DEALERSHIP NIGHTMARE-Over 100 days in the shop with no results or answers
My Z06 has been at my local Corvette dealer for OVER 3 months for what I believed would be simple repairs for them to handle. Am I wrong for beginning to feel like my patience is running out? Grab your popcorn... So I purchased a 2004 Z06 with 9,000mi on Sept. 25th 2017. Thankfully, I purchased the premium extended warranty also (3yr/50,000mi). I live in Pennsylvania but purchased the car Ohio. After the purchase, I waited several weeks for my title info to arrive in the mail, which meant I needed to get the car inspected for the state of Pennsylvania. During that time, I couldn't help but to notice a small leak underneath the rear end on the driver's side (C5 leaky butt). Also, I noticed difficulty shifting into 2nd gear. There would be a grinding noise going from 1st to 2nd and also 3rd to 2nd. The shifter would also not go into 2nd unless I was going very slow. I basically avoided 2nd gear until I had my set appointment for my state inspection, when I also had them address these issues. This was Oct 11th 2017 that I initially dropped the vehicle off at Troy Alan Chevrolet in Slippery Rock, PA. (Keep in mind, over this extended period of time waiting, my memory of exact details of phone calls is somewhat foggy, but here is the gist of the ongoing problem.) Service manager calls after the initial diagnosis, says the rear seal can be replaced to repair the rear diff leak and he says he doesn't notice any grinding issues while shifting? I said to take it back out or I could stop by the dealership and take him for a ride to show him. He takes it out again and calls me and says he noticed a "slight" clash, said it was probably the synchronizers. He said they would call my warranty company the following day and would get a hold of me with the details. After several days of not hearing anything from him, I called the dealership. He said he couldn't get ahold of my warranty company. I call the warranty company and they say they haven't had any claims filed under my account and no one has tried to file any. After playing phone tag between the warranty company and the service manager, they finally get in contact and the warranty company requested to send out a third party inspector to inspect the vehicle before repairs. About a week goes by without hearing anything, so I call the dealership. The inspector had gone out and approved the repairs several days before but no one updated me. A couple weeks go by and I don't hear anything, but I give them space and remain patient. On Nov 14th, 2017 I get notified that my car passed inspection, the leaking rear end had the driver's side seal replaced and they replaced the 1-2 and 5-6 Syncros and lock rings ($2,133.79 Labor/$1,415.10 parts/ $3,550.69 total covered under extended warranty). I paid my $100 deductible and paid for the PA inspection and took the car home (10mi drive). Car felt good and I was happy to finally have it back. Parked it in my garage and woke up to an even larger puddle under the rear end (this time on the passenger side)! I thought maybe the tech overfilled it with fluid and it was just leaking from the overflow. I took the car to work (5mi) and the first time I downshift into 2nd, the grinding is back... I immediately called the dealership and tell them I'm bringing it back for them to take a look at. I go and drop it off and the service manager says "they'll get around to taking a look at it". I leave my keys and expect to hear back from them. I believe a couple days went by without haring from them, but when I did get a call back, I got the same stories I got from them before, "It happens sometimes." "Maybe you are shifting too fast for the transmission." Basically trying to convince me that this issue was "normal" and I should just accept my car for the way it is with no 2nd gear. I insist they do something to fix it and they say they'll try and think of a solution. At this point they say they discovered the previous owner had installed a B&M short shifter and they said it was "shifting too fast for the transmission to handle and that I should purchase an OEM shifter". I told the service manager to get me a quote on the shifter and to do whatever else was necessary to repair the transmission and the now leaking passenger side rear diff seal. 3 days go by without my quote on the shifter, I call him too remind him, he calls me the next day with my quote, I said go ahead and do it and whatever else is needs. Another month goes by without hearing a word. I get a call on Dec 14th 2017 my car is finished, they had replaced all the hardware for 2nd gear, even though the original gears showed no visible wear and they installed the new OEM Shifter. The Service manager tells me "The mechanic took it out a bunch of times to test it, he's really happy with how feels and the OEM shifter seemed to do the trick." I leave work again to go pick it up, hoping that finally the car would be in working order the way it should be from the factory. I go in and the service manager tells me to take it out on a test drive to make sure I'm satisfied with it. I take it on a test drive and for the first time ever it goes from 1st to 2nd with out issue (at this point I'm thinking it finally works correctly!). I go up through all the gears, and it feels great. When it comes time to turn around, I begin to downshift to slow down and to see if going from 3rd to 2nd will finally work... What do you know, it does the same grind as before... feeling extremely discouraged, I turn around and head back to the dealership. I walk in and tell him there's no difference in how it's performing and he looks at me like I must be kidding. He goes into the shop and gets the mechanic that has been working on my car (this mechanic was actually recommended to me by a Camaro owner I had spoken to before, that is why I went to this Chevy/Corvette dealership). The man comes storming out of the shop and basically rips the keys from my hand and we go out to my car for him to take it on a drive. I can sense his anger with the situation with his poor demeanor and attitude, but I sat along for the ride and waited for him to attempt a downshift into 2nd. We are causing along and coming to a stop sing when he downshifts into 2nd and the dreaded grind occurs. The mechanic then begins to curse in front of me, the customer, up and down about how he's done everything he can think of to fix it blah blah blah. We continue to drive and he kept shifting from 3rd to 2nd to find at what speed the grinding occurs. We discovered any downshift into 2nd above 25mph resulted in a grind, below 25mph was no grind. The excuses continue that I should just "accept it this way and just downshift at lower speeds to avoid the grind." I remind the mechanic and the service manager that it's a Z06 and it was built to be driven in a manner that i should be able to downshift into 2nd above 25mph, this isn't some old Ford Model T. I'm sure if I took a new Corvette on a test drive, it would be able to handle a 26mph downshift into 2nd gear.. The mechanic calls GM and asks what speed is recommended for downshifting into 2nd gear on a 2004 Z06 and they respond with "Anything below 75mph should not be an issue." So yeah, it's probably not correct for me to experience the grinding at 26mph... We go back in the service center and I put my keys back on the counter and said to make it right and fix it appropriately. They just look at me and I left. (Keep in mind this is Dec 14th, 2017).. ANOTHER month goes by without hearing a thing. Still trying to remain patient and give them space. I call my warranty company to see if they can see any new claims started my the dealership. They say nothing has happened since Dec 15th 2017(the day after I attempted to pickup) when they received payment from the warranty company. Knowing this, I decided to call their customer satisfaction number to see if I could get answers on my issue. I spoke to the owner's wife and explained that they've had my Corvette for over 3 months, I have a full warranty that will cover whatever is necessary to replace to make the car correct again and they've yet to fix my vehicle and have failed to keep me updated along the process. I also mentioned the lack of professionalism from the service manager and the mechanic. She just asked for my info and gave me more excuses "because my car isn't a 2018 Corvette, it won't shift like new." I just said I just want my transmission to work properly, my car has 10,000 miles on it. She doesn't let me do much talking and tells me the service manager will call me after he goes to lunch. A couple hours later he calls and said "we've been tinkering around with it and some things got in the way and there's a special fluid that's hard to find that we had to special order. Your car should be ready tomorrow." (what a miracle, I made a phone call and magically my car they've had for over three months will be finished tomorrow!) I then asked what that did to fix the grinding issue with the transmission, he then said "we replaced the synchros". I then asked "Didn't we do that before??" and he said yes (I don't understand if new synchros didn't fix it before, how would they now??) I say ok and wait to hear from him the next day. In the meantime, I call my warranty company to see if they had opened a claim to replace the synchros again. The warranty company says no, still the last activity wasn't since Dec 15th. I share my concerns about my situation to them and tell them about the hardships I've been having with this dealership. They agreed that it was ridiculous to be out of my car for over 3 months, especially by a Corvette Dealer. They reassured me that I'm completely covered for whatever is necessary for the repair, even if a whole transmission is needed, they would just send out a third party inspector. I said "Yeah, I'm aware of that process, they had a third party inspector come out before to insect the car for the initial transmission repairs." To my surprise, the gentlemen working for the warranty company tells me there is no history of an inspector being requested to go out to the dealership to inspect my vehicle in the past?? He said that if that really happened, there should be documentation under my account, which there is NOT. (This confused me, I wasn't sure if it was an error on the warranty company or what if the third party inspector story actually never happened?) I felt reassured by my phone call with the warranty company and patiently waited to hear about my car being ready. The service manager calls me that Friday afternoon and says "Well, I just took your car out and I'm still experiencing the clash going into 2nd gear so I know you won't be happy with it." He also said he doesn't know what else to do but try placing some other small parts in the transmission. I asked if the rear end leak had been fixed and he said yes. I told him my warranty company is aware of my situation and that they would cover whatever would be needed, and I then suggested possibly a new transmission. He sounds hesitant and said that he isn't sure if a transmission for a 13 year old car would still be available. I said to call my warranty company and try to get it figured out and he said he'll call them Monday and let me know... That is where I currently stand in the situation. This whole time I've been extremely polite and patient. I thought giving them time and space would ensure a proper repair but I'm starting to think otherwise. Is this normal? Do I have the right to start feeling aggravated with the situation or am I being unrealistic? Would would you do in my situation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!