I brought the car in for a scheduled appointment at 3 PM to determine why my high beams didn't work and signed an agreement for it. My engine warning light came on steady on the drive there. It was $115 minimum, and after I checked the oil and reattached the fuel cap, I reluctantly asked that the mechanic determine why the check engine light was illuminated steadily. It took thirty minutes to take the car to the service bay. The car was brought back fifteen minutes before closing, but someone had obviously spent time washing it. So it had been away from me for a total of one hour and fifteen minutes. I was given no status updates during that entire period.
Right after it was first taken away, I walked around to but not into the service bay to inquire if the light was still on when it was driven in. Afterwards, I walked around the entire building, looked at a few cars on the lot, stretched and then sat down reading Motor Trend magazine in the customer lounge. I looked up when someone called my name. It was the Warrenton police. I spoke to one officer and, as always happens, one stood just behind my shoulder. They were there because staff summoned them believing I was intoxicated. I immediately asked for a breathalyser test, and being refused that, a field sobriety test. No, I hadn't been drinking, and I told them so. They were both satisfied that I didn't smell like alcohol, wouldn't disclose which employee called them and departed.
Warrenton Police Incident Report #2019-0686
"Possible intoxicated male. Dealership employee concerned about him driving safely. Vehicle Silver 2007 Saturn Ion. All parties contacted. Subject not impaired"
I went upstairs to talk to the owner of the dealership and waited some time for him to come out of his meeting with the general manager and others. About this time my car was brought around washed, but the driver told me nothing about its condition. I told the owner everything. I had been there nearly two hours, hadn't caused a scene and was reading quietly when I was confronted. I told him I was definitely appalled and was worried about what the bill would be.
We went down to the service department together. The bill was $220, the technician servicing the vehicle wasn't there, but we got some assistance from the chief technician who viewed the bill. Supposedly, additional diagnostic tests are required, including a compression test and possibly a fuel injector test. Parts would be additional. The owner provided a token discount of $30 dollars. Since the police had already been summoned once, I was concerned that if I did not pay the bill, then the car would not be released to me and I would have been unable to get home. When I drove off, I noticed for the first time that the high beams hadn't been fixed either. I immediately went back to the dealership, but the owner had departed. I wrote him a note asking him to call me to discuss the bill further the next day. He failed to do so.
I originally brought this vehicle there to lubricate a squeaky clutch and brake pedals right after I bought the car in November. After agreeing to a half hour charge of $55, the chief technician informed me that they couldn't be lubricated. The clutch pedal would be expensive to replace, but there was no brake pedal replacement. I reluctantly paid the bill wondering why it would take him a half hour to make the determination that lubrication couldn't be successfully applied. Sound familiar? In retrospect, it was the same gouging, and I'd like to dispute that charge also.
I'm not convinced this dealership is trustworthy. It charged me for a full two hours though the car was only in the service bay for not even one hour and fifteen minutes. I brought it there to determine why the high beams weren't working, and that was not accomplished. If he needed "more time," then why didn't he take it? If the technician had relayed that to me, then I might have insisted he keep at it until it was fixed. Instead, he decided to switch jobs without notifying me and obtaining my consent. I have no diagnostic print out evidencing the alleged "misfire on cylinder 4." How do I know he did anything other than pad my bill?
I decided not to return the car to any dealership whose actions were deliberately against my interests. The secretary of the Warrenton Police Department stated that, if the officers had determined that I was intoxicated, the I would have been arrested. As it stands, there's no telling how high the next bill might be and whether this dealership wants to fix anything at all. Trust me when I say I have never had a problem with a car's servicing like this before.
I believe I was cheated and deliberately intimidated Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the Ocean Crest Chevy Buick GMC Cadillac dealership in advance of presenting me with a fraudulent bill. Do yourself a favor and take your business elsewhere.