Unnecessary Repairs

My husband has a 2003 Dodge Ram Pick-up. It would not start when the engine was hot. We took it to our local Dodge dealer for repair. After four days of running diagnostics and consulting with Dodge, they replaced the high pressure pump at a cost of $2700. We use this truck to pull our 32 ft horse trailer. After the repair were completed, we hooked up our trailer with both of our horses in it and took off for a state park about 30 miles from our home. We got there and parked our trailer and turned the truck off. About 15 minutes later my husband got in to start the truck so he could unhook it from the trailer and the truck would not start. It did however start again once the engine cooled down. We called the dealer and took the truck back in to have it checked over. This time they replaced the return line and said they would not charge us for this work. They, however, wanted to keep it overnight and run a further check the next day to make sure everything was okay. The next day, one of their staff, took the truck for a drive of about 15-20 miles. When they returned to the garage and shut the truck off, it would not start again. They have now had our truck a total of 8 more working days and have told us that they now need to replace some wiring and fix an injector at a cost of $1500. I believe that the first repair that was done really did not need to be done since it didn’t solve the problem. Am I within my rights to ask for an adjustment of my bill???

That fact that the original repair did not cure the problem is a minor issue compared to charging you $2700 to replace the fuel pump… I would get a quote from an independent shop to replace the fuel pump and then confront the dealers shop with THAT…Unless that $2700 included a lot more work you failed to mention…

There are 3 newer generations of fuel system technology then what was installed on your truck…Dealership mechanics have little experience trying to isolate and repair problems like this, Your lucky they found the problem (hopefully) on the second try…But I think $2700 to replace the fuel pump is outrageous…

I hope this is the correct fix. Crank and cam sensors tend to fail when they get hot and do not set a code. I would ask that they adjust your bill and not charge for labor on the first fix.

The truck is 12 years old and has seen some heavy duty use. It’s quite possible that the truck suffers from multiple problems so I can’t fault the dealer at this point.

Is this a diesel pickup or gasoline rig? A diesel injection pump is never cheap on anything.

By not starting, does this mean the engine is being cranked over by the starter motor but it will not run or does it mean it will not turn over at all?
The assumption is that it’s the former; just trying to clarify it.

That was my thought that it is a diesel and the high pressure pump is the injector pump. I don’t think they found the problem yet. I can’t see how wiring and an injector would cause a hot no start.

Okay brings up a point I missed…If it’s a diesel, then $2700 for a new injection pump is about right…But YOU are also right…Your old pump was not the problem…When you shut down a diesel, an electrical signal goes to the pump or a solenoid on the pump and shuts it off. When you turn it back on, this engine stop signal must be reversed to allow the engine to start…Sounds like yours was hanging up in the “off” position which would prevent the engine from starting…

Diesel rigs are never cheap to fix, that’s why I won’t ever own one. I hope the second time is a charm.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that it is a diesel engine. But even at that, is there no recourse when a garage fixes something that’s not the cause?! I don’t mind paying a price for repairs but I want it to be something that really needs to be done.

Yes OK4550. It was cranking but wouldn’t start.

Unless you can prove the shop cheated you, about all you can do is go elsewhere for repairs in the future. An honest but incorrect diagnosis is not against the law and $2700 might be too much to take them to small claims court.

It never ceases to amaze me that seemingly honest, qualified shops, even dealership shops can be so incompetent and/or negligent and then insist they are above reproach.

There are likely several highly qualified honest diesel mechanics in your area @womanconsumer, who could be more thorough in their diagnosis and afford to stand behind their work. They might be grumpy old men in shops that are not attractive to a woman but you would be much happier with their work. Ask around.

Since these injection pumps are so expensive, there are detailed procedures to be followed before they are condemned and replaced…There are even specialized shops called “Diesel Laboratories” and all they do is diagnose and repair diesel injection systems…They have the equipment to test and calibrate injection pumps on the bench…But in your case, it’s water over the dam…

Another take on guaranteeing repair work has been discussed:


When the solenoid on the injector pump was bad on my Olds diesel, the car would not shut off when you shut the key off. Several attempts then it would shut off. When the car had a hot restart problem, it was the glow plug controler or relay-can’t remember for sure back to 1982. I suppose it could be the solenoid but now that they replaced it and it wasn’t that, they should be looking at the glow plug circuit and the controler that times the glow plugs, not the wiring harness or injector. Just in my humble opinion.

Sometimes you are better off to go to a diesel specialist with these kinds of problems. I remember that my car never did run great from brand new and the injector pump was right on the timing mark according to the factory service manual and dealer mechanics. When I finally went to a truck diesel injector specialist, the proper timing was a little off from the factory specs and the car ran great after that. When the dealer would do a repair and retime the pump back to the timing marks, I’d have to take it back to the injecotr specialists again to have it properly timed. Just sayn’ diesels is what they do and know.

I thought I would let you know that we have reached a resolution to this repair bill. We went to the garage and after talking to one of the service team we were referred to the service manager. He agreed to credit us for half of the cost of the installation of the high pressure pump. So, all in all, we were satisfied with the end result and but have decided that we would not return there for any more repairs to my husband’s diesel truck. I would, however, use them for issues with my car.

So has the starting issue been resolved yet? If so what was the problem if not the pump?

They replaced an injector and some wiring and it seems to be starting fine now.

That’s a weird one. Hope it’s all OK now. Thanks for the update.