I took my 2006 F360 in to Jack Kain Ford of Versailles, KY on 2 August, 2017 for a CEL (check engine light), while there I asked them to check charging system as it had failed to start on several occasions, requiring a jump and battery charging prior to starting. CEL light was diagnosed as "underboost" remedy was new turbocharger ($1,932.28).
Charging system was diagnosed as bad alternator, stated that alternator output was low, and was only charging at 13.0 volts. I asked them how they tested, and what the amperage output was on the alternator. They stated that they didn't have the equipment to check amperage output. They stated they stuck a plug in the cigarette lighter with engine running and voltage was only 13.7 volts. (paperwork states 13.0 volts). They said 13.7 volts was low and they "like to see" 14 volts plus. I asked them what the acceptable voltage was, they repeated that they "liked to see over 14 volts." I asked them what the book stated acceptable voltage was. After much grumbling, they checked and found that the alternator output (13.7 volts) was within acceptable limits, but int their experience, it was the alternator ($534.60). Labor to replace alternator was 1.5 hours (ninety minutes). Total estimate for repairs was over $3,000.00. I paid $252.94 for diagnostics.
I am an FAA Certified Aircraft Mechanic. I took the truck to the dealer because I didn't have the reader to read the CEL. The charging system check was casually mentioned as an afterthought. I didn't realize they were going to charge me $125.00 to stick a voltage reader into the cig lighter outlet. They stated that they didn't actually remove the battery leads when "checking" the batteries, but checked each one with a "tester". They couldn't tell me what the "test" entailed or what type of "tester" was used.
I declined their nice offer of $3,000+ of repairs.
I took the truck to Advance Auto Parts in Lawrenceburg, KY. In the parking lot, I removed the alternator (three bolts, and one electrical plug. Pull belt, set retainer clip to keep tensioner held back, total of about 4 minutes, went into store, Alternator tested just fine. I replaced the alternator (total time to remove and replace was less than 10 minutes, yet Jack Kain wanted 90 minutes of paid time for job. I went home, removed all battery terminals from BOTH batteries, charged both batteries overnight, load tested both batteries in morning with a load tester (also inspected all terminals, connections at battery ground to chassis, etc. All okay. Driver's side battery tested at 13,4 static, 12.7 volts with load. Passenger side battery tested at 13,3 v 8.5 volts with load. I repeated the charging/testing of the "bad" battery once again to verify that the battery had failed. It tested bad once more. I replace both batteries as they were 3 years old and the problem has been corrected.
Looked over turbo and found a loose clamp. Tightened it, reset CEL light, and problem has not recurred.
Summary: One of two conclusions appear to be possible:
Conclusion # 1: Jack Kain service department does not appear to have the knowledge, expertise, or tools to correctly diagnose electrical or engine problems. They do not know, or didn’t care enough to correctly test/diagnose an electrical/charging system problem and a CEL indication.
Conclusion # 2: Jack Kain service department DOES have the knowledge to correctly diagnose problems, yet chooses to report “inspection results” which will produce greatly inflated profits. Once the alternator had been replaced for $534.60, I suspect that further inspection would have “discovered” that one of the batteries had failed. With respect to the “failed turbocharger” the loose clamp would have been corrected with installation of a new turbocharger.
You can decide which of the above you feel is correct.
Final conclusion: I would not let Jack Kain Ford service my push lawn mower.