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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<B>You'll get a good idea of my issue by reading this email I sent to the repair shop. I just want to get a feel from the Volvo community on this. I could be in the wrong here and if so, then I'll work with it...but I just don't have an easy feeling on this:</B><p>I trust this email will get to the right person if you are not it.<p>I have been bringing my 1998 Volvo to you for the past 20k miles due in large part to reputation along with initial experience. Additionally, I've brought my 2001 V70 XC in for your care as well and made other customer recommendations.<p>I've got to admit however; that I'm really on the unhappy side. Maybe its just the nature of the car...but nonetheless, I feel I must bring this to someone's attention.<p>For the past several thousand miles, I've been having blower related issues with my 1998 S70 GLT. I brought the car in 4/3/09. My complaint at this time was that the blower would not operate when the interior of the car was warm. This held true throughout the winter as well...so it was not an a/c related complaint. The car had 153713 miles at this time. During this service, the A/C Pressure switch was replaced. <p>My mother immediately borrowed the car after this service. When I got the car back from her, she informed me that the a/c would work sporadically, suggesting to me that it was a very similar issue to when I took the car in for service in April. <p>I returned the car to you on 7/9/09, with a mileage of 157119. This time the blower motor was found to be bad along with low freon. I must add here that the blower motor didn't appear to be bad as when it came on, it worked very well and the a/c never lacked in the blowing of cold air.<p>Again, after picking up the car, a close friend borrowed the car as I was out of town for two weeks. He informed me while I was away that two days after using the car, the blower stopped working. When I returned and picked up the car, I noted the blower would work while the car was not moving, but would stop working once the car was driven. I returned the car to you today (8/3/09) with a mileage of 157910. I was originally told that it appeared to be a resistor that was bad. When I picked up the car, I was told that the head unit was bad. This resulted in a charge that was much higher than I had anticipated.<p>What I feel here is that all three services were related to the operation of the blower. As you can surely understand from an owner's perspective, it almost appears as if items were getting replace on an ad hoc level at a significant cost to me. There is not a lot of mileage lapse between the initial complaint and the current...in fact, had my mother informed me before about the blower operating sporadically, the car would have been to you sooner.<p>To toss more fuel to the fire, I had asked to have the abs module replaced on the car. Knowing that a rebuild for these runs at $100, while I do understand the need for a business to make a profit, I was shocked that there was no warning of the actual cost of the module itself. This one I can certainly take the brunt of the blame for not confirming up front...however, I do recall having a conversation about the rebuild cost of these units.<p>The icing on the cake here is that on my way home from a meeting today, the check engine light came on yet again. A scan of the ecu today indicated the abs module per the repair order. .<p>As I'm sure you can appreciate, three visits within 5000 miles for a similar issue resulting in $1996.55 is a bit unsettling. Understanding a small portion of this is related to oil changes, the rest is related to either the actual complaint or items recommended by your techs while working on the original blower complaint.<p>I have no problem putting money into my cars however; I want to be sure the money I'm spending is going in the right direction and I just don't feel it was the case over the past few months. <p>Thank you for your time.<p><br><B>I did get a return from the shop. Please read this and tell me if this explanation makes sense (I've removed all names that would identify the shop...I'm just looking for your thoughts and opinions on this):</B><p>Hello Matt and I am truly sorry I did not return your email yesterday my father Mr. <I>Shop Owner </I>needed to discuss the matter at hand. After talking yesterday with the technician and the owner I came up with some thoughts that might help us both from a business standpoint. <p>We truly as a company feel sorry that you feel this way about our business. This shop tries to please over 3000 Volvo customers, which is a very difficult task and I still want to find a solution to keep you a satisfied customer. <p>Timeline of service:<p>April 3, 2009- A.C. compressor not turning on, cost $185.33<p>April 10, 2009- 3400 Miles later you spent $334.92 on service repair<p>Now, because the blower motor would work on high intermittently, most of the time the resistor is the cause. But in your case after checking amps at the blower motor we found the internal brushes in the motor were worn out. The blower motor resistor controls voltage going to the motor at different speeds. Also at this time remember that a blower motor, A.C. compressor, Aux fans, are on two relays that are both in the system. So now if any of these relays wear out and short using alot of amperage, definitely in fact take out a control head unit. Now understand a blower motor sometimes will test ok in different circumstances, but now when a circumstance that is dealing with amp shortage or bushings that are internally worn out come together, the blower will not work. Also if you would tap the motor or drive down a road with bumps the motor may come on. Reason being is that the bushings are moving across the armature that has a bad stop. So at this time you needed a blower motor. <p><I>Our Shop Owner</I> has seen and experienced alot of Volvo's that are 850 and S70's that after blower motor replacement or blower resistor replacement, and even the A.C. compressor that later down the road that the control head unit goes bad. The reason is that whatever shorted and took to much amperage. <p>Voltage will not hurt anything, most all cases it’s the amps. (Amps have a negative affect and are bad for any electronic part). Remember a control head is the weakest part in the system and as long as no component goes to ground and creates more amp trying to make it work there will be no problem. But this does not happen very often at all with these particular models. Now if a component goes to an open circuit, no damage created. This is good because there is no amperage draw to the control head. <p>Mr. Spurlock we have been operating low service cost business for many years, with saving customers money our main objective. All of my technicians know that is how <I>Mr. Shop Owner </I>wants to operate. Not one of my technicians will replace a part that is not bad or they will know longer be a part of our company. Now if a technician installs a part and it fixes the problem or complaint from the customer no other parts are installed on the vehicle. <p>Now still keeping in mind that with a vehicle with 160000 miles that has had the Freon topped off multiple times that it may have an A.C. compressor that is leaking Freon through the front seal going down the road. If no oil dye is located on the A.C. clutch and the volts and amps are ok, does not mean that it is not going out. <p>Mr. Spurlock if this does not explain the reason for the series of parts being replaced in the order they were, feel free to come in and myself and the owner can sit down and discuss your concerns. All I am trying to do as an employee is to keep you happy and coming back to visit us. It is very difficult to keep everyone happy and you should know that as well. <p>Now in regards to your A.B.S. control unit issue or problem. First of all the reason the cost was more than you expected is because we only use ATE ABS modules, which are supplied by our parts supplier World Pac. It is very hard to find companies to stand behind there product. We have experience a lot of problems with ABS units and only use one manufacturer. You might have misunderstood us when referring to cost for one of these units. As a business I do not even get these units remanufactured or used for $100.00. This is a core charge we have to pay. If you want I can send you a list of prices that are suggested list prices that everyone in the automotive industry goes by, except the dealer which is 20% to 40% higher. <p>Hopefully this letter will help you fully understand the process we as a company took and the numerous variables that are involved with the air conditioning systems in these particular vehicles. I am not saying you are wrong by any means, I am just fully explaining the procedures the technicians have to go through. Lastly my job is to find a way for myself and the customer to come to an agreement keeping both parties happy and it is not always the easiest job. So what I would like you to do is follow up with me on your views and concerns pertaining to this letter. I would love to keep servicing your vehicles and truly do care about this matter. Please contact me here at the shop or by phone if you have any questions. <p>Sincerely,<p><br><B>I did send a response email to clarify topics above:</B><p>What this doesn't address is that on April 3, I complained of the blower not coming on. This was attributed to the A/C pressure switch. As noted in my previous email, the problem was with the blower not coming on when the interior of the car was hot. This was the case throughout the winter season.<br> <br>That was Blower issue #1.<br> <br>On July 9, I returned for a blower problem (never for the a/c compressor not kicking on...it always had cold air). This was attributed to the blower motor. <br> <br>On Aug 3, I returned for a blower problem that was then attributed to the head unit. <br> <br>Additionally, the service on Aug 3 indicated the check engine light threw a code related to the ABS. The ABS module was replaced. On my way home...the check engine light came on again.<br> <br>Three services in under 5000 miles related to the blower not coming on. <br> <br>If amperage blew out the original head unit after the blower was replaced, then what was causing the increased amperage and what guarantee do I have that this won't happen to this head unit? <br>
 

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If you want to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau then do so. It probably won't help but at least it will give a voice to your concerns.<p>Aside from any A/C issues, I think you have a very valid complaint that your car threw an ABS code right after they replaced the module. That issue should be on the shop to rectify ASAP and at their cost.<p>Keep us updated.
 

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Re: VERY long read- Maintenance shop issue (OilAnalyst)

I would be more than a little upset if I spent $2,000 to repair a blower motor too, if that is what you are saying. Guess I would recommend a new shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: VERY long read- Maintenance shop issue (Wayne T5)

The $2000 was spent on more than just the blower motor. It was spent on stuff that was recommended while in the shop for the blower motor complaints. <p>I'm just curious if their explanation of the blower motor issue makes sense...and yes, throwing yet another engine code the same day I left does irk me. I'll have that checked today if time permits.
 

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I do not believe the ABS and CEL are connected. Who's doing the scanning? Electrical problems are the hardest to diagnosis. If you rely on someone else to do your work on these cars, I suggest you sell them....really, not trying to be an ass!!!! only my opinion of course.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by mune237 at 9:46 AM 8-6-2009</i>
 

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What a ridiculous post lol
 

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Sounds like the only thing they did wrong was surprise you with extra cost. <p>Did the blower get fixed each time, only to die again shortly after? If that's the case then I'd believe them 100% that the original problem (worn out blower motor) caused the other two items to fail. Now that they're all new, it should work fine. <p>Instead of asking "how do I know these parts won't fail?" you should be asking what their warranty is. Most shops have some kind of warranty on parts and labor, the one I go to actually warrants everything they do for a year.<p>As far as being surprised by the cost of the ABS unit, I'd say that one is your fault. I haven't even had that problem and I still know the difference between internet rebuilds and full retail is staggering, which is why the internet rebuilds are so popular.<p>Basically sticker shock got the best of you. It's understandable, but I don't think anything shady is going on here.<p>Something that might help is asking a lot more questions up front. "Is there anything else it could be? How much could this cost? Please call me when you diagnose it with an estimate of the full charges" etc etc. They should also learn not to shock customers like that.<p>Edit: That is also a very polite response from them, and seems very sincere. I give them bonus points for that.
 

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Re: (Big Will)

Sounds pretty frustrating certainly, trying to chase two issues at once.<p>Sounds like this guy is trying pretty hard to work with you. Harder than a lot of shops would. I suggest face-to-face with him, instead of email. About two-thirds of any kind of real conversation gets lost in an email.<p>I DO NOT agree with the "not relying on somebody else to work on it" comment.
 

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Re: (Big Will) What a ridiculous post lol

Really? I don't think so. I've had many different cars/trucks in my 30+ yrs of driving. I'm on my 3rd 100,000+ mile Volvo (95 960, 97 850R, 00 C70) and if I had to pay someone else to Troubleshoot and Repair my car, I wouldn't be able to afford them(Volvo). I do not see anything wrong with what the shop is trying to do. Tracking down electrical problems can get real expensive, especially on 10+yr old / 150,000+ mi cars.<br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all your replies and thoughts. I simply wanted other opinions and I do feel better about the situation. I do agree that they are being extremely cordial...but it doesn't change the fact that I was just feeling a bit uneasy about it all. Sometimes is helps to just get a second opinion or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: (mune237)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>mune237</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Electrical problems are the hardest to diagnosis. If you rely on someone else to do your work on these cars, I suggest you sell them.</TD></TR></TABLE> <p>Funny you say this...I was getting the prepped and ready to sell...but I don't agree with your statement here. I'm going to have a car that I enjoy driving. As I said in my post above and my email to the shop, I have NO problem putting money into my car so long as the money is well spent. There are many items on a car that I can deal with just fine...and there are others that I need to rely on someone else to deal with.<p>And candidly...spending under $3500 in repairs total over the 4 years of ownership and adding nearly 60k miles to a car that already had 100k when I bought it...I can't really complain about the life time costs even by having someone else do the troubleshooting.<p>Also...please keep in mind...nowhere did I bad mouth the shop or say they did anything wrong...I was simply looking for other opinions on the topic at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just received a very informative email from the folks at the shop. I did respond with this:<p>Thanks for the explanation. Now I can put it in perspective. There are some things that I can deal with quite readily when it comes to car repairs...but obviously the electrical side of things is something I struggle with and this series of back to back events simply had be scratching my head.<p>Thank you for taking the time to discuss this with the shop owner and the tech who worked on my car. In fact, looking at my records, I believe that particular tech has done the most work to my car over time and it does run like a champ overall. <p>Thank you as well for taking the time to put together the explanations in order to allow me to better understand the process that was followed as well as being so open with the philosophy that is followed by everyone.<p>Please accept my apologies for any harshness that may have come across in my previous emails. Candidly, your customer service on this issue has pretty much solidified my continued use of your shop for my Volvo repair needs and I will continue to recommend you to family and friends.<p>Thanks again-<p>
 

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Re: (OilAnalyst)

When a blower motor fails we ALWAYS replace both the resistor AND the motor,<br>You have no way to know which is bad but when either one fails, it usually messes up the other!<br>Same labor cost to replace both, so you replace <U>both</U> and the job is done for the next 8-10 years!<p>As for the ABS, <B>you have been here long enough</B> that you should know what a rebuild costs.<p>What do you think World Pac does? They use one of these ABS repair people and repair older bad units that they buy off Volvo dealers then charge about $400 for what should have cost you about $120 plus the cost of the R&R (if you didn't do it yourself).
 

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Re: (JRL)

<br>ps, Oil Analyst:<br>Do you work for Blackstone?<br>Can you get me a multi-car discount??? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Actually that's what I was trying to tell you.<br>If you think these guys are trying to pull something over on you, then you should get out of the game, cause I thought these guys were doing a good job, on all your issues. <br>Another thing to all of you that disagree: If you want to drive cars that are over 10 yrs old / 150,000 miles, be prepared to pay, if you can't do your own troubleshooting and repairs. I think that's a solid statement! That's how these folks make a living, stay in business.
 

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Re: (mune237)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>mune237</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Actually that's what I was trying to tell you.<br>If you think these guys are trying to pull something over on you, then you should get out of the game, cause I thought these guys were doing a good job, on all your issues. <br>Another thing to all of you that disagree: If you want to drive cars that are over 10 yrs old / 150,000 miles, be prepared to pay, if you can't do your own troubleshooting and repairs. I think that's a solid statement! That's how these folks make a living, stay in business.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Some things I do myself. Some things I pay a shop to do.<br>I'm at a point in my life where I'd rather make money sitting at a desk, and pay somebody else to do the heavy lifting.<br>Yeah, if you don't do it yourself, you're gonna pay somebody else to do it.<br>Otherwise, the car sits.<br>That's a big bag of "duh"...<p>As far as "how these folks make a living, stay in business", don't you get paid for what you do for a living? Last time I checked, that's how the world goes 'round. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: (Bearclaw)

No, I don't work for Blackstone. I am in the industry as a consultant for manufacturing facilities. I do my own private gig for autos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: (JRL)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>JRL</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>As for the ABS, <B>you have been here long enough</B> that you should know what a rebuild costs.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Yes, I agree JRL. Definitely my fault on the ABS module. Thing I feel like kicking my own ass for is that I have what I needed to remove the module and I had the information for where to send it off to. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vortexmediagroup.com/images/banghead.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: (Bearclaw)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Bearclaw</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Some things I do myself. Some things I pay a shop to do.<br>I'm at a point in my life where I'd rather make money sitting at a desk, and pay somebody else to do the heavy lifting.<br>Yeah, if you don't do it yourself, you're gonna pay somebody else to do it.<br>Otherwise, the car sits.<br>That's a big bag of "duh"...<p>As far as "how these folks make a living, stay in business", don't you get paid for what you do for a living? Last time I checked, that's how the world goes 'round. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> </TD></TR></TABLE><p>To make myself more clear....<br>Yes just about anyone that can read, can R&R items like timing belts, water pumps, shocks/struts, etc<br>I guess what I meant to say, if you're going to just take your car into a shop and say "the blower doesn't always work" or "my CEL is on" then your going to <B><I>pay</I></B>, probably lot$, to have someone else Troubleshoot your problem on an older car.<br>Maybe you're just having fun playing with my use of the word "Pay" <br>
 

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+1 on troubleshooting your own problems. If you can go in and tell them what to replace (and even bring your own parts, if they allow that), you'll save boat-loads of $$$<p>Also, you don't even really need to know much to be able to troubleshoot. All you have to do is be able to describe your problems in detail, come to this website, and type the information into the little box. Then answers just magically materialize from within teh internets... (I still have yet to figure out how that all works... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/rolleyes.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0">)
 
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