My ABS light in my 2005 F-250 was on so on October 30, 2011 I brought my truck into Gardner Automotive Service to have the front wheel bearings replaced and I was quoted $805.25 by the owner, George Gardner. This was supposed to be a one day repair and the mechanic (Gabriel) contacted me and told me that I was going to need to pay an additional $332.20 to have my pistons replaced because they were bad. He told me that the repair had to be done or he could not release my truck to me because he would be liable for anything that happened if I were to get into an accident. I told them that I guess I really do not have a choice and they told me to pick it up the following day.
On Wednesday, August 31 I came and paid George Gardner $800.00 and asked if I could pay the balance on 9/9/11. When I picked up my truck and drove off my ABS light was still on, my check engine light was on, my tow haul light was flashing, my speedometer was not working and my odometer was blank. I immediately called them and spoke with Michelle Rocha and told her what was happening, she transferred me to Gabriel. Gabriel told me that he looked at my truck when he was finished and moved it to the parking lot and all of that was going on already. I told him it was not like that before and he told me he never looked down when he drove my truck into the shop to see if any lights were on before working on it. He told me that he would have to check over his work and to bring it in on Friday, September 2, 2011 because he would need an hour and a half to make sure that he has not pinched any wiring. He said that the truck was safe to drive and the sensors would not mess up anything because this was most likely an electrical issue.
I should have brought the truck back at that instant but I was already behind with work. I know now that this has been a life lesson.
On Friday at 3:45pm I brought the truck up to their shop. Gabriel told me that there was not enough time to work on the truck, that he had not ate lunch and is about to leave. He had 1 hour and 45 minutes before they closed which was enough time from what he previously told me. I told him I really didn't feel like this was good to be driving my vehicle with all the lights on and he said that it was fine and he would see me after the Labor Day weekend. He showed me my old front wheel bearings and the pistons that he said came off of my truck that were damaged. He also showed me how the ABS wiring plugs into the old parts and basically how he disconnected the wires and reconnected them.
When I went to leave, my truck would not start. I walked back into the mechanics office and told Gabriel what was going on and told him he needed to come outside. He tried to start my truck and it would not start. He immediately said, "this has nothing to do with me, I promise, I didn't mess with this area and I am going to look at the area that I worked on to see if I did something to that but this is a different issue and must be your transmission messing up." He cranked the truck for a long time and it started up. I told him that cannot be good for my vehicle and he said he does it all the time to vehicles and it is fine. I left.
I did not feel comfortable driving the truck over the Labor Day weekend so I limited my driving as much as possible. I called the dealership over the weekend to see what their thoughts on everything were and they told me lit sensors can absolutely make a truck run differently and can cause more problems if not handled. Marcus at Champion Ford advised me that if the mechanic is willing to look over their work that I should give them the chance.
On September 6, 2011 I dropped the truck off to Gabriel. He called me a couple of hours later and told me my transmission was the cause of everything and it had nothing to do with him and he checked over all of his work. I argued with him about this and demanded that he do a diagnostic test which he told me that I would have to pay for. I told him that was ridiculous because the issues were caused after they worked on the truck. Subsequently the owner George called me back and told me that he did a diagnostic test (which I never received) and my problems are not their fault and my transmission is having issues and the crack in my exhaust (which I knew about) was causing all the problems.
I picked up my truck and on the way home my truck shut off and the A/C stopped working. I called the dealership and they told me I could bring it in Thursday, September 8, 2011 and they would do another diagnostic test and we could go from there. I could not work this entire week because the truck was acting worse each day and becoming more and more unsafe.
When Champion Ford did the diagnostic test they found no signal coming from the ABS sensors at the wheels. Upon inspection Josh Allen said the wiring had been ripped out from the rotor being installed incorrectly. I asked him to go ahead with the repair and told him to keep any parts that they remove that are damaged. On September 13 Josh told me that the mechanic Miguel Pinon was installing back the tires and he found all the wheel studs and nuts to be stripped and not completely bolted in. He told me the wheels could have come off while I was driving (essentially I was sent away in a mobile death trap from Gardner Automotive).
I immediately contacted George Gardner and told him what was going on and he told me that I should bring it to him because he has insurance that can pay for it. I told him I would be insane to bring it back up their again after they have already checked their work and found nothing wrong. I told him he could have his insurance company reimburse me for the money I will pay Ford. He said to send him the report via email and hung up on me.
On September 14 Josh told me that Gardner Automotive mechanics had come down and inspected the truck again and were mumbling under their breath that basically it is probably Ford's fault and not theirs.
The same day I picked up the truck. I had to pay Ford $761.52 to fix the wiring at the ABS, $654.00 for the wheel stud and nut repair, $49.50 in shop supplies and an additional $64.73 in tax for these repairs. The total money I paid to Gardner Automotive and to the Ford Dealership to fix his errors is $2,329.75.
I brought the written report to Gardner Automotive and the following day he told me he would reimburse me "a little less than $1,000 because so many wheel studs were stripped out". I asked him about the wiring or getting my money back for what I originally paid them ($800.00) and he said no. He continued to state the wiring was not his fault and I told him to read the report again. It clearly states the wiring was installed incorrectly which made the rotors rip it out.
I was out of work for two and a half weeks from this ordeal. I am not asking him to reimburse me for lost wages or expenses for transportation. I am not asking him to pay me for anything else on Ford's repair summary that has nothing to do with him. I just want the money that he owes me for his mechanic not being competent enough in his trade. I have the damaged parts, pictures and Ford's report that was the result of Gardner Automotive. The mechanic from the Ford Dealership stated he would even testify in court as to what he found. It is not reasonable or fair for a consumer to have to pay for a mechanics faulty work, that's just unethical.
Review about: Truck Repair.