could use your input

Hi all,
I know a lady with a 1983 300D turbodiesel. The front end was sloppy so she took it to the dealer to have the work done. This is a car with no
wreck damage and no rust. The dealer did a diagnosis and then did the work:
(1) 123-330-46-07 control arm    $125.00ea        total $125.00 (1) 123-330-47-07 control arm $134.00ea        total $134.00 (4) 116-333-40-14 support fron    $ 2.20ea        total $ 8.80 (2) 123-330-13-35 axle support $ 91.00ea        total $182.00 (1) 123-330-56-07 control arm    $280.00ea        total $280.00 (1) 123-330-57-07 control arm $280.00ea        total $280.00 (1) 000-463-51-32 steering dam $ 57.00ea        total $57.00 (1) 123-460-15-05 drag link         $ 99.00ea        total $99.00 (2) 123-330-18-03 tie rod         $ 47.00ea        total $94.00 (2) 123-321-41-04 front sprint     $174.00ea        total $348.00 (2) 123-330-21-30 guide rod, ax     $ 61.00ea        total $122.00 (2) 123-330-14-75 control arm     $ 32.50ea        total $ 65.00 (2) 123-995-00-44 clamp         $ 3.50ea        total $ 7.00 (2) 000931-008266 screw         $ 1.20ea        total $ 2.40 (2) 913004-008004 nut         $ .40ea        total $ .80 (12) MLN-10-01 lock nuts         $ 1.00ea        total    $ 12.00 4 wheel alignment                                 $ 187.50
labor = $1170 parts = $1817 shop supplies = $20
total w/tax = $3152.36
Now, here's the kicker -- the steering has 80%+ of the slop that it had before they worked on it. The steering wheel is 5 to 10 degrees canted to the right depending on the road you're driving on. They had to know how bad it was because they put 42 miles on it.
I don't think I have ever encountered anything this bad from any dealer before. Have you? The lady is considering stopping payment on the check and taking the car to another dealer -- and fighting this out in court.
What would you do?
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| | (1) 123-330-46-07 control arm $125.00ea total $125.00 | (1) 123-330-47-07 control arm $134.00ea total $134.00 | (4) 116-333-40-14 support fron $ 2.20ea total $ 8.80 | (2) 123-330-13-35 axle support $ 91.00ea total $182.00 | (1) 123-330-56-07 control arm $280.00ea total $280.00 | (1) 123-330-57-07 control arm $280.00ea total $280.00 | (1) 000-463-51-32 steering dam $ 57.00ea total $57.00 | (1) 123-460-15-05 drag link $ 99.00ea total $99.00 | (2) 123-330-18-03 tie rod $ 47.00ea total $94.00 | (2) 123-321-41-04 front sprint $174.00ea total $348.00 | (2) 123-330-21-30 guide rod, ax $ 61.00ea total $122.00 | (2) 123-330-14-75 control arm $ 32.50ea total $ 65.00 | (2) 123-995-00-44 clamp $ 3.50ea total $ 7.00 | (2) 000931-008266 screw $ 1.20ea total $ 2.40 | (2) 913004-008004 nut $ .40ea total $ .80 | (12) MLN-10-01 lock nuts $ 1.00ea total $ 12.00 | 4 wheel alignment $ 187.50 | |
not sure on the part numbers, but i dont think i see, idler arm bushings, steering shaft linkage or steering gear ajustment in that list. they replaced just about everything else in the front end.
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Track rod/brake thrust rod mounts don't seem to be there either or did I miss something?
What was the car in for?
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On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 04:21:54 +0000, Richard Sexton wrote:

She took the car in to have the play removed in the steering.
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This is what can happen when an owner doesn't FIRST ask for an estimate and THEN authorize the work.
ALWAYs, ALWAYS ask for an estimate. An estimate also "puts the brakes" on the $$$$.
Just saying "fix it" is a BLANK CHECK!!!!
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On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 22:02:13 -0800, T.G. Lambach wrote:

It was not a blank check repair. They gave her the estimate of $3000 to "fix" the problem. She was willing to pay that to eliminate the problem. Unfortunately, the majority of the play is coming from something else.
I personally can't accept a $3000 fishing expedition as acceptable. Am trying to help the lady determine the most realistic course of action.
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She accepted the $3,000 estimate but the slop remains. Simply take it back and tell the dealer that they did the wrong job - it's not repaired so fix, now it at the dealer's cost (they already made their retirement on this car!).
The steering wheel's off center is simply a tie rod adjustment to center the pitman arm - shorten one side and lengthen the other an equal amount.
Given all the new parts, the slop is now confined to: (choose one or more) idler arm bushings, steering wheel to steering box coupler (above the box) and the steering box itself (which has an adjustment that may need to be done in several small increments over, say, a year's time).
You should know that these worm and gear steering box systems NEVER had the tightness that contemporary rack and pinion cars now offer. This old car's specified steering play is about .75 to .875 INCH so that's the BEST it will ever be no matter what's done.
Hope the rest of this old car is in good enough condition to carry the money that was dumped into it.
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On 2006-02-11 22:02:13 -0800, "T.G. Lambach"

Actually in every state I have ever lived in (NY,MA,VA,WA) it's ILLEGAL for any auto service place to do any work on your vehicle without first giving you an estimate.
This seems like an insane story, considering it didn't even fix the issue?
As stated here repeatedly, taking an older MB to the dealer is STUPID. They are not in the business of helping customers with older cars.
Finding a quality independent mechanic would have saved a lot of money and gotten your car fixed too. Sorry about the second guessing thing...
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Short of shooting the dealer, which I uderstand is frowned upon these days, I would:
a) stop payment on check IMMEDIATELY b) report dealer via phone and in writing to Better Business Bureau c) report dealer via letter to MB USA with full details of the event d) post dealers complete name and identification on 5 of the most relevant MB forums / sites on-line as to what transpired (making sure I reported only the facts, made no detrimental comments which are subjective in nature and lastly, leave the persons name and e-mail ID OFF the posting as long as there was some manner for readesr to respond - use an arbitrary user name (to prevent dealer from crying fowl since dealer already knows the persons name, it is not an anonymous trashing of Mercedes) e) give a letter to dealer stating the facts of this event BEFORE doing a,b,c or d above in order to give them a chance to remedy this situation with a full refund and walk away with a good lesson learned in what NOT to do in the future to Mercedes owners
It is a shame that a company with such a grand heritage as Mercedes Benz has to have it's reputation tarnished by irresponsible and / or incompetent dealers such as this.
Hope it helps. Good luck.
Tom
Tim wrote:

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Short of shooting the dealer, which I uderstand is frowned upon these days, I would:
a) stop payment on check IMMEDIATELY b) report dealer via phone and in writing to Better Business Bureau c) report dealer via letter to MB USA with full details of the event d) post dealers complete name and identification on 5 of the most relevant MB forums / sites on-line as to what transpired (making sure I reported only the facts, made no detrimental comments which are subjective in nature and lastly, leave the persons name and e-mail ID OFF the posting as long as there was some manner for readesr to respond - use an arbitrary user name (to prevent dealer from crying fowl since dealer already knows the persons name, it is not an anonymous trashing of Mercedes) e) give a letter to dealer stating the facts of this event BEFORE doing a,b,c or d above in order to give them a chance to remedy this situation with a full refund and walk away with a good lesson learned in what NOT to do in the future to Mercedes owners
It is a shame that a company with such a grand heritage as Mercedes Benz has to have it's reputation tarnished by irresponsible and / or incompetent dealers such as this.
Hope it helps. Good luck.
Tom
Tim wrote:

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[...]
I'd ask my friend John:
I'd say "John, what would you do?":
    Well I am a mechanic, I would have fixed it myself. I would ask for a complete estimate of repairs prior to getting it fixed. People rarely do that because it costs more and the shop has to pull the car in and out of the shop.      In this case the customer might want to let the car go or get a second opinion.
    I would imagine that the conversation went like this:
SVC Mgr Good morning Mrs XXXX how are you today? Oh I'm fine Harry but my car needs help. SVC well that's what we're here for. what's the problem? my car is all over the road, feels sloppy, can you fix it. SVC Sure, do you need a ride home or will you bring the car on another day. I'm scared to drive it because it feels so dangerous, so I'll take the ride home. SVC OK Benny here will get you home in a snap, just let me have your signature right here and your off. When can I pick it up? SVC it'll be a few days, figure on Thursday, Friday at the latest. OK that sounds fine I'll make arrangements for alt transportation, Thanks just call me when its done. SVC Have a nice day Mrs XXXX
if she signed the authorization its a binding contract. If she simply asked for an estimate, whole different story. Dealers are in business to sell and service their products. They sell parts at list and charge whatever the clearly posted sign says for labor/hour.     It is probably too late but the car has a new front end, only recourse that I can see is to have the alignment corrected, on the dealer.     People need to smarten-up and clearly ask for an estimate of repairs rather than say fix it. Keeps everybody informed and happy. I see nothing that the dealer has done underhandedly . Offer her $1,000 for the car and enjoy the nice stable ride or.... If she gets a couple years service from the car she broke even.
Johnny B. I Mac Therefore I am
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Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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