DS . . lemon truck . . and me . . . Over-reacting???

kitchencrazychrisAugust 23, 2006

A little bit of brief history here . . .

DS got a truck last year . . . Dodge Dakota, pre-owned, certified (And I am so believing that certified means squat !!! ) . . . MANY problems with this truck, sad to say. For what this truck cost, he could have had a new one, but preferred this one for several reasons. Hindsight is a wonderful thing . . . if we'd known what was in store for us . . . !!! Bought it from a very reputable dealer . . and the certified thing . . . well, anyway . .

DS paid for half the truck . . .that had always been our deal . . we'd match what he put up. It was probably more $$ than we'd been figuring . . at least until we started looking at trucks, and figured to get something without lots of miles, etc. . . Bottom line for me was and always will be, safety. Figured . . okay, this truck is more $$ than we'd figured, but he'll have it for years, and it's a good solid truck. Fast forward . . . and I won't even go into some of the problems . . . but the latest . . .

DS was driving home from work last week, (well, make it the week before since the truck has basically been in one shop or another for over a week !!! ) . . . and he lost power .. couldn't get the truck to go over 45 mph . .

kind of a scary deal when dealing with freeways. This was a Friday, so heading into the weekend. He drove it a couple of times just around town, and it did the same thing . . rpms revved up, power just wasn't there. I was with him once when it did this, and even from the passenger side, I felt the loss of power. So, we took it into Dodge service . . . they had it for two days, could find nothing wrong with it. Meanwhile, I had called a friend of ours who has a repair shop, and whose opinion I totally trust . . told him what was going on, and he said there definitely is something wrong with it, to bring it in to him. When we picked up the truck from Dodge, on the way to the other place, the truck lost power !!!!!!!!!!

At this point, DS is ready to leave the truck on the side of the road !!! My friend called me the next day, saying he found what the problem was, but that he couldn't fix it, that it had to be done by Dodge . . re-programming the computer . . said the symptoms matched a bulletin that he'd pulled . . He told me to take it to another Dodge place, where, in fact, he'd worked years ago and still knew people there. Took it in next day . . they had it for two days, said the re-programming wasn't the answer . .

couldn't find out why it was losing power, didn't lose power for them . . . They're not disputing the fact at all that it loses power for DS . . but it just won't duplicate for them now. Their solution . . to put some kind of monitoring device on it and when the situation happens again, that DS will hit a button and it will record what's going on. Oh, and another problem, the temp. gauge, sometimes when the truck is initially turned on, will shoot up to Hot, then the truck is turned off, and temp gauge goes back to normal. This, again, is not right, but again, they don't know why !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alright, . . .DS has HAD it !!!!!!! Likes the truck, but hates it. Doesn't feel secure driving it when this problem exists, nor do I. I asked the guys . . what do they need to happen?? for the truck to lose power on the freeway and for DS to end up in an accident??? They told me it's totally safe, but I'm not buying it, nor is DS.

He doesn't even want to drive it . . . ever !!! And he drives a lot . . . between school and work, and work entails a lot of freeway driving ..

Going into all of this, also, are several other problems with the truck, which have been a pain . . . nothing really safety related, which is my big thing, . . .but things that shouldn't have happened with a year old truck !!

DS is not wanting to have anything to do with this truck anymore, and is looking into buying a Tacoma . . new.

Throw into this mix . . . DH . . . who was all over the board, anyway, when it came to buying the truck . . .

Was for it initially, because that was our deal . . . for DH to get his Eagle Rank, and to be on Honor roll, which he did . . . DS was to have worked last summer, and this is why he needed to have the truck. Then, came his arm injury, with nerve damage . . . could not work, eventually ended up having surgery . . . (this all was in a post oh so long ago . . .) So, DH is wanting to yank the deal, just because of the arm injury . . . So, I'm coming at it from the mom standpoint . . . a deal's a deal . . plus when we first got the truck, there was the slight possibility that DS might be able to work until the arm got so bad . . So, anyway, it was DS and me truck shopping.

DH went out once, and at the time was all for the truck . . but he had us yo-yoing all over the place with it. One day . . all for it, the next day, backsliding.

So, on the days he was for it, we took it and ran with it !! The day we bought the truck, he even called me from work to see if I wanted him to deal with the Credit Union, etc. Okay, get the truck home, and he didn't even look at it !!!!!!!!!!! Didn't ask to go for a ride . .

DS is so excited about it, and it's like it's not even in our driveway at all !!!!!!!!!! and that's how it's been for a year, pretty much !! so, we have all that thrown into the truck problems . . . This is all very brief, (or maybe not !! if any of you are still reading this !!, I guess I should be serving up virtual lattes and scones !!!)

Anyway, . . . I guess the whole point of this is . . .

am I over-reacting for not wanting DS to drive this truck . . .is DS over-reacting to not want to drive it . . .

Two out of three places say they can't find the problem . .

that it's okay to drive . . . the third place CAN'T fix the problem as he saw it because he's not a Dodge dealer.

I am going to call him again this morning to bounce stuff off him . .

DH already left the house in a huff this morning because I asked him to take my car instead of his . . because DS doesn't like driving my car, PLUS DH has never wanted him driving it because it has lots more power . . .

Okay, I'm outta here . . . sorry to have gone on and on, but I am just so frustrated . . . Have the tight muscles in the neck thing going on . . . ALREADY, and it's not even 7 a.m. !!!

TIA for any feedback you might wish to share !!!


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Oh Yuck! I feel your pain Chris...

DH had a similar problem with his truck when it was new (Ford Excursion), and it turned out to be the "power chip" after-market add-on. I'm not a truck techie (yeah - like you couldn't already tell ;o) ) but apparently there's this "chip" you can put in a truck to boost the horsepower and fuel economy. The dealerships sell it for $$$$, but you can also buy it after-market from others for less. DH got the less-expensive "same thing" version. Only somehow, it wasn't exactly the same, or maybe the installation was somehow faulty? Anyway, replacing the "chip" with the dealer version (he was able to negotiate a better price) solved the problem.

Could something like this be the cause of your son's truck problem?

The 'log button' sounds like a reasonable thing to try. At least they are considering the possible problems. It really is hard to fix a problem you can't replicate...

Another creative option I've heard (assuming the Dealership stops cooperating) is to park the truck prominently in front of the dealership with a large sign in the window. The version I heard had a simple sign that said "LEMON".

Good luck --

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:49AM
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KC Chris,

I remember the original saga about the truck. Your son so deserved getting it, as he had honored his part of the agreement. But he didn't deserve all this grief! I thought a "certified" used vehicle had warranties that protected you. Have they expired?

As a Mom, I don't think you're overreacting: you want your son to be safe, and that's the bottom line. The truck HAS to be fixed or replaced, one way or another. It sounds like it's not safe to drive it on the highway or anywhere where your son might be stranded if it broke down. However, that doesn't mean a new Tacoma, at least not right now. Can your son take a bus to work? He'll have to work for quite a while to earn the price of a new truck. It might (or might not) be worth it to sink more $$ into the old truck, if somebody can figure out what's wrong with it.

Something similar happened to me a couple months ago; it turned out to be the radiator fan, which cools the radiator. When the fan failed, the car overheated and lost power. Have the mechanics checked for that? You mentioned the temperature gauge, so I wonder how that might be related. [I am no expert on this kind of stuff...can't believe I'm trying to answer a question on this subject!] Oh, and another thought: maybe you or your son should try calling the Car Talk show on NPR or a similar show; those experts might have some other ideas.

Best of luck,


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:53AM
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As a fellow So Cal girl, I can tell you that I wouldn't want my DD driving these freeways with a car that loses power! You son is right to be concerned, too. A wise decision for a young man to make. Did Dodge reprogram the truck? Canyou get a copy of the bulletin from your friend to give to the dealer? Has you son taken the repair people out to see if he can replicate the problem. I had to do that once with my old Mustang because the repair people couldn't get it to make the clunk I was describing. I could get it to clunk before we even got out of the parking lot and was able to tell them what I was doing when it happened. I wonder if the previous owner had these same problems. Any way of finiding out who that is and contacting them? Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Hi Girls,
Thanks so much for your posts !!!

Sweeby,I don't believe there's a power chip in the truck, but like you, I really don't know trucks!! Actually, though, learning way more than I thought I ever would !!!
As far as the Lemon thing goes . . . our friend brought this up to us . . . kind of a three strikes thing, and believe me, we've had three strikes with this truck !! However, in reading Calif. Lemon laws, I think it pertains only to 18,000 miles or 8 months, both of which had passed when we bought it pre-owned. And parking it in front of the dealership . . .hm-m-m-m-m-m -- not sure how that would work out !! The dealership where we purchaed the truck is not where we've been taking it, basically due to proximity or lack of .. and to tell you the truth, I honestly don't think they'd be doing much more . .
This pre-owned, certified thing is really pretty worthless.
Out the door, it's ours !!! Problems and all . .
I think we had something like 30 days, or maybe even less to bring it back. Whatever the time frame, truck didn't do anything wrong during that time. When we've had it in to this one dealership for service and misc. problems, the service tech give the song and dance of "we don't know the history of the car, so yada yada yada . . ." I counter with yeah, but it's certified, and he just is kind of like, yeah, okay . . . I mean, they deal with things, to a point, but I feel like we have an adopted child and don't know anything about the biological parents !!!!!!!! No history, no can help !!!!!

So, with this "log" button, which my son just scoffs at in disbelief, by the way !! (So, they want me to be their guinea pig, and wait for something to happen, then push a little button ?????!!!!! . . . . ) . . . we'll see what happens if we even have this dang truck for much longer !!!!

Sue7972, no Dodge did not re-program the truck . . . said that the bulletin did not pertain to this particular problem, and that the bulletin advised strongly against re-programming if that wasn't the problem. Said they would do it, but it would be written up as done by customers insistence and that they would take no responsibility for any ensuing problems resulting from the re-programming. And yes, I did take the bulletin with me, along with the diagnosis from my friend. So, I have two really differing opinions here . . . Dodge did ask for DS to come in today and drive with their service tech to see if DS could get the truck to lose power !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like he's driving a certain way to make it do that !!!!!!! As far as previous owner . . . I'm sure there's no way we could find that out, or if we did, I'm sure that the previous owner would certainly NOT fess up to any of this !!! We're beginning to think that he dumped this for a reason (reasons!!!) now !!! And the Certified thing . . I always thought that was such a comfort zone type of thing.
Obviously not !!! or maybe there are different types of Certified, I don't know . . . but when the window sticker says Dodge Certified . . . you kinda think it's golden.
And the California freeways !!! Well, you know how they are !! And on any particular day of work, (although DS won't be working as much now while going to school . . .)
but he was driving all over . . . sometimes as much as 300 miles a day !!! He was always driving a County vehicle, but had wanted to start driving his truck . . . and just had to show proof of insurance to do so. But just the commute to work is 60 miles or so roundtrip. Way too many freeway miles in a truck we don't trust !!!!!!!!!!!

Sue, how sweet of you to remember the truck saga of before ! As far as warranties and all that . . . we do have the original warranties that came with the truck, plus we bought an extended warranty. . . thinking, of course, that he would have this truck for a really long time. And, the warranty does cover certain things . ..
such as putting in a new Gas Sending Unit . . .(just one of the many problems he's had !!! ) . . . and if they found something now, with the transmission, or whatever, it would be covered, as is the time they've spent trying to find out what's wrong. (at least I'm hoping they won't charge us for finding nothing!!!!! ) As far as a new Tacoma . . . DS really does need his own transportation, for both school and work. As mentioned above, work is 60 miles roundtrip, and as far as public transportation, it's pretty non-existent. We're looking at the Tacomas because of their excellent track record, and as far as the new,
we've determined that we'll NEVER EVER buy pre-owned certified again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This has been a costly misadventure !!! Tough lesson for a kid to have to learn . . . especially having put up half the money for the Dakota, and it WAS thorougly researched. We're figuring that the payments after a trade-in won't be too horrible . . .and he's more than willing to take that on because he really doesn't care if we even pick up the Dakota from the shop !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Interesting thought about the radiator fan . . .
I'll bring that up to them . .

Well, ladies, I thank you again for your moral support.
I swear, this thing is playing havoc with my blood pressure, I'm sure !!!!!!!!!!!!

On the big scheme of things, . . . small potatoes, but for this moment, this is pretty big . . . . and I'm feeling so much a sense of deja vu !! Been there, done that ...
ALREADY ~~~ Like, when I was on the phone with the insurance waiting to get a quote on a Tacoma just to have some facts lined up, the recorded tunes were the SAME thing I heard last year over and over and over again !!!!!
Kind of an annoying, repetitive LOUD little ditty !!!!!

Okay, I'm outta here . . . when DS gets home from class, we have to go pick up the albatross !!

Thanks again !! Chris

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:08PM
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Oh Chris, I am SO sorry about all of this!

Have you tried carfax? I believe they're one of the places that can get you the history of a used car. But history aside, I would take that car back to the dealer and insist that somebody drive that truck until it breaks down. Demand a loaner car while they do this. Explain that the car is a danger to drive & it's up to them to identify the cause & correct things.

I would also contact Dodge customer service and explain the situation. Infer the possibility of a lawsuit if your con comes to harm as a result of vehicle failure.

I purchased a new Triumph motorcycle in April of 2000 & that bike was off the road for the majority of the next 6 months. It would die for no reason, usually on the thruway & miles from anywhere. In & out of the dealership, still under warranty, the dealer insisting that he could find nothing wrong with the bike & Triumph refusing to listen to me because the dealer wouldn't back me up. FINALLY got the bike to a dealership with a competent mechanic who rode it until it broke down. They ended up replacing the computer & the bike has run like a top ever since.

Make Dodge aware of the situation. And good luck! I hpe that this can be rectified & that your son will feel safe.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:09PM
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The problem wasn't buying pre-owned certified, the problem was buying a Dodge.

I assume you bought it from one of these dealers that you took it to? You need to go there and have a talk with the head of the service department and the owner of the dealership. Explain to them what is happening. Do this in the PUBLIC area of the dealership.

It is probably computer related. The temp thing could just be a faulty thermostat. You might want to post on the cars forum. I've gotten good advice there in the past.

I would try the monitoring thing.

"DH already left the house in a huff this morning because I asked him to take my car instead of his . . because DS doesn't like driving my car, PLUS DH has never wanted him driving it because it has lots more power . . ."

I think your DS needs to be a little more appreciative of his mother's generosity. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:12PM
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Wow, you have been through the wringer with this truck. Sorry to hear that. However, it's a mechanical thing and there just *has* to be a way to fix it.

Here is the link to the Car Talk bulletin board. I got some good advice there when I had a question about something my car was doing. You might want to try it. There are lots of really smart car people on that bulletin board and I bet they can help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Car Talk Bulletin Board

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:27PM
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Thanks to everyone again for your input !!

Nina, yes we did try Carfax . . subscribed to it before purchasing the truck. The truck's history was squeaky clean . . one owner, no accidents, no problems reported.
After reading your post, I am really thinking we need to take it back to dealer from whom we purchased it. We haven't dealt with them other then to purchase it, because it is farther away, and dealing with a local Dodge dealer was more convenient. Well, to the point of convenience not being a factor, it's worth a shot to take it there and make them keep it until the problem comes up. I certainly don't want to risk my son's safety while Dodge figures out what to do. And good idea to contact Dodge Customer service. Thanks so much for your input. Glad that all worked out for you re: your motorcycle, by the way.
I, too, am thinking that it has to be computer related, although I know NOTHING about cars/trucks. I just cannot figure out why THEY cannot figure out what to do !!!

****** SUE . . .hoping you read this !!!! ********

it was NOT DEAR SON that left in a huff, but DEAR HUSBAND !!!!
Didn't want to give up his Explorer for the day !!! HE's the one that doesn't want Dear Son driving my car !!!!!!
My son has been a prince through all of this, considering what a nightmare it's been . . . It's the husband factor !! Okay, just wanted to get that in . . . !!
I guess what I am missing doing here is taking it to the point of sale. Makes me feel kind of like a dope !! Although, I really really do question that they'll do anything, but it's worth a try. Naively, stupidly, whatever, I assumed that Dodge would make good at any dealership . . . Not that they haven't tried, but they're still not getting it . . .
I did post this already on Car Forum, and brought up the things they mentioned it could be, to the service dept(s).
Thanks for suggesting that though. I hadn't realized there was a Car Forum until we started having TRUCK problems !!!!!!

Jerzeegirl, thanks for the link to Car Talk Bulletin Board.
I haven't clicked onto it yet, but will when I sign off here. I agree with you . . . there HAS to be a way to fix this thing ..

Well, thanks so much again, everybody . . .
this is just such a heavy thing weighing on my mind, and such a pain in the neck to deal with !!!!!!!!!!! I do appreciate you all and coming to the comfort of the Forum Folks !!!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:50PM
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Chris, I don't know about cars/trucks, but wanted to throw some sympathy your way! It's so frustrating when things won't work, especially expensive things! When I had a funny thing going on with my van, I did a search on the make and year and added +problems to the search. I got some great info including notice of a recall that addressed my very problem. I took it to the dealer and had it fixed (free) right away.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 3:56PM
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There are several dodge message boards you could check to see if anyone else has had this kind of problem.




Here is a link that might be useful: Dodge Dakotas

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 4:20PM
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Sorry I misunderstood. So many "DH" and "DS", I think my eyes are shot today.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Definitely go back to the original dealer. The one that ultimately fixed my motorcycle is about 90 miles away from us as opposed to the one where we bought the bike (more like 20 miles away). I can't help but wonder if all of the aggravation with that bike could have been avoided if we had just brought it out to the farther dealer in the first place. Sometimes the mechanic can be part of the problem, especially if all they're doing is hooking the car up to a diagnostic & getting nothing.

The nature of the problem with my triumph was such that the computer memory never record an error message since there was no error. It was a fuel sensor, telling the computer that the bike had no fuel and so stopping the bike dead (in the left lane of I-84, leaned over in a rotary). The computer would re-set as soon as you got the bike re started. It's funny but during those 6 hellacious months every computer savvy motorcyclist that we spoke with said that the bike's computer was bad. And ultimately it was. SOunds like the same thing with your son's truck.

Definitely check out the Dodge related boards...others might have experienced the same thing.

And good luck again. This is really horrible! My first car was a '78 Ford Pinto (the 4 wheeled equivalent of date repellant!) and I never had any problems like that.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 5:31PM
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This may be an easy and very overlooked problem. Every dodge I've ever owned, and that includes the 2000 1500 that I own now, has had problems with the catalytic converter clogging. It shows exactly the symptoms you're describing-- nice easy idle, but once you step on it, you get alot of nothing. the motor revs, but goes no where. What's happening is basically the same thing as the old school prank about sticking a potato in the tail pipe-- it causes so much back pressure to the motor that it almost completely loses power when it's given the gas, but while at an ides, and not so much exhaust is trying to push by, it runs fine. Have your guy check into it.

What gets me is that ANY Dodge dealer knows this.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:11PM
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Once again, thanks so much to all of you who have taken the time to write . . . I so appreciate it !!!

Seeking, thanks for your sympathy and idea of searching the make with +problems . . . I did plug that in, and amazingly enough, came up with OTHER problems we've already had with this dang truck !!! On some other sights, I also did find some similar things . . .
And, on another entirely different note . . . . I hope your little puppy continues to recover nicely . . .poor little thing .. I was so sorry to hear that . . just an awful thing to have to go through . . . my good thoughts to puppy and you !!!

dktrahan, thanks for the Dodge websites . . . I got quite a lot of useful stuff from them . . . I was on the computer last evening . . . late . . so much so, that my poor eyes are tired tired tired today . . . but I am so determined to get to the root of all of this . . .

Sue, not to worry . . . but the husband factor in all of this is really trying . . . too much to go into, but basically it's not helping this situation . . .at all !! He's blaming me and DS for even buying a Dodge product to begin with . . .
So, wanted to make it clear that my son is being a total champ through all of this . . .

Nina, I think that will be the next step . . . to take it back to the original dealer and tell them to just keep it until they get it figured out . . . and IF they can't figure it out, then somehow, I'm going to try to make them responsible for selling us this truck to begin with !!
Someone has to take responsibility for this, and to "eat" the loss . . . Don't think it should be us . . .
Supposedly the truck was certified, and I'm thinking that's worthless !!! I feel that we're kind of between a rock and a hard place . . . I'm too honest to not disclose problems with the truck if it comes to trading it in . . I certainly don't want anyone else to have to go through this . . . but we just can't afford to have 18K go down the drain, either . . . We don't want another Dodge product, but I'm wondering if we would have more leverage with the selling dealership if we did go with a new Dodge, then get rid of it at another time . . . Oh heck . .. I have such neck strain, headaches and eyes aches through all of this . . . . .

Oh, and re: the computer reprogramming . . . I talked with our friend yesterday who originally diagnosed the problem as needing to reprogram the computer . . . He COULD NOT believe that Dodge wouldn't do that . . . could not believe that Dodge said they wouldn't take responsibliy for anything that might go wrong because of the re-programming . . . I asked if he would mind if I had the Dodge guy call him and they could hash it over . . (they are acquaintances, having worked together years ago)
He he didn't mind at all . . . called the Dodge guy, he told me WHY he didn't want to re-program it, saying he had to answer to Dodge as to why it was re-programmed when they couldn't get the problem to duplicate . . . said that even if they did re-program it, that that might not be the problem, which I can understand. I told him plain and simple though, that the truck, to us, is not safe to drive.
Oh, and another thing . . .in an e-mail from our service adviser yesterday, he said that assuming there is a problem, that it WILL get worse, to the point of engine failure, and THEN we can bring it back and they'll know what to do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so digressing a bit . . . back to the main service guy . . . he suggested that they could just keep it and he'd have his techs drive it home at night to try to duplicate the situation . . also saying that his techs were more experienced drivers than my son, and if anything should go wrong on the freeway, that they'd know more how to handle it . . . Now, all of this just does not leave me with warm fuzzy feelings !!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill, thanks for the clogged catalytic converter tip. I e-mailed that suggestion, along with a list of other things that I gleaned from some of the Dodge forums. The catalytic problem sounds so much like what's going on with the truck . . . I'm so wondering just exactly what they've done to check into all of this . . . whether it's just driving the truck to try to duplicate the situation, or really getting into it. My friend that has his own shop told me that dealers really don't like working on warranty work . . . at all !! and sometimes do just what they have to to get it out the door. He did highly recommend this dealership, but for the life of me, and maybe I'm just naive . .. but I can't figure out why THEY can't figure out what's going on !!!!!

Well, that's the update for today . . . so far anyway . . .

Again, I so appreciate all of your posts, suggestions, and sympathy !!!!!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:40AM
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Just got an e-mail back from the service rep. and he said if the catalytic converter were clogged, that it wouldn't be intermittent loss of power, but constant . . . Is this so???
Sounds to me like they didn't even check it . . .

Also, his e-mail was just the tiniest bit terse !!!
I'm sure this place wishes I'd never crossed their doorstep !!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:48AM
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"DH already left the house in a huff this morning because I asked him to take my car instead of his . . because DS doesn't like driving my car, PLUS DH has never wanted him driving it because it has lots more power . . ."

I'm going to have to remodel my kitchen soon or quit lurking here and chipping in with advice!

But, to step aside from the mechanical issues of the truck, I quoted the section above from your original note. Maybe I'm off base but there have been several other references to husband problems and so that's what I'm picking up on.

I have a teenage son, and a husband who can be, um, ornery too. I think the dynamics of the father/son relationship at this age are complex and adding in the mama bear component (as well as wife...) it can be so hard to balance everyone's egos and feelings.

But what I'm hearing above is that your husband feels somewhat pushed aside here. Think of it from his POV: he didn't think much of the truck idea in the first place. After overriding his wishes on the truck purchase things have gone to hell in a handbasket-remember I'm paraphrasing HIS opinion-and the corker is that you are now incoveniencing *him* just because a teenager doesn't like driving mom's vehicle! I have to say it's a little bit natural, really, that he isn't reacting well to all this. Unless I miss my guess you are also in full protective-mom mode which is also understandable. Your son is upset, he's trying to handle things like a 'man' but of course he's still a kid. Everyone is in an uproar!

What I have found helps a lot is to try as much as possible in these situations to put your man first, or at least to try hard to avoid making him feel that he's coming in second in your heart or your decisions. I read somewhere that the bottom line for most men is they want to feel they are the most cherished thing in their mate's world. So for example in the case of son needing a car to drive temporarily, you just tell him he will take yours not dad's and that's that. No need to antagonize husband for that, which car your son takes isn't the priority so why create ill feelings over something that isn't that important. Not to mention, really a teenager's preferences shouldn't have priority over those of the parent's. Often a little TLC or just not poking the bear :) goes a long way. At some point it may be necessary for your husband to get involved with dealing with mechanics etc. And if he at least feels like he isn't last on your list *most* of the time he might be more likely to help fix what he can fix. I'm sure he doesn't in his heart want anything bad to happen to his son. But in his heart he also feels like his wishes were ignored already and now he probably feels like he is having insult added to injury.

I hope my thoughts aren't offensive. I've learned some of this through bitter experience myself!

Good luck with the truck and the husband, not necessarily in that order. Hope everything gets sorted out very soon.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 10:45PM
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Your thoughts aren't offensive at all, and I do appreciate your taking the time to post . . .
Lots of truth in what you said . . . and lots to think about . . . Family dynamics can be so tricky and intertwined at times . . . The mama bear thing is alive and well here, in large part because the papa bear isn't involved on many occasions, and it's not for not including him . . . it's that he doesn't talk about stuff that is really serious . . . internalizes lots . . .
As far as the his car/ my car thing . . . . my husband never wanted my son to drive my car, from the get-go . . .
new, more power, all that kind of stuff . . . consequently, my son just has this in his mind that his dad doesn't want him driving my car, so he DOESN'T want to drive it . . . In fact the other day, when I asked about trading out cars, DH said for me to just take DS to classes and pick him up . . and we're talking college here !!!!

Re: the original purchasing of the truck . . and just ever so briefly . . . All along, it had been our deal with our son that he could get a truck when he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, plus maintained Honor Roll . . . Was on Honor Roll every semester, and made Eagle Rank, which is no small thing . . . The deal, also, was that he put up half the $$ . . we would match him. It was NEVER that he had to have a vehicle for work . . . although that was certainly a factor . . . but to have a truck for his senior year, having met our criteria. Then this arm injury enters the picture, and DH is all over the place . . One day he's fine with getting a truck, the next day he's not. One day we're all out looking for trucks, and he's talking about making it happen, the next day he's on the "he doesn't need a truck now" mode.

(DH had offered that our son could drive his car for the summer . . and take more time to look for a truck. Okay, enter the "mom factor" . . . I didn't want DS driving Husband's car, which is an eleven-year old Explorer --
and Explorer's that old have that bad gravity thing going on, and there have been reports about not being good cars for teenagers to drive . . roll issues, and stuff like that!! Pulled these reports off for DH to read, and he agreed with what they said . . . That's why I'm still not all that thrilled with DS driving the Explorer, while DH drives the truck . . while we figure what to do !!
Not even crazy about Dear Husband driving the truck that could lose power on the freeway . . .)

Long story short, we did obviously get the truck, and DH agreed to it to the point that it did happen . . .All along, I felt that we needed to uphold our end of the bargain, since our son had done everything we'd asked of him. Probably so much more I could write here , but I won't . . .
I'm just so exhausted from all of this . . .

So, anyway, where we stand now, is that DH is throwing it in my face that we even bought a Dodge product, when he didn't want to do that. Never came up . . .ever . . . his negative feelings towards Dodge. He's picking up the truck today, says he'll drive it . . Our son refuses to drive it, and I can't say I blame him. I don't want him driving it at all until the problem is taken care of. The service advisor says that assuming there is a problem (!!) it will get worse to the point of engine failure. Everyone admits that there is a problem, they just can't find it. And as I said before, I was driving with DS when it lost power one time, and it's a rather scary thing . . . something that a two-year driver shouldn't have to deal with, or any driver for that matter !!! The head service tech offered to keep the truck for awhile and have their guys drive it home, etc . . .saying that if the truck lost power on the freeway, that they would be able to handle it better than a young driver. . . . (Think I already brought this up . .
sorry !! )

So, anyway, this truck thing is consuming our lives right now, and for it to be back sitting in our driveway will be a constant reminder of the turmoil it's caused!!!!!!!!

I'm doing a balancing act of husband vs. son, and me somewhere in the middle . . . Husband is one who takes a really L-O-N-G time to make any decision. Son researches things out thoroughly, but is like, okay we have all the info. . . . let's act on it !!! Case in point, took me 14 years to convince DH that we needed to remodel the kitchen !!!!!! Well, anyway, he's a good soul, and I know he wants the best for our son . . . just doesn't communicate well . . . which often leaves us floundering . .

And on that, I'll sign off and go pour another cup of coffee !! Thanks again for your very insightful post.
I do appreciate it . . .


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:30AM
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Just got an e-mail back from the service rep. and he said if the catalytic converter were clogged, that it wouldn't be intermittent loss of power, but constant . . . Is this so???

It would be constant from the time you step on the gas and put pressure on the motor. Once you let your foot off, it'd run normally again.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:33PM
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Thanks, Bill !!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 2:12AM
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On my present truck, this was the very first repair I needed to get done. I actually got the truck for thousands under book value because the previous owner was under the impression that the motor needed to be replaced-- told to him by his mechanic!! I bought the truck a year ago april, and have put almost 50,000 miles on it, and not a single motor related problem since I changed out the cat.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 12:06PM
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Do you have an update on the Dodge Dakota problem Kitchencrazychris? We are looking at these for our teenager and I just stumbled upon your post. We are very confused on what to buy him (50%). We want it to be safe. Any help is appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:28PM
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mom-- the biggest things to watch out for with newer Dodges is the transmission and rearend differential. Before you buy a truck, have YOUR mechanic check both out. I got lucky with my truck, but I've been told over and over by just about anyone who knows anything about trucks just HOW lucky I was.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:09AM
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