As I mentioned last week, my truck just went over 100,000. I decided to try to prolong it’s life by getting the 90,000 mile service/tune-up from a Hyundai dealership. I had gotten the 30k and 60k services when they were due. Instead of going back to Romero Hyundai because they had tried to screw over me when my check engine light came on last year – wanting to charge me diagnostic fees even though there were two alarms and the cause of one was under warranty, I chose to take the Santa Fe to Glendora Hyundai. This is the same place that sold me the windshield wiper pump after Big-O destroyed it.
When I dropped my car off on Tuesday evening, the service guy said it would cost about $310 for the 90k mile service, and asked if I’d had my spark plugs and timing belt changed. I didn’t know, so he told me he wasn’t working the next day but if I called in first thing and spoke to the manager of the service department, Jeff, that they’d be able to do the 90k service and the additional work if I decided I needed it done. He told me twice that he strongly recommended that I have the timing belt changed if it hadn’t been done because “these things blow up if the belt goes” and he said “a new engine in one of these will run you about $7000”.
I went home and checked through my old paperwork and found that I’d had the spark plugs changed at 60k, but not the timing belt. The service department opens at 7am, and at 7:03am on Wednesday I called Jeff and told him I’d like the timing belt changed. At around 9:20am “Rocky” left me a voice mail saying my car was ready. I called back and told him I was surprised that they could change the timing belt that quickly, and he said he didn’t know he was supposed to change it, but they’d get right on it and have it ready by 4pm. Jeff dropped the ball.
Sometime before 3pm on Wednesday I talked to Rocky again. He called to tell me they found a crack and leak in my radiator’s tank and they’d repair it for the bargain price of around $300 (on top of the $310 for the 90k service and the $550 for the timing belt). I told him “no”, and he said I could keep the rental car again at their expense because they weren’t done yet, so that’s what I did. On Thursday, I left work around 3pm and headed straight to Enterprise Rent-a-Car and turned in the little Dodge hatchback loaner. I waited for about 20 minutes before they were able to take me back to the dealership. I was finally dropped off at Glendora Hyundai, and as I walked up, Mike said “Oh man, I’ve been trying to call you”. I had no voice mails on my work phone or my cell phone, and they had both numbers. He then told me he had bad news – when they were working on my timing belt, the tensioner came off and broke the valves.
Immediately I was upset and he said “it’s a good thing for you because you get a rebuilt engine and we’re gonna cover it”. I didn’t see it this way. I brought in my car with an engine that was working perfectly, and they talked me into getting the timing belt by saying there would be significant damage if it broke. They caused the new one to break and therefore presumably did significant damage. They called Enterprise to come pick me up again, and just before leaving after another 20 minute wait, I asked the manager, Jeff, how long it would take. He acted irritated that I would ask and said “we won’t know how much damage there is and how long it’ll take to get the parts until we get it pulled apart”. I told him that I planned on leaving town next Friday and he said “then we’ll have it done by Friday”, to which I said I had to leave by 9am and he said “then it’ll be done by Thursday”.
I called Friday around 4pm to find out if they now knew when I’d be getting my car back and what kind of warranty I’d get with it. Mike said they didn’t know yet but they’d know by Monday.
Today, after they’d had my car for 6 days and managed to kill my engine in what should otherwise be a standard 5 hour service job, I called again. I was blessed with being able to talk to Jeff (manager) again. He said he didn’t know when they’d have it done but they’re shooting for Friday. I told him I had a flight at 9am on Friday, to which he again said “then we’ll shoot for Thursday”. Jeff also said that I’d have a 1 year, 12,000 mile warranty on the engine work. A perfectly working engine that they destroyed is now only warrantied for 12,000 more miles.
I talked to a buddy of mine at work and he agreed to call Glendora Hyundai to find out what happened so he could explain it to me. After he talked to them, it appears that when the timing belt fell off because they didn’t setup the tensioner correctly, the pistons fired at incorrect times which caused one or more piston heads to slam into the intake/exhaust valves and break them. Glendora Hyundai claims there was no damage to the pistons, rods, or anything else other than the valves which they’re replacing.
I’m really worried about this and not sure what I’m going to do. I think I may call and tell this rude manager that I am going to require a signed statement that there was no damage done to the pistons/rods/cylinders/rings/spark plugs and sign it. Or, I may call and ask to speak to the General Manager of Glendora Hyundai so I can explain my dissatisfaction about this situation. If you have any suggestions for what I should do, PLEASE tell me.
Hopefully Jean and I can purchase some wedding invitations she found over the weekend tomorrow. Also, here are a few pictures I took at the plant this weekend while I was on “weekend duty”:
The first picture was taken alongside the Pickle Line, looking towards the 5-Stand mill. The second picture was taken in the “Cold Sheet Mill”, of a temper mill. The third picture was taken as I was walking back to the Tin Mill from the Cold Sheet Mill after doing my rounds up there – the building to the left is Hot Strip Finishing, and the tall building in the center is the #1 Galvanizing line. A mechanical contractor in Hot Strip Finishing told me 3-4 times how happy he was that I was coming by to check on things because he’s worried the craneman in there on the weekends is going to have a heart attack. The last picture is a view I see many times every day, the “P&O shipping bay”, where Pickled and Oiled coils go after they come off the pickle line so they can be loaded on trucks and shipped to customers. My buddy Dave’s office is just outside this bay on the right.