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Date of Service:
Work Done on:
Class A - Diesel
"Wet" wheel bearing service and new seals, new
alternator, air brake inspection/adjustment, coolant
Evaluation of Service Performed:
This is a report about a recent service experience
with Truck AG & Auto in Stephenville, TX (west of
Dallas/Fort Worth). The service was performed in
December 2016. It's long-ish as I make a specific
recommendation at the end against using this
facility, and I want to provide context for that
recommendation. It's worth calling out that this is
only one side of this encounter, although I've
attempted to accurately and dispassionately portray
the events in question.
My wife and I purchased a 1998 Newmar Dutch Star DP
M-3883-FRL from a widow friend in October of 2016.
Although it had few miles showing (about 13k), it is
still nearly 20 years old and I wished to have the
cooling system serviced including all hoses
replaced, the wet wheel bearings and seals serviced,
and the air brakes inspected/adjusted. There was
other work such as fresh tires, fluids, filters,
batteries, and so forth that was performed outside
of this service engagement by different vendors, but
I wanted the aforementioned items done by an actual
Freightliner facility so that I could have
additional confidence in the proficiency of the
I visited the official Freightliner Custom Chassis
website and browsed to the list
of certified service locations. I cross-referenced
the ones in my area against online reviews. I
selected Truck AG & Auto as the best-reviewed of the
bunch (although that, frankly, is faint praise).
After explaining my wishes an appointment was made
to take the coach to them (about a 3 hour round
trip). Their expectation was that all service would
be performed in two business days. That timeline was
met, sort of.
Right on time, two days later we picked up the coach
and headed back home. We made it about 10 miles when
the "Low Coolant" warning light and alarm sounded.
Pulling over right away, I found the entire back of
the coach (and our toad) covered with coolant. I
filled the coolant reservoir and headed back to
their shop, cautiously watching the temperature
gauge, and stopping another time on the way to top
Once back at their shop they raised the rear bed
platform to access the engine bay and discovered
that they had mispositioned the new upper radiator
hose, causing it to be cut through the bottom by the
While they were in there I observed several coolant
hoses that had not been replaced. As it turns out,
NONE of the coolant hoses except the two radiator
hoses had been replaced as directed.
They didn't have a new replacement hose but did have
the old one. As we were scheduled to go out of town
in the coach the next day we asked them to
temporarily reinstall the old upper radiator hose,
carefully positioning it away from the fan blade. We
brought up with the service manager that the other
hoses in-scope for the repair weren't done and
agreed to revisit the issue upon our return to have
the 2nd new upper radiator hose installed. Once
again leaving the coach behind we took the filthy
toad in search of a car wash to cleanse the coolant
from the paint and then went back home.
Returning the next day (trip departure day) I
retrieved the keys and went outside to find the
coach in a lake (a lake - not a puddle) of coolant
that was running out of it. The tech had forgotten
to tighten a hose clamp and it simply was running
out on the ground. I am genuinely puzzled at how
this could have been not seen.
More delay ensued whilst a tech was brought out to
go back in and tighten the offending clamp.
After leaving the shop again, down the road I
noticed a terrible rattling sound coming from the
front left wheel. Stopping at the side of a busy
road, I discovered that they had not tightened the
nuts on that wheel - at all! They were all only
finger-tight and were backing out. Thankfully, I had
the tools on hand to properly tighten the nuts, and
double-checked the remaining wheels just to be sure.
A couple of weeks later I still had not heard back
from the shop about the arrival of the replacement
upper radiator hose. I finally called them and set a
time to return to the shop for the third time. I had
a conversation with the service manager about the
additional hoses and we came to an agreement that
for an additional sum they would complete that work.
As a side note, I asked the service manager if I
could have communicated my expectations more clearly
and he confirmed that the expected scope was clear
but the work simply wasn't done. No explanation for
this discrepancy was offered, and since at that
stage there was nothing to be gained by pressing the
point I allowed the statement to stand on its own.
Yet again, a few hours later we departed. Yet again,
the next day we came out to find coolant on the
ground. Despondent and no longer trusting this shop
to fix their self-caused issues, I ended up fixing
the leaks on my own by tightening three loose hose
clamps (yes, more loose things again).
To wrap up - the scope of work was not completed in
the original visit, a significant safety issue was
introduced by the loose wheel nuts, and after three
visits they still couldn't manage the simple
replacement of coolant hoses properly. All of these
issues were workmanship-related and not defects in
materials or any other factors.
I never lost my temper with the staff or management
of the facility nor engaged in negative verbiage or
facial expressions, but privately I certainly wasn't
impressed by the work performance. The staff I
encountered were reasonably personable, and it would
have been great to have their demeanor paired with
good workmanship, but alas, such was not the case,
and ultimately I can't recommend this repair
facility based upon my experience.