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Discussion Starter #1
I've posted about this before in rec.audio.car almost a year ago. I was reminded of this today because I just got a letter from the dealership I had my car repaired at last year demanding their $2000. For what? An interior light control module, or something. It was supposed to be under warranty, but they're not covering it because they've determined that the audio system was at fault. Screw magnusson-moss.

So basically they spent over a month trying to figure out why my interior lights were flickering on and off after you shut off the car. They couldn't figure it out, so they assumed the audio system was at fault. They dropped it off at a car audio shop in Massachusetts (one I had dealt with in the past, actually, so I knew how clueless they were). The shop determined the audio system was "drawing 9 amps even when it was off". Nevermind the fact that they claimed it STILL drew 9 amps even when they unhooked the 4 ga. power wire to it. Of course, when I got the car back I checked it myself and found that they were lying through their teeth. And not very convincingly either.

So this is a $1600 bill already. Just "diagnostics." No big deal, they told me. They'd put it through the warranty. Finally, they bring it to a real repair shop, and they had it diagnosed and repaired in 6 hours - $400. Much more reasonable. But altogether, they had my car for two months and now they're trying to stick me with a $2000 bill. [Turns out they forgot to send the $50 owner transfer fee on the warranty they sold me when I bought the car, but illegally tried to pass it through anyway by saying the repair work was to be performed for the previous owner.]

Anyway, I've paraphrased the conversation I had with the audio shop below. The wild claims this guy made were pretty funny. But more importantly, I think it serves to emphasize that when you're faced with a car audio question it's best to ask people like npdang, chad, or whoever else that has a solid working knowledge of the electronics and physics behind these things, and practical experience diagnosing and fixing equipment, and NOT your average brick and mortar shop owner. That's not to say all owners are ignorant. That's certainly not the case. But be careful!

Here are some assertions made by the "professional" I spoke to over the phone:

Professional: The audio system was showing a 9A draw even when the car was off.
Me: But wasn't the 4ga. wire that was supplying it disconnected?
Professional: Yeah, but it can get its power from other sources.

You see, the way I wired it, only the 4ga wire supplied power to the entire audio system. No remote wires. No ignition wires. The car PC was turned on by a simple push button switch - the power to the car PC was from the 4ga. wire. The car PC then turned on the amplifiers through their remote inputs via the USB output and a couple of relays.

Me: But isn't it all supplied by that single 4 ga. wire?
Professional: Actually, there were two 4 ga. wires hooked up to it. And there are other sources powering the equipment anyway.

Two lies in a row. No, there weren't two 4ga. wires. There was only one. And no, there were no
other sources.

Professional: When the car was dropped off to me, the car PC was on.

Not only was the 4ga. cable not attached, but the power plug was pulled from the car PC and the distribution block.

Professional: The amplifier was generating feedback in the electrical system. I know this because I disconnected the positive wire to the amplifier and left the ground wire attached and it was still delivering large amounts of current through the ground.
Me: But don't you need the positive wire to 'close the loop'?
Professional: Nah.

He rewrote Kirchoff's Law in one fell swoop. Way to go.

Professional: Today's Cadillacs aren't designed to handle big 4 ga. wires. They create so much RF that it's like having a broadcast antenna in your car. It damages the sensitive electronics.

Ah, a transmitting power wire. I love it. Interestingly, the sensor that went bad was nowhere near the "broadcast antenna" that I call a wire. In fact, nothing was - not even the stock 4ga. wire running from the alternator.

Professional: Every time I would unhook a device from the distribution block, the current draw would decrease. It's my opinion that all of your amps and processors went bad at the same time and caused the car to malfunction.

Zebras or horses?
 

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Man, I know it's not funny, but I hope that some day after not having to pay the $2K you can laugh at it. I get a chuckle out of it, I'm sorry.

What REALLY scares me is that millions of people trust their safety on the road to Morons like there.

I took my truck in to have the throw-out bearing replaced. I would have done it myself but it was cold and I couldn't get the extra set of hands needed. The bearing simply went bad, no biggie, it was fairly new too, shit happens. Sooooo..... It took them 5.5 days to replace it! Charged me 700 bucks! Tore a bunch of wiring out of the transmission when they did not disconnect it before tropping the tranny and proceeded to crimp connect it (under a vehicle with salt spray inevetable) leaving about a inch and a half of copper out each side. Needless to say my backup lights remained on after about a mile of driving. They also charged me for an oil change (why, I don't know, you don't have to drain the oil to trop the tranny) and forgot to put f-ing oil in it (well, they put 2 quarts in it) they put dino oil in it and it had synthetic, pissed me off to no end. THEN they only put the header bolts in hand tight. I picked my son up from school (with my back up lights on, not knowing) and just as I passed a cop the Y-Pipe fell off and I had open headers, if you have ever heard open headers you have an idea how embarassing that can be. Of course we got pulled over and the cop read me the riot act for trusting such a Jalopy to transport my kid, my kid was certain "we were going to jail" and hysterical, the cop was no help to the situation. Unfortunately it was not a Jalopy just 5.5 days ago. They never made good on my troubles, If anyone wants to see the letter I wrote to Aamco Transmissions I would be happy to post it :)

Chad
 

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that sucks Aamco is supose to be good... doesnt surprise me on the car stereo... people dont know anything about electronics and those heavy gauge wires scare them
 

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Well no point in rubbing salt in an old wound, but going to Aamco in the first place was the mistake. Take it from someone who has been in the car business for 16+ years, 99% of “chain” repair shops are staffed by complete idiots who have no business working on lawnmowers, much less modern automobiles. Please stay away from the Aamco, Just Brakes, Jiffy Lubes of the world, and save yourself much grief.
 

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My mechanic is a good friend of the family and a good friend in general. I've been screwed a couple of times, too, by unscrupulous shops. A good, HONEST mechanic is hard to find. I'd divorce my wife before I'd give up my mechanic! Just kidding but you guys know what I mean. Ayrton is correct - stay away from the chains.

Chad/MarkZ - sorry to hear about your troubles. You guys are both great additions to the forum and deserve much better. Maybe a 1/0 ga. wire wouldn't transmit as much noise?!
 

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I got screwed with a car warranty once but not like yours (Well I do think they did over charge me for some repairs apparently covered by the warranty). The company that supplied the warrenty for my previous car went out of business. Another company bought out the warranty then it went out of business so when my car died (long story but it was a lemon) I had nothing to back me up so I got screwed by a dead car and a dead warranty...

Also everytime I've ever had an electrical problem with my car the repair shops ALWAYS blame the aftermarket car stereo for the problem. Yeah... I'm sure my stereo killed my starter...

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Back from the dead comes this thread!

An update for those interested -- the car dealership has gotten a lawyer and appears to be planning to go ahead to collect their $2k, or whatever it is (yes, $2k for a "rear interior module", but mostly for diagnosing it -- ie. incompetence). If they admit to selling the car with a warranty, they'll lose, since that part is listed on the items covered by the warranty. So it's pretty clear that they're going to lie. I have the prior owner's warranty information they gave me when they were trying to sneak it in under warranty that way (gee, why would they give me the prior owner's warranty information if there was no warranty?). It'll be interesting to see if the little evidence I have will hold up.

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson -- people selling you things are not your friends. No matter how amicable the relationship or how many items you buy from them, they'll still try to screw you over if they feel like it. These guys know they offered a warranty so it's not even a matter of a difference of opinion or interpretation. They're wrong and they know it.
 

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chad said:
Man, I know it's not funny, but I hope that some day after not having to pay the $2K you can laugh at it. I get a chuckle out of it, I'm sorry.

What REALLY scares me is that millions of people trust their safety on the road to Morons like there.

I took my truck in to have the throw-out bearing replaced. I would have done it myself but it was cold and I couldn't get the extra set of hands needed. The bearing simply went bad, no biggie, it was fairly new too, shit happens. Sooooo..... It took them 5.5 days to replace it! Charged me 700 bucks! Tore a bunch of wiring out of the transmission when they did not disconnect it before tropping the tranny and proceeded to crimp connect it (under a vehicle with salt spray inevetable) leaving about a inch and a half of copper out each side. Needless to say my backup lights remained on after about a mile of driving. They also charged me for an oil change (why, I don't know, you don't have to drain the oil to trop the tranny) and forgot to put f-ing oil in it (well, they put 2 quarts in it) they put dino oil in it and it had synthetic, pissed me off to no end. THEN they only put the header bolts in hand tight. I picked my son up from school (with my back up lights on, not knowing) and just as I passed a cop the Y-Pipe fell off and I had open headers, if you have ever heard open headers you have an idea how embarassing that can be. Of course we got pulled over and the cop read me the riot act for trusting such a Jalopy to transport my kid, my kid was certain "we were going to jail" and hysterical, the cop was no help to the situation. Unfortunately it was not a Jalopy just 5.5 days ago. They never made good on my troubles, If anyone wants to see the letter I wrote to Aamco Transmissions I would be happy to post it :)

Chad
Holy shit, yeah i would like to see the letter............,bunch o idiots
 

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MarkZ said:
Back from the dead comes this thread!

An update for those interested -- the car dealership has gotten a lawyer and appears to be planning to go ahead to collect their $2k, or whatever it is (yes, $2k for a "rear interior module", but mostly for diagnosing it -- ie. incompetence). If they admit to selling the car with a warranty, they'll lose, since that part is listed on the items covered by the warranty. So it's pretty clear that they're going to lie. I have the prior owner's warranty information they gave me when they were trying to sneak it in under warranty that way (gee, why would they give me the prior owner's warranty information if there was no warranty?). It'll be interesting to see if the little evidence I have will hold up.

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson -- people selling you things are not your friends. No matter how amicable the relationship or how many items you buy from them, they'll still try to screw you over if they feel like it. These guys know they offered a warranty so it's not even a matter of a difference of opinion or interpretation. They're wrong and they know it.
Send a Registered letter to the dealership's attorney advising them that if they do not cease their attempt to collect, your next communications will be with:
1) The State Attorney General's office where you will file a fraudulent business practice complaint.
2) The State Insurance Regulator's office with a complaint of the dealership's attempt at insurance fraud.
3) The insurance company the dealership attempted to defraud.
 

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If they do get a court date, get a lawyer. They're expert witness is a moron and could be completely debunked by any competent Electrical/Electronic Engineer. Hell, just mentioning that the audio shop guy managed to "rewrite Kirchoff's Law" would go a long way. Also with a lawyer, you can sue for your time and troubles. That and do the things that G Rahn mentioned.

I had a buddy that put an aftermarket DVD/Nav head unit in his car. He had to go and get an alternator replaced that went bad. The dealership told him the same thing. Not covered under warranty because the DVD unit caused the problem. Both being engineers we went back together to hear this one.

According to them, the stock 150 amp alternator, that is also used to supply fully loaded Chrysler Town and Country minivans with full DVD systems, a slew of monitors and such went bad because the alternator was not designed to power an aftermarket head unit. :rolleyes: After grilling them, they "decided" to let it slide this time. :rolleyes:
 
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