Chrysler Robs Little Old Ladies

March 16, 2011

I am writing this for a little old lady that I know and love. She is a widow of a man who was not only a WWII soldier but also the Korean War as well. Before he died he tried to protect her by buying an extended warantee on their Chrysler Sebring 2003 model.

Typical of extended warranties it ran out and then things started going wrong with it. It only had 42,000 miles on it and the warranty was for 70,000 miles.

First the transmission got water in it. She took it to the dealer in New Castle Indiana. They drained it and refilled with transmission fluid. When the gave it back it was leaking transmission fluid badly. The mechanic did not bother to test drive the car and check it for leaks. This is clearly mechanical malpractice.

What they should have done is to drain it and pump it out because draining a transmission does not empty it, it still has about half the fluid in it, like in the torque converter etc. When she told them that it still had water in it, remarkably they told her to take it out and take it for a long drive and that would blow out the water. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I insisted that they actually follow the proper procedure and pump out the transmission, they sent it back and said that the water pump was leaking and it would take over $1,000 to fix it. Then they said that they would have to put in a new timing chain and sprocket because Chrysler had changed the design and they no longer stocked parts that would fit the older design.

I told them that the warrantee had just run out a few months ago and that they should honor the drive train warrantee. They of course refused and charged her the full amount.

Then I find out that they had overtorqued the bolts for the transmission. They used an air ratchet to tighten up the bolts. The air ratchet tightens down to 50 lbs per square inch and the proper torque specs are about 11 lbs per square inch because the transmission bell housing is made from soft aluminum and it can’t take much torque. They had stretched the bolt holes and they should have been redrilled and rethreaded. They of course refused persisting in their ignorance in spite of me telling them to check the torque specs in the repair manual.

This is not the first time that incompetent mechanics have ripped her off. The electric seat adjuster stopped working. She dutifully took it into the dealer (Goodwin Brothers in New Castle In). They charged her $75 to diagnose the problem and said that they would have to replace the seat mechanism and that it would be over $750. She did not have the money so she took the car back. Her daughter looked under the seat and noted that there was a plastic water bottle stuck in the mechanism and pulled it out. Magically the seat mechanism worked again. I demanded that they return the $75.

The lesson learned is that mechanics still wrip off women, especially little old widows who don’t know any better.

I would avoid Chrysler products all together.

Blessings on you and yours
John Wilder


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