Re: 2005 Dodge Caravan "drifts" to the right

"same axle shows a wear pattern then it has a problem and should be very easy to see eit her the camber is out or a worn/bent suspension part"
Perhaps that is the problem (that is what I am afraid of that they are not looking at it in the proper form) but they claim they checked the brakes and the wheels and there is no prob. The last dealer (was in for service bec the airbag sensor was on-recall item) wouldn't even look at the front end unless I paid for an alignment ($150/ Prob bec they saw the wearing on the one tire-front passenger) of which I refused bec 30 days prior I had it at a diff Dodge Dealer (for an oil change) and they told me they put it on the "rack" and the alignment is right on spec. My brother is a service director at a non-Dodge Dealer and his alignment specialist got the specs from Dodge and he also agreed that the vehicle is right on.
The warranty company wants me to pay for an alignment even tho my brothers dealer plus the Dodge Dealer prior to this last one claim it doesn't need it. Then if that doesn't correct the problem then submit a claim to the warranty company. That is ridiculous why would I pay for an alignment by a Dodge Dealer or any other company when I don't need it and also be out another tire?
Yes I know the tires are Warranted by the manufacturer of the tires not the dealer and pro-rated. That is what irks me that they have dragged their feet in this issue to get to the bottom of the prob so that the dealer didn't have to cover the damage.
What is even more frustrating is that this is my 3rd vehicle in 4 yrs from this particular dealer not to mention the maintenance service.
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"Gabriella02" < snipped-for-privacy@no-mx.carstalk.net> wrote in message
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Sounds like a real mess! I really hope it's been resolved by now!
The van obviously has some sort of issue but there are a lot of variables here.
And hey Max: I really hope you're not a service witer cuz your cavalier attitude would get my boot up your backside if you laid that rap on me. That's the sort of thing that really frustrates people when they go in for service, especially on a still-new vehicle.
I think what Gabbie is missing in this whole experience is someone from her Dodge dealer to "grab the bull by the horns" and figure out WTF is going on. I would expect nothing less after so much effort by the customer.
As for the multiple purchases: In a perfect world, it shouldn't matter how often you buy from a dealer - EVERY CUSTOMER should get the same, top-notch service. But since Perfection has not yet been acheived, Gabs should get the kid-glove treatment from this dealer!
Having said all that, I have no idea what's going on with the van. It really is not normal for 1 tire to wear excessively. If the alignment truly is "in spec" I would ask what they had to do to get it that way. I would also ask if they did a 4-wheel (thrust) alignment. It is possible to spec the front and still be wrong if it's not aligned to the rear. And even then it may not be 'true' if somehow the frame is not perfectly aligned. But all this detective work takes time - and money - and it sounds as though no one at Dodge has had a fire lit under him/her to make the investment.
My suggestion to Gabs would be this: Speak with the Service Manager and the Sales Manager, possibly even the owner of the dealership. Maintain calm throughout but make sure they understand you are not satisfied! Document the living daylights out of the process. You should be able to negotioate a better price for the alignment than $150. Go ahead and have them align it to their heart's content. Replace the bad tire - the manufacturer should pro-rate the price as was mentioned. You should be able to accomplish that part thru' your Dodge dealer - you should not have to deal with the tire maker. Aslo, brush-up on Lemon Laws in your state...
If at any point during the repair process you think you're not being treated professionally, call Dodge at their national number and ask to get in touch with the Regional Rep. He/she has the power to make a lot of things happen.
In my own experience with un-resolved service issues, it has always taken perseverence to get it right. Breifly:
My '01 GC had a stalling issue. The dealer 'claimed' they could not reproduce it. I took the Service Writer for a ride and it happened pulling off the lot! When they still could not locate the problem, I asked my bro-in-law to look at it. He's an ace Ford mechanic and it took him about a minute to find a plug wire that was cracked and arcing to ground. When I returned to the dealer and told them how to fix it I asked if they still used Sun Scopes and had they used the modern-day version. They all hung their heads and said No... They installed a new set of plug wires and the problem never came back!
My '05 GC kept losing the A/C. Three times in for service and it worked fine when I left but died shortly there after. On the 4th visit I grabbed the Service Manager and he took personal charge of the van. They pretty much dissamantled the interior and rear undercarriage to repair a leak somewhere but as with the plug wires, the probelm was fixed.
In both cases the work was under warranty but I'm sure the dealer lost money from all the hours needed. And they really don't like that. Auto manufacturers will only reimburse for Book Hours, that is the number of hours the book says it should take to repair something. And that is based on an average number of techs doing the same job several times. If the book says 4 hours but your tech takes 6 becasue it's something he's only done once before, the dealler still only gets 4 hours. And BTW, the tech will usually only get paid for 4 hours....
Hang in there Gabs! They'll get it right - eventually. As for me, I'm finshed with my Dodge dealer for purchases. Several reasons including: Dodge dropped the Auto Headlight feature my '01 had and I really miss it in my '05. Chrysler still has it so my next van will be a loaded Chrysler TC. :)
Dave
Thread quoted below...
wrote:

a
looking at it in the proper form) but they claim they checked the brakes and the wheels and there is no prob. The last dealer (was in for service bec the airbag sensor was on-recall item) wouldn't even look at the front end unless I paid for an alignment ($150/ Prob bec they saw the wearing on the one tire-front passenger) of which I refused bec 30 days prior I had it at a diff Dodge Dealer (for an oil change) and they told me they put it on the "rack" and the alignment is right on spec. My brother is a service director at a non-Dodge Dealer and his alignment specialist got the specs from Dodge and he also agreed that the vehicle is right on.

Ok then, what are you expecting to hear then??? if it is right on thats the end to it. If the alingment is on, all parts have been checked for wera and trueness, no bent parts.

dealer plus the Dodge Dealer prior to this last one claim it doesn't need it. Then if that doesn't correct the problem then submit a claim to the warranty company. That is ridiculous why would I pay for an alignment by a Dodge Dealer or any other company when I don't need it and also be out another tire?
Chrysler allows one alignment per warranty period, that would be one alignment per 3/36

the dealer and pro-rated. That is what irks me that they have dragged their feet in this issue to get to the bottom of the prob so that the dealer didn't have to cover the damage.
What damage??? everything is aligned???

this particular dealer not to mention the maintenance service.

why is that frustrating?

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Wow, Max... Talk about the Angry White Male!
I always love the "get a life" response. It shows such a level of maturity :D
Since neither of us has seen the van & tire we really can't get too specific. I will bow to your knowledge and experience BUT if the van drifts to the right then something is wrong. Just because 3 different techs (or whatever the body count was) couldn't find something to fix doesn't meant nothing is wrong. And don't tell me about road crowns and bad pavement. Like I said: it's that sort of plattitude that gives mechanics - both dealers & independents - a bad rep. Gabs' description of her "problem" made it pretty clear that it happened on various road conditions. A simple test drive with either the tech or the service manager would have easily proved this out. For all we know, she's full of it and just wants a bunch of free service. (GASP!) Maybe she just had a bad tire. Maybe she only drives with the wind on her left. But maybe not and she should not be condecended to by you or anyone else.
Are all the customers at your dealership treated the same? I would bet they aren't. Repeat customers will always get better treatment and I challenge you to show me otherwise. I would bet the guy who just bought a Viper gets more personalized attention than the kid with the stripped-down Neon. And quite frankly, I don't have a problem with that. Haven't you ever been in a situation where you thought Hey - I paid a lot of money for this (random item) I think I deserve better treatment! With a loaded GC in the $35k and up range I expect a LOT of service after the sale.
You wanna know why I didn't buy a Ford van in '01? Dodge was the only company to offer 4-wheel disc brakes. Not Ford - with whom we had a good relationship nor Chevy. And I don't buy foreign cars. Dodge also had the power side & rear doors which have become invaluable. Overall we've been very satisfied with the 2 Dodge vans. They could - and should - be much better built than they are (don't get me started on the cheap, plate brake rotors that tend to warp around 12k miles...). And it should never take 3 or 4 'tries' to fix a problem. But shit happens and while I'm not thrilled by the thought of being on a 1st-name basis with the writers and techs and my Dodge dealer, at least they know to fix it right the 1st time.
BTW: is your shop a 5-Star Dealer? Mine is and they are always doing follow-up calls after service. And if I'm not satisfied I tell them. That call is then followed-up by the service manager to find out why I wasn't happy with the repair. I don't know if this sort of survey is the norm for Dodge but neither Ford nor Chevy ever cared that much.
And once again, thanks for the TSB number over in the Sebring group. 1st thing in the morning I'll call my dealer and ask them to fax it over.
Please don't take any of this too seriously. It's only life, afterall.
Dave
On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 14:14:50 -0400, "maxpower"

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