PDA

View Full Version : Almost Pulled My Hair Out!!!!!!


officegirl
09-25-2006, 08:56 PM
Saturday I drove three hours to the car dealership where I bought my BRAND NEW car because it has since been re-called due to a faulty engine that burns oil too quickly. I took it in back in April to get it looked at (before the recall, mind you) because I ran out of oil after 3000 miles. Well, this jackass tells me it's normal for a new engine to burn oil quickly. Yeah, ok, just because I am a blond female does not mean I don't have a brain. Well now, my engine makes a knocking noise and I set up an appointment a week in advance to get it checked out. When I got there, they told me my appointment had been cancelled because I had not called to confirm. :confused: What?? I would think setting the appointment would be confirmation enough. Well, then the guy (same one who tried to feed me the "it's normal" bs of course) makes it seem like he's doing me a favor by "sqeezing" me in his busy schedule. I call about 4 hours later to find out if my car is done and the guy gets on the phone and tells me there isn't anything he can do about the engine, everything looks fine and that my oil only burned a 1/4 of a quart since my last oil change. I tried to explain myself but he would talk over me and try to tell me everything was "normal." I finally got the chance to tell him that the reason my oil wasn't very low was because I filled it up before I left. Then he told me, even though every letter I recieved in the mail from the makers of the car says otherwise, that I wasn't supposed to fill my oil, that I was supposed to just let the engine die if it ran out of oil. I was with my parents at the time because they picked me up after I dropped my car off and my dad got on the phone and ripped this guy a new one and the guy pretended not to know who told me it was normal for the engine to burn oil fast. When I went to pick up my car, he was very nice. I love when my dad gets involved, he doesn't take ANY bs :)

But, I don't understand why people feel the need to argue with you and talk over you. He didn't know what the problem was and he was never going to find out if he didn't let me talk. He didn't listen to me the first time I tried to tell him there was a problem with my car and it ended up being recalled. Are there any mechanics out there who can tell me why you insist on believing we females don't know what we are talking about when it comes to cars? It's very degrading and irritable and us girls end up getting screwed in the end.

phillippbo
09-25-2006, 09:18 PM
I can't tell you why that is officegirl, but I can tell you that many mechanics automatically assume that I know what they're talking about because I have a y-chromosome. In all honesty, I do understand the mechanics of how an internal combustion engine works, and for some of the minor things I know what I'm talking about, but for anything else I'm just lost.

Back when I had my '88 Chevy Celebrity ('ol Luicille, sometimes I miss that car, but only SOMETIMES), every time I had to take it in, no matter where it was, the mechanics would pull me into the garage and point at the bottom of the car asking if I could see the problem. Uhm, err, der... I don't know what it's supposed to look like under there, so chances are I can't tell you what's out of whack. I'm paying you to tell me that. Funny thing, though, ever since I got the 2000 Grand Cherokee, I haven't had the same problem. I guess they figured a guy with an older car in as good a shape as mine was would constantly work on it or something?

officegirl
09-25-2006, 10:52 PM
I guess I never thought about it being the other way around. I just get sick of feeling like people brush me off because I am just a blond. And I am not aggressive enough to take action. I guess that's something I need to work on if I want the situation to ever change, huh? I think there is a fine line between a raging bitch and someone who takes action... I just don't know where that fine line is and I definitely do not want to cross it. I like being a nice person :)

Slave to the Phone
09-25-2006, 11:32 PM
Then he told me,
snip

that I wasn't supposed to fill my oil, that I was supposed to just let the engine die if it ran out of oil.

:eek:

That's the easiest and fastest way to destroy your engine! Running out of oil isn't covered under your warrenty because that is an owner maintenance issue. (You have special circumstances because of the recall, but even if you won, it would still take you forever before you had a driveable car again.)

The knocking you are hearing is engine damage, most likely caused by running out of oil in the first place.

The good news is that upper management at car dealerships are very concerned with customer problems. They bend over backwards to keep their Customer Satisifaction Index high. Most dealer's don't make their most of their money by selling you a car, they make it on service and repair.

My advice is to write a nice letter to the Service Department Manager and tell him your concerns about your car. Mention that you were told to allow your car to run out of oil which you know is false.

And, most importantly, document, document, document. You only have a limited amount of time to turn your car back in under the "Lemon Law" and I'm not sure if you've gone past that or not.

One of the things you need to start doing is checking your oil weekly and writing the usage down. You have a new engine that should last 200,000 miles without problems. At this point, the engine is broke in and shouldn't be burning oil at all. If it is, back to the service department you go. (isn't there a closer dealer? You don't have to go back to the one who sold you your car.)

phillippbo
09-25-2006, 11:39 PM
There really isn't a "nice" way to deal with the mechanic you described at the dealership. Your best bet would either be to go over his head to the shop supervisor if you can't get anywhere with him, or if all else fails (especially in this case since it was a recall) contact the car manufacturer. Chances are if they don't do anything else, the manufacturer will make darn sure the recall work is done with no problems.

I had a recall on the seatbelt anchors in my first car, an '87 Nissan Sentra I named "'Lil Bit". The dealer continually brushed me off until I came in with the recall notice from Nissan and spoke directly with the supervisor. I don't know about your car, but Nissan asked that if I had any problems with getting the recall done to contact them directly. After all, a recall is done to avoid potential liability if/when the failure causes trouble with enough people to start a class-action lawsuit. If the dealer refuses to do the work (which they will get reimbursed for), the open up the manufacturer to potential lawsuits, and the manufacturers don't like that. Problems like that are nipped in the bud really quickly.

You might want to mechanic shop. Talk to people you know and get the scoop on local shops they might like. Also, you might want to try different places for oil changes to see what the general atmosphere is like. It can take some time, but when you get the right shop with a mechanic that talks to you like a real person, it's really great.

Slave to the Phone
09-26-2006, 12:30 AM
I just get sick of feeling like people brush me off because I am just a blond.

I don't think they are doing it because you are blond. I think its because you are young and female.

I went through it when I was your age and it really sucked. I've been a motorhead all my life and know my vehicles. Parts guys are as bad as mechanics...if I look at a part and say that its the wrong part, well that's because I know that part doesn't like the one I'm replacing. LISTEN TO ME, ITS MY CAR/BIKE AND I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!

Oops, sorry about that. Back around the time I turned 40, mechanics and parts counter workers stopped blowing me off.

I was hoping that meant that they had stopped blowing women off, but unfortunately I can see that is not the case.

You might want to mechanic shop. Talk to people you know and get the scoop on local shops they might like. Also, you might want to try different places for oil changes to see what the general atmosphere is like. It can take some time, but when you get the right shop with a mechanic that talks to you like a real person, it's really great.

While I don't want to argue about it, I do not think officegirl should go anywhere but authorized service shops for her car at this time. Knocking isn't normal with a 5 month old engine. Car manufacturers do not like to replace engines. officegirl's engine might go 300,000 miles with proper service and maintenance or it might blow up shortly after the warrenty expires.

I feel that if officegirl goes to unauthorized service places now, the dealer/manufacturer will claim that the engine problems are due to improper maintenance rather than in a design flaw that allowed a new engine to run out of oil.

I do agree that after this problem has been resolved, officegirl should start shopping mechanics until she finds the one she likes.

My fav mechanic story: A while back, my bike died like I'd hit the kill switch. Couldn't get it started, so called a friend with a pickup and ramp. Hub and I aren't really that good with electrical problems, so friend and I took the bike to a mechanic that I'd heard good things about.

We went in and my helpful friend told the mechanic what had happened and what he had tried before he gave up. The mechanic looked at him and asked "Who was riding when it died?" I raised my hand. Mechanic looked at me and then said "OK, now tell me what happened please and what did you try?"

Argabarga
09-26-2006, 12:33 AM
The mechanic in me wants to punch this guy square in the nuts, no ammount of oil usage is "normal" on a new car, in fact, a new car with excessive oil consuption is indicitive of a motor that was not broken in properly, or a major manufacturing SNAFU (valve guides or rings not installed right, or bad gaskets) either way, as an old gearhead once told me, "No ammount of leaking/burning oil is "normal" it's not supposed to happen, and if it does, somthing is wrong"

Words to live by

I always try to teach the folks who's cars I work on how they work, and exactly what I'm doing to them when they let me work on them, I want them to know so guys like this mechanic don't try and soak them later on.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
09-26-2006, 01:31 AM
officegirl, by any chance is your car a Volkswagen? I hear they are really good for burning oil.

Slave to the Phone
09-26-2006, 01:41 AM
The mechanic in me wants to punch this guy square in the nuts, no ammount of oil usage is "normal" on a new car, if fact...

While I love to be in violent agreement with you, I suddenly feel the need to be "the voice of reason". We don't know what "out of oil" means to officegirl.

I'd consider a quart low during the break in process to be normal. 2 quarts and the car goes back to the dealer.

officegirl, could you please tell us what out of oil means to you? Does it mean your oil was under the fill line on the dipstick? Does it mean your dipstick was dry? Or does it mean that your dashboard lights came on and you overheated.

These questions aren't meant to imply that the mechanic wasn't out of line. He was a jerk and I still think that officegirl should write that letter.

Its just that her engine might not be as damaged as I first assumed.

Seanette
09-26-2006, 03:04 AM
Situations like this are why I refuse to deal with mechanics without backup, preferably a knowledgeable male (my husband is quite helpful here). Aside from being female, I really *don't* have a clue about cars, and am very aware of how easy it would be for me to be snowed or outright conned.

Banrion
09-26-2006, 01:18 PM
These stories are why I thank Gord for my dad and brother everyday. When I started driving, my dad made a rule that if it breaks I have to learn how to fix it, so I can handle the more common problems myself. My brother is also wonderful, he went to school for Automotive Technology, and has worked everywhere from a junkyard to the best Ford dealer in the state, and if I have a problem with my car, he will drop everything and drive the 100 miles to me to fix it.

officegirl
09-26-2006, 01:55 PM
The reason I take it to the place I bought it is because, at first, I felt like if I had bought it there, they'd treat me the best. As it turns out, this apparently isn't the case but since I took it there to begin with, I feel I need to continue taking it there because I have a history there and have record of how many times I took it in and what I said was wrong.

It isn't a Volkswagen, it's actually a Nissan Sentra. I was pretty bummed to read about your Nissan's recall, phillippbo. Guess I did't do my research well enough!

And running out of oil means there was none in my car. I checked it, the dipstick was completely dry. I ended up having to put in 2 quarts of oil before it would even register on the dipstick. It was bad news. And maybe it's partly my fault because I wasn't aware of the "check your oil every time you fill up with gas" rule but I also really didn't think that after 3000 miles, the oil would be completely gone. Also, I went on a road trip after the recall was announced and everytime I stopped, which was just about every time I had to fill up with gas (300+ miles), I had to put in a half a quart of oil. It was ridiculous. That is definitely NOT normal, I know that much.

As for the knocking noise, it seems to be off to the right-front side of the car. I know that it's a bad noise but I can't get the mechanic to let me explain it correctly. As soon as I say knocking noise, he comes up with some minor problem that can be fixed in a jiffy. First, he blamed it on using the wrong type of fuel (which I knew wasn't the reason for it) and this last time, he said it was because when I first start my car, the oil isn't warmed up and circulating right so it will make a loud noise the first time I start it after a while. I have told him over and over that the noise is continuous and loudest when I am accelerating. Would it be a good idea to take it to a different mechanic, get a diagnostic and then take that to the dealership to show them what the problem is?

protege
09-26-2006, 03:39 PM
After the Great Strut Fiasco (tm) involving my Mazda, I no longer go to dealers for servicing. About 2 years after buying the car, the suspension started making noise when going over bumps. After many visits to the dealer for many "fixes," usually involving taking the entire suspension apart and replacing things, they had no idea what was wrong. At least I got a complete new suspension under warranty. However, the last time the noise came back, they screwed me over--I took the car in, and ended up forking over cash for a rental car (the idiots took it apart and left it until 3:30 in the afternoon, leaving me without a way home :eek: ) and then nailed me an additional $150 to fix the problem. Bastards. Of course these are the same people who tried to sell me a fluid change for a 5-speed transmission :rolleyes:

I got even though. I took it to the neighborhood garage, who had no problem figuring out what the noise was. Turns out that the ES uses a slightly different strut than the DX and LX because of its lowered suspension. After the correct (aftermarket) struts and bushings were fitted, the problem hasn't come back. Why why why the dealer didn't do that the first time, I'll never know.

Now that I've bored everyone to tears...what I'm trying to say is this: Find a trustworthy mechanic, and go to him instead.

I'm all for learning how to fix a car yourself. Some of you know that I also have a 1969 MGB GT. Try getting a mechanic to work on that! There are no dianostic codes to play with, no fancy computers, no fuel injection etc. Everything is mechanical, and pretty simple. Trying to tune multiple S.U. carbs though can be a pain though. Even before I got the car, I did quite a bit of reading up on it. I was trying to understand why the factory did certain things. My feeling is, if I know why, I can probably fix it...or possibly improve on it.

As to the mechanic who said that it's normal for new engines to use alot of oil...well, what crack is he smoking? The only car I've had that's used lots of oil was the MG...and that was because the cylinder head had a crack in it. The oil was getting past the pistons and was burning.

Becks
09-26-2006, 04:19 PM
Did the mechanic not hear of the recall?

RogueOne
09-26-2006, 05:05 PM
I'da pulled HIS hair out. No way in hell a relatively new car should be burning oil. I got a 03 Chevy and it has not used any oil. My wife's got an 89 Toyota that no longer uses oil. Why was he arguing about the recall in the first place. If the vehicle is recalled and it's a dealer I believe they're required to fix the problem.

O/T but why does my Malibu not have a tranny dipstick? If I'm losing fluid, I'd like to be able to know and replace it BEFORE the tranny dies.

officegirl
09-26-2006, 05:08 PM
Did the mechanic not hear of the recall?

Well, when I arrived with my car, I explained to him the reason I was worried about my engine was because my car was one of the cars being recalled. I just don't think he listens when I speak. I know he was aware of the recall because he thought, since he apparently loves to hear his own voice, he needed to explain to me what the recall was all about. I have received many letters and phone calls regarding the recall, so I know what it's all about. I can't wait until this recall thing is taken care of so I can quit going to the dealership for simple things like oil changes. Although, my dad advises that I should go to the dealership (or a dealership) until my warranty is up so if something else turns out to be wrong with my car because of the current problem, they can't blame the problem on the other mechanic. Who knew buying a new car would turn out to be such an incredible pain? That was the reason I didn't buy a used one!

protege
09-26-2006, 05:18 PM
Although, my dad advises that I should go to the dealership (or a dealership) until my warranty is up so if something else turns out to be wrong with my car because of the current problem, they can't blame the problem on the other mechanic.

I went to the dealership until the warranty ran out for the same reason. That, and it was only a short walk to work :p But seriously, the manufacturer could always claim that an "unauthorized mechanic" caused the problem...so it's better to be safe than sorry. I'd also be a bit leery about modifying the car (new stereo, lights, etc.) until the warranty is out as well. You can thank the many ricers who "fixed up" their cars....and then tried to blame the manufacturers when their cars started handling like overladen hippos :D

And yes, my car got recalled in 2001. It wasn't anything serious--something with the ignition coil. Even so, the dealership didn't hassle me about it. I called them up, told them that my car was recalled...and all I had to do was bring in the recall form.

RogueOne
09-26-2006, 05:20 PM
And running out of oil means there was none in my car. I checked it, the dipstick was completely dry. I ended up having to put in 2 quarts of oil before it would even register on the dipstick. It was bad news.

It may not be as bad as you think. You had to put in 2 quarts. Now, I looked it up, the capacity depends on the engine size. If you hava a 1.8 liter engine, you have a 3.1 quart capacity, if a 2.0 liter engine, a 4.0 quart capacity and if a 2.5 liter engine has a 4.1 quart capacity. So depending on engine size, you may be okay.