[Automotive-Repair-Filter]: I dropped off my car at the dealership for it's scheduled maintenance and to have some loudness checked out. Now I'm being told that despite wheel-bearings being the noise-culprit, my car needs $1000+ worth of repairs. Am I getting shafted?
After weeks (I know, I know) of my car growing louder and louder while driving at speeds greater than 40 mph, I finally dropped it off at the dealer to have the problem diagnosed (I know that going to a dealer is probably more expensive than a good mechanic will be. I only chose the dealer as my parents had given me the remaining balance on their Dealer Gift Card to use for payment). I dropped off my car - a 2001 Ford Focus Wagon - noting that my car grew increasingly louder at highway speeds, and that I needed the scheduled 75,000 maintenance.
Upon inspection, the service department representative called me and ran down a list of things that the mechanic felt needed repairing. They are (and seriously, I have no idea what half of this means):
1. A bad 2nd-4th cervo-piston inside the transmission that is to blame for making pick-up on highways problematic.
2. Replacement of the FFA solenoid. (??!?!?)
3. Both license-plate lights are burnt out (making night-driving illegal), and thus require replacement.
4. Adjustment/Replacement of existing wheel-bearings (this is the cause of the dreadful noise).
5. Installation of new “pan seals” (I think?), which he described as “washers inside the transmission.”
As an added bonus (read:WIN!), my car could stand for:
6. Two (2) new rear-tires + alignment. Yay!
7. New wiper-blades (which I will buy and install myself, thank-you-very-much!)
8. A brake-flush. (Said it wasn’t necessary, but “recommended.”)
9. A power-steering flush. (Again, not necessary, but “recommended.”)
At the time of this posting, the rep. has given me a preliminary estimate of $890
, which includes:
• the cost of the diagnosis ($100)
• transmission work ($605)
• my initial 75,000 mi. scheduled maintenance ($185)
but which does not include
the cost of:
• new tires
• new wiper-blades
• a brake-flush
• a power-steering flush
• replacement of bulbs
• all labor required therein
I am bottoming out on my loans as it is (thanks, university administration!), so paying this amount (a) seems like a joke, and (b) leaves me feeling apprehensive about putting food in my mouth for the next 3 months. For the diagnosis, transmission work, and 75k scheduled maintenance,
does the amount of $890 seem reasonable? Am I being ripped-off? What is a reasonable price for this type of work? I live in Southern California, and the dealership is located in Costa Mesa, if this matters at all.
I would appreciate all input, as I will be speaking with the rep. sometime in the following day, and would like to go into the discussion equipped with the knowledge of whether I’m being taken for a ride, or if the amount appears reasonable. I will update this post with the additional estimates for the remaining work for which I have yet to receive the estimated amounts.
Please forgive the sarcastic tone of my post. I am feeling a little burnt by the feeling that I am being given a run for my money, and am not wholly trusting of dealerships that tend to exploit my automotive ignorance.