Canadian Tire Makes Good on Repair Problem.

Cred­it where cred­it is due.  After much cajol­ing, Cana­di­an Tire made good on its repair to my jeep (before it was my jeep).

The issue was a repair that a Cana­di­an Tire in down­town Toron­to had done for the pre­vi­ous own­er of my jeep was done improp­er­ly. They had done a stan­dard trans­mis­sion ser­vice that involved flush­ing the flu­id and replac­ing the fil­ter. While replac­ing the fil­ter, we can only sur­mise that they put the gas­ket on the fil­ter and insert­ed the assem­bly into the trans­mis­sion.  This is appar­ent­ly “known” to cause prob­lems and they should have put the gas­ket into the trans­mis­sion and then pressed in the fil­ter.

When I say “known” I mean that the impor­tance of the order of oper­a­tion here is well doc­u­ment­ed in every place I’ve come across this repair.  One web page on the sub­ject has this stat­ed 7 times, sev­er­al of which are in red box­es.  The Chrysler ser­vice man­u­al for the jeep has this out­lined, bold­ed and under­lined.  Even the tech­ni­cian who even­tu­al­ly did the repair said that he was very famil­iar that this was a par­tic­u­lar quirk of Chrysler trans­mis­sions.

The “offi­cial” posi­tion is that war­ranties are not trans­fer­able. The ser­vice had been per­formed by the pre­vi­ous own­er, then I bought the jeep, then it failed.  Failed in the mid­dle of the road, I might add — it just refused to start mov­ing at a stop­light.  I spoke with man­agers at both stores and it seemed that they were unwill­ing to make good them­selves on the repair.  I was espe­cial­ly annoyed at this point as I felt I had explained my prob­lem prop­er­ly and the non-trans­fer­able nature of the war­ran­ty was only explained to me after I had paid to have the jeep towed to the local Cana­di­an Tire.

I esca­lat­ed the issue to the Cana­di­an Tire cor­po­rate head­quar­ters… or at least their cus­tomer ser­vice line.  This lead to anoth­er round of phone calls where very lit­tle was accom­plished.  It seemed that this part of the pro­ce­dure was almost guar­an­teed to fail as I had already talked to the man­agers and they had already stat­ed that they didn’t want to make good or make me hap­py.  I can under­stand the Oshawa store’s man­ag­er some­what — I wasn’t his cus­tomer and he was not at fault.  If the Toron­to store didn’t pay, he’d be out of pock­et (Cana­di­an Tire are inde­pen­dent fran­chisees).  I’m a lit­tle more annoyed at the Toron­to store.  While I’m still not his cus­tomer, it would appear that Earl (the pre­vi­ous own­er) was a good repeat cus­tomer and the trans­mis­sion fail­ure rep­re­sent­ed neg­li­gence on his mechanic’s part (not just a sim­ple part fail­ure).

After that round of calls, it seemed that there was anoth­er step and I was passed from cus­tomer ser­vice to some­one who solves prob­lems.  I don’t have a title for him, but that seemed to be his role.  He col­lect­ed infor­ma­tion from me and from the two Cana­di­an Tire stores and con­clud­ed by decid­ing to have the repair done at Cana­di­an Tire expense.  I don’t know his man­date, but I like to think that I appealed to his sense of fair­ness.  It may just be that there’s a bud­get for mak­ing peo­ple like me hap­py with Cana­di­an Tire and his cor­po­rate job was to exer­cise that dis­cre­tion.  It may also be that Cana­di­an Tire cor­po­rate real­izes that there is a fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with appear­ing to be a nation­al chain on the one hand and being built as an asso­ci­a­tion of fran­chisees on the oth­er.

Either way, they made good; the truck is repaired and I’m hap­py.

As a com­plete aside, I worked with a com­pa­ny that was respon­si­ble for dis­trib­ut­ing the Cana­di­an Tire eFly­er back-in-the-day.  Back then, we were puz­zled by the fact that Cana­di­an Tire wasn’t set­ting up a web­site to sell goods online (they have since done this).  At the time, as I under­stand, it was dif­fi­cult to nego­ti­ate the right of the cor­po­ra­tion to oper­ate a web­site to sell things when the fran­chisees had rights to cer­tain areas.  I sup­pose that there are both advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages to the fran­chise method of grow­ing a busi­ness.

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6 Responses to Canadian Tire Makes Good on Repair Problem.

  1. DaD says:

    I had no idea you were in such nego­ti­a­tions with CTC. When did you begin on that? Last I heard you were think­ing of drain­ing flu­id from the trans­mis­sion. But per­haps the flu­id was high because of this order-of-oper­a­tions?

    • dgilbert says:

      Actu­al­ly, you hit the nail on the head. I did end up drain­ing a sub­stan­tial amount of flu­id. When this didn’t work, I looked online for junk­yards that had trans­mis­sion com­put­ers because I didn’t know what else to try. Found a pret­ty exact dupli­cate at the junk­yard on hwy 48 near Sut­ton. After doing all that, though, I heard from Earl (the pre­vi­ous owner)‘s broth­er. He said that the prob­lem was this pro­ce­dure per­formed wrong and the high flu­id was an expect­ed result (basi­cal­ly the sys­tem not pump­ing left all the flu­id in the sump). After learn­ing this I spent most of Tues­day and Wednes­day fight­ing with Cana­di­an Tire… with them relent­ing Thurs­day noon-ish and it get­ting fixed before they closed.

  2. DaD says:

    So if you hadn’t heard from Earl, replac­ing the trans­mis­sion com­put­er would *not* have fixed the prob­lem, right? You would still have the prob­lem with the fil­ter insert­ed wrong­ly. You could have spent weeks or months fight­ing with that one, but for the grace of God and good infor­ma­tion from the pre­vi­ous own­er.

    • dgilbert says:

      Well… sort-of. After hear­ing form Earl’s broth­er, I found many oth­er sources that talked about this prob­lem. I may have fix­at­ed on the com­put­er too ear­ly, but … yes, it wouldn’t have solved the prob­lem.

  3. DaD says:

    And you *know* my posi­tion on get­ting Cana­di­an Tire to do *any* ser­vice, giv­en 3/3 bad expe­ri­ences …

    • dgilbert says:

      Well… Cana­di­an Tire isn’t a sin­gle orga­ni­za­tion. It isn’t even a sin­gle com­pa­ny. It’s a col­lec­tion of indi­vid­u­als. Cer­tain­ly, after talk­ing to the two shop man­agers and sev­er­al of the counter staff, I had noth­ing to dis­agree with that state­ment. How­ev­er, the one tech­ni­cian who worked on my car (all the peo­ple in charge had gone home) was around to chat when I when in to pick it up. He was bright and knowl­edge­able and knew specif­i­cal­ly of this prob­lem.

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