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Nightmare at the dealership...

E

E-Chick

Guest
Bare with me in my long & painful recount of this nightmare! I only had my 2000 Magnetic Red baby for about 1 month when there was a problem with the wiring in the steering column. No problem, under warranty, should only be 1-2 day fix...said the dealership. Well, 2 days later, I get a call saying that they JUST got to my car and that they don't have the "special" tool for Corvettes that is necessary to do the work. First of all, I had an appointment for them to FIX my car, secondly, why doesn't a Chevrolet dealership have the "special" tool? And thirdly, what the phuck (excuse my french) took 2 days to get to my car? EXCUSE after excuse was hurled my way...I HAD IT! I told the advisor that he'd BETTER get the d*mned "special" tool ASAP because my car is under warranty and THIS is where I'm bringing it and I will NOT be messed with!!! He then and there ordered the tool, had it fed-exed and fixed the problem...only it took fed-ex several days to arrive.

After driving the POS rental and feeling extremely disappointed, I FINALLY got the call that my baby was ready for pick-up, I rushed there as fast as I could...it's now day 7. Ok, everything mechanically was corrected but after sitting out in the car lot (and my car is ALWAYS garaged by me) with a partial dirt lot that kicks up dust, Interstate 5 on the other side of the lot, 1 mile from the ocean, and oh yeah, it drizzled during that time...MY BABY WAS A MESS! She had never, and I mean NEVER been in that condition. And unfortunately for me, by back was out and I wouldn't be able to hand wash her as usual for at least a week. The guy was so nice after realizing my perdicament and said he'd take it out back and wash it for me in the booth, but he couldn't dry it. I said wonderful!

About 10 minutes later, he brings me my car back and I drive happily home thinking what a nice ending to the horrible beginning...

WRONG! It gets worse...After I arrive home, I spot dried any remaining spots and in doing so notice that there are thousands of scratches covering my entire car...OMG! I couldn't imagine what had happened to cause such a thing! I first got so mad, then I actually cried! There wasn't a single swirl mark on my car before I took it to the dealer. Yeah, there were 2 small scratches from a previous owner, but nothing more! I was livid! I called the dealership...they talked to the guy who washed my car and he said he'd used the 'truck brush' on it and then power washed it...

I was speechless for a moment. I mean COME ON! This is a Chevy dealership, they know cars right? And they certainly should know that I have their top of the line car and that kidd gloves are in order when servicing it...if I would have known that this IDIOT would ever consider using a 'truck brush' on my clearcoated Corvette, I probably would have clobbered him then and there! But in retrospect, I'm the idiot for letting him touch my car! I ASSUMED too much that the dealership was competent.

After I resummed composure, he said to bring the car back and they'd have their detailer work on it to my satisfaction...and he ASSURED me that would be handled with extreme caution. Well, after another day's loss of use of my car, they could barely touch the scratches that went this way and that way and every which way and in fact were putting swirl marks into the clearcoat from the towels. I said enough is enough and I'd find my own detailer but they were going to pay. I found one and they paid for it.

The detailer said that they had not only scratched the clear coat and added swirlmarks, but that they had used a buffer and heated it too much and caused a whitening on some areas...HAHHHH, I was so bummed! Yeah, in respect to the atrocities that are going on in the world today, this was not a biggie, but in my little world, my dream car was wounded...and I was upset. He did his best and got the appearance to about 50%. The marks are still there, only not as deep, but nevertheless still present. I'm such a chicken now to do anything more to fix it...the detailer didn't want to use drastic measure so he was conservative in the work performed. I was satisfied as much as I could be without repainting...why me? kept going through my head...maybe I'm not worthy of this incredible machine...

I know, maybe I'm too anal, but aren't we all with our 'Vettes?

Thank you for taking the time to read this LONG post and for allowing me to vent! I appreciate this site more than you know!

Please help...It seems that Zaino is the only way to go...any advice? You can also email me at marlapf@excite.com

Thank you in advance, and happy driving!
 
7

78SilvAnniv

Guest
Yikes!

What a horror story!

I work at the Sheriff's Office, and we have inmates who can achieve trustee status. They do some custodial work within the office building under supervision and in the afternoons work in the parking lot washing deputy vehicles and office staff's vehicles for $3.00 per wash, earning $ so they can pay their court debts and be released.

They've asked several times to wash 78, but I prefer to put any damage on her myself, thankyouverymuch!

I understand you were unable to do things yourself due to an injury, and I also agree, the Dealership employees need to treat their customers and their customers vehicles like they are NOT their own!
Silver aka:Heidi
 
M

mhaber

Guest
Thanks for sharing your story because it reminds the rest of us what can happen when dastardly deeds are done to our Vettes. I took my new Vette with 1000 miles on it to the dealer for an oil change and they drove over the jack lift, doing $325 damage to the rocker panels. Of course, they denied doing the damage, but did repair/paint and fix it. I always tape a large sign on the dash board saying "Do NOT wash the car" and make the service rep. put this on the work order. As for the scratches, I have a Mag Red car, too, and I think 3M swirl mark remover for dark colors is the best. If doing by hand, you must work it slowly to break down the aluminum oxide abrasive, but it does the job. It's the lowest level abrasive product of 3M. If this doesn't do it, I've used the next highest level, 3M Perfect It for hand use. I have used an orbital polisher with good success, but most people will say try it by hand first. Do a small section until you get the hang of it and like the results, then apply Zaino or a good polymer. It's disgusting you have to do this for something that was done out of your control, but with a little time and attention you can probably restore the finish and remove most scratches. If you move up in abrasive level, remember you have to then move back down to polish out the scratches left by the more abrasive product. Good luck.
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
E-Chick said:
..why me? kept going through my head...maybe I'm not worthy of this incredible machine...

I know, maybe I'm too anal, but aren't we all with our 'Vettes?

Thank you for taking the time to read this LONG post and for allowing me to vent! I appreciate this site more than you know!

Please help...It seems that Zaino is the only way to go...any advice? You can also email me at marlapf@excite.com

Thank you in advance, and happy driving!

E-Chick
  • ...why me? it was your turn, trust me we've all been there before, and it's not a nice place to be.. grrrrrr
  • ...maybe I'm not worthy of this incredible machine You just proved you are MORE than worthy to carry our Flag ;)
  • ...I know, maybe I'm too anal, but aren't we all with our 'Vette? More than most will admit, come on everyone fess up here
  • ...It seems that Zaino is the only way to go... I'll leave this answer to Tanzanite3, he can help you here

Sorry to hear things like this, Dealerships can be the best thing sinced sliced bread or they seem to be only truck and SUV dealers.. good Luck E in the future, and you are always welcome to vent here, we've all been down that same phucken (hehehehehe) Road.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Speaking of obsessiveness (anal retentive), I was talking with Scott at The Fiberglass Body today. He told me of a guy that has an '86 that's all-original, and when the clearcoat on his wheels was damaged and repaired, new valve stems were installed on all four wheels.

Well, this guy is so bad, he was down on his hands and knees inspecting the wheels for a long time, took it home for a while, then came back to Scott because when you removed the caps on the stems, one of the stem had a silver-ish cast to it while the other three were more of a bronze tint. Scott had to change the valve stem in the offending wheel. :eyerole

Now, who's "anal"? :L I thought I was the compulsive/obessive one! :L

_ken :w
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Ken - That story is too much. :) And I thought that I was bad about stuff with my car. I mean really, who can even see the tops of the stems when they are covered by the cap anyway? That guy is a trip.

E-Chick...I feel for you. Hindsight is always 20/20, and now you know not to allow the dealership to wash you car. Their methods are typically crude and uncaring - it's not their car. Taking a "truck brush" to a Corvette is absolutely inexcusable. I never allow a dealership to wash any of my vehicles, ever. Mhaber has given you some very good advice; very similar to what I would have said. Posting the "Do Not Wash This Vehicle" sign on the steering wheel was another thing that I was going to mention, as well as having it written on the work order AND telling the service manager that you do not want it washed. If it were my car, the remaining scratches would really bug me and I would tackle it myself. I have had nice results with 3M Finish Restorer in such situations. Use a foam applicator pad, not terry. You will probably find that several applications are needed, not just one. And lastly, don't be afraid to use towels...the key is to use the correct ones. I only use high quality microfiber towels on my finish, nothing else. High quality microfiber towels can be found at www.properautocare.com and NEATitems.com Take your time with it, and you really should be able to improve that finish.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Ruby, I forgot to mention that the diiferent colored stem was different on the INSIDE threads; it wasn't even on the outside portion of the threads! :L

_ken :w
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
You are more than welcome. If you really want to blow your mind with detailing info. try the Autopia web site. There you will find more info./insight than you will know what to do with. I have been a registered member of Autopia for almost 2 years and I contribute many of my car show wins with that site and all it has to offer. There are individuals there that compete at National Concours Level - very impressive. A great site also. :)
 

Guy

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Joined
Apr 12, 2001
Messages
1,342
Location
New England
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2010 CRMT Grand Sport Coupe
Marla,

Many of us are "anal" with ALL our cars and like others have said, :been there done that" at the dealers. I am so fortunate that our mechanics and shop owner all own Vettes and went to grade school with my wife. Maybe I married her for her contacts:D. One of the guys even went with me at least 3 times a week looking at cars until we picked the 82. I hope you find that special shop who cares about your car - these guys are priceless.
As BudD said, your vent proves you are a Vette person.

:w
Guy
 

90 Corvette ZR-1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2001
Messages
561
Location
Pittsburgh
Corvette
90 Red ZR-1
Wow that would have made me mad also. I think I just may have to send my dealer/mechanic/detailer a very large gift basket. I have a local Chevy dealer who as anal as I am about his ZR-1. everytime I have it there to be worked on (which isn't often) it comes back clean. I think they hand wash it.

When I bought my Stang (used) from a chevy dealer, where the used car salesmens office was I could see the "wash bay" THEY WERE USING A BROOM!! I made sure that I stated I DID NOT wany my car going through the "detail shop". I'll do it myself thank you.

Again, sorry about your car.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
I once worked at a local popular Chevy Dealer right out of highschool. It was a great place (still is) and they allowed me to flex me schedule to go to college.

I worked in PDI (pre delivery inspection) and prepped all the new cars coming in. My department also handled the used car detail work, and ANY detail work for the dealer.

Although I had a passion for Corvettes, I was not allowed to check in or PDI any new Vettes.

Let me set the stage. The year was 1990 and we had the worlds most impressive Corvette being delivered to our dealer for a special long awaited personal delivery to the new owner. It was a jet black 1990 ZR1. The first one to be delivered to this area of the State.

Wow, I missed class just to be there when it rolled off the delivery truck. It was covered in the typical plastic protector material, and also this crazy waxy substance they sprayed on the paint to keep them from being damaged in transit. This stuff required a special chemical to melt it down and deactivate it. That had to be done first, then the hand washing began prior to the hand dry process. The last thing to do before delivery was to strip that junk off and wash the cars, then a coating of special "sealer" was applied. I use to love putting that stuff on cars.

Well, I stood back and watched the fellow (the expert detailer) struggle to get the protective film off. He ended up using a (as you say) Truck brush).

An hour or two later, the car was washed, sealed, and moved into the delivery zone. I stayed late that night to meet the man buying the car and see his reaction to it seeing it for the first time (he was paying over $70K for the car!).

We rolled it under the florecent lights and BAM! We noticed it was covered in scratches. I am talking thousands of swirl marks. There was NO time to try to buff or polish it. The owner of the dealership was there, and the man showed up in a few minutes later. I was running around saying "hey, hey!, what is wrong with this picture....the car is messed up", but I was told to be quiet (plus I was not on the clock and had no business even being there).

Well, you guessed it. The owner noticed right away. Some bad ju-ju went down over the next couple of weeks, but it was finally delivered looking, well...okay. The good part for me is I got to visit with the car each and every day for the proceeding weeks. I brought my friends, family, and camera. I could not believe I was actually seeing, touching, and (don't tell the owner, sitting) in the KING OF THE HILL.

After that, they let me start doing the Corvette prep. At least under my watch, there was never another mistake like this one.

Sorry to hear the bad news, but put yourself in the shoes of the fellow that just dropped $70K! I bet he was sick to his stomach, and may have never been happy with the car after it went through that with less than 10 miles on the clicker.

Those websites have some great detailing tips. I would suggest giving it some time, then having a professional paint and body shop clay bar the car down and professionally buffing it back out. That should do the trick. Plus a paint shop will be in a position to deal with any problems if they burn through or do any other damage to the paint vs. a detail shop that obviously can't correct/re-paint any damaged panels.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
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Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
BTW, It may have been late 1989 now that I think about it. I am sure some ZR1 experts here would know for sure when the 1990 models started being delivered.

I did later PDI a 1990 torch red convertible. I went over these cars with a fine toothed comb. Something just was not right about the red one. I kept searching, looking, inspecting, and discovered it had been nailed on the left rear and was repaired and repainted. There was a small amount of overspray on the power antenna bezel, and some other tell tell signs underneath. My inspection initiated an inquiry. Come to find out, the truck driver had damaged it in transit and had somebody perform repairs on the car between Bowling Green and the dealership. Our body shop had to remove the rear bumper, lefter inner fender trim, etc. and repaint the car.

Strange things sure do happen.
 

Paul G

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
200
Location
Griffith, IN, USA
Corvette
96 CE LT4 Convertible
I feel your pain.
DO NOT SIT BACK AND LET THE DEALER OFF THE HOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They need to make that car whole again and to your satisfaction. Start making phone calls. Talk to the owner of the dealership first. Then on to regional and finally GM corporate. The numbers are in your owners manual. That car should look better when it is done than it did before they crucified it. I am not talking vengence after the dealer, just force them to correct there mistake. You should not have to live with the car in a lesser condition. Even if they have to spring for a total repaint so be it. It is there mistake. Up to them to fix it. Sure they can polish off a few mils of clear. Then what do have. In a few years the clear will be gone and you will have to pay for a repaint. Make them fix it the right way now.

My 88 is in the trim shop as I write this getting a new top installed. I just called to see if all is okay. I am nervous about it being away.

Good luck to you and be strong!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
The funny thing is they don't treat the corvettes special at most chevy dealers... it is among the cavaliers, S-10's, etc. It would be nice if they would at least try to keep them inside the shop while they are there.... Funny, if you own a lexus, you get the car back in perfect shape... you own a corvette, and it comes out of the dealer a mess.

I just got rear-ended in my Vette... It is at chevy now getting fixed... I can tell you I won't take it back unless it is perfect. I can also tell you it is sitting outside (and the work hasn't started yet). This is really annoying considering I was more than willing to take the car in on their schedule... so it would sit in the garage instead of outside.
 
E

E-Chick

Guest
Man, great stories & advice...

Paul, it happened about 5 months ago...do you think it's too late to do anything?

:BOW I really appreciate the support here!!!

Thank you!
 

90 Corvette ZR-1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2001
Messages
561
Location
Pittsburgh
Corvette
90 Red ZR-1
Jeeze it seems my dealer is the exception rather then the rule. My car is always kept inside. One day I couldn't make it there to pick up my car before they closed. they aparently needed the service bay for another vette. I pull up saturday morning and see a red 90 ZR w/ chrome rims in the show room. I was like "hay someone traded in a car that looks just like mine." I go to settle my bill, and I look for my car in the service bay. It's not there. OK it's out getting detailed no problem now I get to check out that Z in the showroom. I head out and there is the Z. Damn this car is almost a clone to mine. red/red ZR-1 emblem on the front bumper chrome rims.

There wasa sign on the car "NOT FOR SALE DO NOT TOUCH!!!!!" I thought Tom Henery (dealership owner, good friend and huige vette guy) got a new ZR-1. Then I check the VIN 1433. SOB thats my car. I check the doors, locked. I get my keys out open it up and get in. Next thing I know here comes Tom out. I guess he thought someone left the car open and he was gona tell the moron who got in it to get out of my car. Well to make a longer story short. We got to talking about why my car was in the show room. He told me they needed the service bay, the body shop was full and they didn' have any where to put it inside, so they put it in the show room. Needless to say I was impressed.
 
T

Tanzanite3

Guest
Goodness Gracious!!

E-Chick..

I just scanned the start of your post and I know it's not polite to comment on spelling/typos but your opening with "Bare with me..." has conjured up a pleasant vision!!

Best regards and thanks
 

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