I am the first to admit I love my Escape. It's a vehicle I wanted and worked hard to get post BK. My old car was a 1999 Saturn Station wagon that gave me many years of service and over 232,000 miles. It started to die a very expensive death at the end of it's life and that slow decline corresponded to my BK filing. In fact, my transmission blew up on my way back from my 341 hearing costing me the remaining $300 in my checking account and my next paycheck. Was it fate or just the universe testing me? I knew as soon as I could I needed to replace the Saturn that gave me many years of trouble free service.
Needless to say. I decided on a new to me car from a dealer instead of temporary clunker since my past experience with clunkers was not good. I've had the Escape for two years now and it's chugging along. I take it in for oil changes approximately every 5,000 miles. I've been taking it to one of the two local Ford dealerships for the past 10 months. I was going to a local oil change shop that was increasingly trying to sell you additional services and fluid changes. The service department at the new dealership has been great, does more than the 21 point inspection of the vehicle during the oil change and does it for less than $35. The other Ford dealership seemed to be only interested in making a buck. Each time I would take the car in for an oil change (they offered a $25 oil change) I would get a laundry list of much needed repairs. What drove me over the edge was taking the Escape in for an ABS sensor repair (Estimated cost $400 if new parts were needed) and getting an estimate for $1200 worth of "work". Plus the snotty attitude of the mechanic and the patronizing attitude of the service manager when I said No was annoying. I guess they saw a female with a car and saw $$$$ signs.
The other Ford Dealership that I now go to is much more straight up and honest. Instead of insisting on all these services, they check and re-check during the oil change and talk to you like a person and not a bank account. This oil change was no exception. I had the service and instead of insisting on the full 80,000 mile service, they told me that all looked good and would recommend a radiator flush and fill sometime in the next few months. They said all looked good and probably would be fine, but it did not hurt to do the flush and fill later this spring. I'll plan and budget that for in the upcoming couple months. When the Escape had some problems this past fall, I logged onto a Ford Escape Forum researched the site and found what looked like my problem with my Escape. When I went to the dealership, I told them what I was feeling/hearing in the car, what I found on the forum and left the Escape for the diagnostic test. The service manager listened to me and what I found. He thought maybe the back end of the Escape was shot, but he also looked up on same forum my problem and low and behold, instead of a new back end, all I needed was a repair of a frozen joint of some sort. He did not assume my Escape needed a new back end, He did not dismiss my input, he thought it might a bad rear end on the Escape, but he was open to looking at the forum and also looking at my Escape with my eyes. He told me my type repair was the first he had done on an Escape at his shop and he was glad I told him about the Forum. The repair was under $200 (including the oil change) and this dealership now has my business as long as I have my Escape. This dealership is in the business of repairing cars and maintaining good customer relationships no matter your age or gender.
I did treat the car to a spring cleaning on Saturday inside and out. My car has been freshly serviced and freshly washed. Good way to start the spring!