Rotate and balance tires/brakes
A few months ago we got the new to me Gulf Stream. I knew about the problems it had and then found a few more. So yea whatever, its a RV.
Pretty close to when we get it home we wanted the front end looked at since the steering was a bit sloppy and it drifted to the right.
I call Crestview and ask them if they can service this vehicle. I ask them if their machine can handle a 31 foot class C, Brandon tells me no problem, bring it in as soon as you get the chance. I ask how about in 2-3 days, we will be camping in it for a few, "no problem".
When we bring it in, we talked to Gary. We told him what the issues were and told him that we wanted a "PDI" done. We wanted this looked over by someone that lives working on these on a daily basis.
While taking down our concerns he was trying to print out the repair order but couldn't and stated that he doesn't usually do this so he wasn't sure what the problem was at the moment.
I asked him for a PDI sheet to make some notes for the technician.
I got the paper and noted:
Do the PDI, I want a second-third set of eyes to look it over rotate and balance the tires, look the tires over for being out of round, do not mess with the HWH jacks, I know the motor is acting funny.
Confirm that the coils need to be replaced on the fridge, leaking ammonia.
Replace the black twist locks on the outside of the fridge door--I had duck tape on the door.
Check the sensors in the tank. Black reads 3/4 full when empty.
Align the front end.
So after some conversation with Gary we talk about the front end and he starts to tell me that Ford front ends are very sturdy and ours is most likely just fine. I had to explain to him that as a master service adviser-one adviser to another-please don't guess on my vehicle when you haven't even done the walk-around on it. I want it looked at and want the problem rectified. Period.
A few other short conversations till he says that here is my (Gary) business card and he will be running the ticket and will answer any questions about it while its there. Hmmm. But you usually don't work this.......?
We asked when we could get a call on what we need to do to get it back in good working order and he states in about 2 weeks...?? Yea well OK then, we'll just suck up the lost camping time for fixed issues, right?
In about that time frame we get a call from Brandon. He talks a few minutes about the RV and explains whats going on with the progress and everything looks good but the brakes are a little worn, the fridge unit needs a new unit or replace the coils and the HWH pump motor smoked when they tried to check the operation. Remember the list I noted on the PDI sheet they handed to me....
He then tell me that the coach is too long for the front end machine to check it out. Second sign to me that this is not going to go well. We agree to have the rotors turned and new pads to the brakes.
About a day later I get a call from Shawn to call him back about some issues on the RV. I call Shawn back and either leave a paper message to his desk or his voice mail. Never get a call back from Shawn.
This tells me already that poor ticket management is going on in the service area when your getting calls from 2 people advising you of issues with your vehicle.
A few more calls to Shawn, then to Brandon. Finally get back to Brandon and tells me that its ready for the tune of about $2800.00..
Way over his quote of about $1800.00, he says that the final bill went way over since he had to replace the all the calipers. The seals were busting out and we could loose our brakes at any time. Of course I asked why wasn't I told about this? He says that he left multiple messages and never received a return call. I told him he better have the old parts to show me.
We just decide to go pick it up and get out of the Crestview management mumble.
When we go pick it up, he says that he gave us the calipers at cost. I told him to show me the old calipers and he says that they may already be back in the parts dept, he couldn't get to them. I told him to find them. He walked to the shop and returned with a caliper that was Ford, might haven been to our vehicle, I wasn't certain. The seal was gimped up, but to me it looked more from an improper use of a screwdriver compressing the brake pad to open the caliper..
Gimped up seal, was it really bad, maybe-maybe not--OK you got me.
After reviewing the bill more and more, they only replaced the rear calipers, not all four. He also stated that the tech had to clean the black tank for about an hour and fifteen minutes. He was going to charge 1 hour since it wasn't a hard job.
After a few more stern concern reviews of the bill we decide to pay up and lets see what we really have gotten ourselves into.
We asked what the PDI report showed and he says that everything looked great and its a road worthy vehicle.
So I go out the look it over and find that the fridge door locks weren't replaced. I opt to go and purchase them from their parts counter and put them in myself. I tried but as to never used them, I didn't have an idea how to get the new ones installed. Brandon insisted they were the correct ones. I asked him if he could assist me in getting them installed right, he told me that he couldn't because he already had too many customers vehicles to work on.
Remember that bill I just paid?
I drive it home and the tires still feel like garbage, never mind the front end drift, I know they didn't touch that. I am positive they are out of round from being just low end private brand tires.
We pack it up for another state park trip still getting the feel of it. At the state park the wife tells me that that tire looks really low. I pull out the air gauge and its at 50psi. opt! I need to get this taken care of now. I proceed to check the rest of them.
ALL are at 50psi. Now I really pissed. Luckily at the state park they had a maintenance are that had an air compressor, they were very helpful in getting that issue taken care of. Wow did it drive a bit better, not so sloppy.
We also noticed that the toilet doesn't hold water after the service there. I removed the toilet, look over all the seals, move the flapper, spray with cooking oil, no avail. It doesn't hold water after the service.
Trip to a Houston state park reveals a low tire again, down to 30 psi. I put the portable compressor to it and take it to Discount Tire. Tire had a nail. I asked them to replace both the fronts.
The other left front tire was requesting 8oz of weight. Of course working for them in the past i know pretty much everyone and go to the back and put my hands on the tire. The tires were a piece of junk. Out of round, flat spots....
I pulled the rear hubcaps off the wheels and they had weights scattered on the wheel well. That is a sign of an improperly trained person at the balancer at Crestview.
Both front tires show some even wear on the inside of the tires, more conformation that the front end has a problem.
We put 2 new Michelin's on the front end and away we go.
You know that little hum of a new tire you get when their right off the shelf? Thats all I could hear out of the front end and then the back end was doing its flat spot slapping. We will be replacing the rears as well pretty soon here.
A few days later I'm snugging up the steering box preload to take out some of the sloppy steering. I had to remove the air cleaner and filter to get to it. The air filter was filthy. the air cleaner housing had a very old dead rat in it. Now we don't live in the country, but the precious owners had the RV under a large shed out in the piney woods, they told us they had a few problems with some critters at times. I wonder where that rat came from?
Yes this was a long read if you made it all the way down here, thanks for reading. But service to your coach is really important that they get it done and get it right and don't feed you short stories and try to do a CYA for their own stupidity.. For the most of us we know that it isn't always the first time everything is fixed right, but too many mistakes and blunders is a true sign of a incompetent facility.
As the life of good service goes
: good service you tell some 2 people about
: bad service you tell everyone about.