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Janel Miller - Cam Failure #254

new 5/13/03

May 12, 2003

1997 Black SHO
82,000 miles currently

Date of malfunction was 2/8/03 @ 79,500 miles

The engine started a ticking noise while leaving a gas station about 30 mph. I could tell it didnít feel right and when I listened I heard the ticking. Took it to a friend mechanic who didnít know what it was, but said it sounded like the pistons. 

About 25 miles after initial ticking noise started, it broke down on the highway while coming to a stop from 70 mph. The engine stopped and wouldnít turn over.

I purchased the car used on 3/16/01 with 53,000 miles from John Santilliís Center for Automobiles in Brockton, MA. With the car, I also bought an Extended Service Contract through Daimler Chrysler.

I am originally from MA, but moved to Las Vegas in September. I drove the car cross country with nothing in tow and it was absolutely fine. The only other thing Iíve had to fix are the coils #3 and #7.

My current contact info is:

Janel Miller

I had the car towed to Friendly Ford in Las Vegas, NV. They had first thought it was the catalytic converter and after waiting a month for the parts that never showed, I had a manager get involved and the car was brought back in the shop. I had to give them a $1300 deposit to tear down the engine for a diagnosis. 3 days later they called with the news:

The timing chain had spun and broke gears off the cam shaft, damaging valves and pistons. I was told the engine would have to be rebuilt and the initial estimate was $7000.

They sent the head out to a machine shop and reseated the valves and told me they rebuilt the engine. The final bill was $6056.43 of which my service contract paid $4536.30. I paid the remaining balance of $1520.13 and a rental car bill of $538.72 for a total of $2058.85 out of pocket and 2 weeks without a car. 

I got the car back 4/8/03, 8 weeks later. While test driving the car at 80 mph, about 10 miles from the dealership, the engine light came back on. I took it back in and they said the code was for Intake Manifold Runner Control. First they cleaned it, then replaced the Module. 

As of 4/18/03 the engine light is still on and they said I could drive it. So I do. I donít like to do so, but this is my only car so I have to. I have been waiting for them to get further authorization from my Service Contract to try to figure out the light will not go out, but I keep getting nowhere fast.

Friendly Ford 
660 N Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89107-1918
702-877-6541 ext 2583
Deborah Macchio
Service Advisor

On 3/13/03 I did call Ford Customer Relationship Center to report my situation. I spoke to a Service Assistant named Stacey who at first seemed genuinely interested. After about 15 minutes on the phone with her she had only retained an 8th of what I had told her and repeatedly stated that her hands were tied. Well that infuriated me since that is what I hear from My Service Advisor at the dealership. Obviously I wasnít speaking to the right person. I asked for a manager and was informed that would be a 24-48 hour callback. I agreed. Evelyn a Service Supervisor called me and had the same ability to help. All she could tell me was that Ford did not pay for rental cars for customers with service issues.

Needless to say, I am not satisfied with the service at the Dealership or the Customer Relationship Center. 

I am one of the SHO owners who has been a long time loyal Ford customer and just want to love my car. My whole family and most of my friends own Fords too. Unfortunately, nobody I know is too happy with Ford after this situation has happened to my car. 

I am extremely relieved to know that it wasnít my driving that broke the car. Even though I feel bad that it means others have had to endure this aggravation too.

Anyway, add me to list of disgruntled Ford SHO owners and feel free to contact me if you need any more info.

Thank you,
Janel Miller


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