Jesus, what now Ford Dealers?

Power Ford North Scottsdale said I didn’t need an alignment.***

Discount Tire said I did.

Five Star Ford says that they need to grind the strut towers, at my expense, to properly align the car, but it’s “not” a design or manufacturing issue.

WTF?

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[***Ed. Note:  to be completely fair, PFNS was not completely off base in suggesting a balancing, based on my joe six pack description.  I had the same conversation with the Five Star guy, except it was more of a conversation and i volunteered more info (having learned the perils of incurious reps) and the rep sought out info so we were both on the same page. What I was perceiving was likely road surface conditions, but I did ask for a check of steering linkages and all that stuff to weed out mechanical sources.]

Dear Power Ford North Scottsdale: We’re done

Dear Power Ford North Scottsdale doorknobs

In December, 2007, I came to you with a little steering wiggle.

Me:  I have had cars for 30 years – I know I need an alignment
PFNS:  No, you just need a $70 wheel balancing.  Alignments are for pussies.
GF: You guys are dead now.
Me:  Well, you’re the experts.

May 2008 – time for an oil change, under the new 5000 mile interval specified by Ford.

PFNS: Let us give you a courtesy checkup
PFNS: Rear brakes are at 6 mm – condition yellow (fix soon, but not right now).  Tread depth yellow, tread wear (I don’t remember what they checked, or even if)
Me:  Well, you’re the experts.

January 5 2009- time for an oil change, under the new 5000 mile interval specified by Ford.

PFNS: You need the 30K service on this sheet
Me:  looks like an oil change and courtesy checkup.  Let’s call it that, since that is what it is, and save me $100.
PFNS 90 minutes later: 10 min. Oil change is done.  Rear brakes are still at 6 mm – condition yellow (fix soon, but not right now).  Tread depth yellow, tread wear yellow (i.e., something is wrong)
Me:  Well, you’re the experts.
PFNS service advisor who has the report because he is handing it to the cashier in my presence:  You’re good to go.  Thanks!
Me:  Well, you’re the experts.

LATER…

Me:  Tread wear?  Yellow?  WTF?  90 minutes with my car and there is no explanation on the report, or from the service advisor?  WTF?

January 8, 2009

Me: Hi guys – Ford says “treadwear” is yellowy.  Please tell me why.
Discount Tire:  Dude, you needed an alignment about 10K miles ago.  Your tires are shit due to excessive toe-out.  A cursory inspection by a trained Ford service department could have picked this out long ago.
Me:  D-ooh
Mastercard:  Mmmm… impending interest charges.

So that’s the story, PFNS.  You told me I was wrong, when I was right.  You were indifferent this last time about my service, because I would not buy into your dealer-designated profit service, that differs from the Ford recommended service.  You were indifferent about my 20 mile drive to your store.  You were indifferent about the hour and a half for an oil change.  You were indifferent about the areas of concern noted on your own report, so indifferent, you could not be bothered to explain.  And, your superior knowledge has cost me a new set of tires.  Thanks.

Here is a hint – not all customers are idiots when it comes to car repair.  Here is another – when the tech sees iffy treadwear, look further. Treadwear problems do not cure themselves.  They are symptoms of mechanical issues to fix. If i knew I was going to be stuck there all morning, I would have let you do the alignment I asked for a year ago.  More money for you, my car is fixed, and I remain a customer.  Instead, I had to buy new tires, and I am giving my alignment business to someone who wants my business and understands the simple concept that while you guys might service 100 Mustangs that all look the same, this is the only one that matters to me, and it’s my money.  If you want my money, you need to pretend to understand that.

xxoo

P.S.  All those expensive plate frames you sell are illegal, and will subject your customers to $135 tickets.  Darwin is laughing, but your dwindling customer base won’t be.

P.P.S.  Since I needed tires, and you sell tires, you missed that $, too.

Ford: I guess we DO need you as a customer after all…

Motorcraft battery:  It’s Arizona, it’s been two years.  I am dead.
Me:  Thanks for the warning.  What to do, what to do?
Ford three-year bumper to bumper warranty: Well, FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE we’d like you to call roadside assistance, who will dispatch a tow truck (hopefully not these guys) to bring your prized car to your Ford dealer, who will dx the problem and give you a Ford OEM solution.  Plus, rental car while your car is out of service.
Me:  oh that is just stupid.  It’s a battery.  $89 at Autozone and it’s fixed in my own driveway in 20 minutes.
Autozone:  Actually, it’s $102.

So, being filled with generosity towards Ford and a desire not to waste my time or their money on something I have seen every two years like clockwork on every car that has endured a Phoenix summer, I did self-help.  As I successfully did with two Chryslers, I just mailed the receipt with a hey, here is the deal, I fixed it, pay me back letter.

Ford responded:

Nice try, asshead.  Your warranty covers Ford dealer repairs, unless there is an emergency [defined in the warranty book as “would take more than 30 days”].  You should have called us.  How do we know you replaced it with OEM spec parts.  Check your manual.

I did check my manual, and it said, emergency warranty repairs get paid by dealers.  So, I went there (40 mi. round trip) and explained the whole WTF nature of this runaround.  They noted that my battery purchase was at 5:54 in the evening, but their parts dept was still open (for 6 more minutes).

Me:  You could not get a tow truck to me in 6 minutes.
Power Ford North Scottsdale:  You’re right.
Me:  Tow plus parts plus labor =$250.  Dr. G’s driveway repair = $102.  Math is easy.
Ford dealer:  You’re right.
Me (in my head):  Dude, I so want one of those new Fiestas. PLEASE don’t make me swear off Fords just as you are about to reenter the small car market with something decent.
Ford dealer (over dealership intercom):  Dude, you do know you have no inner monologue, right?

They submitted a new reimbursement request on Monday.  I got a check from them yesterday.  Logic > contract terms.

Under the knife, part 2.

Ford mustang rear window

Sometimes life does not completely suck. I took my car to Power Ford North Scottsdale, which used to be Ford of North Scottsdale, which used to be Bill Luke Ford and before that Don Seelye Ford. Time for a LOF, plus I had a little wiggle in the steering and my gas gauge was occasionally possessed by the devil. Since I was there, I asked them to take car of the trunk light, which got beat up by stuff in the trunk, a seat latch, which the kiddoes broke, and my power seat trim, which my pantleg ripped from the seat.

Me: did you find the electrical gremlin?
PFNS: You need a new gas tank, dude.
Me: Quality is Job 1.

Yesterday, the bill comes.

  • Busted trim – N/C to replace
  • gas tank- N/C to replace
  • balance and rotate – 70; steering is all better
  • LOF – 30

So, we’re all good. they screwed up my LOF coupon, but otherwise, hassle free and a million times better than Earnhardt’s in every way.

Also, moms is fine. Just a little bloodletting surgery to brighten an otherwise dull week. No worries.