Y’all. My truck. She is not ok.
You may remember a few weeks ago when I got into a minor fender bender and my truck was towed away to a body shop. Two weeks went by before they called me and said she was ready to come pick up. I was very excited. My little rented Nissan Altima is great and all, but… it’s not my truck. I love my truck, she is my dearest, my beloved, and we’ve been besties for almost five years. I drive a lot, I spend a lot of time in my truck, and she’s certainly towed my trailer aaaaaall over creation by now. She’s the first truck I’ve ever owned, and while she’s not fancy in the slightest, she’s rolled right along with everything I’ve ever asked of her, ever faithful. I say all this just so you know exactly how I feel about my truck.
Anyway, so on Friday they called me to come pick her up. I was so relieved to have her back. I paid my deductible, they brought her out front all clean and shiny, I hopped in, and away we went. Reunited and it felt so good. The body shop isn’t far from my house, a few miles, just a short jaunt up the highway. As I was on the ramp getting onto the highway, my oil temp light came on. I thought hmmm that’s odd, what the heck. I had already decided to pull over and call the body shop back, once I could safely get off the highway. By the time I merged into traffic, I noticed the heat gauge creeping up at an alarming rate. Then the check engine light came on. All in very rapid succession, maybe a minute. Um. WHAT THE FUCK. I took the first exit I could, and as I was limping down the exit ramp to pull over the engine started to sputter, and I noticed the temperature gauge was now all the way at the top. I slid over immediately into the first parking lot I could, snapped a picture of the dash real quick, turned it off, and called the body shop.
They were only about 10 minutes before closing, but luckily the manager answered. I explained what had happened, and he apologized and asked me to bring the truck back. Um. Don’t think I’ll be driving anywhere like this, thanks though. When I explained a bit more forcefully that it was super hot and the engine was SPUTTERING, he said okay tell me where you are and I’ll drive your rental car back to you and arrange for us to tow it back in. It was a stroke of originally annoying luck that they still had my rental. Since they had waited until 45mins AFTER the rental car place closed to tell me my truck was ready, I couldn’t go drop it off, I’d had to leave it at the body shop for the rental company to come pick up on Monday (which would accrue 3 more days of rental fees). But thank goodness for that in retrospect, because otherwise I’d have had no vehicle.
Anyway… so the guy shows up in my rental 5 minutes later, very apologetic, and I show him the picture of all the dash warning lights and explain the sequence of events. He says “hmm… that’s weird, we ran the diagnostics and nothing showed up” enough times to make me see red. See, in the time I’d been waiting for him to show up, I had called my mechanic SO (he works at the Bentley/Rolls Royce/Aston Martin/Lotus/Maserati dealership) to tell him what happened, and the very first question he asked me was “Did they road test it?”. IE, did they drive the truck around the block a couple times after repairs were complete to verify all was well. This is standard procedure at any repair shop worth their salt with any mechanic who gives a shit about checking their work. SO was out at happy hour at the time with a bunch of other mechanic friends, and as they all heard what had happened I was met with a loud chorus of “Daaaaaaamn, THEY DIDN’T ROAD TEST IT!”. So as we’re standing in the parking lot next to my disabled truck and manager said for the second time that they ran the diagnostics and it didn’t return any codes, I asked if they road tested it. He paused, looking a bit panicked, and repeated the same line about the diagnostics for a third time. Uh huh. Got it. Figured not.
I quietly packaged my rage, stuffed it deep down inside, took the rental car keys from him, and drove away without another word. Mostly because if any words had been allowed to come out of my mouth, they would not have been very polite.
When SO got home we talked through what happened in detail and his guess was that either the coolant hose came loose or had a major leak, bad enough to where in the very short distance between the dealership and me getting on the highway, all the coolant had leaked out. Which of course caused it to overheat, which in turn caused the sputtering as the engine was starting to take a hit. His concern is that once the sputtering starts, there’s almost always some kind of resulting engine damage. Even though I got pulled over and turned the truck off as fast as I could get out of traffic, maybe went all of 50′ with the sputtering, that’s still bad. Really really bad. Especially for a high mileage vehicle that has to tow things reliably. There is a good chance my engine is fucked. I am equal parts devastation and rage.
I have yet to hear from the body shop again, so I’ll be calling today and asking for an update. In the meantime my insurance stopped covering my rental as of last Friday. As far as they’re concerned, everything was completed then. The body shop WILL be covering the rental and any subsequent repairs, at the very damn least, whether they know it yet or not. I’m mad. I’m so mad. Just driving the damn truck around the damn block after they had “fixed” it would have prevented all of this.
Once I had calmed down enough to see straight, I went back and dug through all the paperwork my insurance had sent me from the claim. I went line by line, looking at what all they had done. You know what they did? Replaced the bumper and the grill. That’s. It. Absolutely nothing internal was noted, even though the truck had to be TOWED IN THERE because it had two MAJOR LEAKS with fluid absolutely POURING out the bottom of it in multiple places. Which they knew for sure, because it was noted on the original intake paperwork. So how the heck did only the bumper and grill get replaced? How did no one even think to drive it around the block? Really?
I also noticed that where they noted the “mileage in” (how many miles the truck had when they brought it in) and the “mileage out” (how many miles it had on it when they completed repair and returned it to me) was exactly the same. So yes, unequivocally and without doubt, provable right there in black and white, it definitely was not road tested. SO said that’s especially bad when there have been known leaks, because you need the pressure from the running working engine pumping things through to be absolutely sure that the leaks are fixed. You can’t tell that from running a diagnostic or just turning the vehicle on. Kinda looks like they just reattached a hose or two, put a new bumper on, and called me to come get it. In what fucking world is that sufficient, given the circumstances?
This is going to get messy. Really messy. I can already feel it. SO says that unless they show that they did some kind of actual engine repair, he would want me to get a new truck, because he wouldn’t feel comfortable with it being a tow vehicle again. I’m trying not to absolutely lose my internal shit, so I’m waiting to see what they have to say for themselves and what they actually do here. They better fix this, they better fix it right, and they better pay for it all, INCLUDING THE EXTRA RENTAL FEES, otherwise I swear to christ…
24 thoughts on “I would like to report a Murder”
Daaaaaaaaamn. What IS IT this year with the shitty mechanic work? 2020, you can go straight to hell. Sorry to hear about your truck 😦 I know how it is to get emotionally attached to a vehicle but then not be able to trust it to haul anymore because of LAZY INCOMPETENT WORK FROM A SHOP. Ugh.
i saw from your IG that you took it to caliber collision. which is funny (or rage inducing) to me because i ALSO took my mini to a caliber, and I got it back and I was SO EXCITED because they gave me a rental that was nowhere near as fun (it did not have racing stripes or disco lights or turbo) and I drove it TWO FEET and it made the most horrible clunking noise. and the guy said everything from:
“minis are known to have bad suspensions”
“on the forums it said minis have bad suspensions”
“your suspension has some wear”
“it was making that noise before”
hey guess what? the differential had gone. which they wouldve known, if they had driven it OUT OF THE FUCKING PARKING LOT.
noted the same re: mileage in and mileage out. they did not drive it.
meanwhile I took the truck to some podunk shop on the main line bc it had a fuel leak and the guy drove it THIRTY MILES in the process to try and fix it. which he did.
anyway long comment, I’m sorry, i hate them for you, don’t trust them THE CAKE IS A LIE
I didn’t have a choice in where to take it, it was done through my insurance. Well… I had a choice of two locations, but both Caliber. They even said as I picked it up “we’d really appreciate a good review if you feel so inclined”. I do not feel so inclined. At all. Seems really fucking ridiculous and I know this whole thing is about to turn into an even bigger disaster.
Ooooh, good one. “Please leave a good review for the shoddy work we did and all the important checks we didn’t even do.. ”
Do you have the option to take the repair shop obligation out of your insurance?
I always chose to pay more to not have to use the repair shop the insurance company chooses for exactly the fear that it’s a cheapo, bad one.
yeah i could only go to caliber as well. but i have shitty cheap insurance. i could not believe the shoddy work they did. DEFINITELY leave a review.
Excuse my french but why the FUCK did it take them 2 weeks to just replace a grill and bumper??
I am getting mad just reading this.
Do you have legal cost insurance? Because this smells like a law suit in the making…
I am so sorry about your truck. What a clusterfuck.
That was exactly my thought, might be a good idea to have a lawyer ready….
Also, I can 100% picture a bunch of mechanics holding beers saying “They didn’t road test it!” while SO was on the phone, so thanks for that.
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As someone whose brakes failed catastrophically WHILE HAULING over Labor Day weekend, and now has a new truck because of the amount of damage done and lack of trust in the vehicle, I feel your pain. That’s super shitty and I sincerely hope the shop makes things right.
That is terrible, I am so sorry this happened. I love my suv/truck and the dog thinks it’s our “real home”, not the house. Needing a new one at some point makes me sad about the eventual fate of this one.
I wonder if the “body shop” thinks only in terms of the outer wrapper, not under the hood? I’m any case there is no excuse for them not bringing in other expertise if they needed it.
I’d put responsibility on the insurance company also for choosing just a body shop without also making sure the inner truck works were also thoroughly taken care of.
If Caliber totaled your truck, they & the insurance company owe you a new one, imo, because insurance picked Caliber. What an awful situation. Good luck !!!
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Car stuff is the WORST! I’m beyond grateful that my husband is a well connected mechanic and if he doesn’t do the repairs himself he knows all the right places to take our vehicles and can usually even finagle insurance to take the vehicle where he wants it to go.
I will say that even in DFW there are multiple Calibers and there is a vast difference in quality between shops. Hubs always recommends ppl go to one, but avoid a couple of the others at all costs.
Hopefully if you’ll at the very least get a reimbursement for everything such that if you have to get a new truck you aren’t out of pocket for the whole thing. I’m sorry you are going through this. 😦
I’m so sorry. Your poor truck. ☹️ I’m guessing they also charged you a lot of money for their shitty “repair” and want payment ASAP. It is time to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
Poor you, poor truck! How frustrating and now no where near resolved/repaired. Totally not the way you wanted to see your truck die. If you haven’t already, call your insurance. This is another separate claim on your hands. I find it interesting that your insurance company only gave you 2 “options”, when really, it was just one. I know that insurance differs from country to country, but here in Canada when we had our front end collision we were able to choose between 5 different “insurance approved” repair shops. Maybe once this is all said and done, you need to shop around for a different insurance company.
The verified repair shops vary based on insurance company and locaiton.
Ugh, what an absolute nightmare. I always thought Caliber Collision was ONLY a body shop. I didn’t think they did actual vehicle repairs beyond cosmetic stuff. But I literally cannot get a clear answer on their website about what they actually do. Regardless, they definitely don’t have a great reputation. I would also say call the insurance company back. This claim is not closed, the vehicle was not repaired. Also, you should be able to take the car anywhere you want to. Insurance will always recommend their preferred vendors, but you are not required to take your vehicle there.
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No they do the full gamut of accident repair.
Allegedly 😦 I really hope the fix it and everything works out
*rage flips table on your behalf* That’s a whole lot of BS. They better make it right and cover all costs in the mean time.
Back in the “old days” (I’m old) I remember having to go to the repair shop the insurance company chose for me. Hated that. I don’t know what changed over the years, but now (same insurance company) I can take my vehicle to any mechanic I damn well please. I always suspected some sort of price manipulation when I had no choice, coupled with “cheapest = shoddiest”.
Oh no!!! I think a call to Judge Judy or The People’s Court might be in order depending on how things turn out. I hope they do right by you…for their sake at least. 😉
umm not sure if u remember before my Honda Ridgeline went to the great junk yard in the sky (a moment of silence and RIP Ridgeline Edward 1.0) they fixed the fuel line and gas tank THREE TIMES. Each time i left honda i smelled gas. Each time ti was still leaking. They finally got it figured out (after over 1000 dollars of charges) and then the engine light came on everytime and the emission lite. I would never buy a Honda from those guys so i limped in and traded in for my Chevy.
Incompetent is not even the worst word I can think of. WTF.
UGH i am angry for you. GOD I hate the world. I am sorry!
If you took it to the requested shop, the insurance company should cover the additional repairs. You can put up a fight, get your agent on your side. If nothing, threaten to go to the ombudsman. Your broker is there to work for you, don’t relent until they agree to cover it all.
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Yeah, we shall see I guess. The shop has the chance to do the right thing, even if I’m very skeptical that they actually will.
Thank goodness you are okay, and have lots of good documentation. Might be time to at least mention the attorney word… could help cut to the chase in the negotiations. What a drag.
Also – please expand on “packaging rage”… asking for a friend. 😁
So effing irresponsible of them!!! I know you have it back now, so I’m hoping your truck is okay…