Dealer rant - updated 2.27.06
The Focus has been having intermittent cold start issues for the last few months so I took it back to the dealer before warranty runs out. Get a call from the counter guy yesterday that it's ready for me to pick up. I asked him what the problem was and he said there was some sensor on the fuel rail that went bad and they also found some other electrical problems. All is fixed, tested, etc. and the car is ready to be picked up.
Dropped off the rental, walk out to the lot and go looking for my car. I get in, let it warm up for a few, let the e-brake(I noticed the e-brake lever was pulled a little higher than I normally pull it, and I pull it up as high as it goes. Didn't think anything of it) out and go to take off. Car won't move. E-brake is froze up. Try to gently nudge the car forwards and backwards a few times to try and get it unstuck...no dice. Walk back up to the counter, tell the guy what's going on, he takes my keys for ~5-10 minutes and then I see my car pull up. He comes back, says it's all set.
I get on my way and go back to the office. Pull in 1/2 hour later. No problems to this point. Park in my usual spot, turn the key off, open the door and get ready to step out...except that my radio is still playing and my dome light is off...my dome light is never off. I figure the tech might have shut it off to save the battery if he had the doors open...but that doesn't explain why my radio is still playing. So I go in, eat my lunch, call the service guy and tell him what's going on...he says to bring it back. Bail out early, go back to the dealer. They're not exactly excited to see me since they just had my car for nearly a week, but they go to give the car a quick look to see if it's maybe a door switch or something. Both guys behind the counter and the mechanic that did the warranty work look at it for a solid 15 minutes and can't find anything. They said I'm gonna have to leave my car, they have no clue what it is and will likely have to go behind the dash and look at what it could be.
Here's where I'm skeptical...When I initially got in my car I noticed my clock on the radio was on...it's not supposed to be on when the car is off. I also noticed my dome light was off at that time....just didn't put the two together. Me thinks the mechanic knew there was something wrong with the car, but just tried to brush it under the carpet. Why do I say this? Because when I brought the car back at the end of the day, counter guy A says to counter guy B... "Guess what, it's another Brad car". Not a smart thing to say in front of a semi-unhappy customer.
For some reason I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a saga....