I found that when something went badly wrong with my Dodge truck due to an engineering problem with the engine, Melloy Dodge was far more interested in trying to squeeze every dollar (thousands, actually) they could out of me rather than trying to make right a wrong.
The Technical stuff:
The engine on my truck failed before it hit 100,000 miles, due to a known engineering issue with my particular engine. It was the year they went to aluminum heads on the 4.7 Magnum, and apparently they didn’t build the ports big enough, making them prone to clogging, eventually resulting in a blown head gasket. When the head gasket goes it dumps the engines coolant into the oil sump, which then ruins all the bearings etc, so the entire engine has to be replaced. It is a very common problem with that particular motor, usually occurring between 70,000 and 100,000 miles, The engine and drive train were originally warranted for 60,000 miles.
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4X4 crew cab pick up truck. It has a lot of extra things added onto it over the years, nerf bars, tow package; rhino bed liner, a Thule boat rack, etc. It had less than 100,000 miles and was well maintained, regular oil changes, tune ups, etc, I use the truck mostly to go camping, and I was afraid of getting stuck in the woods, so I looked after it very carefully.
I had it towed to Melloy Dodge from my house when it had trouble starting and was blowing white smoke out the exhaust. It sat there for a couple of days and then I received a call telling me that the engine needed to be replaced (Essentially they looked at the oil dipstick, saw the coolant in it, knew exactly what happened, easy diagnosis.
They told me they estimated the cost of the engine replacement with a remanufactured long block would be $7100.00. I was pretty upset. They told me they would have a salesman call me to ‘see what he could do’.
I started making my own calls for repair estimates at other places in the meantime.
The salesman called, I was offered 1000 dollars trade in on a new truck. That was $1000 for my 4 wheel drive, crew cab, SLT truck, with less than 100,000 miles. The aftermarket add ons, used were worth more alone if I sold them used on Craigslist. There was no other discussion about discounts or deals on a new truck, at a time when they are offering 15 percent discounts on them internet. So I could overpay for a new truck, because my current Dodge didn’t make it to the 100,000 mark.
I called 5 other shops for estimates on an engine replacement, All but one of those estimates were in the 4-6 thousand dollar range. The one that wanted 9500 was in a wealthier area of town, and probably used to robbing desperate customers, much like Melloy.
I ended up just buying my own remanufactured engine and having it installed, and ended up paying less than $3500, using the shop on KAFB and its experienced ASE Certified Mechanics. The engine Remanufacture, the shop selling it (Advance Auto), and the Shop on base still all made money off of the deal, a reasonable profit. The cost included a new clutch and water pump, since the engine was already out.
So Melloy intended to charge me over double for my engine replacement, taking advantage of my distress, caused by their engineering flaw. Or rob me selling me a new truck.
The story doesn’t end there. While my truck was on their lot, my Thule boat rack was stolen from off of the truck bed. I found out a few days after it was towed to KAFB from the dealership. I thought it was likely the tow company. I saw the truck at Melloy with the rack still on it, and when I checked up on it at KAFB the rack was gone.
The shop at KAFB takes pictures of incoming vehicles to protect themselves, and provided me of the tuck as it came into the shop. I called Melloy to try and get their camera footage, since the lot there is presumably covered by cameras. I was forwarded to the Service Supervisor. I asked him to look at the footage.
“We only keep our video for seven days” He said.
“It was Saturday” I said
“We only keep our video for 5 days.” He said, immediately.
“Saturday was 4 days ago” I responded.
“We only cover until 11 on Saturday.” Another immediate response.
“Great,” I said, “That is when they would have arrived to pick up the truck”
“We only have footage from 930 that night”
So you can see where that went. I was obviously, blatantly lied to. They just did not want to even bother looking. I was not worth their time.
I called the front and was directed to the Customer Service Liaison. I told her my story. She checked into my situation and called back. The Service Manager says that the video doesn’t go back that far, repeating what I had already told her.
So, I will never look to Melloy Dodge for service again, and certainly do not trust them enough to ever buy a vehicle from them. It kind of sucks, because I like Dodge, but what can I do?