Friday, June 15, 2007

"Daimler Chrysler"

Sounds like a curse, doesn't it? Yeah, well, it is starting to feel like one to me these days. Especially after this last week of automotive trouble.

It all began when we decided to get the A/C fixed in our 2000 Dodge Caravan. We took it to our regular mechanic here in Alvin last Friday. I have Fridays off, so I took my wife to her job.

I knew what the problem was, basically. There was a hose with at hole in it the size of the Khyber Pass. Turns out the hose is about $200 alone. Then you have to get a contortionist to put it on. And the dryer had to be replaced because of “contamination”, probably because there was a squirrel or cat caught in there.

OK, so they replace THAT on Friday, to the tune of about $500. Before I came to pick it up, I got a call, and the unlucky Steve said that there was a leak in the OTHER hose now. “Daimler”! But we could take it home for the weekend and bring it back on Monday.

They called Monday with semi-good news; the other hose wasn’t leaking, there was a slight problem with an “o” ring on the new one. Fixed no problem. Saved us another $450 or so. But later they discovered that the driver’s side wasn’t blowing cool air. The mechanic traced the problem to an expansion valve. So they order the part. It won’t be in till Tuesday. OK, I can take Kelly to work for another day.

The part didn’t come in till late on Tuesday, and it turns out it was the wrong one. Wednesday we’ll get another one. “Daimler!”, we carpool AGAIN! In the mean time, the shop had decided to go with the Mopar dealer, but without charging us the difference. Even THEY were feeling bad about our situation. Surely the all-knowing dealer would be able to provide the correct part. Not so.

Wednesday, I called (which was call #23) and when they told me that news, I told them that I needed the van back anyhow. The air couldn’t be blowing any hotter than my wife, who had been stranded at work for 4 days already. They said a new part was coming from Dodge and it was surely likely that it was correct. Almost definitely.

Thursday I drove the “room temperature” van to work and my wife took my mostly air conditioned car to her job. Some time after noon, Steve called and told me that the new part came in and it was suspiciously similar to the original part that came off the van. Which isn’t a resounding “Perfect!”, but in light of the other three parts, none of which bore even a passing similarity to the original part, even a slight familial resemblance was a step in the right direction. I told him that I would bring it in on Friday and they could do the work.

I just now got the call that the A/C service is complete and that all we lack is the state inspection that is needed by the end of the month.

I will likely never view another Dodge commercial without launching into a tirade about this incident. The burden of being a Geezer.

So the state inspection didn't get done on Friday, as planned. It seems they started the engine without a particular vacuum hose connected, and the computer picked that up and tossed a "Check Engine" code on them. They reconnected the offending hose, but couldn't get the computer to clear the code, and that code precludes an emissions test.

So I bring it back on this next Friday.


Anonymous said...

bd: I think "Daimler" is a foreign word for FIX IT!!

Rob V. said...

As President Clinton was wont to say: "I feel your pain." At any rate, love the "Daimler Chrysler" graphic with the guy smacking his forehead. Did you create that? If not, where did it come from?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is another instance where the "German Engineering" Chrysler thought it would obtain by merging with Mercedes Benz (aka Dailmer) has failed to take place. Can you imagine a "German" engineer designing anything that has to do with making things cooler? Think about it the last time it got above 50 degrees in Germany men were cockroaches and the continents were all still attached to each other. To give you an example of how the German mind works when it comes to cooling an automobile you only need to look at the Volks Wagon. There is a classic example.........put the engine in the back and use the air that's rushing by the car to keep it cool. Obviously these boys have never been to SE Texas where the air that's rushing by the vehicle is so thick you can cut it with a knife and the temperature usually the same as the engine that's burning a hole in the back seat. No, while I can understnad your frustration I think you need to place the blame all or in part on the concept that mergeing companies to capture a share in the global economy only works when and if you might possibly be the guy or gal (depending on your orientation) that stands to gain the most stock options and decides to sell prior to the time that the world discovers it was an absolute bust and boycotts your product on the open market and in a global sense. As a result of all this my only advice to you would be that the next time you buy get a Ford or a Chevy; at least it's American made and manufactured in Mexico where it's extremly hot and they understand the importance of having an A/C that works.

Kyle said...

I had a Jeep and it was horrible! After replacing the transmission twice, always having to fix the air, and replacing the lighting in the dash board I finally decided to let it go. Something about the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep family that just always seems to leave people high and dry...and broke.

aA said...

don't sugar-coat it, anonymous, tell us what you really think!