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Sears Automotive Messed Up My Car. Again.

After the adventures of the Dude, My Car trilogy, I thought it might be a good idea to do some maintenance on it.  An oil change and car wash seemed to be the order of the day.  Unfortunately, it was my choice of vendors was not quite on the same par as the thought itself.

After my last set of problems with Sears Automotive, I was told I would be given two complimentary oil changes, of which I had only claimed one.  I took the car to Sears, where they had no record of the second oil change, but I was already there and the price was on par with the other places I get the oil changed, so I had it done there anyway.  After getting the oil changed, I took the car to a local car wash and then went to visit my parents’ house.  An hour after leaving, my father called me to tell me I left a puddle of oil on his driveway. Since it is possible oil may have spilled when they were doing the change, I let it go temporarily.

A week went by and there continued to be oil on the ground beneath my car.  I returned to Sears Automotive and they claimed there was no leak and showed me under the car.  Looking up at it, I saw nothing, but as soon as I left, the first place I parked had an oil puddle when I left.  I happened to need to take the car to the dealership to take car of an unrelated issue.  They confirmed there was an oil leak, but gave me a ridiculous estimate to fix it, requiring new pumps, valves and other ephemera.

Knowing the dealership was trying to do the most insane upsell, I brought the car to a local car repair shop and had them take a look a couple days later.  The mechanic put it on the lift and quickly found the problem.  The drain plug had been over cranked when it was put back in, stripping the threads in the oil pan.  Additionally, the gasket was not replaced with the plug.  This allowed oil to seep past the plug and spill on to the ground and stain wherever I parked.

Once I definitively knew what the problem was and the cause, I contacted someone within Sears corporate who had helped me with the prior issues.  After going back and forth over email for a while, I needed to leave to visit a close friend in the hospital who had his first child late the night before (sure, his wife was the one who actually had the baby, but it’s all semantics).  While I was at the hospital, I received a call from the Sears Automotive manager, who I couldn’t speak to at the hospital but said he’d call me back on Friday.

After not hearing from him on Friday, I waited the weekend and brought the car to the Sears Automotive in White Plains.  They took all the info and did the paperwork, showing me that the Nanuet store hadn’t even been entering info into the computer system about my visits.  After leaving my car to take care of a couple phone calls, I got a call to come back.  It seems that they had called the Nanuet store and the manager there talked them out of doing anything to or with my car.  They didn’t even put it on the lift to check out the problem.

I left and emailed the person at Sears again and then received a call from the manager of the Nanuet store, who claimed he had thought I was going to call him.  He asked me to bring the car to his store, which I have no plan to ever do again, so over the course of a couple phone calls, we arranged for me to take my car to the White Plains store and someone from his store will be there to look at it with me and the White Plains staff.

The facts are simple. My car wasn’t leaking when I went to Sears originally, otherwise my car would be undrivable due to being left unattended in New York City for over a week. I brought my car for an oil change and it began leaking, which currently has a stop gap solution until the oil pan is replaced or repaired.  At this point, I want to just have a non leaking car, so that my automobile can go without being seen at Sears Automotive again.

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