Mount Vernon

We drove (or should I say we limped) into Oak Harbor around August 1st, 2011 in our Monaco motor home which is fitted with a Cummins pusher diesel engine and an Allison transmission. We had for about the previous 600 mile, been experiencing a loss of power and serious morning sickness problems. Most notably, the transmission would not remain engaged when we tried to pull away on a cold start. After arriving (by chance) in Oak Harbor, I found Gateway Transmission and contacted Dave Wright, the Manager. By this time we were camped in the local municipal campground and park. At NO COST to us and with no obligation whatsoever, Dave drove over to the campground to carry out some minor diagnostic work. When we opened the engine bay, we (both) discovered that the exhaust manifold was broken into two pieces (despite the fact that they are designed with an expansion collar and sleeve to prevent such events!) Dave quickly advised that he suspected there was NOTHING wrong with the transmission and that the problem was totally the broken manifold and a commensurate lack of engine/turbo power to properly engage the cold transmission. He promptly sourced a replacement exhaust manifold and gasket set, and advised that it would take about 2 days to arrive from Portland OR. He also provided us with a written quote, detailing the cost of parts and an estimate of labor to remove and replace the existing manifold. His only stipulations were that I pay for the parts upfront, which I felt was completely reasonable, and that we bring the motor home to the Goldie Ave, business location the day before, so that his mechanic Charles could work on it in a completely cold condition the following morning. An upside to this was that we were free to stay in the RV the night prior to its repair, and Dave ensured that we had power to make things more convenient. It took about half a day to carry out the work, which I would state was completed in a professional and timely manner given the scope of the job, which entailed disassembling the manifold from the engine, turbo booster and exhaust brake system, carefully removing the carbon buildup which had resulted from two previously undetected blown exhaust manifold gaskets and reassembling the whole works in a fairly mechanically unfriendly environment. The moment of truth came with a road test to determine whether the exhaust manifold truly was responsible for what seemed to me, for all the world to be a transmission problem. The problem seemed to be solved, but to be safe, Dave asked that I stay in touch if any problems occurred ( or even if there were no problems!) . I am happy to report that after leaving Oak Harbor Washington, we drove north to Vancouver, British Columbia, then right across Canada some 3200 miles over the following 13 days without a hint of any transmission problem. Following our return back to Ontario, we received a telephone call from Dave Wright at Gateway Transmissions just to make sure that we made it home safely and with no problems. I thought that was really thoughtful on their part and my wife and I were both truly impressed!I write all of this to say that Gateway Transmission in Oak Harbor, Washington, Dave Wright and their mechanic Charles, are in our opinion, above reproach. They went the extra mile to properly and promptly diagnose our problem, quickly find the right parts and get us on our way at what I consider to be a reasonable cost and with a minimum of inconvenience. I have to say that I was previously somewhat suspicious of transmission shops, having, over the years, hearing of some real horror stories of misdiagnosis and shoddy repairs. My experience with Gateway Transmission really restored my faith in the honesty and integrity which are clearly alive and well in the community of Oak Harbor! It was particularly heartening for us, being a LONG way from our home, and as visitors from Canada, to be treated with such integrity and honesty. I heartily endorse Gateway Transmission and would recommend their service to family, friends or anyone who needs professional services of this nature.

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