ED Magedson – Founder
Don Sanderson Ford - David, Andrew Kimmerle - neil Schrock - steve Went - wayne Woods -teri Gebhart.2121 West Bell Road phoeinx, Arizona United States of America
I would like to draw everyones attention to an issue we are having with our vehicle service at Sanderson Lincoln Mercury (SLM).
We own a 2002 Mercury Villager van that has been consistently serviced at SLM since purchased and, up until recently, have been satisfied with the work that has transpired over the years to maintain the vehicle. We have recently been in for service on a problem manifesting itself as a hard 1-2 transmission shift. This is not the first time that we have experienced this problem with the vehicle. In 2004 the van was brought to SLM for the same issue at which time the corrective action was to replace the main control solenoid package in the transmission under warranty. The recent hard shift re-occurrence was exacerbated by the fact that 2 of the motor mounts required replacement. Our first service call at SLM consisted of the replacement of 2 motor mounts and transmission service for new fluid and filter(s).
It is important to note that our service writer recommended only a partial transmission fluid replacement consisting of the fluid in the pan. We were told that this would be consistent with not wanting to disturb the fluid in the internal areas such as the torque converter in order to prevent any particles from further damage to the valves/solenoids. The repair ran $602 and the problem still existed, minus some reduce harshness due to the renewed motor mounts.
The vehicle did present a CEL light which I had read at a chain auto parts supply store that provides the service. This same error code was read at SLM when we elected to have you look at it a second time (Code reading $126). The response from the code reading was that a replacement of the main control solenoid kit was again necessary and that the parts ($1450) and labor ($591) estimate totaled $2,041. We were informed at this time that the solenoid kit was no longer available because it had exceeded 8
years and the part became obsolete.
During the ensuing days that the vehicle was being evaluated, I began an internet search for information on this issue with others who may have been more familiar with the problem. I eventually found a group on Yahoo's "Group" pages that consisted of Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest owners who collectively had an immense amount of knowledge about the vehicle.
Everyone on the pages agreed that it was quite unusual for the main solenoids to fail 2 times in the course of 8 years and stated that the transmission would have to have been neglected with regard to fluid changes and flushing. One particular group member was able to access our original warranty work done by SLM in 2004 by using our VIN number and found the
information complete with your technician's notes stating that debris particles were found in the system. This same group member offered up the fact that the part was more ubiquitous than what we had been led to believe by SLM and that it could be found on the web in places such as e-bay. An additional group member recommended taking the vehicle to a Nissan dealership because of their higher level of experience with the drivetrain system being from Nissan and used in other vehicles manufactured by that
Our next visit to a service center was to ABC Nissan where the service manager immediately recognized the condition of the 1-2 hard shift and, when presented with the print out of the internet page from e-bay showing the part, stated that he could verify the part by cross-referencing the information on the page with his part number for replacement inventory.
The service manager was amiable to a customer supplied part in order to maintain costs. The new part was expedited and dropped shipped to ABC Nissan the next day and the vehicle was repaired for $552, including a total flush of the 10+ qts of transmission fluid + conditioner. The service also included a 100 point inspection and replacement of brake light
The following comments/observations were made by the service manager at ABC Nissan:
The repair technician at SLM had left off bolts/nuts internal to the transmission when the original repair was done in 2004.
It appeared that the fluid in the main assembly and the torque converter of the transmission had never been changed and was burnt.
Several points of contention have arisen from our recent experience at SLM:
Poor quality workmanship in 2004 in the original repair by the fact that parts were missing.
Lack of transmission fluid change in 2004 despite the fact that the technician documented the condition of the fluid and noted that
particulates were present.
Failure by SLM to identify replacement part availability, coupled with the quote of 10X the final cost if SLM could have located the part. The vehicle has be maintained by SLM for the last 8 years and at no time was there a recommendation to service the fluid in the transmission made by either SLM "Express Lube" establishment or SLM service center.
This is especially egregious considering that the transmission has required that the same part be changed 2 times and is a function of poor maintenance leading to debris/particulate ingress and ultimately failure.
During our original visit to SLM where the engine mounts were replaced and the transmission was only partially serviced, we were "upsold" additional services such as rear brake adjustment ($114). During the100 point inspection by ABC Nissan, there was no indication that the rear brakes were out of adjustment. We drew special attention to SLM documented additional services to ABC Nissan for their comments on the validity of the recommendations and found this one to be erroneous.
In summation, it is very likely that the failure by SLM to properly service the vehicle in the 2004 part replacement, combined with the continuing failure to not recommend transmission fluid change services for the next ensuing 6 years, led to a repeat of the problem and unnecessary additional expense. The vehicle was brought into SLM in 2008 a second time for the hard shift problem while it was under the Ford Premium Extended Service Plan but SLM failed to identify a problem and again made no recommendation for fluid changes. Unfortunately this issue was further confounded in 2010 by additional service costs by SLM that yielded little if any remediation of the problem but totaled a sum of approximately $378.
Partial Transmission Service $252
Code Error Reading $126
Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed with SLM and currently have filed with the BBB and are considering legal action.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/30/2010 04:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Don-Sanderson-Ford-David-Andrew-Kimmerle-neil-Schrock-steve-Went-wayne-Woods-teri-Gebhart/phoeinx-Arizona-85023/Don-Sanderson-Ford-David-Andrew-Kimmerle-neil-Schrock-steve-Went-wayne-Woods-ter-627799. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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