Lemon Aid

Todd Dills | March 01, 2011

Get a repair order for every repair visit, even if the shop doesn’t diagnose the problem or attempt a repair.

Make certain any repair order shows the problem you report, and the dates the truck is in the shop.

Keep all purchase contracts, warranties and repair orders.

Tips for quality warranty service

Most owner-operators lack the recourse of a lemon law for repeated problems. A good dealer, though, is motivated to work with you on warranty repairs because the manufacturer pays the dealer for doing the work.

ATBS maintenance adviser Bill McClusky offers these tips toward obtaining effective service:

Communicate what is happening in as much detail as possible.

If diagnosis is proving difficult, don’t be afraid to suggest a tech ride with you to try and reproduce the conditions.

If the maintenance issue is sporadic or happens only under certain conditions, find out if the shop can reproduce those conditions or if you need to assist. For example, if the problems appear only under a heavy load, try to take the truck in while loaded. If your problem arises only when pulling a full load up a hill, a shop with a dynamometer can simulate that.

In cases where you’re not loaded, notes Mack Trucks spokesman John Walsh, provide your truck’s normal operating weight and details about your application.

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