Autozone had diagnosed my Check Engine Light (for free!) as a faulty exhaust temperature sensor – an emissions thing. Many said “Emissions? I would just keep driving it. Just ignore it.” But how would I know if there weren’t other codes popping up if the light never went out?
Others said “It’s an easy fix! Order the part online, and fix it yourself.” Seriously? I can barely change a fuse, let alone a temperature sensor.
And then there was the caution, “Don’t go to a dealer! They will rob you blind!” But really, what was I to do? Shop around for a local trustworthy mechanic on my lunch hour in a town where I knew no one?
Finally, there was the consensus on which I decided to hedge my bet. “It is covered under warranty.” There was more than one View/Navion owner of my same model year who had this work covered by warranty. It sounded like a gamble I was willing to take.
From the minute the Mercedes Henderson (suburb of Las Vegas) Service Rep approached me on the sales lot where I had to park to unhitch my dusty 1994 badly behaved, oil-peeing Tracker, I felt like someone who slinked up to the blackjack table wearing a holey tee-shirt, sitting across from a dealer with slicked black hair, a starched monogram shirt, and a crooked smirk that read “You can’t afford to play at my table.”
They would charge me $175 to run the diagnostic that Autozone had run for free. But this would be applied toward the repair cost of $450, should I choose to double down. And if my hunch was right, it would all be covered under warranty.
After a few hours wait and a free donut in the “S-Class Lounge,” my blackjack dealer came out to deliver the news. I would have been covered under warranty for the miles, were it not for the year make. They were basing this decision on the year of the chassis, not the year the RV was put into service.
My choices were to fold at $175 or hold and appeal with Mercedes Customer Service. This would take 24 hours. So I paid my $175 fee and drove back out to Government Wash to await the answer. Six hours later, I got the call. My appeal had been denied. Not because of the year model. Not because of the cost. The answer was what no Winnie View/Navion/Sprinter owner wants to hear…..”Take it up with Dodge.”
Daddy Dodge and Mama Mercedes divorced back in 2010. Those of us who have Dodge-branded, Mercedes-manufactured Sprinters can often feel like the unwanted children of the divorce. This is “Complaint Nbr 1” on the View/Sprinter forums, and I was now getting a dose of why…
I won’t belabor the details of my Mercedes Henderson experience beyond saying it was disappointing and frustrating — among the worst when I anticipated the best. It started with everyone I encountered in the Service Center bad-mouthing Dodge. I have been in customer service all my life for one of the world’s most respected service brands, and one thing we are taught is to never bad-mouth the competition. It ended with them dragging and mangling my tow light cord the entire test drive, and turning over the all the dishes in my cabinet that have ridden undisturbed for over 10,000 miles.
I rolled the dice …and I lost. But at least I got rid of that pesky light!
I found a nice place to lick my wounds and mourn my losses, however. I am not much of one for fancy RV Parks, but at times I have no choice due to needing hookups for work. In Pahrump, Nevada, the cheapest place happened to be the fanciest place! Lakeside Casino and RV Park was like living on a golf course! My favorite clause in the rules was “Not responsible for water spots left on rigs from our sprinkler system.” HAHA!!
The entire RV park is built around a lake with fountains in the middle. There are kayaks, paddle boats, a pool, a hot tub, 3 laundry rooms, and the best part? Full hook-ups for the PA price of $15 per night for all three nights!
The little Winnie was surrounded by big shiny rigs driven by white haired characters wearing white sox and golf attire, walking their mini-dogs on lush, thick grass that would make the boys from Augusta green with envy.
I have never been much of a fan of gambling destinations, though. It feels like a desperate, unhappy place to me. Not meaning to judge, as I know a lot of people really enjoy this sport. But the gaunt faces and crumpled body language while sitting slumped on a stool, with one hand repeatedly pressing the “Play” button, while the other hand holds a watered-down drink and a cigarette just does not convey joy to me. Maybe it was because my ex-husband loved the red eye to Vegas…
Regardless, the Lakeside Casino and RV Park was the perfect location to place my next wager…Would I have the guts to gamble on Death Valley this late in the season?