Mitsubishi Montero dealership run-around

breesmomSeptember 28, 2005

Hopefully there are some repairmen out there!

Having trouble with daughter's Mitsubishi Montero (2001 Limited). Engine temperature gauge was overheating, took to non-dealer repair place (last fall) was told that engine was not over heating and that it needed a new heat sensor. Took car in to dealership in January for inspection, spent over $1000.00 for inspection (needed new rear brakes and rotors supposedly and 2 new tires (which we knew we needed). Checked the "overheating engine situation" and they said it needed new heat sensor as well (ditto non dealership repair place's opionion). Didn't have this part in but would order. Had the part and labor added to the bill because daughter's father (ex-husband) was paying bill. When got car back few days later, engine still looking like over heating (gauge goes all the way to H within minutes of starting car) so assumed that they didn't replace part since it wasn't in yet. Daughter busy college student with baby doesn't have time to spend day with baby at dealership so she doesn't take it in to get this part until just the other day when I finally make an appointment and take it in(9/26/05). Now, however; the dealership is claiming that way back then they DID put the part in but the temperature sensor was never working from day one since we got it back so that's why we were assuming that we needed to just make an appt and since we've already pre-paid for the part and the labor just go and get it put in. Well . . . when I took it in they messed around for about 3 1/2 hours and finally determined that their new temperature sensor (which wasn't even new-I contend they did not replace that part in January) was not the problem but now they believe it's the CPU. They want me to order a new CPU, when that comes in it has to be sent to Michigan (we live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) for calibration (this is $91.00 to do) and then when it comes back they'll install the part. O.K. so I'm not happy knowing that they already charged us a few hundred dollars for a part that quite obviously wasn't the problem and now they're telling me that it needs something completely different but since we've been there the other day now the speedometer is stuck at 45 MPH and only goes down when you come to a stop. This problem was not there when we took it in the other day nor have we ever had a problem with this before! Called them this morning and were told that they would look at the speedometer problem but not for free!!! I already spent $101.00 the other day just for them to skirt around and come up with another problem that will cost me $330.00 to fix which I don't think they have much credibility now, so there's no guarantee that that will fix the problem. What to do? I think they should have just replaced the temperature sensor because it's still under the 12,000 mile/1 year warranty and they definitely should take responsibility for the speedometer malfunction that we have now that we didn't have before our visit the other day! BTW-when we went to get in our car on Monday the locks wouldn't function on the key FOB so they ended up backing it right back into the garage and they had to replace a blown fuse (so if they messed that up they could have/obviously must have messed up the speedometer). Please advise what I should do. I don't know whether to take the car to another Mitsubishi dealership or take it to another auto repair place (the non-dealership repair place said that I had to take it to the dealership to have the temperature sensor replaced). HELP!

Thank you,


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Don't know about the fixes. My opinion is you will get better results in the future when you take it too a place for repair, stick with them. Get a temp gauge repair diagnosis, get it fixed right then and there. Normally a mechanic would verify a problem is corrected before giving it back. If you find it's not right, take it back immediately. With the speedometer, again if it showed up as soon as you left the place, drive it back around the block and into the front door and say 'hey, you goofed up my speedometer somehow'. I'm not sticking up for the shop, I'm giving you tips on increasing your odds of getting a proper diagnosis and repair, and strengthening your position when you have a problem. Bouncing between shops over a years time or waiting days to report that you think they goofed something up a few days ago is not the best way to get favorable results. jmo

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 2:40PM
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I think that I must not have been very good at articulating the problem. In regard to you interpreting that I was "hopping around" repair shops, I had to take it to the dealership for the temperature sensor replacement because the garage that diagnosed the problem told me that he couldn't repair that because something about it being in the dash and he thought it best that the dealer do that repair/replacement. The visit to the dealer was on Monday, you will remember, and my daughter called me yesterday (Tuesday), which was the first day that she has driven the car since we got it back on Monday. I drove her car home on Monday because she had appts. to get to and had to take my Volvo when we realized that the door locks weren't working and they had to back it up back into the repair bay, she couldn't afford the time to wait anymore. I was not paying attention to the speedometer (drive like a snail most of time now that I'm old-45 y/o!) so I didn't even notice. Daughter didn't notice till she was speeding off to college classes yesterday, she called me from cell phone enroute to tell me about the problem. Well . . . you know the rest of the story. My fiance (a brainiac engineer) suspects that they broke the CPU when they were messing around the other day, and that they knew that and that's why they told me I need a new CPU and that it has to be sent to Michigan for calibration. I was wondering at the time why they were saying the new CPU had to be sent to Michigan for calibration. I was wondering what they were calibrating! My fiance says it was the speedometer they needed to calibrate which means they knew it was broke before we even left the garage. So . . . we came to get one problem fixed and left with that problem not fixed and now have a brand new problem that we didn't have before! The plan is to take it somewhere else, have the CPU replaced and then if the temperature sensor still doesn't work and we find out that it doesn't appear that it was ever even replaced (like we suspect) then get the necessary repairs and take them to small claims court. My fiance suspects that they never did really replace the temperature sensor and that another garage will be able to determine that indeed there is not a new temperature sensor in the car. Another option (fiance's suggestion as well) is to write to Mitsubishi and explain what happened. We bought 2 cars in 2 years from them: 2000 $26,000.00 Eclipse for daughter's 17th birthday and in 2001 the Montero ($38,000.00) because she thought the Eclipse was too small. Paid cash for both cars so in 2 years gave Mitsubishi over $60,000.00 (plus traded Eclipse there so I'm sure they made money on that deal as well!) in cash, my fiance thinks that Mitsubishi should want to keep customers satisfied, especially customers that have bought 2 cars from them). Fiance thinks should write to Mitsubishi zone office and let them know how we've been treated! Thoughts on this plan?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 3:33PM
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My opinion:
> Another mechanic won't be able to tell absolutely that the temp sensor was or wasn't replaced last January.
> What has happened to date is water under the bridge; you won't win in court. The mechanic has the upper hand.
> Stop buying Mitsubishi's. Why do you think they give you a 10 year/100K mile warranty? Because they can't sell their product on its own merits; the quality isn't there.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 5:02PM
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Agree with formulaross..

When I worked at the Saab dealer we had to know positively that a part was inoperative before replacing anything - but these cars were easy to work on, far easier than todays complex-electronic horror stories...
And it is risky to pre-charge for work yet to be done...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:52PM
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I still see the basic problem regarding the temp gauge as waiting too long from the first repair (or not) and the problems now. You assumed they didn't do anything and were waiting for parts. Whether you paid for the repair before it was done, or they thought they repaired by replacing a sending unit and didn't, it's about too late to complain about it now. Assuming they aren't crooks, your absence and their paperwork is going to indicate it was fixed back then. I would certainly tell them that it's never worked either way.

I don't know if the CPU you're talking about has anything to do with that problem. I'd talk to the service writer again about the speedometer. Tell him point blank it was working when it was dropped off, and not working when it was picked up, temp gauge or no temp gauge. Ask him why that would be if they didn't do something to it.

I wouldn't take it to a different place just yet without hashing this out with the first place a little more.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:32AM
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Dear Leslie,
I have a Montero also. A 2005 limited. Mine too is a mess!
My dealer is giving me the run around as well as Mitsubishi. I have had trouble with mine starting from day one. And I purchased it new. To make a long story short, sensors have gone, brake fluid leaked, locks are locking us in and out of the car, the car bucks etc.
Right now I am waiting to hear from my lawyer! It has been months since I claimed a suit against Mitsubishi. Let's see what happens.
Just to let you know... you are not alone!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 12:02AM
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There,s some mistake, nothing ever goes wrong with Japanese cars

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 6:15PM
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The Mitsubishi management may be a bit of a fog just now. This week, Chrysler severed their relationship with Mitsubishi and sold all of their stock holdings. I think it was on the order of 13.4% of Mitsubishi.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 5:07AM
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I have a 2001 Montero Limited Its has been "overheating" according to the gauge. I have replaced the aux fan the temp guage and the serpentine belt still shows "overheating" however the radiator is not hot. Called the parts department of the Mitso dealership. The guy that I talked to said that it is the cicuit board in back of the speedometer a white box (a chronic problem apparently) He told me the base cost $350.00+- , then said that the replacement one has to be sent to another company somewhere to have the odometer changed to cars current mileage$150.00+-, then it can be put in. He said that i dashboard guage problem did not effect the engine just that you would not know if a overheat problem comes up. I asked him if I could just hook up a heat guage (like they used to in stock cars etc). He said YEP that would work. But was surprised a girl asked!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Chrysler sold their holdings in Mitsubishi because Chrysler was bought by Fiat, and that was likely Fiat's decision as part of the cleanup of the purchase deal and to sever developmnt ties with Mitsubsihi. Fiat has other plans.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 11:01PM
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I am having the same problem. Temperature gauge not working properly. It shows hot when it not. I was told they would have to take the whole dash out to replace the gauge-$1400. I have 113,000 miles on it and received the same runaround from the dealership the first couple of times that I took it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 3:08PM
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