Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008

I woke this morning wishing I had my truck back. Not only because I could do whatever I wanted, but that I had missed a night of sleeping in my trailer at Rayford. I was proud of myself for not calling Gay Pontiac to check on it, but when Stella went to work, about 9:30, I asked her to go by the dealership to see if it was inside being worked on. Sure enough, it was still in the same place it had been yesterday when it was brought in by the wrecker. I waited to call them until about 11 o'clock but was told that John, my service writer was out of the office and would call me back. He never did, so I called him about 1. He said they had just found the problem, which was a short in the ignition switch caused by the air horn wiring. He said they could fix the truck to start and stop again but without a schematic diagram they could not rewire the horn back in. I told him to check the rear brakes because it sounded like they were grinding. He said he would call me right back, but right back to him means at least two hours. He called me a little after 3 and said that the truck had been repaired but they weren't able to work on the brakes and have it finished today. Now, keep in mind that they had the truck all day yesterday and did nothing to it. Then he quoted me a price of $1,200 if they used aftermarket parts and $1,900 if they used GM parts, so I was glad they didn't have time to do the repair.

We went to get the truck, so I sent Stella on back home, believing the truck would be ready to go. Nope! The truck showed a battery problem with a large red light on the dash. I marched back inside and of course, John was gone again, so the other service writer went to find a meter to check the batteries. While he was trying to figure out how to hook up the two wires on the tester, John showed up and together they were able to hook the meter up but it showed a loose connection. They acted like they didn't know what to do now, so John went inside to get someone with some mechanical knowledge to help them out. A young man came out that knew what he was doing but he didn't have a wrench with him to tighten the battery cable with and went inside to get one. While he was gone, another man came up with a very small crescent wrench and he tightened the cable. Both batteries showed to be good, but the light was still on the dash. John just shrugged and said that maybe something in the dash had burned up too. He never offered to get the technician that had worked on the truck to come check it out, so I left. On the way home, I noticed that the amp gauge showed a discharge, so when I got home I checked and sure enough, the alternator had not been plugged back in. As soon as it was plugged back in, the light went out and the truck started showing a charge. I went in the house and called the dealership back to tell John what I had found. Of course, he was not available so I told Dwayne what I had found. I told him that I had just paid $201 and had to plug in my own alternator to make the light go out. I asked him why whoever had driven the truck out of the shop to park it in the parking area had not noticed the red light and asked a question about why it was on. He could not answer.

Car dealers bring on their own problem by overcharging using the excuse that you "get better service at your dealer". This experience will not bear that argument out. I feel that the arrogance of both dealers and the manufacturers are why the auto business is failing and although I feel sorry for the people that will lose their jobs when GM, Ford and Chrysler go under, they brought it on themselves. I'm sure that my Dad, a former Ford dealer himself, is turning over in his grave.

We drove up to Rayford without incident and met Bill there. We went out to eat at Pit Masters barbecue and came back to the park where I hooked up my water line and cable and came inside for the night.

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