Experience with your Ford dealer Service Department?

jimbabwe

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Hey all, I apologize if this has been asked before. I'm curious to hear about your experiences with the Service department at your local Ford dealership, good or bad?

Here in SE Georgia, I'm having a tough time with the dealership situation in my area. There are only 2 dealers, both of which are around a 30 minute drive from my house, which is already a pain. As a result of having so many people in that radius, I feel that the service department at either dealership is constantly overbooked/overworked.

In addition, in my experience, the technical knowledge is also lacking at both dealerships. In the time I've had my car, I've dealt with:

1) Poor A/C performance, even after they replaced the compressor and condenser (see my thread here). I begged the dealer to take another look, but was simply told "if it's blowing out 15 degrees cooler than ambient, then it's performing up to Ford standards" and was turned away (so in the 100+ deg GA summer heat the best I can expect my car to blow out is 85 deg!? give me a break!). I had to eventually take the car to an independent shop to diagnose and fix the issue, which ended up being too much oil in the system, most likely because when the dealer replaced the compressor they blindly added oil. Now it works like a charm.

2) When replacing all four tires, the dealer I guess didn't realize that the rim/tire setup was staggered, even when I directly pointed it out to the Service agent before handing the car over. They mixed up the rims and put a rear rim on the front axle. As a result, when I was 2 miles leaving the dealer, smelling burning rubber and intense vibrations in the wheel, had to turn around. They originally replaced the tire and rim, but didn't think they needed to replace the STRUT it was rubbing against! It took me driving to the dealer (leaving work, 30 min drive each way), made them put the car up on the lift, and take the tire off, to show them the strut was also damaged (going off of a hunch, because clearly the tire and rim were rubbing against SOMETHING). When dropping the car off, the Service agent told me "don't worry, we deal with Shelby's all the time" :rolleyes:

3) In addition, I'm currently in the process of obtaining a new hood, as I am also dealing with the rusting issue. Ford approved the repair about a month ago, and I have to keep calling the dealer to try and schedule an appointment. I just keep getting a "we'll call you back soon" answer.

4) Not me, but I've also had co-workers go to these dealers and also have bad Service experiences. A new Escape went in to replace the back seats because the stitching was coming out after a short time, and they BUTCHERED the repair job. The car was kept for about a month just to replace the back seats.

Recently, I had a horrible creaking noise from the rear every time I accelerated or decelerated, which turned out to be the infamous wheel bearings going bad (after only 21,000 miles!). After the above other experiences, I decided to bite the cost of the bearings and replace them myself, as I already have the tools to do so, and didn't feel like driving 30 mins both ways and having them possibly screw something else up.


Needless to say, all of these experiences have left me rather disheartened. Obviously, most of us take good care of our cars, but for me it's rather disappointing that I've had to keep on top of the dealer this much, and have to do so much work and worry about the car every time it goes in. If this is the case, what point is there to me or anyone I know to buy a Ford in the future, knowing the Service departments around me are this far away and this bad?

Am I alone here? Do you experience the same thing in your area? I'm curious to hear if this is might be a local thing, or a more widespread issue at other Ford dealers. Sorry for the rant, thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.





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boostmark

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I live just outside of Chicago and have 5 Ford dealers around me. I have black listed every effen one of them for incompetence. Broke off my antenna on my van as well as leaving the engine cover off when I picked it up. The list goes on and on. Way to many things to list. Fix the shit yourself if you can. If your under warrantee good luck.
 

BimmerDriver

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No service experience with the Ford yet other than an oil change, but I've spent plenty of time at BMW service departments.

It's a function of pay scale, book rates and warranty claims. You'll just get better service and quality repairs at a successful independent shop rather than at a dealer for any marque. The only reason we go to dealers is because of warranty, but like yourself, sometimes I just do it myself so that I know it's done right.
 

Cobra Jet

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If you’re running into issues with a Ford Service Center, you have (3) options:

1) Go to another Service Center; usually most find their 2nd Service Center is much better. Now granted this may not be an option for many in small rural areas. You seemed to have tried that already but still have persistent issues.

2) Call the Ford 800#, request to speak to your Regional Ford CSR. You can open a case which puts priority on your warranty repairs AND the Service Center must abide by the Ford CSR’s recommendations and/or resolution for a repair to make you whole.
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/the-ford-800-info-for-those-needing-it.111571/


3) Request from your Ford CSR OR the Dealership the name of the Franchise Owner. After you have the Franchise Owner’s name you can either elect to request a face to face meeting to sit down and review your concerns OR you can send an email or letter in hopes that it doesn’t end up in the recycle bin. Face to face meet and greets do work.

Other than the above, there’s not much more that can be done.

I’m on a personal level with my Dealership and it’s Service Center - not like buddy buddy, but they know me and I know them where if I make a request, it’s usually accepted and done. I’ve never had any issues with them or their provided services - even have had loaners granted when usually it’s not the norm. I’ve been going to them for MANY years, so maybe that gives me more pull than someone just walking in off the street - who knows.

Attitude also goes a long way. If a customer is one who is impatient, goes off the handle easily or is defensive on every aspect of the discussion - sure, trust me, that customer isn’t going to get very far, nor would I expect them to have any preferential treatment in the future.
 

Son of SVO

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I've had new GM cars for years ( Chevy S10, two Pontiac GP GTPs and a Cadillac CTS coupe) before I bought the Mustang this year. I won't bore this crowd with those experiences!
My local dealer is literally a mile and a half from home so I went there in January to order my car. Needless to say they didn't even know the HPP even existed! My car showed up there on Feb 26. I knew because it was sitting out in front of the showroom when I drove by. Did I get a call? Hell no! Drove in there the next day saw my salesperson and asked where's my car? She didn't even know it had come in. We took it for a ride, I purchased it Feb 29 and picked it up Mar 2. Each one of those days I spent at least 2 hours there doing stuff. And, since I bought cash there wasnt even financing involved!
First service oil change and tire rotation. I was waiting. An hour goes by, I see them pull the car into the service bay. Twenty minutes later the service advisor comes to get me. I pull away and check oil life. The tech never reset it and the advisor never checked. I reset myself of course. While these are both small things it just shows what I call casual incompetence. I fed this all back on the questionare and received an email from the GM. I'm close to going in for my second service and we'll see how that goes.
 

Pronichkin

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There's a number of dealers in my area. When we had our 2019 GT, we were looking to do the first maintenance. Tried to contact one dealer (closest to home) and did not have much progress. First, thier reservation system on the website (online booking) seems to be completely disconnected from reality. Wife made a booking, it seemed successful, and a technician was assigned automatically. (It was not us who picked this guy—supposed to be assigned based on availability.) But he called us back in couple days and said he's actually on holiday that day. So he simply cancelled the booking without giving us other options. We tried to call the shop and make another booking, but they never returned our calls.

So we picked another dealer in the area (slightly further from home) and they were good. We only had one service visit before we lost the car, but that was a pleasant experience. We're no car experts, so maybe we're not really qualified to judge mechanic's competence. But at least they addressed all our concerns (noise and such) and answered random questions. Moreover, they identified additional potential problems and offered to fix them, too.

Looks like “2nd Service Center” rule worked for us. So that's where we went for a new Mustang.
 

Zooks527

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Two occurrences with mine.

The first was when I had a terrible squeal (very bad, sounded the same as a running belt on a stopped pulley) on the 2nd day of ownership. I had it flatbedded to the dealer, where it did not reoccur. Instead of listening to my description, they tried to tell me that sometimes a new engine had "a few squeaks".

Second time was at my first oil change. I reminded them at dropoff that it was a 2019 and used 10 quarts. I picked it up with 8 quarts in it. When I told them that they only put 8 quarts in, they insisted that was the right amount until I took them outside and showed them the dipstick. They then went back to the computer. looked up the specs and said "Huh. It is 10 quarts."

Not getting a real warm and fuzzy from them.
 
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Black Pony

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There's a number of dealers in my area. When we had our 2019 GT, we were looking to do the first maintenance. Tried to contact one dealer (closest to home) and did not have much progress. First, thier reservation system on the website (online booking) seems to be completely disconnected from reality. Wife made a booking, it seemed successful, and a technician was assigned automatically. (It was not us who picked this guy—supposed to be assigned based on availability.) But he called us back in couple days and said he's actually on holiday that day. So he simply cancelled the booking without giving us other options. We tried to call the shop and make another booking, but they never returned our calls.

So we picked another dealer in the area (slightly further from home) and they were good. We only had one service visit before we lost the car, but that was a pleasant experience. We're no car experts, so maybe we're not really qualified to judge mechanic's competence. But at least they addressed all our concerns (noise and such) and answered random questions. Moreover, they identified additional potential problems and offered to fix them, too.

Looks like “2nd Service Center” rule worked for us. So that's where we went for a new Mustang.
 

Balr14

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The service departments of area Ford dealerships tends to be something of a crap shoot. I wouldn't say any are bad, but you do have to make sure you are all on the same page, so the service you get is the service you requested. Strangely enough, they don't get many Mustangs in for service, so they treat it like a special event. After dealing with BMW, Porsche and Lexus dealers for years it is certainly a culture shift. I miss those free high-end loaners.
 

Howitzer

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Interesting to read this today...you're definitely not alone. I just had my first service experience with my dealer(after 5 years, 48k miles) and wish I hadn't. I typically do my own work or if it's out of my scope, an independent shop. Spotted an oil leak which was confirmed to be covered under warranty so I took it to them. Leak was the rear main seal (no idea even how) so I figured they could just replace the clutch since they'd be right at it.

Well...monday will be 3 weeks since it's been there and as far as I know nothing's been done. Warranty company approved and paid them around day 4. I keep trying to get updates and parts ETA but I can't get anything definitive from them. Service adviser says he will "find out" then I don't hear from him for several days, have to call back only to get no further. This has been going on since November 30th.

I've been very patient up until today. I actually called again this morning for service adviser to call me back. Heard nothing, so I followed up around 4. Was told he left for the day but they'd get me to a manager. Heard nothing so I followed up around 6 only to be told there's no one that I can talk to and nothing anyone can do. I then drove out there to find out what the heck is going on.

No one can tell me what's been done to the car, if anything, what it's actually waiting on, the ETA of any parts or even WHERE the car currently is. I find it ridiculous and infuriating.
 

newman0072

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Interesting to read this today...you're definitely not alone. I just had my first service experience with my dealer(after 5 years, 48k miles) and wish I hadn't. I typically do my own work or if it's out of my scope, an independent shop. Spotted an oil leak which was confirmed to be covered under warranty so I took it to them. Leak was the rear main seal (no idea even how) so I figured they could just replace the clutch since they'd be right at it.

Well...monday will be 3 weeks since it's been there and as far as I know nothing's been done. Warranty company approved and paid them around day 4. I keep trying to get updates and parts ETA but I can't get anything definitive from them. Service adviser says he will "find out" then I don't hear from him for several days, have to call back only to get no further. This has been going on since November 30th.

I've been very patient up until today. I actually called again this morning for service adviser to call me back. Heard nothing, so I followed up around 4. Was told he left for the day but they'd get me to a manager. Heard nothing so I followed up around 6 only to be told there's no one that I can talk to and nothing anyone can do. I then drove out there to find out what the heck is going on.

No one can tell me what's been done to the car, if anything, what it's actually waiting on, the ETA of any parts or even WHERE the car currently is. I find it ridiculous and infuriating.
In your case I would both go in person and demand a resolution as well as call the warranty company and let them in on the fact that the work they approved and paid for hasn't been done yet. That might light a fire
 

Soulja4187

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I bought my car April 28th, 2020 and as of know the car has been at the dealer for 53 days and still counting as the main issues still not resolved. They also chipped the paint of the passenger door and while it looked good they dont know how to reassemble it back.

20201215_173034.jpg


20201215_173032.jpg
 
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jimbabwe

jimbabwe

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Wow, thank you for the responses everyone. It's interesting to hear everyone's experiences so far...even the ones still going on! I guess the Service departments around me aren't the only ones screwing stuff up...sad, really.

After all of this, I guess I am under the impression that how the Service departments operate and perform should be kept in mind when purchasing a vehicle. In the future when I or someone I know it interested in buying a Ford, my experiences with the Service departments at the dealerships around me will not be taken lightly.

Attitude also goes a long way. If a customer is one who is impatient, goes off the handle easily or is defensive on every aspect of the discussion - sure, trust me, that customer isn’t going to get very far, nor would I expect them to have any preferential treatment in the future.
@Cobra Jet , thank you for all of the information. I didn't really know that calling the Regional CSR or talking to the franchise owner were options. I'll definitely keep it in mind if I have any other issues in the future, or even now with getting close to nowhere with the rusted hood appointment. I'm not sure how much good talking to the franchise owner about issues which occurred 2 years ago will do, but maybe it's worth a shot.

To your point above, I always go in with the attitude of being patient and trying to work with them reasonably. I can understand that an angry customer won't get very far. Although, I'm sure its certainly frustrating for me and others to feel that the issues are brushed off...in my cases the A/C issue I had or mismatched wheels that 1) the time wasn't taken to so the work properly and 2) it felt like I had to go out of my way to make sure my car was taken care of.


I've had new GM cars for years ( Chevy S10, two Pontiac GP GTPs and a Cadillac CTS coupe) before I bought the Mustang this year. I won't bore this crowd with those experiences!
@Son of SVO I actually would be interested to hear how your Service experience at the GM dealership(s) were, compared to what you've gone through with your local Ford dealership.


No service experience with the Ford yet other than an oil change, but I've spent plenty of time at BMW service departments.
@BimmerDriver , I know this may be an apples and oranges comparison, but how has your experience been at the BMW Service departments?


Strangely enough, they don't get many Mustangs in for service, so they treat it like a special event. After dealing with BMW, Porsche and Lexus dealers for years it is certainly a culture shift. I miss those free high-end loaners.
@Balr14 , it seems like the opposite for me, given there are so many cars that come through either dealership. I think my 'vert w/ PP combination is rather rare, as I don't see too many on the road around me, but alas I am the only one that tends to notice I guess. Out of curiosity, what made you switch from BMW, Porsche, and Lexus to the Mustang?
 

Arknsawchuck

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Hey all, I apologize if this has been asked before. I'm curious to hear about your experiences with the Service department at your local Ford dealership, good or bad?

Here in SE Georgia, I'm having a tough time with the dealership situation in my area. There are only 2 dealers, both of which are around a 30 minute drive from my house, which is already a pain. As a result of having so many people in that radius, I feel that the service department at either dealership is constantly overbooked/overworked.

In addition, in my experience, the technical knowledge is also lacking at both dealerships. In the time I've had my car, I've dealt with:

1) Poor A/C performance, even after they replaced the compressor and condenser (see my thread here). I begged the dealer to take another look, but was simply told "if it's blowing out 15 degrees cooler than ambient, then it's performing up to Ford standards" and was turned away (so in the 100+ deg GA summer heat the best I can expect my car to blow out is 85 deg!? give me a break!). I had to eventually take the car to an independent shop to diagnose and fix the issue, which ended up being too much oil in the system, most likely because when the dealer replaced the compressor they blindly added oil. Now it works like a charm.

2) When replacing all four tires, the dealer I guess didn't realize that the rim/tire setup was staggered, even when I directly pointed it out to the Service agent before handing the car over. They mixed up the rims and put a rear rim on the front axle. As a result, when I was 2 miles leaving the dealer, smelling burning rubber and intense vibrations in the wheel, had to turn around. They originally replaced the tire and rim, but didn't think they needed to replace the STRUT it was rubbing against! It took me driving to the dealer (leaving work, 30 min drive each way), made them put the car up on the lift, and take the tire off, to show them the strut was also damaged (going off of a hunch, because clearly the tire and rim were rubbing against SOMETHING). When dropping the car off, the Service agent told me "don't worry, we deal with Shelby's all the time" :rolleyes:

3) In addition, I'm currently in the process of obtaining a new hood, as I am also dealing with the rusting issue. Ford approved the repair about a month ago, and I have to keep calling the dealer to try and schedule an appointment. I just keep getting a "we'll call you back soon" answer.

4) Not me, but I've also had co-workers go to these dealers and also have bad Service experiences. A new Escape went in to replace the back seats because the stitching was coming out after a short time, and they BUTCHERED the repair job. The car was kept for about a month just to replace the back seats.

Recently, I had a horrible creaking noise from the rear every time I accelerated or decelerated, which turned out to be the infamous wheel bearings going bad (after only 21,000 miles!). After the above other experiences, I decided to bite the cost of the bearings and replace them myself, as I already have the tools to do so, and didn't feel like driving 30 mins both ways and having them possibly screw something else up.


Needless to say, all of these experiences have left me rather disheartened. Obviously, most of us take good care of our cars, but for me it's rather disappointing that I've had to keep on top of the dealer this much, and have to do so much work and worry about the car every time it goes in. If this is the case, what point is there to me or anyone I know to buy a Ford in the future, knowing the Service departments around me are this far away and this bad?

Am I alone here? Do you experience the same thing in your area? I'm curious to hear if this is might be a local thing, or a more widespread issue at other Ford dealers. Sorry for the rant, thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
I also had the wheel bearing go bad, right rear, at 1000 miles. Took it to 3 dealers and they couldn't figure it out. Even had the service manager drive the car with me in it so he could hear it. Made the sound 8 times before we even left the parking lot. Left my car with them and after a week and 20 miles more on my car they hadn't fixed it. I told them to give me the car back, got in it and found my laugh control turned on and those miles....did it 7 times before I left the lot. I ended up buying the hub and changed it myself. I will not take my car to another dealer unless its a high dollar major item under warranty.
 

TaraFirma

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There are certain dealerships I wouldn't let work on anyhting I own. Mak Haik in Georgetown TX damaged my absolute pristene front splitter on my GT350 on it's first oil change at 1000 miles. They bought me a new one and when it came in they asked if I wanted them to install it. I just laughed in his face and said I wouldn't let them touch my car ever again, knowing that they wouldn't be able to put it on right anyway.
My absolute biggest complaint is the ol "we'll give you a call when it's ready" I decided one time to do a little social experiment and see just how long they would take to call me. the work was being done on one of our cars that we didn't need back right away and could go without for a while. The work was supposed to take two days. 5 days after the juob was supposed to be done, I finally get a call from the service manager saying that they will have to start charging me storage fees if I don't come pick up the car. I told him I'll gladly come pick it up once I get a call telling me that the work is complete and it's ready to pick up. He apologized and said I could come and get it but offered nothing to me for having my car almost a week longer after the work was completed.
Ford service is the absolute worst. I pull up, and have to go inside and ask if there is anyone working. At Porsche, I'm greeted by name, seated in a really nice wiating area and offered coffee/water while I wait. If it's a longer job, I'm taken back to my house in a courtesy vehicle (usually a newer Maccan). When the job is complete, My car is delivered to me (without burning rubber/clutch smells). Pull up to the Kia service department and there is someone right there in front of my car before I even get out asking what I need done. They have a really nice waiting area, with a huge window looking into the service area.
 
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