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Should they get a refund?

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Hi everyone, this is my first post. I want to share an email with everyone I sent to some friends of mine in regards to the trouble they have had with our local Dodge/Jeep dealership. But first, some back-story. My friends came to me with concerns about an extremely expensive transmission replacement they had done based on original symptoms of the vehicle's engine dying in reverse. The real trouble is the vehicle overheated in less than 1,000 miles of the transmission replacement (They had also replaced the starter and installed an ATF cooler, which is fine) Due to overheating the oil cooler assembly was compromised thereby creating a second, but not the original source of overheating. (Coolant leak at oil cooler assy.) Upon my first inspection of the vehicle it was immediately apparent that an engine oil and/or ATF leak was originating from within the bellhousing of the trans , although I did not confirm which or if both. I replaced all of the damaged parts pertaining to the overheating. Oil cooler, Head gaskets, oil pump, cooling system-radiator, cap, water pump, heater core, all hoses and fluids are verified to be correct and working properly. This is where it gets interesting. During my first test drive, in 4 low at operating temp, the engine immediately begins to overheat driving up a steep grade slowly. I forfeit the test drive and feel the transmission which is quite hot. I decided to drive the jeep to the dealership because the transmission was still under warranty and I knew from previous test drives that I would make it there without overheating the engine, which I did. However, and this is where it gets REALLY interesting, I made a pit stop at my friends to let them know what I was doing. Literally the moment I get into the jeep, turn it on and put it in reverse, guess what; the engine dies. I managed to get it turned around slowly without killing it, and proceeded to the dealership. The CEL/MIL comes on, and the transmission slipped in a major way three times in total before arriving at the dealership. The CEL stored a code for the catalyst, funny right? So at this point, I know I'm looking at a possible torque converter malfunction (in the "new" reman-trans) and/or a fused/blocked cat. In which case we could see a not-so obvious potential cause of overheating there as well. The following email attempts to illustrate my personal experience with the dealership over two visits, on two consecutive days. Names have been omitted: "I spoke to **** when I was leaving Dodge today and told him I should probably just cool it and let Dodge do their thing. But it wasn't until I got home and really started processing everything that has transpired since I first made contact with "Service Manager" in the service department yesterday that I finally figured out what they're doing and I'll try to keep it as straight and to the point as possible: First of all, my understanding is that the jeep died in reverse, was taken to dodge, and given back to you with a $6,000+ bill primarily for a remanufactured transmission. And as we all know the jeep made it just under 1,000 miles (according to Dodge's record) before overheating and coming to me for repair. After fixing all of the damages caused by overheating, it begins to die in reverse, and the transmission seems to be slipping. Not only did it die in reverse, the vehicle died in reverse when "Service Manager" moved it. This is important later. The first day I spoke to "Service Manager", he literally lied to me and said that your vehicles transmission is extremely dependable. And this is something I already knew to be a blatant lie because I have already extensively researched your transmission; so I challenged him on that point blank. His response was to stare at me, say nothing and change the subject. Which is exactly what he did all three times I demanded an explanation for the possible rear main and/or torque converter seal(s) leak at the transmission. The reason this is really important is because when I spoke to "Service Manager" again today he changed his story to the truth and said these transmissions are well known to be junk. Why does this matter? Because before he said that, I asked him (on purpose) "Did the vehicle die in reverse on you?" And he admitted that it had, which I knew because I watched it happen yesterday. At that point I asked him: "What was the diagnosis on the transmission that caused you to replace it?" And this is when he said they replaced your transmission and charged you over 6,000 dollars because these transmissions are well known to be crap and they were apparently doing you a favor...this is the problem: My understanding is that you consented to a transmission replacement to fix the dying in reverse problem. "Service Manager" tells me they made an executive decision to replace your transmission because they know they're flawed. That's the polar opposite of what he said the previous day when he was trying to get rid of me. I even pointed it out to him that he was doing that. So, I know he's lying. Why is he lying? Because they guessed the transmission was the problem, replaced it, charged you and sent it down the road. Less than 1,000 miles later the vehicle overheats, does a ton of damage, its dying in reverse, and the transmission is slipping. Was it ever explained to you that they replaced the transmission because it's a piece of crap and you should get a new one, or did they replace it because it was dying in reverse? Also, I asked for a detailed service history, and all I got was a piece of paper with zero information....which I have. That's a problem too, because if they have no record of their own work, how can they prove you needed a new transmission? Repair Orders are legal documents that are intended to protect the business AND its customers....but even more importantly they describe how you reached a conclusion which is very important in a shop, like showing your math for a solution. That's how we did it at ********* anyway, so I'm not 100% sure of all the legality but I don't think it would behoove them in anyway to not have them, and I would certainly hope they wouldn't go so low as to contrive records. If you or ****** have any questions, or would like to sit down and discuss further, I do feel like you have enough evidence to take them to court as it stands, but it is possible court could be avoided entirely via a formal meeting with "Owner" and "Service Manager", with me as your witness. Maybe if "Owner" and "Service Manager" are confronted privately with the lies I've already caught them in (Not to mention "Owners" terrible attitude when I suggested "Service Managers" customer service is garbage because he is dishonest) they might come to their senses and give you a refund, which I adamantly believe they owe you at the least. I have been told "Owner" has been the new owner for a year and they are struggling, I don't think what they've done here would be something they want to be public knowledge, even though it should be. Anyhow, that's where I'm at with it. I'm very concerned about their morals, and whether or not they will do this repair honestly, or even properly; if at all. So if there's anything I can do to help, I will. But I also understand if it's just too much drama and stress for you guys and you just want to forget about it. Either way I am sorry about all of this, and I really hope it gets resolved as easily as possible. Sincerely, ************."

Please feel free to share your thoughts. Questions and/or any suggestions are welcome. I hope this info can raise some awareness, because this is just a fraction of the scamming I've encountered in my 12 years as an auto technician.
 

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That's a LONG post to read, but my take on it is, you NEVER continue to drive a car when it begins to overheat. You shut it off, examine it, and have it towed if it is not within normal operating temperature. Damage is guaranteed to result otherwise. So I can't separate that from all else that is posted about this problem.
 

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Paragraphs are your friends.

Trying to separate the facts from the OP's commentary and decipher what is important is difficult.

Seems the OP drove the vehicle *after* it began to experience problems rather than call roadside assistance and is unhappy he is having problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I understand what you're saying, but I have only overheated a vehicle due to my negligence once in 12 years, so I'm ok with that. Also, I've spent the past month with this jeep and got to know what its symptoms and the root causes are.

Overheating was never a factor until after Dodge replaced the transmission. It was towed to me, thoroughly repaired and inspected. When I drove it to Dodge, I made that choice because I could only induce overheating of the engine under specific circumstances after my repairs, i.e 4-L, uphill, and it was a short distance to get it there.

I am sorry if you find the post too long, and hard to read.

For the record, I have never, and would never advise anyone to attempt driving a vehicle if there is ANY chance of overheating, which I did and is why it was towed to me in the first place. Do as I say, not as I do? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, I no longer have the option to edit the post, so I guess I can't indent and paragraph to make it an easier read unless I re-post.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In summary, the dealer threw a transmission at it to solve the dying in reverse. Returned to customer, it overheats. My friends come to me distressed, I repair the resulting damages and isolate all remaining symptoms at the transmission and catalyst. At this point the jeep is returned to dealer due to indication it will eventually overheat under sustained driving conditions, dying in reverse (the original complaint), and transmission slipping.

In my opinion, the catalyst was the only and original problem and Dodge missed it, opting instead to replace the transmission. It is also possible the re-manufactured transmission came with a defective torque converter.

This also does not explain the leak at bell housing less than 1K after trans was replaced.

I will add that the service manager was not even able to put any negligence on my part after a 30 minute session of "you're guilty until I'm convinced otherwise" and believe me, he really, really tried.

They were forced to accept the vehicle for warranty after I pain-stakingly made my case to the S.M.

-Ziu
 

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Also, I no longer have the option to edit the post, so I guess I can't indent and paragraph to make it an easier read unless I re-post.
Edit's to a post can be made up to 4 hours after the original post. After that the edit feature is no longer available.
 
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