McLaughlin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Informative - McLaughlin, Neepawa, Manitoba, nothing but crooks.

Review by bristolboy on 2006-10-24

I have just returned from 5 hours of living hell after the Tranny in my '98 Dodge 1500 blew up, and left my wife and I on the roadside.

In April of 2005 the kickdown on our truck stopped working, so I took it to McLaughlin Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada. After returning home McLaughlin's contacted me to say that the Transmission had "blown up" whilst they were out on a test drive in it. I was gob-smacked, I explained that although I was definately no machanic I didn't think that it was that bad.

After a couple of days they told me they had located a reconditioned tranny, and had ordered it. They told me the truck would be ready for pick-up on the Thursday any time after 2pm.

We left the house to go pick up the truck at about 2:30 and on the way received a call from McLaughlins to say it would be another 90 minutes or so until it would be ready as they had just discovered that "the Kick Down" cable was broken.

Obviously I was a little suspicious to say the least, but felt pretty helpless and unable to augue my point. I did however talk with the company who supplied McLaughlin with the recon. tranny, and they said they could "flag" my old tranny, and take a look at it when it came in to them in exchange.

Meanwhile, in June we moved to BC, and whilst towing for the first time since the tranny job the warning light came on to tell my the tranny was getting hot. We were on a hill at the time so I pulled over to let it cool for a while. Once the light had gone out I decided to use 4WD low gear on the truck, way more torque and thus, less strain on the tranny.

Low range 4WD however wouldn't engage. With no machanical knowledge I wrongly assumed that this had something to do with the tranny being hot, and any concern left my mind. S,4 and a half hours later after approx. 15 stops and starts we were over the hill and soon arrived at a buddy's shop. He was horrified with what he discovered!!!

When the recon. tranny is supplied it comes with an auxilary cooler that was approx. 6X10 inches in size and about 6.000 BTU"s. This was meant to be an optional install as a secondary cooler IF REQUIRED. Now my truck already had the full tow package, with approx. 80,000 BTU's of cooling. The service staff at McLaughlins fitted this very small auxilary cooler into the existing coolant system.....OK, but then they DISCONNECTED, that's right they DISCONNECTED the other TWO coolers. I went from approx. 80.000 BTU's of cooling to only 6,000.

I phoned McLaughlin to enquire about their little BLUNDER and found my concerns falling upon deaf ears.

About 2 weeks later I wanted to use 4WD on a muddy slope here on our land. Again, it wouldn't engage so went stto a tranny shop. They informed me that the 4WD used a suction hose to engage and that this hose hadn't been fixed at either end and had fallen onto the manifold and melted. I again contacted McLaughlins of Neepawa, Manitoba and found myself being assured go ahead get it repaired and we'll cover the bill. This I did but when I called them again for their mailing address I was told that this was nothing to do with them and if I wanted to get my $160 out of them I'd have to sue them in court.

Meanwhile, the tranny supplier called me to say that this tranny was, "destroyed beyond anything he had ever seen". I explained to him that I had driven the truck there and the only problem was with the kick down. He assured me that there was NO POSSIBLE WAY THAT TRANNY WOULD HAVE DRIVEN ANYTHING". Obviously that tranny hadn't come out of my truck or they had ordered the new tranny without realizing that mine only needed a kick down cable, so destroyed mine once it was removed to cover up their wrong doing.

Just before winter we decided to put the truck in for a full service. When we went to pick it up we were asked by the service manager who had last worked on the tranny. I told them it was McLaughlins, a dealership in Neepawa, Manitoba, and asked why he wanted to know.

It turns out that McLaughlins had fitted the wrong gasket, this in turn had fallen apart, entered the tranny, in turn leaving a gap allowing tranny fluid to escape out and allowing air into the tranny.

This has given my long term concerns and today they came a reality. This tranny which turned out to have cost almost $1,000 more than a tranny shop would have charged for the same thing, blew up in a big way today, after only 19 months of light use, we have hardly towed a thing with it since we had it fitted, so am horrified that after spending over the going rate this tranny lasted only 19 months.
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-10-25
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-10-25:
It can be argued that the overheating situation during your towing caused the premature failure of the transmission. The heat would have burned up the clutches inside the tranny, causing the eventual failure of the tranny. You may want to persue this in a legal manner. Good Luck

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