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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-09-02, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Crown Victoria P71 Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Albuquerque NM
Age: 41
Posts: 88
My lost faith in dealerships

Recently I had to take my van to the dealer to check for a fuel smell. All though they didn't find where it was coming from they did tell me that they found the water pump leaking and why I was at it they should change the timing belt. My van currently has a little over 40k on it. At first I thought ya, ok whats the quote? I've got a extended warrenty so who cares. Well as it turns out the quote was 900 bucks and my warrenty only covered half. So with that said I made the appointment for two weeks out when I would have the time off to be with out the car for a couple of days. As it would have it later that day I finished rebuilding my tranny in my crownvic and now had room in the garage. With me being the type of person that has to look for my self it was quikly evident that the mechanic at the dealership never looked at the engine and only smelled the coolant smell. Which I never noticed before. How do I know he never looked at the engine? Well if he did he would have noticed that the leak was not coming from the water pump weep hole as he stated but from the water outlet pipe. On a second point I was told the timing belt would need replaced in ten thousand miles according to the service manual. Unfortunately for them I didn't fall for it. As it turns out the timing gears were redesigned in 1996 from a square groove to a round groove which increased the service to 100k miles. I fixed the leak my self which was a engineering nightmare and would have a few choice words the the power train developer on that one. But no harse feelings here for that.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-02, 06:08 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Florida
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Glad to hear that you got your tk fixed. Sorry, to hear that they called your leak wrong. When you deal with people it happens. Don't down all dealerships cause of one tech.

I run an independent shop with 5 techs. They are human and they make mistakes. Difference is I [myself] can keep an eye on 5 guys and double check most things so this doesn't happen. I use to run dealerships and we would have 25-35 men. A real nightmare to keep track of everyone and every car/tk.

You're right about the change in the timing belt. But, on my cars I still change them at 60K. Have towed to many in with broken belts at 80-90K. The 2.3 is a very easy belt to change and usually change it with the water pump. You're already there and not to change it would be a shame. Many times when the pump starts to leak it will soak down the belt with coolant. It is a pain to clean, but a new belt isn't that much. I'd rather be safe then sorry.

My $.02

2005 F150 SuperCrew "King Ranch"
2004 Thunderbird
1997 Ranger
1986 LTD II
1968 Cougar
1964 Corvair Monza
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-02, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Raynham, MA United States
Age: 42
Posts: 2,065

1st rule in owning a vehicle.

Never bring it to a dealership.
They will screw you everytime.
I bought my car in 1998 and brought it in a week later and the guy said I should get new tires, a serpintine belt, a tune up, and a bunch of other stuff. Hey buddy.. all of that stuff shoudla been done when I bought the damn thing.

So a word to the wise. Do not bring a car to the dealership

My .02 cents. (Cha Ching)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-02, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Sticks of Central TX
Posts: 10,560
Greg that is correct. I do all my own work. Unless it is a TSB that can be dome for free by the dealer. If i can not do it I take my car to one mechanic and that is it.
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