First, my family does not have a particular positive history with Brookdale Chrysler. My brother’s 1997 Plymouth Breeze seemed to have minor problems that became gaping wounds when certain sealants failed, forcing the engine to consume tremendous amounts of oil, ultimately resulting in a very expensive and untrustworthy vehicle. The above problem was the first thing to come to mind when I receieved a recall notice for my 1999 Dodge Stratus. Apparently the power steering hose could crack and cause an engine fire, and apparently people (not mentioned in the letter) have died as a result – my question is, how do you not notice an engine fire, and why not get out of the car? But whatever. Bear in mind my Stratus has 91,000 miles on it – it has proven capable over the two and a half years I’ve driven it, so I didn’t expect an engine fire or any other problem. I took it in anyway JUST to make sure – and to be honest, I was hesitant about using Brookdale Chrysler, but our favorite local mechanic was not legally allowed to solve the problem. Cutting to the point: The staff was friendly enough – apparently the steering hose job is a particular pain in the butt on higher mileage cars like mine, but I figured that they would do it properly and the good times would continue. An hour and a half later, we drove the car home – the distance of about a half mile was not long enough for me to even think about being concerned at all. I did, however, do my weekly paper route that night – a tube route that requires some idling and repeated acceleration between mailboxes. On the first street, I noticed something was wrong – I keep an eagle’s eye on my gauges, but the heat gauge was fluctuating far more than normal. I started to get worried, but kept going for a bit – it was around 75-80 degrees outside, maybe that was it! Nope. I reach the end of one of my streets and the heat gauge needle has jumped a whole line – and it kept going. I immediately turned the car off and called for “reinforcements,” or my dad – who managed to wake up at about 11PM to come and help me. We added coolant to the engine (apparently the wrong reserve though, we wanted the main one, but did went for the “extra” one) Dad starts to drive it home (in an attempt to understad what the H is going on) – he then abruptly turns into driveway – the car is WAY too hot – hot enough to unnerve an experienced drive. We add more coolant and it stabilizes. After we got home, I took the car for a spin around the block – maybe it’s fixed. Nope, still hot, I get it home right away. The following morning I drove the car over to our local mechanic – the one we like, and the one I wanted to take care of the problem in the first place. He opens the engine and instantly notices a problem. Good ol’ Brookdale Chrysler apparently didn’t quite complete their job! The coolant cap (on the one we should have opened!) is not on correctly. According to the mechanic, one must push down, twist, push down harder, than twist farther. I do not specifically recall what he said, but it was implied that the lack of correct cappiness resulted in evaporation and air bubbles. He fills the coolant for free (and reminds me that his service requires an appointment – but my grateful parents gave him a nice tip afterwards). I drive away, good as new. Note that at no time did I actually spend any money at Brookdale Chrysler – it’s the simple fact that FAILURE TO TURN A KNOB three inches in the correct direction (you really shouldn’t expect the consumer to notice things like that, seriously) could have destroyed the engine. I guess we kind of spent money – we needed coolant to temporariy aid the problem, gas money to get my dad out there, and maybe a quarter bottle of our mechanics coolant – I’m just trying to relate my problem directly to those presented at this site. Brookdale Chrysler: Please, please, pay more attention. I’m hoping my car is the proverbial “needle in the haystack” and that the problem wasn’t intentional, but that’s not the point – I can only assume that you want perfection and the only way to contribute to that is feedback. Ben Brooklyn Center, MinnesotaU.S.A. Click here to read other Ripoff Scamss on Chrysler & Chrysler Products
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