A few days ago I thought I heard a strange noise at the back of the truck while driving. Having worked on cars for two years I know that you should always get any new or strange noise checked out. They don’t usually go away on their own and they’re usually signaling that something is wrong.
At first I took it to Firestone since I know that they have cheap diagnostic fees. They came back with a possible right wheel or axle bearing. That’s not the bad news. The bad news is that the job calls for 4.5 hours of labor. I thanked them for their time and scheduled an appointment at a nearby Chevy dealer to see if it would be covered under warranty.
You can watch the video here.
The next morning I went to the Chevy dealer and received good and bad news. The tech that inspected it believed that it was the rear differential and not a bearing. The bad news. The service writer told me that the power train and extended warranties are both still in effect, so one of them should cover the differential. The good news.
Unfortunately there was more bad news. The tech that works of transmissions and differentials was buried under two weeks of work. He had so much lined up that he couldn’t even confirm the potential diagnosis on our truck. The service writer apologized, didn’t charge me anything and suggested that I find another dealer without such a large backlog.
I called all around San Antonio and finally found another Chevy dealer with two guys on staff that could work on it, Freedom Chevrolet. Even better, they only had a one week backlog. Freedom Chevy told me to drop it off and that they could maybe get it in the shop for a diag the next day (that’s today as I’m writing this). I drove the half hour to Freedom and dropped it off. They gave me a shuttle ride back to the RV park and we waited.
This morning I received a call from Freedom. I ran to the phone excitedly expecting an update on the truck and boy did they have one. First of all, it hadn’t even been in the shop yet. However, it had been broken into and the stereo was stolen.Yeah, that’s how our week is going.
About 10 years ago I had several things stolen while my car was at a dealer for service, so now I strip the truck of everything of value just in case. Turns out being paranoid pays off sometimes. Luckily I hadn’t left anything inside the cab worth stealing that wasn’t bolted down.
After I hung up we borrowed the producers vehicle and drove out there to inspect the damage. While en route I called the police non emergency number and requested an officer on scene so that I could file a report. You never know if you’ll need that report later.
When we arrived we walked up to one of the service writers to ask for the keys so that we could inspect it. We stood in front of this guy for a solid minute while he finished typing out a seemingly very important text message. Once he put his phone down I told him the situation and that I’d like my keys. He grabbed the guy that I’d spoken with earlier and he took us out to our truck. The second guy was much nicer.
I was actually very surprised when we walked up to the truck. Somehow the thieves had gotten into it without causing any damage. I don’t know how they pulled it off, but thank God they did. Several other vehicles had been broken into as well and they had their locks punched in. I’d rather not have to deal with damage on top of everything else.
As far as we could tell the thieves only stole the stereo and damaged the dash while tearing it out. Thankfully the bike racks and fifth wheel hitch were still there. Also, they didn’t get into the toolbox. I will continue to strip a vehicle before it goes in for service. Twice in one lifetime is too many.
Shortly after we checked it out an officer from the SAPD arrived. He was very pleasant, he took some notes, asked a few questions, gave me his card and took off. Hopefully they catch whoever did it, but I won’t hold my breath.
After we got home we found out some interesting information. Apparently, under Texas law the dealership is responsible for vehicles on their lot, even with their “we’re not responsible for blah blah blah” signs. We’re currently awaiting a call from the general manager to try and sort this all out. And hopefully our insurance will send someone to inspect it tomorrow.
On a positive note I just spoke with freedom and they’ll be parking AHN-J (our truck) in the shop tonight. Hopefully that will be the end of us getting ripped off. But we are still waiting to find out what’s going on with the rear end. And we need this all fixed in about two weeks so that we can leave to start filming Ghost Town Nomads.
Unfortunately I don’t have any more information at this time. As soon as we have something new we’ll update the article and release a new video. So stay tuned and thanks for reading.
Freedom Chevrolet has refused to accept any responsibility. Even though our vehicle was the only one broken into without any damage. That leads us to believe that AHN-J must have been left unlocked.
USAA says we have to pay a deductible before they’ll do anything. And they won’t try to get the dealers insurance to cover it.
We contacted the GM corporate offices. They opened a claim for us and we’re waiting on them to call back.
Finally we got fed up and Laura had tree idea to contact the local news channels in San Antonio. Turns out it was a genius idea as two channels contacted us. One of them has scheduled an interview with us with for tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for new updates.