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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Truck Trouble

While I was still in NH and my husband was already here in Germany, he had told me about needing to get the truck inspected. I didn't understand everything he was talking about at the time, but he told me it didn't pass because there was a little bit of grease in the brake pads. He cleaned the brake pads off at the auto craft shop on post and took it back and was able to get it to pass. So in my mind, the issue was over.

Once I arrived to Germany my husband left only 10 days later for a month long 'rotation.' Before he left he got new tires for the truck that are mandatory here (I guess for the winter or something). Now the truck needed an alignment. The auto shop on post couldn't get us in for a long time. So we found a place not far from post that COULD work on our truck (a very rare vehicle in Germany where most people drive small cars). But first I needed to get the specs on the alignment from the states.

So Alex left for his rotation and I had to handle the truck trouble.
I called the Toyota dealership in Clovis CA, a dealership we have used in the past to work on the truck. They were kind enough to release the information to me via email and all I had to do was print it out and bring it to the auto shop we were using. When I brought it in he scheduled me a week out to get the alignment done.

Now we only have one vehicle so I set it up with a friend I have here to pick me and my daughter up and we could go out in town for lunch and shopping. It took the place FOUR hours to complete the alignment!
I mean I gave him 3 hours, I dropped it off at 1pm and came back at 4pm but he told me 'one more hour' so we went to the McDonald's and let Lexi play for a little bit.

When I got back he was just pulling in from test driving it, he pulls up, gets out and says, in his thick German accent, 'we have problem. He then proceeds to tell me that the wheel barring in the front driver side wheel needs to be replaced. We had heard a noise in there and so I wasn't surprised that this is what it turned out to be. The noise wasn't very loud and we were hoping it was just because of the chunky tires being un aligned.
So he tells me the alignment will need to be redone once the wheel barring is replaced.

I go home and call the dealership in CA again to send me the parts. No one is in that can help me so I need to call back tomorrow. Now the guy I need is in and he says they are penske auto group (whatever that means) and cannot ship parts overseas. Do you geniuses know your parts probably come from overseas? I mean it's a TOYOTA! hahah.

So I call the dealership in WA state we bought the truck from and they tell me the parts are in stock they'll mail them out. I specifically tell her to send them priority in a flate rate box so we won't get charged for the weight. A week later the part finaly arrives, not priority and not in a flat rate box. Good job guys!

I immediately go in that Thursday to the auto shop and he schedules me for NEXT week Friday! GRRRR. Now of course my husband is calling saying 'don't drive it if you don't have to, if that goes it's going to be a big headache and much more expensive' And we haven't gotten ADAC yet (Germany's equivalent to AAA) so it'd probably be an expensive tow getting a tow truck that could tow our truck! hahah!

By the time the shop can get our truck in Alex was already home from the rotation. So Friday comes around and I realize it's the day of the Halloween Fest for the kids on base! So Alex heads out early with the dogs, washes and vaccuums out the truck, drops it off and STAYS there and plays with the dogs outside while it's being worked on.

The guy replaces the wheel barring AND redoes the alignment all in 2 hours! (Lesson learned - need the shop to hurry? Sit there and watch them work on it! haha) Alex gets back home... and he has bad news!

Remember the grease in the brake pads? It's the differential leaking... and apparently this is a big deal! If the grease al leaks out the differential could go and you're looking at $5,000 or more to fix it! So now we're off to post, Lexi and I in our costumes, to go to the Halloween Fest AND to pick up a rental b/c we can't drive the truck anymore.

The rental is costing us 148 Euro for the weekend. First thing Saturday morning I follow Alex to a Toyota dealership that CAN fit our truck on it's lifts (the only other one we knew about couldn't). They were really good about getting in first thing and checking it out and giving us a quote. They CAN fix it, they have all the parts they need. It's just a seal that needs to be replaced but also the break pads need replacing b/c of the leaking into it. Awesome. We feel very confident with this place. The catch? (why does there ALWAYS have to be a catch) they can't get it in until a week out Friday. ahahaha! So we're in the rental all week!
The truck is just sitting in our driveway, the big beautiful beast she is, completely useless and we're driving around in a little hatchback VW.

When Alex went in to the rental place on base on Monday to tell them we'd need it for the rest of the week he sees a promotional ad in their window that says rent for 7 days only pay for 5. So Alex is telling the guy ok that's the deal I'd like. So he's saying, OK, return it next Monday. And Alex is trying to explain, No, I will return it next Friday, so Friday to Friday 7 days, just adjust the original pricing since we do want to keep it for one week. The guy's english isn't good and Alex's German is even worse.. so let's see if they got that figured out when we return it (that is if everything goes well on Friday and the truck gets finished!)

Here's one more, BIG, 'HAHA' for you! NONE of any of this is covered on our warranty we paid over $2000 for. Well, I should rephrase that, the wheel barring replacement and the differential seal and brake pad replacement is ALL covered under our warranty. But they won't pay for it because we are in Germany! Yeah, nice, huh?

A WARNING to all military personnel that have ANY chance of EVER being PCS'd overseas.. be careful what warranty you purchase for your vehicles!
Over $2000 on a warranty completely wasted (because it will expire by the time we get back to the states) and almost $1000 in repairs out of our pocket. Sweet! not....

‘Til next time… I’ll be living my life as a soldier’s wife. Sooo dreamy =)

1 comment:

  1. Oh this makes me so angry for you. The military families are so often taken ( as in swindled ) by people who know these kinds of things, and also know you'll be movin' on soon and cannot practically pursue them after they have swindled you. And then, there are those businesses who are very willing to help out, but doing business with foreign countries( understandable)is beyond them. None of this helps you though. I am so sorry for you and so many military families lie you.



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