The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Well Bless Your Heart

This pretty much sums up how my day started and it went downhill from there...

I've been looking for a 1 Ton Dualy for quite some time to use for work. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find that slightly dinged up, low mileage, cherry on the inside truck with my name on it. So today after I sent a gi-freaking-normous check to the IRS, I had a little cash left and decided to settle for less truck than I wanted. For those keeping score, this is the point in the story where everything went horribly wrong.

I found a 2006 F350 on that was clean as a whistle inside and out, but it had more miles on it than I liked and it was a Ford when I really wanted a Dodge with a Cummins engine. But the price was exactly what I was willing to spend. I told myself, sometimes we can't get what we want, but we can get what we need. I cleaned out faithful old Cabrito, grabbed my title and headed off to Grande Prairie in search of my treasure found on the internet.

When I got there the truck was even cleaner than I expected. It needed tires, but otherwise there wasn't a scratch on it inside or out, the motor ran smooth, didn't smoke and was surprisingly zippy. The oil was fresh and coolant clean. But that 155,000 miles on the odometer kept staring me in the face. I kept telling myself "It's a diesel, they run to 300K". I test drove the fool out of it checking the 4 Wheel Drive, all the accessories and kept a close eye on the gauges. Everything was apparently up to snuff. I should have checked the fluids again after I drove it, but I didn't.

We haggled over the price a bit then haggled over the trade-in a bit and finally came to a deal. He started the paperwork and I started the Wire Transfer. Bless my heart... (You know what that translates to in Texan, right?) Money hit his account and the keys hit my hand. Done deal.

As I'm driving back planning just how I'm going to show off my new truck to Bro Inlaw (who hates Fords with a passion) I notice a funky little wrench lit up on the dash. I was only a couple miles outside Decatur and drove on and stopped at Allsups. I pulled out the owners manual and it said it was going into "Limp Mode". Not good. I hightail it to Karl Klement for a diagnostic. Mind you all the gauges are reading normal and the truck is running just fine, but I don't want to get hung in "Limp Mode".

I'm sitting in the waiting area and have pretty much convinced myself that it's something minor and probably electrical like a sensor. Couple hundred bucks tops. The Service Manager walks in and lays the bombshell on me... 

$5200 to replace the blown oil cooler, EGR cooler, head gaskets, flush and fill fluids. Until then, the truck is undrivable.

Of course I signed an "as is, no warranty" contract. I called the used car lot and got a lot of sympathy, but zero relief. They won't take the truck back and they won't pay for any repairs. I was always under the impression you had 72 hours to return a defective vehicle in Texas. I was wrong, very wrong according to the Attorney General's website (I checked). Cars are not included.

So now I'm beating the bushes for a good Ford diesel mechanic that works cheap, real cheap.

So let's review how many stupid moves I made in 1 Day:
  1. Went car shopping on the internet.
  2. Did not have an independent mechanic inspect the truck.
  3. Signed an "as is - no warranty" contract.
  4. Did not double check fluids after test drive.
  5. Sent a wire transfer instead of writing a check.
  6. Bought a truck from a guy with more vowels in his name than consonants.
  7. Settled for something that wasn't really what I wanted in the first place.
I'm sure there's at least 3 more bonehead moves that would round it out to 10, but right now I just don't care enough to figure them out.


Anonymous said...

There is a good & decent mechanic west of Boyd on HWY 114 named Dan's auto or something similar. We have taken various vehicles there & feel he is fair.

I am not kin to him or have no financial gain there, but I have recommended him several times over the years.

Good luck!

RPM said...

Thanks, I'll keep him in mind if I have more problems. I've already found a guy and he's tearing it down tonight.

an Donalbane said...

I feel your pain, bro'.

The sedan is in sick bay, getting a new torque converter/trans rebuild. 2 large.

Since they were already under it, I'm having that annoying-a** sump pan gasket replaced. Apparently, FoMoCo used crappy gasket material or sealant - nearly every engine of that type I've been associated with has leaked from the pan.