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Thread: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

  1. #1
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    Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    A little over a week ago, at about the 5,000-mile mark after the installation of the gold-plated remanufactured MBE 900 engine in our 2006 Sterling (a Daimler/Freightliner product), we went in to a TA to have the oil changed. The first thing the tech did was go right to the oil pan to drop the oil. I watched him. Although I'm aware that it's probably somewhat annoying, I like to hover over anyone that puts a wrench to our vehicle. The oil drain plug was stripped. As soon as he turned it, it spun around and around. The plug was not leaking, which baffled me. However, he could do nothing, and we were already dispatched on a load for the following Monday.

    Getting the engine swapped was a major nightmare, with downtime costing us massive amounts of lost revenue. As I said before, we were prepared, but for not much else.

    Fast forward to this week. We dropped in Las Vegas yesterday morning, and drove straight to the local Freightliner shop. The engine now has 11,000 miles on it and the oil needs to come out. My wife and I checked into a hotel, as I knew they were busy, and they take no appointments, despite calling ahead by 3 days. After pulling it in, and I have to call several hours later to get an update, the really rude service writer says that the plug is stripped, and he tells me that my bill for that portion is $905 for the pan and 5 hours labor. They were just waiting for me for the authorization to order the pan. Since we're now past the cutoff for the time to order parts for overnight delivery (should have been easy IF THEY BOTHERED TO CALL ME), this is now going to be another night's stay in a hotel. I then tell him it's a warranted part. I just picked up the truck 24 days ago. He says the part may be, but over-torquing the plug is a workmanship issue, and that I will have to call the engine-installing Freightliner shop to have the repair paid for. HUH? Isn't that what you folks do? I guess the word "Service" only applies to the vehicle, and not the customer. I call the old shop, and he commences to tell me it's the Las Vegas' shop to contact them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    I am fuming at this point. After getting hosed by a hotel earlier in the day for refusing to allow access to my pets, because they're aggressive breeds (you know, my black labrador killer who is a sworn enemy of all things deep-fried and attacks them at every opportunity), the spark is already wandering around the powderkeg. I have tons of thoughts running through my head. The first thought is what mountain I can climb and scream to anyone listening to never, ever buy a Daimler/Freightliner piece of crap product again, to wondering who I am going to have to make suing my next hobby just to get them to do the honorable thing. When I explain to the rude service writer that there's no way in Hades that I'm paying for that, he explains that's my problem. I say no, that's a Freightliner problem. He then says that he doesn't work for Freightliner OR Detroit Diesel; not his problem. (This all sounds eerily familiar....almost like several of my phone calls to the shop in Washington last month trying to find out where my paid-for engine was).


    My wife and I have never been to a truck show. I'm sure that the bright, shiny metal objects and the slick salespeople there really make you want to own a new _______________ (fill in your preferred truck brand). You sign on the dotted line there, in the truck showroom, or wherever, and I'm guessing that's like where the honeymoon ends. From our experience, the dealer shops treat truck drivers like poorly-cared-for sheep. Everyone is a broke scumbag driving for a 25-30 cent-per-mile mega-fleet. You, the customer, don't even think about trying to have or ask answers. That's for the grown folks to worry about.


    We have many years ahead of us in this business, if CARB and poorly-made vehicles or really bad warranties don't push us out of it first. That means we're probably going to own at least 2 more trucks. They might just be new ones.

    I wasn't going to say any of this, but the Sprinter oil change thread got my blood roiling just a tad more. Since we've only ever driven Sterlings or a Freightliner business class, I'd like your input....more importantly if you've driven (or owned) multiple brands of trucks. I'm leaning towards a Volvo, but am anxious to hear about Paccar products as well. How do you like each of the trucks you have owned/driven? What is an AVERAGE service experience like? I realize that sometimes everyone (drivers/owners/service folks) will have an off day. My experience is that almost all of them at Freightliner suck. I feel like a complete nuisance at every FL dealer we've been to. If, overall, your product is well-built, and your service experiences around the country are good, I'd really like to hear it. I'd also like to hear some horror stories, too. There's a good possibility that we're going to end up spending over 2x the value of our home in our next endeavor, so I'm taking this serious as a heart attack.


    Thanks in advance for your input.
    AJ & Myrian Johnson

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  4. #2
    Senior Member highway star's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    My experiences, while not always great, haven't been as bad. But, I did find out once that telling them you're going to call corporate can grease the wheels. Have you talked to Freightliner?

    I'm also wondering why you didn't go to a Detroit shop. The little bit that's been done to mine has been at Detroit shops.


    Livin' the dream
    D unit O/O

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  6. #3
    18K Member layoutshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    The problem with the oil pan is that the pan is aluminum and the plug steel. Speedco did that to mine, while under load. THEY paid to fix it, as should TA. IF if was not leaking on the way in, it should not be leaking on that way out.

    We no longer have a problem. We had one of those systems put on that requires a hose be screwed onto a fitting that is put onto the pan in place of the drain plug.

    I am searching for the name of it, it slipped my mind. Will post it when I find it.

    Duty Honor Integrity
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    Layoutshooter

  7. 3,597444,57697,8
  8. #4
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Fumitomo valve

  9. 4,597445,57697,8
  10. #5
    18K Member layoutshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    It's this one I think. My records are at home. Been going strong for 5 years now. NO problems.

    Had it put on at Western Branch Diesel in Charleston, WV.

    Western Branch is good. I have also had work done at the one in Canton, OH.

    MTU, Detroit Diesel, Allison, MTU Onsite Energy & WheelTime Dealers in Virginia, West Virgina, Kentucky & Ohio

    Engine Oil and Fluid Drain Plugs & Valves - No-Spill? Systems

    Duty Honor Integrity
    Peace Through Superior Firepower
    Security Through Strength

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give it to those who would not"

    Thomas Jefferson

    Freedom is found only in self reliance

    Layoutshooter

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  12. #6
    18K Member layoutshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottm4211 View Post
    Fumitomo valve
    The other one, Femo? without the valve. I posted the link.

    Duty Honor Integrity
    Peace Through Superior Firepower
    Security Through Strength

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give it to those who would not"

    Thomas Jefferson

    Freedom is found only in self reliance

    Layoutshooter

  13. 6,597448,57697,8
  14. #7
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Scott's right. We actually installed one on the M2, but we have an oil bypass system on this one. The oil needed to come out, as there are wear metals on break-in that I believe plugged the bypass filter.

    FWIW, TA didn't strip it. This was the first time the plug wasattempted to be removed since installation of the engine.

    HS-The Detroit shop in Grand Rapids is where I've had a ton of work done (well over $20k worth) since we've owned the truck. However, they replaced a wheel bearing that blew to smithereens on the side of a highway in Canada. It was a Timken bearing, made in China, that THAT Detroit shop bought from the FL dealer in Grand Rapids. Neither of them stood behind making that issue right (had to be towed and spindle rebuilt), so they're not exactly giving me warm and fuzzies, either. Their engine work usually is better, but they burnt me. I'm reluctant to allow myself to be hosed over and over again.
    AJ & Myrian Johnson

  15. 7,597449,57697,8
  16. #8
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Most manufacturers have warranty reps that can really cut through the nonsense. They should have them in different areas of the country. Hopefully you can track one down.

  17. 8,597450,57697,8
  18. #9
    Senior Member moose's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by highway star View Post
    I'm also wondering why you didn't go to a Detroit shop. The little bit that's been done to mine has been at Detroit shops.
    agree !

    2680 Losee Road
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    (702) 399-1890
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    get it there ASAP,
    The LV Freightliner dealer is one of the worst Freightliner have. not a good place to do business with. WWWilliams is. they do magic.
    Moose.
    Holding a $ is holding a fast depreciated asset.

  19. 9,597451,57697,8
  20. #10
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    That's a different one, and one I'll probably look into. I usually do most simple work myself. Thanks for the link.


    I guess my bigger question, is should we expect to be treated this poorly at every manufacturer's franchisee?
    AJ & Myrian Johnson

  21. 10,597452,57697,8
  22. #11
    Senior Member highway star's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Really, at this point I'd call Freightliner and run the situation by them. It can't hurt and they just may get things going.


    Livin' the dream
    D unit O/O

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  24. #12
    Senior Member moose's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by usafk9 View Post
    I guess my bigger question, is should we expect to be treated this poorly at every manufacturer's franchisee?
    I'd say yes. but it will depend on the salessman. for example: Volvo have the worst service, but here in Minnesota there's a salesman {GATR}that will back his clients 100% and will go to war if his costumers are been treated wrong by another dealer. my carrier buy Pet's from the dealer in K.S, he keeps the dealer on a short leash, and that dealer will provide all the networking Pet's O/O will ever need. i bought an East trailer from the IGH Dealer, and he proved himself over and over to help me save time and money when service or upgrades where needed. if you buy a Pet from rush truck centers you can opted out for a service plan nationwide, and so on.
    Moose.
    Holding a $ is holding a fast depreciated asset.

  25. 12,597457,57697,8
  26. #13
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    I'm guessing that if it were a newer truck and still under warranty they would be able to transfer the cost from one dealer to the other. With the truck being out of warranty, they are treating it just like 2 completely independent shops would. There is also a good chance that they are going to charge you for work already done if you want to take it elsewhere. I would just have them fix it. At least everything is in the FL network that way.

    What you'll likely have to do is pay the bill, then fight with the dealer who installed the engine. You do have the option of standing your ground until it gets worked out, but you know as well as I that the downtime and hotel expenses are going to cost you a lot more than $900.

    I understand your frustration. Personally, I understand the position of the shop where you are currently at. The shop that installed the engine is who should be on the hook for the repair. If it were me, I would get my truck fixed and then begin the fight with the dealer who installed the engine to get the bill refunded.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  28. #14
    Senior Member zorry's Avatar
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    I've owned three Volvo's.
    Coming off our recent time off we made an appt a week early.
    My plan :
    Drop trk at Volvo ,Vegas Wed at noon.
    Change a water valve. If they don't have it order it.
    Leave truck in shop overnite and adj valves when you open Thur am.
    I went to the LUCKY ClUB. Under $35 including two shuttle rides to truck dealers only. Pets allowed.
    Thur am I called to see if truck would be ready by noon so I could squeeze in TCU service prior to going into service.
    They hadn't pulled it in !
    When I got there the girl accepted the blame, apologized,and attempted to work things out for me.
    A few days later another Volvo dlr worked me in and will get future business.
    Had one other very large dlr fail to get me in when promised.
    Did my 130,000 mile oil change today. It was a pleasant dealer experience.
    I had one warranty repair. 4.5 hours. In early as promised and out around lunch,just as promised.
    Overall, very satisfied with Volvo dealers.
    Rather than treating me like crap the Volvo dlr in Vegas asked to let them make it up to me. Said they owed me one.
    I bought new Frtlnrs in 90 and 01. More often than not I left dlr irritated.
    New Pete 98 and used from 05 or 06 until last year.
    Some good and bad experiences.
    Pete was my second choice last year until trusted service advisor hinted towards problems with the Paccar motor.
    Hope your luck improves. I too would have recommended Williams.
    OOIDA # 463 ( Yeah, an old fart ). Expediting....It beats working for a living

  29. 14,597464,57697,8
  30. #15
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    Re: Our Freightliner Nightmare Continues. Your Opinions, Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
    I'm guessing that if it were a newer truck and still under warranty they would be able to transfer the cost from one dealer to the other. With the truck being out of warranty, they are treating it just like 2 completely independent shops would. There is also a good chance that they are going to charge you for work already done if you want to take it elsewhere. I would just have them fix it. At least everything is in the FL network that way.

    What you'll likely have to do is pay the bill, then fight with the dealer who installed the engine. You do have the option of standing your ground until it gets worked out, but you know as well as I that the downtime and hotel expenses are going to cost you a lot more than $900.

    I understand your frustration. Personally, I understand the position of the shop where you are currently at. The shop that installed the engine is who should be on the hook for the repair. If it were me, I would get my truck fixed and then begin the fight with the dealer who installed the engine to get the bill refunded.


    Actually, it's a Detroit warranty. The engine-installing dealer claims that it was a complete assembly, and never touched the drain plug. Am I incorrect in assuming that any Daimler/Freightliner/Sterling/Western Star shop should handle this warranty claim?
    AJ & Myrian Johnson

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