Avoid this place like the plague, ESPECIALLY if you are a woman!
I have had my Nissan Sentra serviced here numerous times and have had a negative experience nearly every time.
I have had to bring my vehicle in on four separate occasions for a soft/spongy break pedal. The first visit was February 15th, 2020. My brake pedal was easily going all the way to floor every time I started the vehicle and the pedal would slowly bleed down when little to no pressure applied. The technician told me they could duplicate the issue though they acknowledged on the invoice receipt, “brake pedal does seem a little softer than usual when braking but seems to be braking with no issues.” The invoice also mentioned when they took my vehicle for a test drive, the brake pedal was pulsating when the brakes were applied. I had to replace my front brake pads and rotors.
I had to bring my vehicle in for a second time for this same issue on March 2nd, 2020. Again, the technician told me they could not duplicate my concern of a soft/spongy break pedal, but they did discover the front drum self-adjuster was stuck, and adjusted the front brake shoes in addition to performing a brake fluid flush.
Two days later, on March 4th, 2020, I was forced to bring my father with me to demand they investigate my brakes thoroughly because the pedal was still soft/spongy. I showed them video evidence and my father duplicated the issue right in the shop were numerous technicians could see—all the same symptoms I had mentioned before, but only now did they take it seriously because my father was present. Not surprisingly, they discovered failed vacuum valves within the brake booster. The vacuum failure was caused from brake fluid contamination from the master cylinder leaking into the break booster. They replaced the master cylinder and brake booster. When I picked up my vehicle from the shop, the Service Manager, Ted, spoke with us about the repairs, but I suppose what I should really say is he spoke with my father. Though it was my vehicle that had been serviced and I was the one asking questions regarding the repair work, he did not maintain eye contact with me and answered to my father instead. This seems to be a normal pattern with their technicians when a man is present.
My brake pedal had become soft/spongy again only a few months later on August 20th, 2020. I had been taking my vehicle to Luther Nissan for other issues and had received MUCH better treatment, but I returned to Walser to have the break issue addressed because I was in need of a rental vehicle and Luther Nissan did not have one available for nearly a week. After dropping my vehicle off, the following day I received a text message from their Service Technician, Eric, stating they could not duplicate the issue and there were no codes stored in the system—I don’t see why they would be checking for a code for a mechanical malfunction since codes are usually used to diagnose electrical problems. I told Eric about my previous visits to their service center for this issue and reminded him that I had video evidence of the pedal being easily depressed to the floor. I expressed my concern for the safety of my vehicle and insisted they keep trying until they could duplicate the issue. I received another text from Eric the following day after they had driven my vehicle for a while, it read: “if we can’t replicate the issue there isn’t much more we can do at this time.” I returned to Walser to pick up my vehicle with my father, knowing that if he was present, I had a better chance of being taken seriously.
We spoke with Eric about the work that had been done on my vehicle and when I pressed him about my fear of my vehicle’s brakes being near failure he responded, “That’s the thing, they aren’t failing. They are operating normally.” He informed me that he too, had taken a video of the brake pedal and even compared my vehicle to another Nissan Sentra. He dismissed the validity of the video evidence I had provided because as he put it, my father’s “shoe was bending which shows he was applying too much pressure.” He insisted the brakes were operating properly and it was normal for the pedal to go to the floor upon vehicle start up. He stated going forward, inspection of this issue would be charged as $139.99 PER HOUR for diagnosis and $50.00 per day for a rental vehicle. Through this entire conversation, the Service Manager, Ted was watching from behind his desk, occasionally making eye contact with me and listening to our conversation—not how business should be conducted. I should not be made to feel like a mad woman simply because I am expressing valid concern with the safety of my vehicle. Walser had my vehicle for four days, and claimed they could not duplicate the soft/spongy brake pedal.
I was able to duplicate the soft/spongy brake pedal myself after this visit every time the vehicle was started. Knowing I would not receive help from Walser, I took matters into my own hands and contacted an acquaintance of mine who is a Certified Mechanic for Hyundai of Inver Grove. I asked him to inspect my brake pedal to confirm if there was reason for concern before I attempted to take my vehicle in for service again. He inspected my vehicle on August 26th, 2020, just two days after my service, or rather lack thereof, at Walser. His written statement is as follows: “Vehicles brake pedal exhibited an issue of going to the floor. Similar Sentra (plus one on model year) did NOT exhibit same issue. No vehicle should under normal operational conditions exhibit a brake pedal being depressed to the floor. Due to safety concerns vehicle should not be driven on public roads due to possibility of a vehicle accident due to brake failure.” Just as I had suspected, my vehicle DID have an issue with the brakes but Walser would not take me seriously. I was forced to wait until I could get the vehicle inspected at Luther Nissan in Inver Grove on August 31st, 2020.
I told the technician at Luther about Eric’s comments and my overall experience at Walser. I also informed him of the inspection conducted by the Hyundai Mechanic and provided Luther his written statement. He was shocked to say the least. Within a few short hours, Luther had ACTUALLY investigated my concern and found the rear brake drums and shoes had no drag which was causing the car to brake improperly. They adjusted the shoes and removed then reinstalled the drums. My concern was addressed, diagnosed and corrected in less than a day.
I will never return to Walser Nissan again. I regret ever purchasing a vehicle from them and I am disappointed by the consistent negative, frankly sexist treatment I receive from their Service Manager and Technicians.