My pretty bad 2018 RAM 1500 Hemi experience, help/advice needed on what to do next

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Sherman Bird

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You could ask them to install a reman engine from an outside source, maybe Jaspar. The rest of the truck warranty would still be good and Jaspar warranties the motor.
I do not know about FCA/Stelanis, but GM or FORD would usually balk at any outside source for replacement parts, due to brand purity, DNA, etc.

The only exception I've ever seen was in the mid- 90's when the Truck small block v-8's couldn't keep a non-leaky water pump and the fuel pumps failed at alarming speeds. We would replace the fuel pump on a new truck in stock, with a factory unit and the trucks often wouldn't make it off the lift! The GMC dealer I was at had stacks of TRW water pumps and Carter fuel pumps in the parts department, and we personnel were sternly admonished to keep these embarrassing facts hush-hush!
 

jimbofl

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I would also not put to much stock in the RAM “case manager.” My experience has been that is where issues go to die… And you have no recourse. Wont talk to you on the phone, might get a return email stating the decision was up to someone else. Basically a middleman for bad news- in
my experience.
 

Sherman Bird

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quick update

I called the extended warranty number today (800-521-9922) to see if they could expedite my case or, if that wasn't possible, if they could just buy out my truck. I was told any requests to expedite or buyout have to come from the dealership. I was also told my dealership to date had done everything through email, but that the way to get faster service (or expedite a problem) was for the dealership to directly call 800-782-2668.

I then asked if they could at least give me a loaner while my truck was being repaired. They said I had to call RAM customer service (866-726-4636) for that. I called RAM customer service, and the person I talked to was confused because she thought the extended warranty people should take care of this. This person tried to call my dealer, I guess they didn't pick up. After that, she told me she escalated my request for a loaner car to a case specialist and that I would hear back in a day.

The extended warranty customer service rep told me the cost of the (initial) repair to my truck was $13,435. So I am thankful I have a warranty and I am hopeful that @RamCares and others can either buy me out or expedite my repair process so I can get a working truck again.

Again, I believe I'm not normally a complainer, but in this case I've waited 4 months and now I am back at square 1.
Your scenario is one of many I'm privvy to knowledge of all over the place. Many of my customers are keeping older trucks/SUV's, cars and choosing to fix them instead of becoming both saddled with payments on a new car AND possibly enduring the combination of having it down WHILE paying on it.

I know this is of little comfort for you.

It appears that passing the buck has begun. Good luck!
 

great blue

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RAM and Mopar have no appreciable customer care. It ought to be renamed Customer Don't Care!. I had a TIPM failure while on vacation and Mopar (call it NOpar) had zero available TIPM units in the entire USA. The local dealer said delivery would be 4-6 weeks with no guarantee it would arrive. There were also NO reman units available in the entire USA. The local dealer offered to sell me a new truck. So I got on the phone, talked to my NAPA repair shop (2000 miles away) and they found a bunch of used TIPM's all over the country. I bought one, had it delivered to the Dealer, they installed it (simple job pop a few connectors) and I was on the road. The dealer of course couldn't be bothered to do the used part search. Cost of a new TIPM quoted by the dealer, $2300, used one $600. The real issue here is that MOPAR has no parts. They used to claim COVID and supply chain issues. These cannot be the case today. So your dealer, has no parts, can't get any, and this is "Customer Care"? I don't think so.
 
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modavis99

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As an FYI I sent a PM to @RamCares and have not heard back. Out of curiosity, how long does it normally take this person to respond?
 

Marshall

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Lawyers?, That 's a good way to really screw things up.
He has warranty, so just take a breath and wait.
If the kid needs a summer car, go have him buy some beater for a few hundred and drive that. The truck is almost 10 yrs old, I have never heard of a buy back on something like that,
Canada we don't have lemon laws, not that it would make any difference anyway.
What motor was put in the first time? a Factory new I would think, or a rebuilt, if a rebuilt, those are the ones that will be on the hook.
 

Dusty

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I think there may be something else going on.

On a full engine replacement it's required that the service technician submit the list of diagnostics (like a leak-down test) used and those that indicated a major issue requiring an entire new engine on a repair order. This has to be approved by the Warranty Manager. The factory may come back and ask why individual repair parts can't be used to complete a repair.

There is likely a small battle going on between the dealer service and the factory. Usually the labor and parts cost on comeback work is borne by the dealership, and that might be the position the factory is taking even though the dealer is claiming the replacement engine was defective, especially since a defective replacement is relatively rare.

As an aside engines are never taken off the assembly line for field service repairs. However, there is always a quantity built for spares. To the best of my knowledge complete engine spares are not stocked, meaning not at a parts depot. They're held at the engine plant.

Regards,
Dusty
2019 Ram 1500 Billet Silver Laramie Quad Cab 2WD, 5.7 Hemi, 8HP75, 3.21 axle, 33-gallon fuel tank, 18” wheels. Build Date: 3 June 2018. Now at 111012 miles.
 

nlambert182

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I think there may be something else going on.

On a full engine replacement it's required that the service technician submit the list of diagnostics (like a leak-down test) used and those that indicated a major issue requiring an entire new engine on a repair order. This has to be approved by the Warranty Manager. The factory may come back and ask why individual repair parts can't be used to complete a repair.

There is likely a small battle going on between the dealer service and the factory. Usually the labor and parts cost on comeback work is borne by the dealership, and that might be the position the factory is taking even though the dealer is claiming the replacement engine was defective, especially since a defective replacement is relatively rare.

As an aside engines are never taken off the assembly line for field service repairs. However, there is always a quantity built for spares. To the best of my knowledge complete engine spares are not stocked, meaning not at a parts depot. They're held at the engine plant.

Regards,
Dusty
2019 Ram 1500 Billet Silver Laramie Quad Cab 2WD, 5.7 Hemi, 8HP75, 3.21 axle, 33-gallon fuel tank, 18” wheels. Build Date: 3 June 2018. Now at 111012 miles.
This.

As some have mentioned too, OEMs rarely (if ever) allow aftermarket parts for a warranty repair. We went through this on our Expedition. We even asked to have a used low mileage transmission installed once inspected and confirmed good by the dealer. That was a flat out no. We were told that would be at our expense and IF we did it, Ford would void the entire powertrain warranty. It sat on that lift with no transmission nor parts to repair it from June of 2022 to January 2023.
 
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modavis99

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Dealer might be willing to sell you an newer truck and take yours in trade that way they'll be doing the waiting.

quick follow up. This (above) is what I did, so thank you for that advice! The dealer took my truck in a trade towards a new Jeep. I asked for the lower end of the Kelley Blue Book trade-in value and they said OK to that. I thought that was pretty awesome given the truck did not work, would have had 2+ different major engine repairs when finished, and who knows how long everything would have taken. I wound up buying an Anniversary Edition 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe that had $12,500 in incentives.
 

Zzoogg

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Some years ago my Ram tranny went out. I live near St. Louis but was in Maryland. Local dealer towed it in and called me the next day. No transmissions were available nationwide and no idea when a new one would be available.
I had to fly my family home, waited 5 weeks, flew back to Maryland and got my truck, and drove home alone. Ugh. I called Chrysler and complained that it cost me $2200 for travel and hotels. They said that they honored the warranty and if it had quit in my driveway, there wouldn’t have been extra costs. I had to agree. Two weeks later I got a check for 1/2 the travel costs. I was impressed for sure. They honored the warranty. I couldn’t complain.

I do feel your pain. Four months is tough and having to go through it a 2nd time is hell, but you’ll eventually get a new engine with a new warranty. Not great but not too bad. I’d ask for some travel reimbursement once it’s all over. Good luck.
 

Choppz

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These trucks are POS . Sell and move on. Buy a Toyota
 
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Sherman Bird

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Lawyers?, That 's a good way to really screw things up.
He has warranty, so just take a breath and wait.
If the kid needs a summer car, go have him buy some beater for a few hundred and drive that. The truck is almost 10 yrs old, I have never heard of a buy back on something like that,
Canada we don't have lemon laws, not that it would make any difference anyway.
What motor was put in the first time? a Factory new I would think, or a rebuilt, if a rebuilt, those are the ones that will be on the hook.
MANY people are confused as to what the lemon law actually is.
It is a law pursuant to warranty repairs on NEW vehicles only, DURING the original factory warranty time/mileage time table.
It is specific, saddled with details, and damned difficult for an individual to get a car bought back.
The basic guideline is if, during warranty, a vehicle is tendered for certain limited repairs more than 4 times, the customer can, after excruciating legal process, force the MANUFACTURER, NOT THE DEALER to buy the vehicle back.

The process is purposely made arduous so as to prevent abuse of it. Having worked in Ford and GM dealers for 27 years, I've seen a very few vehicles get bought back.

Those vehicles MUST be destroyed, so I was told by a GM mucky muck back in the '90s. It is something the manufacturer will move Heaven and Haydes to prevent from happening!

I was involved in 2 difficult fixes where the customers hired lawyers and screamed buyback. In one of those cases, I couldn't blame the lady for her position. It was a new 2002 Explorer with 4,000 miles on it where the A/C would intermittently blow hot air while driving in Houston's 100+ degree heat with 85% humidity. After 4 ECM's, a field engineer getting involved, replacing the HEC module (Hybrid Electronic Cluster) fixed it and 3 others in this region.

In another one, A Chevrolet SUV made weird popping noises in the front suspension. A cracked weld on the frame was discovered, and GM DID buy that one back due to safety concerns.
 

Docwagon1776

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MANY people are confused as to what the lemon law actually is.
It is a law pursuant to warranty repairs on NEW vehicles only, DURING the original factory warranty time/mileage time table.

Some of the confusion lies in state to state variation. You are incorrect for many states. For example, mine does not distinguish between new and used, but doesn't run the entire length of the OEM warranty for either. I could, as unlikely as it is, be the third owner but if it's at 5k miles and 6 months I'm still covered by lemon laws. This sometimes comes into play when dealerships boost their sales numbers by buying their own vehicles, registering them to the business as shop vehicles for a few months, then selling them as used.

Also, lemon laws are almost always more restrictive than the OEM warranty limits. Most states limit it to 12k or 18k miles and 1 or 2 years. A very few states do allow for the entirety of the warranty terms, though.

In short, folks need to check their state's law, or if they bought it in another state which one's will apply. Some stipulate the vehicle must have been purchased at a dealership within their own borders for their arbitrator/judge to have jurisdiction.

Reasonable place to *start* is here: https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/vehicle-lemon-laws-by-state/ but of course you'd want more detailed info if you actually needed to use it.
 

chri5k

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MANY people are confused as to what the lemon law actually is.
It is a law pursuant to warranty repairs on NEW vehicles only, DURING the original factory warranty time/mileage time table.
It is specific, saddled with details, and damned difficult for an individual to get a car bought back.
The basic guideline is if, during warranty, a vehicle is tendered for certain limited repairs more than 4 times, the customer can, after excruciating legal process, force the MANUFACTURER, NOT THE DEALER to buy the vehicle back.

The process is purposely made arduous so as to prevent abuse of it. Having worked in Ford and GM dealers for 27 years, I've seen a very few vehicles get bought back.

Those vehicles MUST be destroyed, so I was told by a GM mucky muck back in the '90s. It is something the manufacturer will move Heaven and Haydes to prevent from happening!

I was involved in 2 difficult fixes where the customers hired lawyers and screamed buyback. In one of those cases, I couldn't blame the lady for her position. It was a new 2002 Explorer with 4,000 miles on it where the A/C would intermittently blow hot air while driving in Houston's 100+ degree heat with 85% humidity. After 4 ECM's, a field engineer getting involved, replacing the HEC module (Hybrid Electronic Cluster) fixed it and 3 others in this region.

In another one, A Chevrolet SUV made weird popping noises in the front suspension. A cracked weld on the frame was discovered, and GM DID buy that one back due to safety concerns.
I had 1986 Pontiac Fiero that GM bought back in a Lemmon law case. It was for sale on the dealers used car lot the week after I turned it in.
 

Sherman Bird

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I had 1986 Pontiac Fiero that GM bought back in a Lemmon law case. It was for sale on the dealers used car lot the week after I turned it in.
There is always someone who points out an exception. I didn't write the rules. I merely reflect what I've been told and have observed through the years. YMMV.

It MIGHT be possible that your Fiero didn't actually meet Lemon law criteria. You don't mention the details germane to it being bought back.

Due to the overwhelming popular status of the Fiero (although I'll never understand why anyone would have ever wanted one), That dealer may have agreed to buy the car back at their level IF it didn't really meet Lemon Law criteria. MANY times, under-trained "technicians" misdiagnose vehicles over and over, thus fomenting a dispute among the customer and the dealer and the manufacturer, fostering the whole "Lemon Law" thing.

The customer has lost confidence in the vehicle, dealer, etc., and GM in your case, may have decided to placate you by buying the car back. Afterwards, STG (GM's own Service Technology Group) engineers likely solved the problem and figured out what really ailed it. (Again, you didn't mention what that was). In short, the Fiero you owned might not have been a true "Lemon".

A true LEMON of a vehicle is generally monikered with "Salvage" status, and the vehicle is either shredded, or donated to technical schools. It can never be retitled IF it is really a "LEMON". This is how it was explained to me.
 
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Sherman Bird

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Some of the confusion lies in state to state variation. You are incorrect for many states. For example, mine does not distinguish between new and used, but doesn't run the entire length of the OEM warranty for either. I could, as unlikely as it is, be the third owner but if it's at 5k miles and 6 months I'm still covered by lemon laws. This sometimes comes into play when dealerships boost their sales numbers by buying their own vehicles, registering them to the business as shop vehicles for a few months, then selling them as used.

Also, lemon laws are almost always more restrictive than the OEM warranty limits. Most states limit it to 12k or 18k miles and 1 or 2 years. A very few states do allow for the entirety of the warranty terms, though.

In short, folks need to check their state's law, or if they bought it in another state which one's will apply. Some stipulate the vehicle must have been purchased at a dealership within their own borders for their arbitrator/judge to have jurisdiction.

Reasonable place to *start* is here: https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/vehicle-lemon-laws-by-state/ but of course you'd want more detailed info if you actually needed to use it.
There are Federal lemon laws and state ones. I did quote from what a GM Exec told me when I inquired about what was going to happen to the expensive SUV with the cracked frame weld. And that was years ago. Whether he told me what he did based upon GM's own guidelines, Federal ones, or Texas ones, I'll never know.

But I have seen MANY people throw 2-year old temper tantrums on the service drive because "They spent X-tens of thousand of dollars" on their fancy-mobile and it has been tendered for repairs 3,4,5,6times and has never been fixed. I felt bad for their frustrations. I also knew then and do now that many of these problems stem from the culture within dealers and the lack of training of technicians, and, sadly, some technicians who were just technically challenged.

This is probably why manufacturers have field engineers to fly down and roll up their sleeves and get involved. Even that can be affected by the arrogance of some of these engineers, rife with confirmation bias.

In the case of the Explorer with the intermittent A/C cooling, I had been tapped by management to look at it after the first 3 failures to get it fixed failed by 2 other techs in the service department. This explorer used a network communication system called SCP (Standard Corporate Protocol)... an early Can/Bus type system. The first 3 attempts to fix it were to replace the car's main ECM. This was confirmed by me germane to the factory diagnostic tree.

Due to the urgency in the matter (She was hollering "Lemon Law" and had retained an attorney), I documented my findings and called Ford's tech help line. After a lengthy, detailed interaction with their tech guru, I was told to install a 4th ECM, and issued a case number. I replaced the ECM and it, too, failed to fix the vehicle. It is important for me to point out that there was a "U" code in the HEC module (The Hybrid Electronic Cluster). I pointed that out to the Tech guy and he dismissed it as not a possible issue. (Confirmation Bias)

When that failed, I called the tech help line and was referred to the actual people who manufactured the ECM, and spoke with one of their gurus. After an arduous and lengthy discussion with him, he said that the diagnostic flow cart was correct and to install a 5th ECM! Yeah, UH HUH! More Confirmation Bias!

Management of the dealer called Dearborn and a field engineer was sent out. Keep in mind it was 102 degrees and hotter than that in the shop with 80+ % humidity... and that engineer shows up in a 3-piece suit!

I recalled my training about computer systems inter connectivity, and clearly recollect being taught to cure ANY DTC on ANY one of the system network modules FIRST! This must have escaped those whom I'd spoken with (but in all fairness, this was fairly new cutting edge technology on cars).

The engineer commenced to take the vehicle away from me and get 2 other techs in the shop to unwrap and isolate every wire in the underhood harness, just ****-sure it was a wiring issue. I tried to tell him about the "U" code, but he would have none of that. He even demeaned me when I saw how thoroughly he sweat soaked his suit the second day that he and these other 2 techs were chasing snipes, and reminded him of the possibility that addressing the "U" code in the Instrument cluster would fix it. He commenced to tell me to go back to my work stall, and arrogantly said he had access to engineers out of my reach, and so on.

Eventually, (the 3rd day), the engineer ordered a new cluster. This was chancy because the cluster has to be programmed with the mileage and VIN, so it is a no-return item. IIRC, this one cost 600 dollars. But, it fixed the problem.

I really think he resented my reference to my training in computer networking as being from GM. I was truly only interested in helping them solve the problem and was treated as though I was a "meekanik" from the old school.

So, unfortunately, there are many dynamics against modern techs and smooth, successful, accurate warranty repairs . Lack of training is one. Getting techs like me no longer works; most of my generation have died, retired, or gone into their own world, which is what I did.
 
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chri5k

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There are Federal lemon laws and state ones. I did quote from what a GM Exec told me when I inquired about what was going to happen to the expensive SUV with the cracked frame weld. And that was years ago. Whether he told me what he did based upon GM's own guidelines, Federal ones, or Texas ones, I'll never know.

But I have seen MANY people throw 2-year old temper tantrums on the service drive because "They spent X-tens of thousand of dollars" on their fancy-mobile and it has been tendered for repairs 3,4,5,6times and has never been fixed. I felt bad for their frustrations. I also knew then and do now that many of these problems stem from the culture within dealers and the lack of training of technicians, and, sadly, some technicians who were just technically challenged.

This is probably why manufacturers have field engineers to fly down and roll up their sleeves and get involved. Even that can be affected by the arrogance of some of these engineers, rife with confirmation bias.

In the case of the Explorer with the intermittent A/C cooling, I had been tapped by management to look at it after the first 3 failures to get it fixed failed by 2 other techs in the service department. This explorer used a network communication system called SCP (Standard Corporate Protocol)... an early Can/Bus type system. The first 3 attempts to fix it were to replace the car's main ECM. This was confirmed by me germane to the factory diagnostic tree.

Due to the urgency in the matter (She was hollering "Lemon Law" and had retained an attorney), I documented my findings and called Ford's tech help line. After a lengthy, detailed interaction with their tech guru, I was told to install a 4th ECM, and issued a case number. I replaced the ECM and it, too, failed to fix the vehicle. It is important for me to point out that there was a "U" code in the HEC module (The Hybrid Electronic Cluster). I pointed that out to the Tech guy and he dismissed it as not a possible issue. (Confirmation Bias)

When that failed, I called the tech help line and was referred to the actual people who manufactured the ECM, and spoke with one of their gurus. After an arduous and lengthy discussion with him, he said that the diagnostic flow cart was correct and to install a 5th ECM! Yeah, UH HUH! More Confirmation Bias!

Management of the dealer called Dearborn and a field engineer was sent out. Keep in mind it was 102 degrees and hotter than that in the shop with 80+ % humidity... and that engineer shows up in a 3-piece suit!

I recalled my training about computer systems inter connectivity, and clearly recollect being taught to cure ANY DTC on ANY one of the system network modules FIRST! This must have escaped those whom I'd spoken with (but in all fairness, this was fairly new cutting edge technology on cars).

The engineer commenced to take the vehicle away from me and get 2 other techs in the shop to unwrap and isolate every wire in the underhood harness, just ****-sure it was a wiring issue. I tried to tell him about the "U" code, but he would have none of that. He even demeaned me when I saw how thoroughly he sweat soaked his suit the second day that he and these other 2 techs were chasing snipes, and reminded him of the possibility that addressing the "U" code in the Instrument cluster would fix it. He commenced to tell me to go back to my work stall, and arrogantly said he had access to engineers out of my reach, and so on.

Eventually, (the 3rd day), the engineer ordered a new cluster. This was chancy because the cluster has to be programmed with the mileage and VIN, so it is a no-return item. IIRC, this one cost 600 dollars. But, it fixed the problem.

I really think he resented my reference to my training in computer networking as being from GM. I was truly only interested in helping them solve the problem and was treated as though I was a "meekanik" from the old school.

So, unfortunately, there are many dynamics against modern techs and smooth, successful, accurate warranty repairs . Lack of training is one. Getting techs like me no longer works; most of my generation have died, retired, or gone into their own world, which is what I did.
I went through the entire Maryland Lemmon Law process. Three hearings and at each one the arbitrator gave GM "1 more chance" to fix the leaking sunroof. The final straw came when the arbitrator asked if I was willing to take the car through a car wash with her in it so she could see the problem. Within about 30 seconds of entering the car wash water began to drip on her lap. I handed her a towel and smiled.

Between scheduling hearings, fix attempts, holidays, last minute cancellations by GM's representatives, etc. it took right about a 1 year so the vehicle was now 18 months old. After the final decision requiring GM buy back the vehicle, GM continued to try and haggle on the amount. Citing depreciation, wear and tear, their arbitration costs, etc and offering about 60% of the price I paid. At this point the arbitrator had had enough of GM's antics and cited the law required payment of 100% of the purchase price including all taxes and fees. GM finally relented and started the buy back process. This required me to turn in the vehicle to a dealership of their choosing. The dealership was about an hours drive in an neighboring state and not the one 20 minutes away where I had purchased the vehicle. I dropped of the vehicle, picked up my paperwork and received my check about 2 weeks later. A friend who lived near the dealer where I dropped of the car told me he saw it on their used car lot for sale. I drove over to check it out and sure enough it was my old car. I could tell by the small scratches and other little wear items that make each car unique. The musty odor was also a giveaway. GM was slimy, scheming and resistant at every step of the process. I personally would not believe anything anyone from GM tells me.
 

Sherman Bird

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I went through the entire Maryland Lemmon Law process. Three hearings and at each one the arbitrator gave GM "1 more chance" to fix the leaking sunroof. The final straw came when the arbitrator asked if I was willing to take the car through a car wash with her in it so she could see the problem. Within about 30 seconds of entering the car wash water began to drip on her lap. I handed her a towel and smiled.
You, sir, have related a story as to why I'd never buy a car rom a dealer, much less a new one.
 
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Hanover Fiste

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I had 1986 Pontiac Fiero
I had one of them, too. Whenever I made a left-hand turn in second gear, the shifter would pop into neutral. The technician thought the cables may have stretched (even though the car was only a few months old), so he installed new ones. The problem remained.

I was too young and naïve to resolve the problem further, so after a couple years I traded it in on a 1988 Cavalier Z24. Now that was a fun car!
 
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