Trials & Tribulations - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-15-2019, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
RubiconFreedom
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Trials & Tribulations

This thread is to report a misconduct / Bogus front end alignment by a service technician at Susquehanna Jeep, Wrightville Pa This alignment was either never done or wasn't tightened correctly afterward. Also, I was granted permission from @JeepCares to post this story.

April 18th 2018

I was thrilled to have had located a dealership that was willing to install a set of the triple rate coils on our jeep wrangler. Along with this, they installed a set of the TJM shocks and a few other items. For more than 1 year the jeep has been preforming superbly. Throughout the year, I boasted about the quality & workmanship of Susquehanna jeep to other jeep owners. All of this was about to change.

March 23rd 2019

3 weeks ago, while driving to breakfast, we drove over a dislodged steel plate in the middle of the road. Later I learn that our drag link, Tie Rod, Steering Damper & sway bar end links all were damaged and needed to be replaced. I took advantage of ordering these parts form Rockauto as one can see within the RockAuto vendor area.

2 weeks ago, I contacted Susqu Jeep and informed them that I needed these parts installed on our jeep. Originally we had plan on having this done on the 26th, but the jeep wasn't handling very well as a slight shimmy had started and was increasing in severity. Instead, I informed Susuqu Jeep to moved the installation date to Fri the 12th. the wife and I made a weekend of it. Got us a hotel even drove up to Northern Philly to see our powder coaters and drop off our Power tank drop brackets.

Fri Morning the 12th

We entered Susqu jeep and was given a loaner 2 door Rubicon and spent the day touring Lancaster Amish country. Approx 5 hours later, we return to the dealership in the hopes the jeep was done. But it was still in the service bay. What I noticed was that the young tech was having difficulty aligning the jeep. He kept consulting with 3 other techs to help him align the jeep. The jeep was on and off the lift 4 times. Test drove for 3 times in the same intervals. I just felt this young kid didn't know what he was doing. At one point I notice him, moving the left and right tire while still on the alignment rack until the alignment machine registered green. yet afterwards he did not tighten anything on under the jeep. Clearly a ploy to avoid correctly aligning protocol.

Afterward, I mentioned this concern to the general manage which we've known and trusted for 3 years and asked that he test drive the jeep with me as a passenger. The dealership has this short trail along side their lot. I allowed the general manager to drive our jeep right after the installation was completed. But notice he drove faster over the pot holes and gravel road. Mush faster than I would have. He claimed he couldn't feel anything wrong and the jeep handled perfectly. Then it was my turn to drive the trail.

Although I didn't see anything wrong while on my test drive, I couldn't help but have a gut feeling something was still wrong after seeing that young tech not follow though with his alignment. It was getting late and we headed for home. About 3 hours into our 5 hour trip, the jeep started pulling to the left as the steering wheel was 6 off to the right. Clearly something was wrong we struggled to make it home. Once home I sent them an email to Susuqu Jeep informing them that we'll be needing a second opinion on the alignment and that we're going to find another shop to do this on Sat.

Sat April 13th

All shops in our area did not have any space. So we contacted a shop in Westminster Md. Firestone took us in the following Sun morning. Even before pulling into the service bay the 15 year veteran & a ASE certified tech said he knew what the issue was. After the alignment check, the Firestone tech concluded that Susuqu jeep's tech never completed the alignment on our jeep. Leaving our jeep in a dangerous situation while driving home that Fri evening. Comparing the 2 spec/alignments sheets. the Firestone sheet showed that the jeep was worse that it was when we first entered Susqu's shop.

I sent word to Susqu jeep's general manager with an attached PDF of both alignment charts. His reply was that the tech performed the services accordingly and no issues where found simply because I brought in my own parts and have Susqu jeep install them. Because I brought in my own parts, Susqu Jeep will not warranty their installation or repair or even the alignment. It was Firestone's 15 year veteran & ASE certified mechanic's word against Susuqu's mechanic.

The general manager in an email clearly said "We don't want your business at our dealership anymore, I don't trust the word of of another tech's alignment check, we must part ways & we'll not refund your money." end quote. Because of this dispute, I've since contacted @JeepCares and a few others in the hopes that this can be corrected.

Moral of this story..

1) It's always best to get a second opinion even on your jeep repairs. You get a second opinion when talking to your Dr, why not when you have your vehicle serviced.
2) Never just sit in the dealership waiting room. Get up and walk around the service area. Take note of what is being done to your jeep. Do not walk into the service area unless the technician allows you to.
3) Have a camera or recording device handy as if you see of hear something not right, You need to report it before you leave the dealership or service center.
4) If you see something not right, Get with the service manager, request a new technician be place on your service. However, in some instance, the dealership or service center may not honor your wish of changing technicians. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

One critical mistake I made while at this dealership. I seen something (technicians simply shaking the tires to get the alignment right) I should have reported it at the time the general manage was taking the jeep for a test drive. If I had said something, if the general manager had driving the jeep onto the alignment rack, I'm 98% sure that the scales/system would not have been correct.

As a warning to all those whom I may have told about or thought positively about Susquehanna Jeep and other dealerships, Do yourself a favor, say something or do something about what you've seen or heard. Take and make time to inspect those areas you've had worked on. Although I inspected what I could while at the dealership, I just wasn't satisfied with the workmanship and had to get someone else to correctly install those parts we wanted on our jeep.

I can't tell you not to use Susquehanna jeep in the future, But because of what happen to us there, We've damaged our hopes of having Susquehanna Jeep do any services work or warranty repairs on our jeep indefinitely.


Semi-Retired Sr. Mechanical Assembler & Sr. Quality Assurance Inspector for Aerospace Industry

Last edited by RubiconFreedom; 04-19-2019 at 01:44 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-15-2019, 10:12 AM
biffgnar
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It is not uncommon for shops to not warranty things when you provide parts. It isn't really work they want to do.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-15-2019, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
RubiconFreedom
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Yesterday, I was informed that Jeepcares has issues a refund for the amount of Susquehanna jeep bogus alignment.

Many Thanks to Jeepcares for clearing this up & Firestone of Westminster Maryland for repairing the damage done by Susquehanna Dodge Jeep, Wrightsville, PA.

end of story.

Semi-Retired Sr. Mechanical Assembler & Sr. Quality Assurance Inspector for Aerospace Industry

Last edited by RubiconFreedom; 04-18-2019 at 08:00 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-15-2019, 11:53 AM
biffgnar
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I was thinking about this a little more and on a solid axle vehicle how does wiggling one wheel or the other change alignment in anyway? It's not going to change toe, camber or caster. Having trouble understanding how a result was faked unless somebody just went in to the system and input settings manually.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-18-2019, 04:30 PM
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Hoss

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 12:22 AM
TheBoogieman
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That's why you should do that easy work yourself.

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I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-21-2019, 10:04 PM
Prot
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Never provide your own parts unless you are doing the work yourself or the shop tells you to.

Specialty four wheel drive shops that do lifts and other custom work are the best way to go for modifications if you don’t do the work yourself. I am surprised the dealer installed those aftermarket parts you provided. Having said that, once they accept the job they are responsible for doing it right.

For any dealership to issue a statement that they no longer want your business is outrageous and could get them in trouble with corporate.

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-03-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
RubiconFreedom
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Update: "The FCA Eagle Has Landed"

After about 2 weeks (because of the easter holiday) we finally get that refund check from FCA.
Many Thanks to Alex & @JeepCares for making this right.

Semi-Retired Sr. Mechanical Assembler & Sr. Quality Assurance Inspector for Aerospace Industry
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