: Royal Cadillac Tucson Auto Mall AVOID!!!



jrwoods
04-13-11, 10:43 AM
Avoid Royal Cadillac Tucson Auto Mall (Previously Don Mackey) at all costs until they remedy their business practices.

I've been wanting to say something in a more formal and blunt tone for awhile. I've mentioned them in a few posts in the past but have refrained from bad mouthing and suger-coated the wording because i had hopes of salvaging a relationship thinking that maybe these first few experiences were a fluke but clearly there is a pattern of deceit, laziness, and tampering.

Cadillac is the most respected and recognized name in American Luxury and this was definitely not the way I wanted or expected my experience to be. I realize not all dealerships are the same but I knew this was NOT representative of Cadillacs branding or the product itself.

I started going there shortly after buying my 2004 seville(used not from them) and out of the 5 or 6 visits I've had several downright negative experiences. Everything from catching them in lies to blatent tampering with my vehicle. Along with some experiences where I felt they did the bare minimum to help me out. Not once have I left that dealership feeling satisfied or respected.

Most of my entire relationship with this dealership went thru the service advisor (much like every other customer). That first visit I was greeted by Chris S. and things got off to a bad start when I caught him lying to me about a CKP sensor code that he said the technician pulled from the scantool. He quoted a price and said they could have it done in an hour and a half.

What Chris didn't know was that i had been reading up alot on this website posting questions and educating myself about the car. I learned how to pull my own codes and had just pulled them that morning before i came in.

I pulled the codes again from the dash right there and no code other than theP0420which was my catalytic converter i already knew about (Chris didn't even mention)and was actually there to research that.

Chris then brought the technician out who told me that yes the 2 codes were there and that i would need both CKP sensors replaced. He then said "havn't you noticed that it takes a few cranks before it starts?" Now, that is one of the symptoms of CKP failure and other CF members supported that diagnosis but i wasn't experiencing the other symptoms of CKP sensor failure.

More importantly, the several crank attempt problems started exactly after i ran the car outta gas. And after doing my research on CF I determined that i wanted to check the fuel pump first because they overheat when no gas is present. And that could cause the same symptoms i was having.

I wish i woulda asked them to show me the codes on their scan tool to catch them red-handed but i still wanted to trust them and was going to get the CKP fixed if the fuel pump wasnt the issue.

So, I began the fuel pump job myself and had a hard time getting the locking ring seal off because there is a rare special tool you're supposed to use and no store in the state had the tool. So, I wanted to give Chris and Royal a chance to redeem themselves in my eyes.

I politely asked Chris if it would be possible to drive down there borrow the special wrench for 5 minutes and pay the tech $20 for the time with the tool. Chris said that was not possible but that they would be happy to do it for me at 1.3 labor hours. I politely said no thanks and eventually got it off after beating on it with a hammer for half an hour.

Now, I'm not holding this one against them, it is definitely not customary to rent tools from a tech. But, not unheard of at some other more service friendly dealerships.

So, my multiple crank starting problem was immediately fixed by swapping out the bad fuel pump which confirmed my suspisions that they lied to me when they said they found CKP sensor codes.

(25K later and I'm on the same sensors they said were bad over 14 months ago.)

They were just being lazy and went with the quickest most common diagnosis of that symptom but compounded the lazy troubleshooting with a fat lie to make it more credible sounding. And, when confronted with asking why my dash didn't show the codes, Chris's weak answer was that sometimes the handheld techtool is more sensitive and detailed than the OBD.


After this i knew i never should of went back, but this was the only dealership in town and i needed to get my OEM Cat replaced.

Besides, i figured now Chris knows im not the typical Tucson Cadillac owner who is often retired, trusting, and doesn't want to get their hands dirty.
He knew that i was researching the internet and willing to get my hands dirty. I thought he would switch his approach and treat me with more respect and be more professional.

Instead, he did the opposite, he became short with me and it always seemed he had somewhere else to be when i wanted to discuss my car. He was never verbally rude, always had a pleasent tone. But, I was able to clearly see his interest in me as a customer fade away once he realized i wasn't an easy mark.

Another thing i found unusual and slightly disrespectful, was once i agreed to have the $900+ Catalytic Conv replaced, Chris immediately demanded a $200 deposit because he wanted to be sure i was "serious about the purchase" before he spent a ton on shipping across the country. I just gave him the ok and agreed to the repair. What do you mean am i serious? This is not a joke.

Is this common practice? I realize the shipping on that item is probably expensive but why word it that way. He coulda said we charge shipping up front or something else. And this was in front of other customers who had that look of slight embarressment for me.

Luckily, the Cat install went off without a hitch, but when i wanted to talk to my service advisor about transmission flushes vs drain and refill and other issues related to my car, he again wasn't very helpful with knowledge or insight and was short usually just saying "We'll take care of you" while walking away busily.

I again felt punished for being more informed than the average customer he was used to dealing with. I know this is business and he needs to meet sales quotas and he wished i was an easier sell, i get it. But don't make it so obvious and let me the customer see that.

Time passed with only a few visits to the parts department which has been hands down the best overall experience at Royal. I was able to discuss things in more detail with the parts guy (forgot name, but always same guy) he would print out schematics for me, and i didnt mind paying a little extra for my parts at the dealership because i was getting good customer service from the parts counter only. I was doing my own repairs and getting my parts when i needed them.

Then I got the p0171 and p0174 which almost always is the plenum. A few weeks ago I replaced the plenum and all gaskets and cleaned out the TB real good along with the IAC. After all that i still had the same vacuum leak codes.

So, I've got a free afternoon and I'm a gambler and or a glutton for punishment. So, I drop my car off with Chris telling him exactly what i had done and i still have a vacuum leak and if he could please diagnose where its coming from. I tell him I'd be happy to pay for the troubleshooting time but politely asked him not to charge me for pulling codes as we all know by now that i can do it myself.

I also open the hood and specifically point out that i think it may be coming from the IAC because i heard slight hissing there.
I have friend pick me up for some golf. Chris calls me about an hour later saying that its the IAC o-ring thats bad and they dont sell just the o-ring so i would need to purchase a whole new IAC.

Which the dealership charges $400 for. I chuckle a bit and say thanks for confirming my suspicions but i found it online for about half that. Then he asks, Well, would you like us to "re-assemble" the IAC for you.

I chuckle a bit more because re-assemble sounds like a big job. But as those of you who have seen the IAC know, its two screws! Yes, Chris thank you for putting those two screws back in.

I felt like really pushing my luck so i asked him if he could drop the transmission pan drain, clean, and have the fluid filled since i was only on hole 9 of my golf outing and i like to get those types of jobs done at the dealer. Besides, my car has 135K it was due!

Went to pick it up and Chris said they dropped pan put new filter and 12 quarts of DEX VI. $125 for that and they only charged me $35 to confirm the problem with the bad IAC o-ring. Cool.

While i was driving off i noticed the vacuum leak was louder and my MPG was dropping. Not cool. I drove straight to my buddies asked for a screwdriver took the two screws out and just as i suspected. They took the old o-ring off and put the part on without an o-ring.

Keep in mind this is the third time ive had this part out in less than a month and i know what the orangeish o-ring looks like and where its supposed to be. It doesn't come off without someone trying.

Got on the internet and found the GM o-ring part for $20 that Chris Savastano told me Royal Cadillac wont sell because they want to sell the whole part for $400. Not only do they try to fleece me for the $400, they ripped the old o-ring off making the leak worse!

My friend suggested we go to ace hardware where they have a bin of o-rings. Take the part in and within seconds the nice gentleman at ACE hardware not only found the correct size, he gave it to me for free. I put the part back on and the codes are gone and havent come back since.

Wow, this is a novel but it should give you a sense of what type of business you're dealing with if you choose to take your car there. And, i did it repeatedly hoping it would improve. I don't know if my experience would have been different with another service advisor, but i got the sense that this is the way Chris was trained and that he was probably a nice guy that was doing what management instructed.

Because it seems Royal Cadillacs business is mostly comprised of trusting and elderly retirees, lying and tampering make for easy profits. I hope this can be corrected, I love the cadillac brand but ROYAL IS A SCAM for the customer and a black mark for Cadillac right now.

I will probably cut my hand off before i go back to that abuse. All im thinking about right now is my transmission that i let them exchange the fluid in.

Is there anyway i can tell if they actually did the work?

How would i be able to tell if they dropped the pan versus just doing a flush?

I'm a bit suspicious because I've since read that there is no screen to replace. Also, I've since read that there is no way you can get more than 6 quarts out if you crack the pan and refill. Why was i charged for 12?

I shouldn't even be having these doubts about getting my fluid done at a Cadillac dealership. Does anyone have any advice on how i could check the work done on the tranny fluid?

In the meantime, if you have family, friends, or loved ones that live near tucson warn them to stay far away the shady dealership that goes by Royal Automotive Group at Tucson Auto Mall.

Is there a Cadillac Representative that can go clean this Tucson store up? Or at least light a fire on the process of making customers feel valued and not victimized?

How do i file a formal complaint?

For those of you still reading, thanks for listening to my epic rant i feel much better now