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Garry Yeomans Ford, Daytona Beach, FL - 1996 Coachman Santara Motor Home (RV) - 36 foot - ongoing repair problems
Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by 31682004
Complaints.com received the following consumer message on November 27, 2002:
RE: Garry Yeomans Ford, Daytona Beach, FL - 1996 Coachman Santara Motor Home (RV) - 36 foot - ongoing repair problems
After calling several places, including the Coachman Dealer in Ormond, I brought our 36 Foot 1996 Coachman Santara Motor Home (RV) to Garry Yeomans Ford (1420 Tomoka Farms Road, Daytona Beach, FL 32124) on August 3, 2002. They appeared to be the only shop around that has the appropriate lifts for this size vehicle.
I carefully explained to David Price, the Service Advisor, the problems I was encountering in detail. I also clearly explained to David, that I just replaced all the Spark plugs, distributor cap, rotor wires (This is written down on the Service Order and Invoice as well). I told him I knew the engine had a bad exhaust manifold gasket. I reported the following problems: P1 When the vehicle is not run for several days, it is difficult to start as though it is not getting gas. After starting, it starts almost instantly every time.
P2 While driving, I could hear a slight clicking noise on the passenger side of the motor similar to a tapping of a valve.
P3 The vehicle looses its top end torque when climbing hills after getting warm (the engine temperature remains normal). It simply slows going up hills, but will remain at speed on level ground.
P4 Once the above item #3 takes place and after slowing down in traffic or stopping, it sputters and coughs similar to when an EGR Valve sticks.
P5 The tag axle light comes on while driving and remains on until I let off the accelerator (this indication seems to be coupled to the exhaust leak i.e. loss of vacuum). The above items are listed on the Invoice and with the exception of the "Tag Axle" failure definition, which is listed as "As you accelerate . . ." this is backwards. They never offered me the option at any time to see the old parts. I did not think about it until the tire incident described below, but if I did get to see the old parts, I could have seen for myself how fresh the break in the bolt was, as described below. I believe the mechanic broke it removing the head, if it was broken at all. C1 David Price told me he would put the vehicle up on the rack the next working day, Monday and call me as soon as he knew anything. He did not call me. I called him (I only mention this as this became the norm). We discussed what they found. He explained that I needed to have the both exhaust manifolds replaced and the fuel pump. He said that the Insurance plan would cover all but about a $150.00 bolt kit, not covered and the $50.00 deductible. My out of pocket expense at this time would be around $200.00. I questioned why the manifolds needed replacing as I saw the defective gaskets and completely looked over the manifolds finding no holes (the only spot leaking was near cylinder #4 from an obviously bad gasket). He said, "We don't replace just the gaskets. The manifolds come with the gaskets from the factory and that, along with the fuel pump is all covered by the warranty company."
C2 David called me the next day on August 7 (see attached faxes). He said he had good news and bad news for me. He explained that he had the exhaust manifolds in stock and the old ones off the engine. However, he said that someone else had worked on the exhaust manifolds before and had broken a bolt connecting to the head. He then explained that instead of removing the broken bolt, that someone had simply installed another bolt and drove the old one through the head, damaging the head beyond repair. I questioned this as well, since the vehicle only had 28,098 miles on it, showed no signs of engine work and also did not exhibit any such symptoms until now. In addition, the vehicle did not exhibit any symptoms of a defective head (my mechanic concurs). Further, it is extremely difficult to believe that a broken bolt could be driven into the head; it simply would have stopped a new bolt from seating fully.
He said he could not answer that, but now that they removed the head, the water was coming out from the bolthole. He then went on to explain that the other head became excessively heated and had a wave to it, so that it also would need to be replaced with "new heads". I asked about sending the heads out to have them rebuilt. He said it would run around 600-700 to do that, but that they did not recommend this, since it is "considered a band aide." He said, " the repair would not last." He also said that the other head had to be replaced, as it could not be repaired. We spoke of the difference of replacing the whole engine with a "long block." A long block comes completely assembled and remanufactured with both heads (for less money). There are considerable external parts that need to be transferred, such as the alternator, air conditioner, etc. However, the entire internal engine comes completely rebuilt. See both faxes. I declined the engine due to the exorbitant difference in labor prices. However, from the faxes, one can see that a rebuilt engine is far less than the price of the 2 heads alone.
I reluctantly opted for the "New Heads" (Notice that the fax with the option of the new heads did not show anything about replacing spark plugs, wires, filters, etc., nor did it mention remanufactured heads.
C3 I had to call David day after day to find out the status, but finally I got through and he said he had some good news and some bad news, again. He said that they complete the repair, but that I had a flat with two nails through the tire; one through the threads, which could be repaired, but the other through the sidewall, which could not be repaired. He offered me a choice of either purchasing a cheaper $95.00 tire or the "same" tire as is on the vehicle for around $190 plus mounting, valve, etc.
I strongly complained to him about this as I just replaced another tire (my fault) the week before bringing the motor home in for service to him. I had all wheels checked for wear, nails, and proper inflation by the Michelin dealer and he found all to be ok. I brought it to him ok and now after about a week at his dealership, the tire was flat? His answer to this was simply, "well we don't have nails here. I guess we could have simply put air in it and not mentioned it." I demanded to see the old tire when I came down the next day, to which he agreed. Early the next morning, he went through the motions of trying to find the tire, but someone finally said, oh we just got rid of that this morning. I was not happy; did not agree, but forced to pay for this tire.
C4 I picked up the motor home for a trip on August 16, paying via credit card for the charges. I took a trip to North Carolina the following week, leaving on August 25. For the first two hundred and nine tenths miles (200.9), everything, except the Tag Axle Failure light, which continued to keep coming on, seemed to be going ok. All of a sudden, I heard something that sounded like a spring winding to a point of breaking and then a snap and unwinding sound. I lost my speedometer, odometer, cruise control, automatic overdrive (light started flashing) and speed commands to the automatic transmission were non-existent.
C5 Later that same day, when I stopped for gas to fill up, the nozzle kept clicking off, refusing to accept fuel, unless kept to a crawl. At first, I though it was the station's pump, so I pulled up to the next one, but experienced the same. It took me 45 minutes to put in 35 out of 75 gallons of gas. During the round trip, I needed to stop for gas 4 times, each filling taking between 35 and 50 minutes.
C6 I called Gary Yeomans Ford from North Carolina about the problems. I spoke briefly with Bill Pose, the Service Manager, who quickly referred me to Ed, the shop foreman. He said there was nothing I could do. I needed to get it back to them. He said I probably had a blockage in the fuel filler line.
Referring to item #C1 above: 1. Exhaust manifold gaskets are available and replaced when they become defective. There is normally no need to replace the entire manifold. The need to replace both is not common.
2. The invoice for the Warranty company shows they replaced
the, "Sndr & Pump As @ $354.79 (Fuel pump). My invoice shows "Kit - FU/TK SDR @ $25.91 (part of the fuel pump and sender assembly). This item should have been billed with the fuel pump to the warranty company. Referring to item #C2 above: 1. I questioned this item with the service manager, Bill Pose upon returning. The invoice shows KIT REMFG HD A @ 1736.48 per head. Clearly, these heads were remanufactured, the same as they could have been if sent out for around the $600-700 per head. However, David called that kind of fix a "Band Aide." Bill simply explained, "that's the only way we could warranty the heads." He continued, they don't make new heads for this engine anymore, but that the factory guarantees them to specifications, etc. Any company they sent it out to would not do so. I asked him why David told me he would use new heads and replace them with remanufactured heads. He said he could not answer that. I then questioned the fact that two remanufactured heads would cost $3472.96 when the quote for a long block, including the two heads (remanufactured if necessary) was quoted as only $ 2956.00. He could not give an explanation because he did not see the complete break down of the quotes. I showed him the attached faxes and he could not understand the difference either, but assured me he would check into it. He said, "they probably quoted me based on another they had done recently."
2. I asked Bill to provide me with his hourly labor rates. He said, "we don't bill hourly on motor homes, but by the job. The mechanics want more money to repair them the bigger vehicles."
3. Then I questioned the charges for the Spark Plugs, Spark Plug Wires and Distributor kit, clearly marked as already being replaced. The shop foreman, Ed, piped up, "the wires must have been burnt." I said they were brand new and I checked them again, while checking the engine one last time that morning before bringing it to them. He shrugged his shoulders.
4. Notice that on my invoice the GSKT _ EXH AIR S @ 10.00 and TUBE ASY EGR V @ 25.65 (These are most likely causes of the symptom in problem #P4).
5. I questioned the Fuel Sender Kit, Motor Oil and Filter. Bill said he did not know.
6. I brought up the Core Return. It appeared to be a charge at first glance, but turned out to be a credit for returning the Head cores for remanufacturing. This is a curious item. David told me that the head had a bolt through it damaging it beyond repair. Why then would they credit me for the core? Referring to item #C3 above: 1. They must have run over the nails, either at their shop or
during the test drive.
a. I cannot believe they would not have noticed a flat at sometime during the week before David's call.
b. Had they saved the tire as I requested, I could have seen for myself the extent of wear to the nails and rust, etc. to determine how long they had been in the tire.
2. After traveling to North Carolina, I noticed that the tire they put on was not the same exact tire. David told me, "this tire replaces the other tire that it is no longer available. Michelin no longer makes this model."
a. I just purchased the same model tire for another wheel XPS RIB 235/85R16 Michelin (#13080) in Georgia the week before bringing them the vehicle for repair.
b. I called Michelin September 16 to verify this tire is in fact available and still manufactured. It is on back order until October 1. Michelin Customer Service advised me that while some customers opt to purchase the less expensive tire, that they do not recommend mixing tires on the same vehicle, as it can be extremely dangerous.
c. Michelin's Customer Service also explained that the difference in the tire is that the XPS RIB is a completely steel cased tire with a third ply, where the normal LT is only a 2 ply steel belted radial. The XPS RIB stands up to much more wear, last longer, runs cooler and handles punctures much better than the LT tire. Ed from Michelin's customer service sent me literature, but said with some urgency, "the tread pattern is extremely different and I strongly recommend you get the right tire."
Referring to items #C4, 5 & 6 above: 1. I pulled off the engine cowl to examine the possibilities and see if I could figure out something to get me going again. I found hoses disconnected and laying against the manifold. At least one of these hoses was burnt. The hose to the tag axle, vacuum assist from the engine was loose and allowed to swing back and forth while driving.
2. I examined the fuel filler lines from the neck to the tank (as much as accessibility would allow). I found a smaller breather line dangling loose about 18 inches or so from the ground, which could have easily snagged an object in the road. I found the filler neck freshly scratched inside the filler neck and the anti-siphon ball, no longer connected, but also scratched. The fuel lines underneath leading to the tank were crushed and torn where they had been pried with a tool, most likely a screw driver or similar. I could not do anything at this point as I felt it extremely dangerous to attempt this kind of repair myself. I brought the motor home back to Garry Yeomans first speaking with David again. When I explained about the scratches inside the filler, he questioned, "you mean someone tried to siphon your gas?" I informed him that they would have had to if in fact they dropped the gas tank to change the fuel pump. He said, "we didn't do any work back there at all." He recanted when I pointed out the fuel pump on the Invoice. David did tell me that the mechanic who worked on my RV is not longer with them and implied they had to let him go for similar repairs. I then spoke with the Service Manager, Bill Pose. He was very vague with his responses. He would not directly answer what adjustments he would make to the bill for the services performed, but not requested. He did say that he would take care of the problems I reported above in #C3,4,5& 6 "at no charge and would look into adjusting the bill." I explained the urgency of needing the problems resolved as my wife and I were going out of town to the Great Lakes and needed to take it with us to leave on Tuesday September 10 (We actually left on the 11th). He assured me that the problems would be resolved in a timely manner. I continued to have to call for status, only to be told that they had to get it up on a lift. I spoke to David Tuesday, September 3 and he told me that all the parts I needed were in stock except that the tire would not be in until the following week (This statement indicates that they did know the correct tire
is still available). I told him to get the rest repaired and I would come
back for the tire if necessary. Over the next several days, David assured me that the repairs would be completed. I called him again on Monday morning to make sure it was ready and he assured me that it would be up on the lift and finished. He then called me to tell me that everything was fixed except for the speedometer, odometer, overdrive, etc. He said that I he had the part in stock, and it would only take about 2