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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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Dodge Durango: drove..hood but from the tire..16,000 miles..hoses

Customer Question

HI, I purchased a new Dodge Durango in 2002....car drove excellent up until May12th of last year....here is what happened as I was driving my car...smoke and this horrible burnt rubber smell was billowing from the front driver side tire...it was not coming out of the hood but from the tire area....my steering was also affected and my brakes were barely working..the result was I had to replace the calipers and brake pads etc....this happened at 16,000 miles.....luckily, I was still under warranty....Now, almost to the day, June 8th, and at only 20,800 miles... my car did the EXACT SAME THING and my steering was really affected this time... I immediately pulled over and called AAA to tow my car to the Dodge Dealership where I've always had it serviced....I get a phone call yesterday telling me they can't find ANYTHING WRONG WITH MY CAR???!!! They said they ran all the diagnostic tests, looked at the calipers, brake pads and hoses...drove it for 5 miles to see if it would repeat the incident but nothing happened, of course....Now, I come from a family where Dad doesn't let you drive a car unless you know how to change a tire and put your own gas in your car...not to mention maintaining your car...keeping it serviced etc...my Dad's Dad was a Mechanic all his life and luckily my Dad learned a thing or two as well....when I told my Dad what happened....he simply said...If your car is smoking then there has got to be a problem....he suggested possibly the brake cyclinder cup...something like that...hydrolic leak...brake line leak.??? (I hope I'm repeating them correctly!) ..but he did say....it has got to be something...a car just doesn't simply smoke for no reason...I feel like the mechanic or foreman (whoever) doesn't believe me...but it did happen....and it was exactly the same experience as the first time...Also, FYI, there were no lights that appeared indicating a problem...temperature gauge was reading cool (it was 85*) and all other gauges were reading normal....When I spoke to the service person on Friday, I told them that I know something is wrong with my car and suggested a few of the ideas my Dad mentioned...to please take another look at it...which they are on Monday....I'm concerned that they are going to come back and say they found nothing wrong with it again....what should I do? I'd be afraid to drive it in fear of it happening again...except this time it may happen on the highway!!!I believe in taking care of your car...I have it maintenanced when it needs to be...tires rotated, oil changed etc...to minimize problems as much as I can...but the problems I'm having should'nt be happening...I'm desperate for some help...I only hope I don't sound like an idiot!! Thanks so very much for your time...Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
I don't think they dis believe you but the way this stuff works is they have to duplicate the problem before they can diagnose it. There may very well be a problem there but if it is itermittant and they can't duplicate it, then they can't tell you what it is either. I would think it would have left some indication of heat in discoloration of the rotor or something else to give them a hint of what may have happened. Maybe you should drive it some more and maybe it will get a little worse and they'll be able to see the problem. Just don't head out on any long trips just yet. You could have a binding caliper or even a flex hose that is ruptured internally and trapping pressure in the caliper. A second opinion might help too.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I appreciate your help but as I had stated they said nothing was wrong with my car...which includes today...they called and said the same thing so I'm right back where I started...thanks anyway.....I appreciate your time and your help...
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
What they said is they can't find anything wrong with your car, not that there isn't anything wrong. The problem is intermittant, meaning it is not always there and obvious. Even if they suspect something, they will do nothing about it unless they can confirm the symptom and cause. That's the way a dealer works, which is the correct way to work. As I said, your underlying problem is still there, just not exposing itself at the time they have the vehicle. It may need to be driven for extended periods, which a flat rate terchnician just doesn't have time to do. His time has to be charged somewhere. If the dealer can't see the problem while looking at the vehicle, there's not much somebody on the Internet is going to be able to add to that.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
We are taking it for a second opinion. Thanks again.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

Your welcome.


Please click on the accept button before leaving.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I appreciate your help but it really didn't help me at this time....My car is barely 3 years old with only 18,988 miles...this should not be happening...I've decided I'm trading it in for something much more economical and dependable...why deal with this...they couldn't fix it the first time and that's why I'm at this juncture once again...so, I'm not going to wait for it to "happen again" when I'm driving down the highway...or stranded at a stop light....it's just not worth it...I thank you for your time.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

You may not have received the answer you were hoping for but you did receive the answer to your question. Your decision to trade the vehicle rather than repair it may well be a good decision for you but that does not relieve you of your obligation to pay for the question that was asked and answered. Please click on the accept button.


Records of this question and whether it was paid remain on the site and are looked at by specialists before deciding to answer any future questions for you.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I feel that I could have received the same answers by a local mechanic. I thought or maybe I misunderstood, that you all were specialists. I gave you all the information I could possibly provide you and still came back with nothing that would help me resolve my problem. I'm sorry, but it's not worth 25.00 at this time. I will not be logging back on in the future, so if my name remains on your website then I guess it remains...I feel 5.00 was worth it but 25.00 out of the question.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
Sorry, we don't have crystal balls. we have to test things like everybodsy else does. If we gave you the same answer as youyr local mechanic, the maybe the answer was correct. If you didn't want to pay $25, then you shouldn't have offered it. We can't force you to uphold your end of the agreement but we sure can decline to help you in the future.

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