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I need ball joints and control arms on my '06 Taurus. The book time for the ball joints both sides is 2.8 hours. If you add the control arms it is 0.9 and 0.7 respectively. No consideration that the tire and ball joint nut has already been removed. WHAT A RIPOFF! Any ideas on how to contest?
 

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I don't have as much of a problem with book times as I do with the ridiculous mark-up of parts that shops charge. Then again, I have rarely taken my cars to a shop for repairs as I have been able to do most myself over the years. Are these times a ripoff? All I know is here in the Rust Belt, suspension work can get ugly in a hurry when dealing with rusted bolts and parts.
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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I need ball joints and control arms on my '06 Taurus. The book time for the ball joints both sides is 2.8 hours.
Ace Auto Repair & Tire charged me $498 ( included $98 alignment ) for replacements of " right " lower ball joint & " right " inner tie rod end in May 26, 2021. My car was in the shop for 3.5 hours. The mechanic messed up the alignment, I can't park my 2001 Taurus straight ever since because rear pass side wheel tilts to the left so I have to move steering wheel to the right to park straight.

Mevotech MK8687 ball joint $50.95
Mevotech MK398 tie rod end $50.95
Alignment $98.95
Labor $288.00
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TOTAL = $498
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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I don't have as much of a problem with book times as I do with the ridiculous mark-up of parts that shops charge.
I am looking at Diablo Auto Care 6/08/2022 invoice for my 2001 Taurus timing cover & oil pan oil leak repairs etc.

Mahle JV1179 timing cover gasket set $16-$21 / charged $29.49
Mahle OS32486 oil pan gasket set $47.99 / charged $60.08

** The shop installed these parts WITH NO extra labor charge

Motorcraft pw505 water pump kit $89.99 / charged $107.49
Fel-Pro exhaust flange gasket 61054 $12.99 / charged $24.73
Fel-Pro exhaust flange gasket 61402 $10.29 / charged $20.37
 

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Even more insulting is that the shop is usually getting a discount when buying these gaskets/parts...making them cheaper than you or I can buy them and further adding to their bottom line. Was recently conversing with another member on here who had an itemized quote showing $200 for an EGR valve at a dealership as part of an $800 quote to replace it. Assuming they were quoting a Motorcraft, the same EGR on Rockauto.com is less than $70 all in; including shipping. And, of course, Rockauto has put their markup on it. Not to mention, this is literally a 15 min job (I know...just replaced mine on same DOHC engine this past week).
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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The shops CAN lie & cheap to our faces and rip us off without qualms because the auto repair industry is NOT regulated to protect consumers.

Diablo Auto Care gave me " name brand/Mahle Fel-Pro Motorcraft " parts, I am content. The total cost is $250 less than 1 repair estimate from AutoTech and other shops were higher.
 

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Yep...it's always been buyer beware.

Stephii...you mentioned previously that your botched wheel alignment has your steering wheel off-center when parking straight. I assume that is also the case when you're driving straight down the road? If so, I'd take it back to that shop (if you feel they are actually capable of doing a correct alignment) and tell them you want the alignment re-done and this time you want the steering wheel to be centered. It's an easy thing for them to do...you just turn one side outer tie rod inward and other side outward. I remember back in the day having to remind a shop doing an alignment to do this very thing. In other words, you can still get an accurate alignment and not have the steering wheel centered.

I'm not sure what the rear wheel tilting inwards has to do with how the front tracks. Never had that issue.
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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Was recently conversing with another member on here who had an itemized quote showing $200 for an EGR valve at a dealership as part of an $800 quote to replace it. Assuming they were quoting a Motorcraft
Ford stealership service advisor INSISTED there's need to replace the 8-month new serpentine drive belt ( for extra $198 ~ WHY, one word " stretch " ) when they replace noise-making bad tensioner ( $298 ). I never took my car back to that place. ALWAYS try to get " free money " from us . A week later, had 1 small shop R&R belt tensioner for $220 and NO squealing/chirping noises ever since. Both drive belt & tensioner are perfectly fine.
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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Stephii...you mentioned previously that your botched wheel alignment has your steering wheel off-center when parking straight. I assume that is also the case when you're driving straight down the road? If so, I'd take it back to that shop (if you feel they are actually capable of doing a correct alignment) and tell them you want the alignment re-done and this time you want the steering wheel to be centered. It's an easy thing for them to do...you just turn one side outer tie rod inward and other side outward. I remember back in the day having to remind a shop doing an alignment to do this very thing. In other words, you can still get an accurate alignment and not have the steering wheel centered.

I'm not sure what the rear wheel tilting inwards has to do with how the front tracks. Never had that issue.
Okay, I will stop by that shop next week and repeat this to the shop manager Danny.
 

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I am looking at Diablo Auto Care 6/08/2022 invoice for my 2001 Taurus timing cover & oil pan oil leak repairs etc.

Mahle JV1179 timing cover gasket set $16-$21 / charged $29.49
Mahle OS32486 oil pan gasket set $47.99 / charged $60.08

** The shop installed these parts WITH NO extra labor charge

Motorcraft pw505 water pump kit $89.99 / charged $107.49
Fel-Pro exhaust flange gasket 61054 $12.99 / charged $24.73
Fel-Pro exhaust flange gasket 61402 $10.29 / charged $20.37
What is their hourly labor rate?

That is not a terrible markup on parts. Presumably your cost excludes shipping.

Also remember that if the shop provides the part, then you have a better warranty since they will get paid by the part manufacturer to put anything right that is to do with a faulty part.
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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What is their hourly labor rate?
$150 an hour compares to other auto repair shops ( within 10-mile radius ) @ $175-195/hour. The shop owner & master-mechanic Chris Ludwig multitasks as service advisor/answer the phone/invoicing/delegate repairs/etc, think that's how he can pass on significant cost savings to his customers.
 
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