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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kind of a long story so I will try to stick to the main points. 2000 Taurus SE, 102,000 miles.
I replaced rear strut/spring assembly with Monroe's a week before a drive from Minnesota to Denver to visit the inlaws but didn't have time to replace the fronts and decided to put it off until I got home. Sure enough when I got to Denver I discovered one of the front springs had broken during my drive(no tire puncture). After researching on this forum I discovered that a 10 year 150,000 mile recall was issued for these very springs.

I called Ford to discuss this warranty and after giving my VIN number we discovered that the vehicles In Service date was 6/18/2000 so the 10 year recall expired on 6/18/2010 or 10 days ago. Lady on the phone suggested I talk to the local Ford dealer to discuss doing the warranty anyway.

When I took it to the local Ford dealer I of course played dumb, hoping he wouldn't discover I was 10 days out of warranty, but of course he did. This entire time I was very pleasant with everyone because I thought this was my best chance of getting what I needed. I called Ford customer relations once again to plead my case but to no avail. I would be charged full price for the work.
HERE IS MY RANT... (I told this to the Ford person on the phone)
The difference these days between Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, and Honda is so close as far as price, reliablity, comfort, etc. So what makes someone buy one vs. the other... Maybe a commercial, a certain feature, or for a lot of us, tradition. Ford has been in my family for years and if you trace this 2000 Ford Taurus to the small dealership my grandmother bought it from you'd find that my family alone has purchased 6 vehicles in the past 25 years. Myself, being a married 28 year old with a young family, will have to purchase multiple vehicles over my lifetime. Am I asking to much? Doing service 10 days out of warranty while I'm on vacation and away from tools. I don't feel like I am being completely rediculous! RANT over.... but it doesn't end there.

So Ford dealership guy tells me he will give me a discount on the work, $50 dollars off. OK..... you charge $90 bucks for an alignment, the local shop down the road charges $50 so this "discount" is worthless, but I am at the mercy of this guy at this point. I agree to the work. Two hours later I get a call explaining that my ball joints are rusted solid and will have to be cut off. I tell him I personally installed those ball joints last summer, everything was torqued to specs and that possibly a little PB blaster and a breaker bar would do the trick...NOPE(Apparently, CO mechanics aren't used to the rust these cars get from driving on MN salty roads.) I then trying pleading with him that the struts could be changed without touching the ball joints by releasing the subframe saving the mechanic a lot of time. "This was not there procedure and even then lowering the subframe would require messing with the exhaust and therefore would be more in labor than cutting the balljoints off. I tell him the exhaust shouldn't have to be touched and he seemed a little pissed off that I was telling him how to do his job so I gave up before I made him too mad. At 80 bucks a side for new ball joints my math tells me they were going to charge me at least 1.7 hours extra to mess with the subframe. That math doesn't add up.

So here I sit, new struts/springs, new balljoints, north of $1000.00 in spendings. Thanks for the help Ford, its going to make my car buying decisions in the future a lot more difficult.
 

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Well, although I understand you weren't in a good situation, I think you need to ask yourself whether it would have been any different with any other non-luxury make of vehicle. Nearly every car has a few well-known design or parts flaws. The Gen 4 Taurus doesn't have a whole lot of major issues, and under normal circumstances it's "only" around $400-$500 an axle every 60k-80k miles to take care of these springs. I sure wish we didn't have to pay for that, but it's not that much money over the life of the car. And, in your case, these fronts could have been covered under recall.

Also, certainly, by 102K miles, you should have considered having the struts replaced already as maintenance, or inspected at the very least. I got way less miles out of my front springs on a car 2 years newer than yours.

The 10-day thing sucks. I agree. Personally, I think you should have called around other dealerships. I think some of them would have taken care of this for you under warranty anyway.

The rusted balljoint thing is hit-or-miss with mechanics. Some mechanics will piss and moan about drilling out a hardened bolt; some will just deal with it. Some have dealt with rusted balljoints, and some haven't. Etc.
 

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You should have stayed away from the Stealership when getting those struts replaced. The only things that I go to the dealer for are: Motorcraft parts that I can't find anywhere else, door clips, and transmission work. Any other repair just isn't worth it because they always assume that they know more than you and say "screw you, and by the way here's the bill."

In short, buy Ford but stay away from the dealership except for some parts and transmission work.
 

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I really hate to put it this way, but dealerships are the worst people to let look at your car. I have worked for a couple of them, and they are ALL EXACTLY IDENTICAL.

Oh, and if the dealership wanted, they could have given you 1/3 off of the price for your work...but they thought you'd pay it, and they were right. Sometimes, just grab your things and say goodbye and you'll get a better offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"The Gen 4 Taurus doesn't have a whole lot of major issues, and under normal circumstances it's "only" around $400-$500 an axle every 60k-80k miles to take care of these springs."

I am not at all complaining about the cost of maintaining a Gen IV Taurus, its is the principal behind their decision. As for other major car manufacturers extending the warranty, I don't know what may have happened, we can only speculate. All I know is I gave Ford the opportunity to help me out on vacation and they did not. A legitimate discrepency over a $800.00 job seems like chump change when you project that over a lifetime of buying multiple $30,000 vehicles.

As for calling other dealerships, I called the two that were within 20 miles of where I was staying. The first called me out on the 10 days out of warranty right away so I took it to the other one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
"Oh, and if the dealership wanted, they could have given you 1/3 off of the price for your work...but they thought you'd pay it, and they were right. Sometimes, just grab your things and say goodbye and you'll get a better offer."

Like I said in the original message they did give me a discount in the end by reducing the original job by $50 and then not charging me for cutting or installing new ball joints. Another detail I did not include in the original rant is I offered (and did) pick up Monroe Quick Struts and delivered them to the dealership so I didn't have to pay an inflated price for Motorcraft struts and springs. So the installation and alignment afterwards was supposed to be $380 and was reduced to $320. Every conversation I had with the service manager involved me telling him I was leaning towards taking the vehicle back and buying all the tools neccesary to the job in my inlaws garage(even though I would not of had time to do this and get alignment that day) This is the first time I have taken a vehicle to a dealership for work in my life, I do most things myself and what I can't do I take to a local shop near my house. But...... I was on vacation away from home and I thought I could talk Ford into doing the warranty work so it would have been free. When I found out they wouldn't, taking it to a different shop would have included arranging to pick it up and drop it off with a ride from my inlaws involved the day before I was going to drive 900 miles to Minnesota. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do at that point was to give Ford any of my money, but I had to!
 

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"The Gen 4 Taurus doesn't have a whole lot of major issues, and under normal circumstances it's "only" around $400-$500 an axle every 60k-80k miles to take care of these springs."

I am not at all complaining about the cost of maintaining a Gen IV Taurus, its is the principal behind their decision. As for other major car manufacturers extending the warranty, I don't know what may have happened, we can only speculate. All I know is I gave Ford the opportunity to help me out on vacation and they did not. A legitimate discrepency over a $800.00 job seems like chump change when you project that over a lifetime of buying multiple $30,000 vehicles.
I don't disagree, that's very true from your perspective. But if Ford did free work on every 11-year-old Taurus that rolled into the service garage at an $800 revenue loss each time, that's a rather serious hit to the bottom line on a $25k car.

The thing about the warranty being expired is this: Fact is, you were out of warranty. It doesn't matter if it was 14 days or 14 years or 14 minutes.

Not to say they couldn't have helped you out, but as soon as they start fixing 14-day-expired cars then the guy with the 30-day-expired Taurus figures he's entitled, then the guy 2 months late, 3 months late 6, months late, a year late, 3 years late... They set hard cutoffs and I don't blame them a bit for sticking to their guns on that. It may have actually cost them money in your future patronage, but on the whole I can completely understand their decision.

We definitely all get hosed from time to time on cars. I've had **** blow up a couple thousand miles out of warranty just like everyone else. Sometimes they take care of it, sometimes they don't.

I've also had **** blow up a few hundred miles within warranty, and suddenly I sure was glad the warranty was good for 36K rather than 35K.

But on average I feel like my Tauruses have been a ton more reliable than virtually any other American vehicles I'm familiar with, at a (used) price lower than just about anything, nicer than just about anything in that price point made those years, and with relatively reasonably-priced replacement parts.

When I get annoyed with a $600 loss for a broken spring that eats a tire or a $700 wheel bearing job a single time in the car's 8-year lifetime, it's good to consider my coworker's much newer and much more expensive Altima that just ate its own catalytic converter at 50K miles and totaled the car. I never heard of that on a Taurus. Or the fact that you need a special tool to change the rear brakes on a VW Beetle that you can't get at a typical parts store, or the number of times that car stranded my wife because of 4 recalls on a single electronic brake on/off switch that VW/Audi couldn't make work after about 6 revisions. So I'll probably continue to buy Fords despite the occasional repair bill or idiot dealership mechanic.
 

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I had a run in it my dealership but in the end they did me right. like i said
you need to build a rep with the dealer.

btw be sure to file a complaint with the nhtsb.
 

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:(I have had my fair share of rants with Dealerships about repair costs, not only with Ford. It's a fact of life that auto repairs are high whatever you own. Isn't that why some people opt to lease or trade very freqently? That's an expensive way to avoid high costs of repairs but the repair costs are very high too. It totally SUCKS whichever way you go! That's why DIY is good, but very few people can do DIY because of facilities or skills. Maybe the answer is to drive a dirt cheap new car into the ground--then replace it. Unfortunately there's no cheap new cars cheap enough to not do repairs. Maybe we should import those Chinese models for a dirt cheap price and trash them when they need front end work or trannys. It's not going to happen, we want sexy new high performance high quality cars for a medium price and want them to last 200K. We can,t have it Boo Hoo so we DIY our beloved Taurus!
 

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You think this is an xxx ****? I brought my BMW 3 series in for a $100 valve adjustment and they tried to charge me $1200 for extra work they did without authorization.
 

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You think this is an xxx ****? I brought my BMW 3 series in for a $100 valve adjustment and they tried to charge me $1200 for extra work they did without authorization.
My position: If I didn't sign it, you did it for free. If you try to keep my car because I won't pay, I'm calling the police and the BBB.
 

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The dealerships of EVERY mark are the same. In the course of working/buying/selling with/to dozens/100-s even, of d-ships, I can think of ONE that I would consider upstanding - and I was offered the job of running it, but could not accept. It doesn't matter if its Ford or not. But, I will say that some d'ships here have been flagged for being out & out crooks by other people in the biz. And that's saying something, when one crook thinks another crook is too rotten to deal with. And, never forget that the service writer gets a cut of work, so U are assured that he's not thinking of your interests.
 

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Fords are OK, it's Ford DEALERSHIPS that you should stay away from. Hell, I have friends who don't even own domestics and even they know to stay away from Ford dealerships. XD
 

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When I get annoyed with a $600 loss for a broken spring that eats a tire or a $700 wheel bearing job a single time in the car's 8-year lifetime, it's good to consider my coworker's much newer and much more expensive Altima that just ate its own catalytic converter at 50K miles and totaled the car.
There is a federal required emission control warranty that covers catalytic converters and PCMs for 8 years/80,000 miles. Let your coworker know this if he still has the Altima.
 

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I don't know why you're blaming Ford for something that you admitted to putting off. By not doing the fronts when you did the rears you assumed that risk and now you're trying to pass the blame off. I'm surprised they even bothered to look up warrenty info on a 10 year old, 102,000 mile car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know why you're blaming Ford for something that you admitted to putting off. By not doing the fronts when you did the rears you assumed that risk and now you're trying to pass the blame off. I'm surprised they even bothered to look up warrenty info on a 10 year old, 102,000 mile car.
Ford obviously knew they screwed something up if they issued a 10 year 150,000 mile warranty. And again, I am not blaming Ford. I gave them the opportunity, talked to 5 different people among the ranks who had the ability to help me out, and they chose not to. Even the dealership service manager said the #1 complaint he and his fellow managers have is how to get answers from higher ups regarding warranty work. If they screw up and do something out of warranty or do warranty work that they weren't supposed to do, they do not get reimbursed.

I used to be a GM guy... then Obama bought them. Now I am a Ford guy... then this warranty debacle happend. I hate Dodge, and I will not buy a Honda or Toyota. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. I heard KIA's are nice.
 

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I can see both sides of this arguement. Technically the warrantee is over. Customer good will should not be. I bought a '92 Accord new when I graduated college. There was a problem with the distributor drive bearing, and they extended the warrantee on this part. They sent me a letter, and I put it in my glovebox. A few years later, the CEL came on and a knocking sound was coming from the top of the engine. I traced it to the distributor. I really did not want to mess with the timing, so I was going to bring it in to the dealer. The next day, I remembered the letter and read it again. I was 736 miles over the limit! I called the dealer and they said they would take care of it-no problem! I won't forget that. Of course, when I needed an older, cheap car their transmissions self destructed so I avoided them. Now I'm rebuilding a Taurus transmission instead(at least the parts are cheap!) Moral of the story is you can build good will, but you may or may not sell a car in the future. Honda still has brownie points with me.
 

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Kia is the benefactor of many past Ford contracts. They made the Festiva and Aspire for Ford, and I can't help notice a certain similarity in their minivans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I can see both sides of this arguement. Technically the warrantee is over. Customer good will should not be. I bought a '92 Accord new when I graduated college. There was a problem with the distributor drive bearing, and they extended the warrantee on this part. They sent me a letter, and I put it in my glovebox. A few years later, the CEL came on and a knocking sound was coming from the top of the engine. I traced it to the distributor. I really did not want to mess with the timing, so I was going to bring it in to the dealer. The next day, I remembered the letter and read it again. I was 736 miles over the limit! I called the dealer and they said they would take care of it-no problem! I won't forget that. Of course, when I needed an older, cheap car their transmissions self destructed so I avoided them. Now I'm rebuilding a Taurus transmission instead(at least the parts are cheap!) Moral of the story is you can build good will, but you may or may not sell a car in the future. Honda still has brownie points with me.
Finally someone gets it! 10 days over a 3650 day warranty. I'm not asking for miracles. I'm not even asking for an expensive repair! Ford guy tried to tell me he wasn't willing to eat a $500 dollar repair for someone he had never seen before. Customer service on the phone said they would not extend the warranty. Whats the real cost for Ford? They would have to pay some "wrench" 12 bucks an hour for 2 hours to swap out a couple of springs. I get it that shop rate is $105 an hour but what is the real cost to do the work? With me offering to buy the quick struts(meaning no coil compressing) and deliver them to the dealer Ford Corporate easily could have said, "You know what, we will eat the $75 dollar cost and put them in." NOPE, they stuck to their guns hoping I wouldn't stick to mine. I like Ford, I like that the didn't receive bailout money. But, decisions like this towards valued customers I think is wrong. From a business perspective, I think they made a bad decision.

By the way, I was kidding about buying KIA in the future.
 

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I'm not even asking for an expensive repair! Ford guy tried to tell me he wasn't willing to eat a $500 dollar repair for someone he had never seen before.

By the way, I was kidding about buying KIA in the future.
so why would the dealer help you. you said it yourself, you've never gone there .
 
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