Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2010 Nissan Armada Headlights - Moisture

Last fall I noticed that there was some moisture inside the passenger side headlight assembly of our 2010 Nissan Armada.  The vehicle was out of warranty by about 8 months and 10,000 miles, so I didn't have much hope of getting it resolved by the dealership.  I hoped that over the winter, it might "resolve" itself, but that didn't hold true.  So I called the dealership in Olathe, Kansas to get an estimate.  They told me that I should come in to have it looked at, but typically those assemblies run about $400 plus labor.  FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS for a headlight that should have lasted a decade, that failed after less than 4 years.  Needless to say I was a little upset.  I emailed Nissan USA's customer support and after a couple of days hadn't heard anything.  So I took some pictures of the headlight, and posted it to the Nissan USA Facebook page, along with my story.  Within 20 minutes the posting was removed and a marketing manager responded with a private message on Facebook.  Later that day, after some back and forth messing, a customer service representative named Kim called me.  She said that she was going to assist me and opened a case for investigation.  She said that in order for her to proceed, I would need to take the vehicle to the dealership to be officially diagnosed and have a work order produced.

I live about 40 miles from the closest Nissan dealership (or at least the one that I bought from) so I don't get up there all that often.  I VERY much like the maintenance and sales guys at McCarthy Nissan and would recommend them to anybody.  Jason, the sales manager, was a high school soccer teammate of mine and is extremely laid back, trustworthy guy.  The people in the maintenance department go out of their way to help and are extremely professional.

With that said it took me a few months before I was able to take time out to stop into the dealership to have it checked out.  In the mean time the OTHER headlight has now developed some moisture inside it as well.  When I got up to Olathe, and talked with the customer service guy in their shop, he said this almost NEVER happens.  This tells me there is some sort of failure of this set of headlights.  In my opinion, regardless if I am out of warranty, this is a manufacturing failure, and I shouldn't be responsible.  The final estimate for BOTH assemblies is now at a whopping $1013.90.

I submitted this information back to Kim at Nissan USA and after a couple of days she contacted me and said that they would reimburse McCarthy Nissan for the headlights after the work was performed, but I would be responsible for the labor.  I called McCarthy and they told me the labor would be about $250.  So now I'm looking at paying out of pocket for the labor, plus 160 miles of travel for both trips to the dealership, several hours of my time spent sitting in the waiting room, all because a headlight assembly failure that is obviously a manufacturing flaw.  This still doesn't feel right to me.

I called a local body shop that I trust, here in our home town.  He said they could do it for about $125 if I can get Nissan to send me the parts.  So now I've called Kim back at Nissan USA and asked if that was an option, or if I could negotiate a more reasonable rate at the Olathe dealership for the labor.  To be totally honest, I don't want to pay anything.  I've already spent my time, energy, and GAS dealing with an issue that is not my fault and shouldn't have happened.

I'll post the pictures of the headlight below.  I'm not talking about a little bit of condensation.  I'm talking about a small rain forest growing inside the headlight.  During the winter, the moisture would freeze and it actually degraded the performance of the headlight dramatically.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

McFarthest Spot

Not really a tourist attraction, but pretty cool! I found this on Atlas Obscura, the point in the continental US that is farthest from any McDonalds.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Should I get a Bully Dog engine tuner?

I've been considering getting a tuner for our Armada.  I'm looking to squeeze every last HP out of this engine possible.  Should I get a nice after market cold air intake like the ones from K&N?  Or should I go with a tuner first??  I like the idea of getting a good tuner first, because most of them also come with advanced gauges for monitoring different aspects of your engine performance, more so than your on dash.

So right now I'm looking at the

Bully Dog 40410 Triple Dog GT Gas Gauge Tuner Adjustable


It is usually priced $300-400 online, and I've heard it will add horsepower as well as 3-4 MPG!  I might put this on my wish list, and get it put in before our big trip this summer.  Stay tuned!  After I get it in, I'll put up a review.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Building our Mount Rushmore travel plans

We think we have our date picked in July. We plan to stay at the Rafter J Bar Ranch. And we are going to see Mount Rushmore. We need to pick a few more things to do in the are for fun.

I'm thinking we'll probably make at stop at the Mammoth Site at Hot Springs. It has great reviews at Tripadvisor.com. It is the world's largest mammoth research facility.



I'll be adding to this post with additional revisions as we find more attractions.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Trout fishing in Kansas?!?!

Wow, I have lived here my entire life and had no idea that there was a "trout season" in Kansas.  See this blog post that I came across today.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rafter J Bar Ranch

We think we have made a final camping selection; the historic Rafter J Bar Ranch.

We like it because it has a more open layout, less crowded, and far more rustic camping than the KOA.

There are many sites type to choose from, ranging from the typical pull through, back to back, RV Park types, to no-service tent sites in the trees. We'll probably end up with a 30 amp full hookup site in the "Ranch Camp" loop.

"Ranch Camp"
*Heavily Shaded
*More Remote
*Tents & Full Hookups
*400 Yards from Activities & Office
*Bathhouse & Laundry

There is a swimming pool and a great playground for the boys. Not to mention woods, hills, and a creek. I'll probably make our reservation next week and finalize which site we're in.  We are super excited for the coming year's camping season, and this should be the main event! Here are some more images from their website.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mouse Free?

I'm wondering about this product.


We left our pop-up parked in the grass, next to a dilapidated old barn on the far side of my mother-in-law's property for YEARS and never had anything worse than a small ant issue.  No mice, no squirrels, nothing.  This pop-up was not what I would have considered "locked up tight" by any means.  The door didn't even seal up well.

I'm just thinking that with our new travel trailer parked in the middle of a gravel storage facility, is a product like this even needed?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills

So now we are thinking camping near Mount Rushmore.  Yellowstone might just be too far this year.  When the boys are a little older, and we can spend more time out, we'll take that trip.  I'll be posting more as we develop our plan for travel plans for South Dakota.