How we got our car fixed at a Dealership for FREE!

Good Faith Warranty

How we had our car fixed at a dealership for free, even after an expired warranty. 

Its basically a rule that anytime your spouse deploys, or its just the most inconvenient time, something is going to break. 

It was three weeks after he left for deployment and the kids were on summer vacation, when we got in our mini van (don’t hate) and nothing happened.

Wait, what? 

That’s just it, the silence was deafening. Oh sure the car started fine but where in the world was my radio? 

This was summer! I couldn’t listen to my kids fight for the next three months until their dad got back to fix it. But I would, because dealerships are expensive.


free car repair at dealership after expired warranty

Where is the Sexy Robot?

I put the car in drive and decided to call my mom.

I pushed the U connect button and waited for the sexy robot to say “U connect ready.”

Again, nothing happened. Son of a biscuit, it was all connected! We finished our grocery trip and I went to back up. You guessed it, no backup camera. Well this was just great.

Sure two years ago I didn’t have any of these fabulous luxuries, but darn it! My mini van had spoiled me. 

I got a small radio for the car, talked to my mom on speaker phone and pulled though every parking spot so I didn’t need to back up.

Goodby AC

About a week later we were coming home from grocery shopping when my air conditioner stopped working. It wasn’t just not blowing cold air, it wasn’t blowing any air! 

What was the deal when I was grocery shopping? It was a sign that nothing good comes from taking the kids to the store.

Now I had no choice, I had to go to the dealership. I decided to go to the one my neighbor recommended even though it was 45 minuets away. I made an appointment for the next day and asked our neighbors to watch the kids. 

The drive up was quiet which allowed my thoughts to hit an all time high anxiety level. How in the world were we going to afford this?

Of course we had money in savings but 

after medically diagnosing my car from all my knowledge from Google, it was clear this could cost thousands. 

I was a stay at home mom. Nothing like a few thousand dollar problem staring you in the face to make you realize maybe you’re not as secure as you thought you were.

The Haggling Grandma

The dealership took the van almost immediately and for the next two and a half hours I made myself comfortable in the waiting area. After growing tired of my book an older woman sat next to me. 

Thank goodness. I wanted to pass the time.

Come to find out the little old women had $500 in her purse! She was planning to haggle!

Damn she was smart, but I didn’t have two grand in my purse or $2, maybe two granola bars.

The guy from the desk came over and sat next to me. Turns out a mouse had made camp under my hood. The neighbors cat had let me down. 

They would have to order the parts and were looking to get the warranty to cover it. Wait, what warranty? I tried to play it cool until he got up to leave.

Leaning over to my new friend I sideways whispered “I don’t have a warranty.” 

Her response was ‘take the blessing and don’t ask.’ They hooked me up with a nice Jeep and sent me home. What the heck had just happened?

Goodwill Repair

Again I turned to Google to find some answers. 

Its called goodwill repair.

If something that would have been covered by warranty breaks soon after the warranty expires, you can ask if they can help cover the cost. I wasn’t very far out of warranty but I knew for a fact it was expired. So what use was it to me? Turns out a lot.

They guy from the front desk called to tell me my van would be fixed by Tuesday. I held my breath as I asked him how much the repair would cost. 

He responded ‘nothing, well you might need to pay for a filter, so you’re looking at maybe $20.’

Not only was this going to cost practically nothing, the dealership was the one who did all the leg work.

They called the manufacturer company. They did the repairs at warranty cost, and they told me when I didn’t know to ask.

Life happens, things break and you need to find people you can trust. As much as you’d like to handle everything on your own, you need to also know when to ask for help. 

I needed help when my husband was deployed and I got more help then I thought I deserved. They hooked me up with a car to borrow and the smallest car repair bill I had ever seen. 

I paid cash and drove home listening to the radio and eating a granola bar.

Things to remember

  • This dealership was recommended to me by a friend. They had received great customer service with them in the past and were always treated fairly. Do your research before you go. It only takes a couple minuets to read a few reviews or to ask around.
  • I wasn’t very far out of my warranty and that’s why they were able to help me. Although, if I were a few thousand miles over, the outcome may not have been the same. It won’t hurt to ask if they can cover a portion, within reason, but remember to be polite.
  • Remember that the dealer is asking the manufacturer and may not have much of a say in the matter. Do some more research. When I looked it up myself I was surprised on what I found about goodwill repairs. 
  • In the future I’ll be going back to this dealership. I’m sure I won’t get another discounted repair but there is something to be said about honesty. Cars can be a headache but its great that if there is a problem, you know you’re in good hands. 
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