Unwanted Christmas Mod
Two weeks ago I decided to take the day off, and have the truck serviced for the holidays. The dealership sent me a "$50 for test driving a Mustang" card, so I figured I could get the oil changed while on the test drive.
I've gone to this dealership for all my maintainence work, so I was able to get the truck in right away; and the service guy grabbed a salesmonkey for my test drive. The sales guy promptly got the keys to a sweet blue 2005 GT, and we were on our way. Great car, awesome power, nice interior, a tad heavy in the turns, but definatley NICE.
Away, we get back, and they fill out the form for my $50 (Ford sends you a gift MasterCard). The service guy comes up, and I figure the truck is ready. Nope, the radiator is cracked, and leaking pretty good. I was wondering why there was some water under my truck at work, but figured it was the A/C water. I should have realized the A/C water isn't green and slimy.
Anyway, it's an aluminum radiator with plastic sides. The plastic seam has opened up and formed a nice crack. No chance to fix or seal that stuff, so I'm screwed. I ask what's the cost to swap radiators, and he says about $400.
At this point I ask about an "out of warrenty adjustment", which service managers can give to good customers. Ford allows this, so people don't get hit with large repair bills after their warrenty is just slighty expired. I'm at 42,000 miles and 3 years, so I may qualify. The service guy (who has ways been good to me), explains that the dealership is in trouble with Ford because of all the execptions they have been giving to customers. This dealership is close to a lot of retirement areas, so the manager has been helping out the elderly by reducing their cost on repairs. The customers pay a certain percentage of the bill, and Ford pays the rest out of the warrenty fund. It's based on how big the bill is, how much you can pay, and how far out of warrenty you are.
Problem is: Ford is losing money, so they have told the dealerships to stop doing warrenty adjustments. This dealership didn't want their fixed income customers to eat catfood, so they continued to do the adjustments. Now Ford was hounding them to stop all warrenty claims. Gee thanks Ford.
Anyway, I call the dealership where I purchased the truck to see if they could swing a OWA, but they were also in the same boat. I decided to bite the bullet, and went over to see my service guy. As I came up, the serivce manager walked by and asked what was up. The service guy explained the whole situation, and the manager asked if splitting the bill would work for me. I was shocked. I said "hell yes, let's do it", before he could change his mind. My total bill for new radiator, install, system flush, new coolent...etc was $250. Not bad for a Ford OEM radiator installed at the dealership.
Problem is: the service manager is now going to get in even deeper with Ford.
I talked with the manager at another dealership, and he confirmed that Ford is hounding them to charge full price. I know most of you do your own repair work, but I encourage you to support the dealerships that have good service shops. I know most are plain scum, but there are some good ones out there. There are decent folks who try to help their customers, instead of milking them for every penny (like Ford wants them to do). For what it's worth, I got a fair deal at the dealership, but I'm afraid it may be the last.