Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
#680 of 3742 Ugly story (long)
Nov 09, 2001 (10:50 am)
So, today I drove to work in a rented Dodge Neon. Why? Well, lemme tell ya...
A couple months ago we brought my wife's 1999 Protege LX in to the dealer for it's 30K service. They did it quickly and without hassle, which was nice.
But a few weeks ago, her car was sputtering and she was experiencing power losses. I popped the hood and told her to rev the engine. One of the spark plugs popped out. I took a look at it, and the threads were discolored halfway up--looks like someone forgot to tighten the plug all the way. Probably the dealer's fault, but not a huge problem so I just put it back in and tightened it myself. Everything seemed fine so I forgot about it.
Thursday morning my wife was driving to work and the car started sputtering again and the "check engine" light came on. She pulled into the nearest service place (a Goodyear) and had them look at it.
The Goodyear guys said that a bunch of stuff was wrong. First, the car had the WRONG spark plugs in it. It had the spark plugs rated for the 1.8 (that would be the ES), not the 1.6. Second, three of the four spark plugs were loose, apparently only hand tightened. Third, and this is the kicker, one of the plug had literally come apart, and the electrode was now rattling around in the cylinder, damaging the piston!
Needless to say I immediately called the dealer. They were willing to send a truck to tow the car to the dealer so they could look at it, but they would not send out a loaner. My wife had meetings she had to get to, so she rented a car. The dealer picked up the car and also the plugs. Needless to say, at this point I was pretty miffed.
The dealer is now claiming that the correct plugs were installed, and installed correctly. This is BS. However, they are calling this a part failure under warranty, so they are paying for all the work, including (ulp) a new engine block--the electrode that had been rattling around damaged the cylinder. They say they're going to pay for the rental car as well, though I still haven't nailed them down on who's supposed to be paying the Goodyear bill.
So, my question to you guys is, if they really do pay for everything, should I just be glad it all got paid for and let the obvious labor error on their part slide, or what? I'm sure they want it to read as a part failure so they can charge Mazda for it, which is their concern and not mine, but since I don't have the plugs anymore, I'm not sure how much leverage I have if they give me any trouble over this. Any suggestions?
#681 of 3742 sunbyrne
Nov 09, 2001 (10:57 am)
That sounds awful. I would guess the goodyear people were probably right, and the dealership is trying to cover up their mistakes and classify it as a warranty problem so that they won't have to pay for it themselves out of their pocket. That's just a guess. At this point, you really don't have much choice but to let them fix it, but next time it needs to go in for routine service, go elsewhere.
#682 of 3742 Bad service.
Nov 09, 2001 (1:22 pm)
Untrained monkeys, some of these guys.
Really sorry you had such a horrible experience.
I'd get them to give you an extended warranty on the powertrain (engine, transmission etc.), at their expense.
Too bad you let go of the spark plugs. 20/20 hindsight. Service providers used to present you with the used parts (supposedly from your vehicle), giving you the option of either holding onto them or tossing them out. Nowadays, they don't even bother saving them to give you the option unless you demand up-front to be shown them after the service. Just CYA behavior, if you ask me.
Get the paperwork. Make sure the repairs are documented. If you're still PO'd and won't go back to that dealership, then I'd complain to HQ.
Nov 09, 2001 (1:27 pm)
"I'd get them to give you an extended warranty on the powertrain (engine, transmission etc.), at their expense."
Do you really think they would do that? I don't think they are sitting around ready to hand out free insurance plans for a 2 year old car. After all, he's already getting an engine out of the deal.
#684 of 3742 If they want to keep him happy.
Nov 09, 2001 (1:38 pm)
What's $700 if they stay out of trouble (i.e. small claims court)? Based upon the experience he's had, I'd be suspect of any work they do on his car, and I'd want coverage for it. Who says they won't slightly misalign the interface between the engine and tranny (resulting in both being trashed) when they fix it?
For the labor rates dealer service departments charge, they should really be properly trained and QA should be enforced by the service managers to make sure work is properly done. That's why we go there instead of to independent of non-dealer chains. They're supposed to be "a step above."
Sorry for being so blunt, but I've had my share of bad service, mostly due to carelessness (such as when they forgot to put the grease seals back on my hubs after replacing the bearings...geez!).
Of course, they'd probably be more willing if he'd retained the spark plugs. I guess the mechanics at the Goodyear might be willing to be witnesses should it come to litigation. Speaking of which, where's twistinlemon (pardon me if I spelled that wrong)?
#685 of 3742 kinda off topic, but...
Nov 09, 2001 (1:45 pm)
i've notice a bit of rust accumulating on my disc brakes (specifically, the discs). i've been told this is normal, still...it bothers me...is there any way to remove it??
Nov 09, 2001 (1:53 pm)
but the dealer said they were going to fix it so there's nothing to be litigated. The stop at Goodyear wont be covered as they can claim that he should have called the dealer 1st.
Nobody is in business to lose money: not Mazda, not the dealer and not Mazdafun.
Nov 09, 2001 (1:54 pm)
The "disks" you are talking about are probably your rotors. Perfectly normal. If you drive the car, it should just wear off as you use the brakes. HTH
#688 of 3742 Rusty discs.
Nov 09, 2001 (1:56 pm)
The rust is normal.
I wouldn't spray them with anything oily.
You might try removing them and having them chemically cleaned or sand-blasted. You could then have them plated with something to resist oxidation (such as nickel or chrome) and then machining the plating off the brake surfaces....or you could look around for after-market ones that already have rust-resistant coatings on the non-braking surfaces...or accept it like I do (I'm cheap).
Seriously, the rust shouldn't be a problem. It wears off the braking surfaces right after you first apply the brakes. Rust on the rest of the disc shouldn't affect the performance (unless you live downwind of the ocean...you lucky guy, you).
If you don't like the appearance, you can remove the more visible portions with pipe cleaners and soft metal brushes (such as those with brass bristles, not steel), such as those used to clean BBQ grilles. Don't use metal brushes on a power tool. You can do damage before you know it.