So I'm here today bringing my car for a warranty service check. The vehicle's steering wheel vibrates and upon me inspecting the vehicle a few days ago, I found there is a lot of play in the wheel/tire(side to side with the vehicle lifted) and I also see that the ball joint in both sides is damaged. In the past I took the car to West Covina Ford where they charged me $0 to check and diagnose if my struts up front and shocks at rear were bad. That time they ended up changing the front ones and told me to go back and do the rears later since the part was backordered. So I tell the service rep here about that issue with the rear shocks and he says they'll check that as well. By the way, the vehicle has 85K miles.
So when the results come, he tells me that they have to road force balance the tires to determine if that's the issue with the vibration, and that'll alone be $250. I had road force the tires about 2 mos ago at Nitrous Garage in Pomona where they charged me $45/tire using Hunter's road force balancer. I tell the rep to communicate the issue with the tire play and ball joint to the mechanic, but upon coming back he said that they can't go any further without doing the road force balance. Really? So the tire has excessive play when you shake it side to side and is off the floor, but they can't look at those components ?
I tell him to wrap it up, and he comes back with a bill of $125 after they kindly didn't charge me for the diagnosis of the vibration, only the shocks. By the way, when I dropped the car he put in an estimate that it would $250 and I asked him why. He said that was just a number in case there was any work on the car. I told him I had the premium care and they had never charged me for diagnosis at the other two dealers, only the deductible of $100 if they actually did the repairs. He said not to worry about it, that yeah that was the case, but he just had to put a number on the estimate.
So I ask for the manager, and he was on a "meeting", but I said I would wait until the meeting finishes. So after 1-2mins the manager comes out and said the warranty doesn't cover the diagnosis, and they are already helping me out by not charging me for one fee. After me explaining the issues over and over, and how I have visited west covina and Chino Hills ford and never paid for a diagnosis fee, he said he couldn't do anything and that I signed for the paper.
I thanked him for his time and told him to check me out. This would be the LAST time I come here.
What upset me the most is how the rep agreed that the estimate was only if the repair were done, but then change his position later. By the way, I signed, but put a 100 next to my signature to reinstate the agreed price.
Please do yourself a favor, save the time, money and stress. Do NOT do business here.
So now I wasted half a day from college, $125 that I could have used for tuition or books, or ever the ACTUAL repair or parts for my car.
By the way, I have been in the car industry for 10+ years, I'm ASE certified, and I'm currently a Mechanical Engineering student in my Senior year. So knowledge on this area is very broad. I'm missing details because the story is very long as it is, but if anyone had any questions, let me know.