Asking for a courtesy vehicle from the dealership

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bluecheese

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Maybe "asking" isn't the proper term. More like "demanding" I guess.

Am I being the a-hole here?

Too Long Didn't Read Version: Truck was sold to me as "Certified Pre-Owned" but had aftermarket performance parts on it that have been causing me problems.

Long story:

In 2021 I bought a Certified Preowned 2017 Ram 1500 Sport.

The day after I brought it home, the battery died. I checked the battery, and it was the original oem battery that was sold with the vehicle. I called my salesman to see what he could do for me, he checked with the service department, and they said "sorry, we can't help you. This is a wear and tear issue." After blasting them on Google reviews and Facebook reviews, the salesman called me a few days later and said "look, can you take those reviews down? We'll reimburse you for the new battery." I agreed to do so as soon as the check cleared. I also checked the cabin air filter, and it was so full of dust it looked like a pillow.

A year later, I started getting the Hemi Tick. I brought it to a dealership - not the one I bought it from - and they informed me that the truck had aftermarket headers on it. Because of that, they refused to service the truck, and suggested I get in touch with the dealership where I purchased it.

I contact them, and explain all that's going on. They agreed that this is their issue. The dealership replaced the aftermarket headers with stock exhaust manifolds. I was given a courtesy vehicle for this.

Not too long after that, the truck's suspension was making rattling noises. It was getting so bad, I could feel the rattle through the pedals and steering wheel.

My thinking was that after installing the manifolds, they didn't tighten everything when reassembling the truck.

I contact the dealership again, and make an appointment.

I show up on the day of the appointment, wait in the line in the drive through, and I'm told to pull to the side and wait. After 15 minutes or so, I'm told that they were overbooked for the day, and that they set up a new appointment for me the next week.

I'm a little aggravated by this, but I understand that stuff happens.

The next week, they were able to fix the issue. The service order said "Installed 4318031AC Adhesive lock and seal. Found sway bar bushing, sway bar links, upper control arms, steering drive shaft loose. Tightened up all hardware related to suspension and steering."

So it was all good.

Fast forward to a few months ago, and the truck is starting to rattle again.
Also, there's a clicking noise in the steering wheel - similar to the clicking noise a steering wheel makes when turning with the turn signal on.
The exhaust has been making a chirping noise that's been getting progressively worse. (I recently discovered that the truck has aftermarket exhaust)

I've been super busy, so I haven't had the time to really deal with the dealership. Last month I called them to make an appointment. They can't see me until the 28th of September.

When I talked to the scheduling lady, I asked about getting a courtesy vehicle. I'm a busy person, and I'm often called to job sites at a moment's notice. I don't have anyone I can borrow a vehicle from.

She seemed very non-committal about them lending me a courtesy. "Oh i don't know. You know you have to have this type of insurance, and it has to be so-and-so type of situation." She then suggested that I rent a car and they may reimburse me.

So my next step is to call and talk to a manager.

Sorry about the long winded story. Basically, all the issues I've had with this truck stem from the fact that they sold me a Certified Pre-Owned with all kinds of aftermarket parts on it.
The fact that the battery was bad, the cabin air filter was filthy, the truck had aftermarket header on it, and I just discovered that it has aftermarket mufflers on it... it all means that they didn't certify a thing on this vehicle. Add to that the fact that I've had this truck for less than 2 years, and it has been to the service department 5 times dealing with these issues.

So, my question is, am I right to demand a courtesy vehicle from them? Any suggestions on how to go about it?
 

crazykid1994

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Certifying the vehicle just means they inspected it and it passed. Aftermarket short headers are not a problem and in most cases are installed due to broken manifold bolts. Aftermarket exhaust is not in my opinion an issue either. Honestly sounds like you should have done a better job looking at the vehicle before buying it. Pop the hood. Look underneath. Start it up and drive it. You can hear the difference if the exhaust was changed. We have bought 4 different used vehicles Between my wife and I. I’ve gotten on my hands and knees and inspected each one. Popped the hood and checked. There have been numerous vehicles we did not even take a second look at after seeing under the hood due to how they looked. Wife’s last Toyota was certified and had a 5 year 50,000 mile warranty and looked amazing. Had 23,000 miles on it sitting on the lot. We had checked out 3 or 4 cars before that one that I walked away from.
 

LeeD

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I would talk to the general manager or owner and tell him/her you want a loaner.
 
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bluecheese

bluecheese

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Obviously its up to them if they want to loan me a courtesy vehicle. I understand that.

Maybe my question wasn't clear. I'm asking how hard should I push on them for it. If these issues weren't caused directly by them, I wouldn't be pushing for a loaner.
 

mtnrider

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The issue usually is they just don't have enough to go around. My wife's jeep just spent a week and a half at the dealer for warranty repair and we did not get a loaner. Service writer tried but they simply didn't have enough to go around. They usually only have a couple at most. Have to remember that comes out of their pocket and times are tough right now all the way around.
 

nlambert182

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Obviously its up to them if they want to loan me a courtesy vehicle. I understand that.

Maybe my question wasn't clear. I'm asking how hard should I push on them for it. If these issues weren't caused directly by them, I wouldn't be pushing for a loaner.
The short answer... You shouldn't.

It's a used truck. Batteries may test good today and be bad tomorrow. If you bought it with a warranty, then maybe (depending upon what the warranty calls for) but if you bought it as-is with no warranty you are on your own.

The issues were not caused by the dealership.

Cabin air filters are a 5 minute replacement. First thing I do when I buy a vehicle.
Batteries go bad.
Suspensions wear out over time. Assuming you put some miles on it in the year that you owned it since buying from the dealer. You mentioned having to go to a job site at a moments notice. That could mean rough roads, terrain, etc... that wears on a suspension.

It looks like they did the header work for you, so be thankful. They probably weren't liable for them depending on the paperwork you signed. An aftermarket exhaust hardly qualifies as "all kinds of aftermarket parts". They don't cause all of the issues you've mentioned above (except for maybe the header tick).


At the end of the day if your first response to them not reacting quickly enough was to blast them on Google reviews, they're not going to be inclined to help you. You immediately come across to them as a trouble customer. Sometimes it's better to let someone take their business elsewhere.

Not trying to be rude.. just honest. That's the assumptions I'm making from reading your post and having worked for a dealership in the past.
 
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