 to pay the mechanic. Then, as I was digging through some old papers, I found a 1999 Dodge Car & Truck Warranty Information booklet and it states in there that the PCM is a warrantied item for 8 years or 80000 miles. The kicker is that it has to be serviced by the dealership, not an independent mechanic. So, I think I'm screwed, because come Monday, when the supplier sends back the PCM, it will be functioning again, and I won't be able to take it to the dealership to make a warranty claim, since it is now working. Furthermore, I can't have the dealership repair the car, since its already repaired and there is nothing more to repair. So, three questions: 1.) should I just take vehicles to their respective dealerships for all service in the hope that they will catch warranty repairs like this, or should I take my chances with an independent?, 2.) do you guys think that Mr. Ledford should have researched more to check the warranty status of a PCM?, and 3.) am I just totally, royally, completely screwed?

Thanks, sorry about the long rant, but I feel somewhat better now.

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 2:12:49 PM EDT
1. If the car is out of warranty, don't go to a dealership. If the car is under warranty, know what is covered by that warranty and take it to the dealership.

2. It isn't Ledford's responsibility to know the terms of the warranty for your car. It is, however, your's.

3. Talk with Ledford. He might be able to come down a bit on the price. He doesn't have to bend on the price for repair (he is, after all, running a business), but there is a chance he might.

4. Pay independents in cash. Always. Doing so will help if you need to refer to #3 again in the future.
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 2:37:17 PM EDT
Well, to be fair, he has been extremely helpful to me, but now it comes to whether the PCM has actually been repaired or not. If not, he has agreed to put everything back together and let me tow the car to the dealership and not charge me anything. In this case, I will still pay him something akin to the "diagnosis fee" that the dealership charges ($80) because he did do the work to diagnose it. If the PCM has been repaired/rebuilt/whatever, then I guess I'm royally screwed, unless Ledford decides to work with me on the price on the repair, which, I know is at his discretion. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this situation will have the worst possible resolution, ie I will have to pay for the whole amount of the repair...it always happens like that for me. Guys, please pray for me. Otherwise, I might have to be selling my AR [>Q]

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 2:51:46 PM EDT
Well, Ledford may also be willing to "check" to see if the PCM arrives in good order, if you get my drift.
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 4:57:27 PM EDT
Ghost-shooter I feel for you brother. When I hit the lotto tonight I'll hook you up.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 1:40:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2003 2:05:18 PM EDT by Ghost-Shooter]
Well, its Monday, Ledford promised that if the part came back today he would have the car back to me. The parts came in alright. But, nope, still no car. He said that "something came up and I could not get to it earlier, and the weather just turned bad". Hmmm, interesting. Two whole weeks without a car. I'm starting to get used to being 14 again, being at home all the time and hitching rides where ever I go. Heh, on the plus side, because I'm so bored now, my house is clean, my guns are sparkling, and my coursework has seen considerable improvement. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not. Is there a time frame that is "too long" for reasonable repairs? I don't know if its just market factors that is delaying this repair, or if Mr. Ledford has been dragging his feet or what, but in the future, I think I'm going back to the dealership. Sure they are more costly, but at least they get my car back to me in a reasonable amount of time, calls me as soon as they make a diagnosis and since I'm there so damn much, I now have "VIP" status there (meaning that they get to working on it ASAP and detail the car before they return it to me).

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 7:45:48 PM EDT
My car is finally fixed. Whoo Hoo!!! Mr. Ledford took $200 off of the price of the repair because it took so long.

Now I can go to the range.

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 8:05:41 PM EDT
I can tell ya that Ledford's is probably busier than most dealerships could ever dream of being. He's been in business a very looooong time and I'm sure he had a legitimate reason for the delay.
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 3:38:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ghost-Shooter:
My car is finally fixed. Whoo Hoo!!! Mr. Ledford took $200 off of the price of the repair because it took so long.

Now I can go to the range.

Ghost


I think you may want to reconsider your idea of going back to the dealership. I've never had any service manager at any dealership budge like that.

Speaking of great independent mechanics, if any of you live in Gwinnett county and own a Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Porsche (right...), or other European manufactured car, I couldn't possibly more highly recommend Steve, Jim, and the rest of the guys at European Import Service on Lawrenceville-Suwanne in Suwanee. We've had plenty of repairs and maintenance done to our 240D over the past few years all at this repair shop, and they have been nothing but top-notch. Their parts costs are typically wholesale (and I couldn't get them cheaper with my parts connections), labor rate is reasonable, and they don't take you for a ride.
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 3:08:47 PM EDT
Well, I'm hoping that I won't have any more problems until January of 2004, at which time I will probably be purchasing a new vehicle. Knock on wood.

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 4:14:54 PM EDT
buy a Ford
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 5:19:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:
buy a Ford


Don't believe his lies.
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 5:22:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2003 5:22:43 PM EDT by Ghost-Shooter]
I'm probably going to buy a Toyota Corolla. Its in my price range, gets great mileage, and everyone says they are very dependable: more money for guns

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 6:48:20 PM EDT
Any Japanese four-beater will last quite a long time. The more stripped down the model you get, the less there is to go wrong.
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 7:00:25 PM EDT
I'm driving a 4 cylinder Jap-O-Matic.

A '91 Infiniti G20, to be exact.

It has 240,000 miles on it, the driver's seat
is worn down almost to the metal frame, (and a new seat or even a good recover job would cost more than the car books for) and it's on its second motor, changed out at 204,000 miles.

This "fine automobile" now cost me more in average yearly maintenance costs than my trusty old '78 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham did, which was starting to get a bit rusty in spots when I sold it, but was still a classy, powerful, and tough old warhorse.

The problem with this Infiniti is that the brand name is also the average cost of repairs, apparently! Infinity!

I had the rear brakes done. Calipers were frozen up, needed new discs as well. Poof, there goes EIGHT HUNDRED BUCKS!

The A/C compressor utterly failed. Even the pulley bearing was hosed, so I didn't even have the option of letting it go with no A/C. With a bad pulley bearing, well, that A/C pulley is part of the main drive belt circuit, so I had to get it fixed. So the whole A/C system got rehabilitated and also was switched over to R134A instead of R12, and that was a 1200 dollar repair bill!


You want a car that's reliable and cheap to maintain, and easy to fix? Get some older GM car built on a large frame, with rear wheel drive, and has a small block Chevy in it. Like a police surplus Caprice, maybe a '96. Cheap to fix, easy to fix, and doesn't need much fixing. And if it's got the 9C1 option, you've got a Corvette motor and the top running gear will scare the hell out of you.


CJ
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 7:41:13 PM EDT
I will probably get a "S" trim with a manual, and that's it. The dealerships tell me that its a hard car to find "because everybody wants power windows and stuff and nobody wants a manual" blah blah blah. They tell me that they can put me in a "loaded" one for not much more than what I want...Yeah, sure, and pigs fly and we can buy new 30rounders right now. They will have to find me the one I want if they want my business.

Ghost
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 2:39:01 AM EDT
I walked out of a chevy dealership because the salesman wasn't interested in showing me what I wanted (00 V6 5spd Camaro Coupe). He kept showing me SSes and Z28s, then told me that he would have to special order my car, wait six weeks then charge me an extra 2 grand because he had to special order it. I finally got fed up and went across the street to the Ford dealership and told them I wanted a base model Mustang, and the dealers first question was what color did I want. 14,400 dollars and I was out the door.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 4:19:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2003 4:22:14 AM EDT by ar-wrench]
GS,
Sorry to hear of your car problems.
I sold cars for 8 years and got a real education on personal transportation. First lesson was NEVER buy a new car, it is like paying 6 bucks for a 4 dollar box of bullets.

The best deal is a 2 year old car with 20 to 35 thousand miles.

Next, if you live in the lower 48, buy something made by the General. There are more general motors parts (new and rebuilt) available than all other makes combined. This translates to vastly lower prices for maintenance, and all equipment needs maintenance.

Example, from a large machine shop in Atlanta, small block heads rebuilt with valves - $65 each.

Used servicable onboard computer for GM trucks/vans - $25

Fan belts are available in every parts shop you can find.

Crash parts readily available from several sources (not just dealer network) many available used.

Quality rebuilt starters and alternators available from many sources for under $100 each.

The list goes on.

The rice mobiles are cheap on gas, but very aggrivating to support and maintain from a mechanical standpoint. The finest equipment in the world is useless without logistics support.

Don't get me wrong, I recognize some areas where the imports are ahead of the US made products, but you can not maintain the same state of readiness with an import as you can with a domestic vehicle, especially one from the General.

For what a new foreign car/truck costs, I can buy, maintain, and insure 3 used US vehicles, and have an absolute 100% rediness level in my transportation needs. Or buy one and have lots of "Fun money" left to spend on my hobbies.

Of course, I am happy to see folks fork out the big bucks for new cars, that is one more used car available down the road.
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