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Problems / Dealer Service Having a problem with your vehicle? Were you treated fairly or poorly at a dealer? Warranty issues? Let us know.

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  #1  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:52 PM
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Dont go to Autozone for Battery and Alternator Testing....

Last week out of curiosity I went over to Autozone to get my battery/alternator tested because I noticed a very slight hesitation when cranking over the XK . The guy at autozone tested the alternator first and the stated that my alternator was only pushing out 24 AMP's and that I was running completely off the battery. He checked to see if they carried one but since it was a newer vehicle, nothing was listed. He mentioned that it was mostlikely a dealer part only. I was then informed that I needed to drive straight home and park the XK until I could get a new alternator. He even stated not to use any accessories on the drive home as it would drain the battery even more. The following day while at work I had my wife run to the dealer and get me a new alternator ($290) so I could install it as soon as I got home. I had drill this past weekend and needed to make sure my XK was running properly. When I got home I installed the alternator (froze my butt off doing since it was only 10 degrees out) and returned to Autozone to have them run another test. Basically I wanted to make sure that I didnt ruin the battery since I had been driving around with a bad alternator. The same guy was working and tested the alternator and said that the new alternator was bad too and that it was only pushing out 30 AMP's and that the battery was low on charge. I asked if there was any chance his machine was broken and he said that he had tested vehicles all day without any problems. He recommend that I go to another Autozone and have them run a test on the alternator. I drove across the street to Advanced Auto and had them run a test and everything came back fine. There was no problems with the alternator or battery. Wanting to get a third opinion, I went over to Pep Boys and got the same answer. No problems with either my alternator or battery.

A long story short, it turns out there was nothing wrong with my original alternator. Our vehicle's use the PCM to control output of the alternator and unless under load, it wont give out a proper reading when tested by a store like Autozone. Unfortunately, the dealer has a no return policy on electrical items and it had already been installed on the vehicle anyways. So basically I got screwed and wasted $290 on a part that I never needed.

Right now the store manager at Autozone is in the process of talking to the distric manager to see what they can do for me. I am hoping to get some sort of credit or something since I was told I needed that part when I really didnt.

The slight hesitation when cranking over the XK in the morning was mostlikely due to the temperature out side. It has been in the single digits this past week.
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Last edited by 07JeepXK; 01-11-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:51 PM
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That sucks...... Well, you have a spare now. That's why I like taking it to the dealership... I had to change my battery this weekend. Tried taking off in the XK Saturday morning and it wouldn't turnover. I bought one from PEP Boys for $140. The dealer wanted $150 and NAPA wanted $200. Man them things are expensive.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:44 PM
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I got my new battery from Advance Auto parts and was pleased with everything.

For anyone else who needs to get their battery tested, make sure the employee types in the correct CCA. On my previous car, the guy just typed in a random CCA and the battery came back fine. The next day I came right back to the store and another employee tested the battery and typed in the correct CCA. The battery failed the test.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:45 PM
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DO keep us updated, I would love to hear back that they refunded the money since it was their mistake.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:05 PM
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Sorry to hear about the problem but I wouldn't trust the guys at the "parts" stores to tie their own shoes correctly. There are a couple guys at the local napa that I trust but they have proved to me they know some stuff. The people that work at my local Autozone and Advance Autoparts are not 100% with it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:36 PM
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I only deal with my local Advanced Auto as the Autozone down the road is worthless. My local Dodge dealer is shady, so I try to stay clear unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:44 PM
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That stinks! I hope they do something for you. Even a store credit/gift card. You could use it for oil, filters, cleaning supplies. At least you didnt buy a battery you would have been out close to $500. Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:37 PM
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I normally wouldn't go to an auto parts store for something like that but I figured that they couldn't screw something like that up. I guess I was wrong. I just wish I had gone and got another opinion prior to spending the money on the new alternator.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:46 PM
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I only buy bulbs, cleaners/wax and my K&N Filter from AutoZone or O' Reillys or Advanced. Oil I get at WalMart because I can get a 5 quart jug of Mobil 1 for $22 and quarts for $6.27 each. I get parts and accessories at the dealer because I get my Mom's parts discount. They will probably offer a token gift card. Nowhere near what you have spent on the part.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:14 PM
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A friend of mine bought a 1976 Mustang 2 with a near perfect body and a supposedly blown motor. The guy said he had pulled the starter out to get it checked at autozone, they "tested" it and they said it was fine. The guy sold the car to my friend for $400 because it was only worth the body. My friend, having a dozen starters on his shelf at home decided to pull it out and check it himself. Turns out the starter was completely frozen and stuck in the engaged position. The good thing is that my friend got a nice car for a great price. Bad part is the guy sold the car didn't know jack about starters but the Autozone should have known that because the starter didn't even turn it was not good.
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