Front End Inspection

I have a 2000 Cavalier. 44 500kms. Recently I had the Rack replaced. Besides that, I asked to have the front end checked while it was up there. The reason being is that they had the bottom ball joints off any way and the wheels had to aligned because the tie rod ends had to be loosened.

That's all fine and dandy. My beef is with the billing dept. I recently received a bill from the dealer saying that I owed them 37.50 plus tax 43.13 Can. 75 an hour, one half hour charge. The parts and lobour for the rack was covered under extended warranty. Maybe they have a minimum charge of a half an hour From the mechanics that I have spoken to about this bill, I'm hearing that I am being ripped off. Stating that the alignment shop had to check the front end before doing the alignment anyway,and should be charged as part of the warranty for the rack job. Some garages like Canadian Tire do not even charge for this service. Apparently, labour wise it only averages about 10 to 15 minutes to perform. The dealer was closed yesterday and I am on my way there today. Just wanted some more input from the group

Thanks Mike

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If the labor allowed by the warranty includes setting the toe in, thats it, setting up the machine and getting the preliminary readings is part of doing a toe in adjustment, technically to get the wheel straight, the rear wheels have to have the toe set first if this has an adjustable rear toe settings. You need to ask specifically what the .5 applied to.

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I overheard a service manager at Canadian Tire talking to a customer on the phone explaining that because the alignment was so bad they have to adjust it before they can even get the equipment on the car so they were going to charge her extra. I believe the conversation ended with "okay, so we'll just put the tires on and give you the car back."

He's lucky that wasn't me on the other end of the phone or I would have told him where he could put his equipment, or maybe that's what she told him. If I take my car in for a $49.95 aligment, do the alignment, don't tell me it's "out too much" and you have to charge me extra, that's bullshit.

Steve

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Steve, if some one moved the toeout of range to such an extent that the beams would not see each other, there would be no initial readings on the screen, so it could be possible that a vehicle would require a manual approximate adjustment to initilize the alignment equipment. This would be unusual of course , as the vehicle would be almost un driveable. I can't say what a shop would charge for the additional work.

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Mike wrote:

Personally, I don't think the charge is unreasonable. You want to them to "check the front end", there is a lot more to the front end then just lower ball joints and tie rod ends. Also, GM only pays to reset the "front toe". They will not pay for anything else, nor will you get any adjustment done for the rear toe, or front camber, caster...whatever.

Why don't you just pay the half hour charge? Too many customers think they should be able to just piggy back off the warranty repairs being done. In some cases this is justified, in others...no.

Ian

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OK, Ian enlighten me.... What other things have to be checked other than the ball joints and tie rod ends? Don't get me wrong Ian, I think you are a great help here on this group and I appreciate your input. I am just letting off a little steam and sharing my experiences her on the group that others can relate to.I hope you see my point:

I don't think I am "piggybacking" off any warranty. I just want to pay a reasonable price for work done. Not an inflated amount for a job other garages do for free anyway. Like I said the alignment shop has to do this anyway in order to get an proper alignment. If it needed any front end parts I did not expect GM to pay for it. Looking at the whole picture a wheel alignment and front end check had to be done and covered by GM anyway. No offence to anybody.

That's it, and thanks.

P.S. Thanks for the responses

Mike

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Mike wrote:

Well, besides those items, you have lower control arm bushings, and struts, upper strut mounts. The point really isn't whether it's simple to inspect the front end "while" you are doing warranty work. You had a rack replaced under warranty. When I replace a rack for a warranty problem, and then do the toe reset (which is all GM pays for) there is no "inspection" done of the front end. You set the toe and kick her out. Sorry, that's just the way it is. The only thing that I can see that would be a problem with your scenario.....is that they should have just told you right up front when you asked for a "front end inspection" that it was going to cost you an extra half hour of labour. Sending you a bill after the fact is stupid, and I would probably just ignore it, unless it's the only dealer in town and you need to get more warranty work done. If you had been informed up front, then you can decline the extra charge.

See...this is where you don't understand how warranty works. Which is ok, you don't work in our industry. I'd love to have people from these newsgroups who don't work in our industry come and walk in my shoes for a week or two. It would be a very eye opening experience. Again, GM does not pay for or expect the technician to do a "front end check" or a "full alignment". The only items that have to be disconnected on a Cavalier to get the rack out are the tie rod ends. Ball joints don't have to be disconnected. So all you get under warranty is a "toe reset". That's it, that's all. When a person understands how GM lowballs the warranty time for the rack replacement, they will also understand why the technician does only the least amount of work that is necessary. Again, my apologies to all the folks who think that we ought to work for free....but, in my case it ain't gonna happen.

Ian

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with your scenario.....is that they should have just told you right up front

Good, now I know.I just would like my service person to tell me that, BEFORE the work is done.I know this is after the fact but the tech did take the bottom ball joints off. Why? I don't know. Said it was a hell of a job...Anyway thanks for clearing that up Ian. Live in a small town and it is the only GM dealer here. I'll just pay it and be done with it.

Thanks Again Mike

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Mike wrote:

Mike, the next time that "any" shop tries to bill you for something that they did not tell you that you would be charged for it, you tell them to shove that bill up their "#ss". We don't do this sort of thing at our dealership. It's all up front, or you don't pay....simple as that!

Ian

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Advice well taken!

Thanks Mike

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