My son was starting his second year in college and after not having a vehicle his first year, losing his jeep to his sister in high school we were looking for another Jeep. For months and months we searched for a decent Jeep he could afford and we finally found a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X with just over 100K miles for sale at Englewood Ford for what appeared to be a great deal. We reviewed the Car Fax which showed very good service history and that Englewood Ford had changed the oil and replaced break lines due to them rubbing because of the lift that had been installed. We test drove the vehicle and everything sounded and ran great. There were no leaks or obvious problems. To help my son establish credit we ended up getting him a loan at a very good rate. All of the folks we dealt with at the dealership were very nice and helpful throughout the process and we ended up purchasing the vehicle in the beginning of June. My son was home and driving it daily with no issues for several weeks until he told me that when he stopped at a light the red oil light came on. Surely after 2 weeks and after the dealership just changed the oil it couldn’t be that low. We pulled the dipstick and it was very low so since there were no leaks anywhere and no smoke when it was running we only assumed that the dealership failed to drain and replace the oil as they said and reported on Car Fax. My mechanic neighbor and I drained about a quart and a half of very black oil, replaced the filter and put the recommended 5W-20 in it. Once we ran it I heard a ticking that wasn’t there before so we drained the oil and replaced it with 10W-30 and another new filter. The ticking went away and all was good with my son driving it round trip from Tampa to Boca Raton with no problems and no changes in the oil level.
My son ended up get a house with his fraternity brothers so he was unable to make a trip with us to London and Paris for a week the end of June. He ended up driving from Tampa to Boca with all his belongings to move into the house on the Sunday before our return Tuesday. Sunday night in Paris I get a text message from him saying he is stuck on the side of I-95 in the rain. Freaking out worried about him being safe on such a busy road in Florida’s driving rain I called him and he said everything was running fine and sounded good and all of a sudden all the lights lit up on the dash and the vehicle shut down. We quickly was able to identify a towing company (which I had added him to our AAA account) that took him to the nearest Jeep dealership. The service center was closed and on Monday they said that it could be the alternator because it wouldn’t turnover. They weren’t able to do anything more Monday and on Tuesday they called and said it was definitely something in the engine. Since I knew I would get ripped at the dealership I was able to have a friend load it on his trailer and bring it back to Tampa. The next day we put the jump starter on it and my heart sank when I heard the noise deep in the engine upon turning it over. We drained the oil and dropped the oil pan finding all sorts of metal shavings in the bottom. My next door neighbor grabbed one of the rods which was extremely loose and undid the bolts revealing that there were no bearings left. Nothing else to do but get a new engine……
Called around looking for a replacement engine and the dealerships had them from $3,800.00 to $4,200.00 just for the engine so we picked one up over in St. Pete and installed it. Knowing that we were legally out of luck due to Florida’s “As Is” law, I called Englewood Ford and told my sales person what happened who was of course very sorry about what happened and said he would speak to someone to see if there was anything they could do to help. He said he would call me back but of course I never heard back from him. After not hearing back from him I called the dealership and asked for the owner and was given to a gentlemen I had dealt with in their finance department who also said he would see what he could do and I have still never heard back. While I fully realize we are out of luck, you would think that the dealership, especially knowing that they didn’t change the oil, would have done the right thing and help pay for some of the new motor. I’m not one to complain or whine about things but I want others to beware that you are no more guaranteed that the used car you buy from a dealership is any better than buying one from anywhere else.