Took my truck in for an oil change and ended up with a destroyed rear differential.
After leaving the service center I drove home, an 80 mile trip with part of the drive on gravel roads, and didn't notice anything wrong right away. Truck sat for a week or so and I used my motorcycle for the time being. Once I started driving the truck again I noticed the rear end had some issues, grinding and howling noises, binding gears, lurching, etc. I looked under the rear of the truck and there was oil on the ground and all over the underside behind the rear axe. The service center had never put the plug back in after checking the rear differential fluid. I crawled under the truck and stuck my finger in the plug hole and it was dry, and I was able to pull out small pieces of gravel and small shards of metal. I filled the rear diff with 2 full quarts of gear lube (keep in mind the rear diff holds approximately 2.3 quarts of fluid) and was able to use a plug off a piece of farm equipment as a temporary solution. Called Gateway and explained what they did, and Don, service advisor, agreed to have the truck towed in and promised they would repair it at no charge as it was their fault. When I went to pick up the truck after it was "repaired" I was told that the only issue they found was a couple of bearings that were bad. Don said the gear set was in perfect condition. I took it for a drive in town and there were multiple issues, a deep howl from the rear end, the gears weren't engaging during shifts, and vibration. There were 2 times the rear end started to bind, quickly slowing the truck to a near stop, then the rear end would release and send the truck lurching forward. I was lucky enough to be able to apply the brakes in time to avoid hitting the cars in front of me, and the drivers behind me luckily were able to move in time as well. Took the truck back to Gateway and told Don and the service tech what happened. They told me that's normal and I just need to drive it for a few days to allow the gear lube to completely lube the bearings. I said I didn't feel confident that was the issue and that I didn't feel comfortable driving it when it's clear something was not fixed correctly. They kept insisting that it was not issue and they refused to take it back in to look at it again. Reluctantly, I left to start my 80 mile drive home. On the way home the rear end kept acting up with the same issues. I decided to take it back so I backed into an approach to turn around. When I put it in drive the gears in the rear end wouldn't engage and the rear axe just vibrated. After shifting from reverse to drive a few times there was a loud clunk, a groaning noise, then the rear end finally loosened up and the truck lurched forward. I left the truck at Gateway and asked the service advisor to pull the rear diff apart and make sure the gear set was actually intact and installed correctly. A couple days later Don left an extremely rude voicemail telling me I need to bring the loaner vehicle back and get my truck. He stated that 3 techs drove it and said it was "perfect," but, then later in the voicemail he said 2 techs put it on the hoist and listened to the rear axe with a scope and there's nothing wrong. It was clear from the way he spoke in his rude and angry voicemail that he was lying. I went to pick up the truck again and have driven it for a couple days now. It has the same issues happening in the rear diff. I know the gear set was ruined because of the gravel and water that entered the rear diff after the negligent Gateway service center left the rear diff plug out, allowing the rear end to run dry. So here I am, a disabled veteran, with a truck that I can't rely on, that isn't safe to drive, will not be able to pull a trailer; and Gateway refuses to fix it correctly. I would never recommend anyone to buy a vehicle from Gateway or use their service center.
After attempting to contact the owner of Gateway to discuss the issues they caused to my truck I received an email from the service manager, Luke Bentley, and he came up with a couple of ideas of how the situation could be remedied. Even though he did that, he also insisted numerous times that his service center was not at fault, even though they were the ones that didn't replace the differential plug allowing the rear end to run dry, and he would fix it just to be "nice." I asked that they just order a new gear set, axle shafts, and all bearings/shims/sleeves needed to rebuild the rear end, and to completely wash the rear axle assembly prior to reassembly. He stated that was just too much work for his tech to do. He then said he found a used rear axle assembly that he could order and would just swap out the rear end. I said I'd rather have the rebuild, but he was insistent that he would not do that, so I finally agreed to just swap it for the used rear assembly. He also told me the rear assembly would have a 12 month, unlimited mileage warranty on the axle assembly and labor.
So, I took the truck back in when the axle arrived to have the work done. After a couple days it was done, June 7th. Before going to pick it up I called and requested that the old rear assembly be placed in the box of my truck because I would be taking it with me. I got the impression that they did not want me to have the assembly, and for some reason they removed the plug before placing it in my truck and gear lube ran out into the bed. Before leaving the dealership I asked Don where my paperwork was that listed out all repairs and parts replaced since this ordeal began. I also asked for the paperwork outlining the warranty, and the paperwork from the company they ordered the used rear assembly from, that Luke Bentley had promised I would get. Don printed out the paperwork from the first time they tried repairing it. I said that wasn't all the paperwork I was promised and asked to talk to Luke. Don called over to Luke's office and then said he would print the paperwork. I asked if I could talk to Luke, Don didn't say anything, he just grabbed the paper off the printer and handed it to me without saying anything. Once again he only printed the paperwork from the first "repair." I asked if that was it and he didn't answer, just turned away silent and pretended to work on his computer. It was clear that neither Don or Luke had any intention of doing the right thing. When I left the dealership with my truck it seemed to drive ok. Once I got to the highway I noticed there was vibration in the rear end, the vibration gets worse the faster you go, and it also causes some drifting issues. It's obvious that something was not aligned or fastened correctly. I put the truck on ramps and crawled under to take a look. The driveshaft seems to have a lot slack in it, which would explain the vibration that increases with speed. I'll have to hoist it so I can check everything else out a little closer. I have emailed Luke a few times to see if I could get the paperwork he promised me, and he refuses to respond.
Also worth noting: when I had the truck up on ramps I looked over the underside of the truck. When I rolled underneath the oil filter I noticed the initials KC scraped into the side of the filter. When I change my oil at home I carve my initials into the oil filter, that way if I take it somewhere else to have an oil change I can see if they changed the filter. It's pretty clear they did not change the oil filter on May 1st, I'm wondering if they took the filter off and drained it before putting it back on or if they just didn't remove it at all. Either way, that is an extreme amount of negligence.
The last time I spoke with Luke Bentley was when I dropped the truck off so they could swap the rear assembly. Before he brought up anything about working on the truck he kept asking me to remove my review of the service department. He told me other dealerships wouldn't be so nice to repair a vehicle when a customer leaves a bad review and he/Gateway were better than all those others because he decided to help me out. It was a pretty bold, and sad, move for him to ask me to take down a review when it was his service department that has been completely at fault from the very beginning. I have stated events as they happened, and their response to the issue and felt that everyone deserves to know what kind of service, or lack thereof, to expect from Gateway Chevrolet. So I will not be removing my review, I might even send this review to numerous newspapers to make sure even more people know how they operate.