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Old 03-13-2008, 04:52 PM   #1
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I'm writing for DH. He's so frustrated. We had our IM service done at a Freightliner dealer which shall remain nameless. DH wasn't planning on even having an IM because he didn't think it needed it. But of course, this Freightliner dealer said all the things that are included in this service should really be done when the coach is relatively new to make sure everything is functioning properly. *hah!*

We got talked into having an alignment. They recommended that it be done at the IM. Initially we told them that we were going to reseach aftermarket alternatives in the summer so we wanted to put the alignment off until then. They asked what we had planned. We told them we'd probably start with the replacement of the factory bell crank. To make a long story short, they almost guaranteed us that after they got through with the alignment, that it would correct the slight "pull" (or the sensation of having to correct against the road crown) and that we shouldn't have to do any replacing of the bell crank or any other steering stabilizers. We bought into it.

So they spent a few hours going over all the specs and many road tests to supposedly get it "just right." They switched the two front wheels and that's what has us so mad. Not only is there no real difference in the "pull" situation, but now there's a very slight shimmy at about 55-65 mph that wasn't there before. So DH spends all afternoon "talking" to them about the problem. They are claiming that switching the two wheels around was necessary to make the alignment better. It's a tire balance symptom but the balance of the two wheels shouldn't have been effected by just switching positions. It's a tire cord problem that most truck tires have and after all, motorhomes are running essentially truck tires ...it's not a Cadilac. They didn't want to switch them back because they claim that it would throw the alignment off again. When complaining about the shimmy, they said that 80% of the semis they work on will have fairly heavy shimmying and it's considered normal in heavy trucks. A real slight shimmy shouldn't be worried about, it won't hurt anything and won't affect tire wear.

If it was any worse than it is, DH would have insisted that it be corrected but it's just not that bad just a very slight shimmy at 55-65 MPH. But to top it off, we just noticed a few hundred miles later that one of the front wheel hub covers has a slight dent in it. We're just frustrated ...and $1,200 lighter in the wallet.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:52 PM   #2
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I'm writing for DH. He's so frustrated. We had our IM service done at a Freightliner dealer which shall remain nameless. DH wasn't planning on even having an IM because he didn't think it needed it. But of course, this Freightliner dealer said all the things that are included in this service should really be done when the coach is relatively new to make sure everything is functioning properly. *hah!*

We got talked into having an alignment. They recommended that it be done at the IM. Initially we told them that we were going to reseach aftermarket alternatives in the summer so we wanted to put the alignment off until then. They asked what we had planned. We told them we'd probably start with the replacement of the factory bell crank. To make a long story short, they almost guaranteed us that after they got through with the alignment, that it would correct the slight "pull" (or the sensation of having to correct against the road crown) and that we shouldn't have to do any replacing of the bell crank or any other steering stabilizers. We bought into it.

So they spent a few hours going over all the specs and many road tests to supposedly get it "just right." They switched the two front wheels and that's what has us so mad. Not only is there no real difference in the "pull" situation, but now there's a very slight shimmy at about 55-65 mph that wasn't there before. So DH spends all afternoon "talking" to them about the problem. They are claiming that switching the two wheels around was necessary to make the alignment better. It's a tire balance symptom but the balance of the two wheels shouldn't have been effected by just switching positions. It's a tire cord problem that most truck tires have and after all, motorhomes are running essentially truck tires ...it's not a Cadilac. They didn't want to switch them back because they claim that it would throw the alignment off again. When complaining about the shimmy, they said that 80% of the semis they work on will have fairly heavy shimmying and it's considered normal in heavy trucks. A real slight shimmy shouldn't be worried about, it won't hurt anything and won't affect tire wear.

If it was any worse than it is, DH would have insisted that it be corrected but it's just not that bad just a very slight shimmy at 55-65 MPH. But to top it off, we just noticed a few hundred miles later that one of the front wheel hub covers has a slight dent in it. We're just frustrated ...and $1,200 lighter in the wallet.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
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Don't be too hard on yourself...we all live and learn. Not sure where you are located but if you can do it, I'd strongly suggest you plan to go to the FCCC Service Center in Gaffney, SC when you again need chassis service. It's not a hard place to find and Gaffney is a neat little place (eat a meatball burger at Harold's diner...highlighted on the Food Network).

We just had some service done there on a return trip from Myrtle Beach. They know the chassis, seem very efficient, and charge very reasonable rates.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:24 PM   #4
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Don't know what "an IM" is, but sounds like the shop is incompetent.

It is true that ALL motorhomes should have an alignment done after purchase ...with the rig loaded as you will normally travel.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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I would return and in a firm voice (loud enough for "ALL" the customers to hear) state your case.
Your case is "you came in for your IM and dropped $1200, left with a MH that was of less quality
than BEFORE you dropped $1200!"
Monday morning is usually a good day, as those that went camping over the weekend and had a problem
will be in for repairs. Remember the squeaky wheel, gets the sauve!!!!!Tenn.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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Amanda, you and your husband have every right to be upset not with having been talked into a IM (probably 1M) but with the line of BS they fed you about tires and "heavy truck" shimy. There BS is not true. I was fed the same type of BS when I was having problems with our Freightliner garbage truck. It had a bad shimy and the brake pedal was very soft. They said it was normal (Portland Freightliner) and we took it in several times and each time they found nothing wrong. I took it to the Brooks Frieghtliner and they found both front wheels out of round and the trundle valve for the brakes bad. They replaced it. I would demand the shop you took your coach to correct the problem. Go as high in their management level as you have to to get action. Maybe a call to Gaffeny would help if you explain your problem and the trouble you are having.

Good luck

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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FYI

IM = Initial Maintenance required at 1st 6000 miles or 6 months

M1 = Maintenance 1 required every 6000 miles or 6 months

M2 = Maintenance 2 required every 12,000 miles or 12 months

M3 = Maintenance 3 required every 24,000 miles or 24 months

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Old 03-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #8
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Amanda,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. This does not sound like a reputable FL dealer.

I would comment on the FCCC website about your experience with this dealer. Freightliner needs to know about these situations and hopefully rectify it. The service survey is at the following link: http://www.freightlinerchassis.com/p...asisSurvey.asp

Additionally, you should also post your experience on the RV Service Experience website http://rvservicereviews.com. It is one way that we have some influence in exposing bad dealers and also find good dealers. You might consider using this website as a reference for your future service needs.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:14 PM   #9
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Amanda,

Also don't be shy about naming the shop that gave you the bum steer (sorry). The previous poster was right. Scream loud. REALLY loud. It's the only way to get some places to pay attention to you. I have always been a fan of catching more fly's with honey than with vinegar. But when honey isn't working...... SCREAM TO HIGH HEAVEN!!

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:40 PM   #10
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Amanda,
I took our RV to Sacramento Truck Center for our IM and it came back riding better than before. They do good work. I'd call Freightliner and share your information with them. The tire rotation makes no sense to me and your RV should not have the shimmy. Let us know how you do?
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:53 AM   #11
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That does not sound like a reputable dealer, or reputable anything.

Switched wheels? That doesn't sound right. Tires should not have their direction of rotation chnaged after being in service.

None of this sounds right. I'd insist they make it right or they pay to have to made right.

Agree, post that dealer so other folks don't get caught up with them.

By the way..... I have driven trucks up to and including Class 8 (the big stuff) and if it didn't steer right, it either got fixed or I wouldn't drive it. No exceptions. No professional would drive anything that "shimmied" or pulled to one side.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:59 AM   #12
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Amanda_h, did they take the tires off the rims or just move the complete tire and wheel assembly from left to right?

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:43 AM   #13
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Jim, I'm pretty sure they just swapped the entire wheel assembly because they told us that it didn't matter as they are not directional tires.



We'll be talking to them again about this whole situation.

Yes, we'd love to go to Gaffney but we're on the west coast. I hear that the dealer in Tolleson AZ is very good. If we need any other work done, that's probably where we'll be headed.

Thanks for the comments, everybody!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by amanda_h:
--snip-- I hear that the dealer in Tolleson AZ is very good. If we need any other work done, that's probably where we'll be headed.

Thanks for the comments, everybody! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes - they are quite good and have a wonderful reputation. They are now our FTL dealer of choice and worth the drive.
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