Our 98 Windstar has 107,000 miles on it. We were having an occasional
problem with the van stalling, usually at low rpm's. When it happened,
it was usually at a low speed (or from a stop), when the veh was turned
hard to go around a corner, the engine would stall (I know that the
power steering adds a load to the engine, and help makes it stall).
But the engine would always immediately start. So, this was not a big
for the risk of stalling when turning into on coming
traffic. So I had to get it fixed!
Two days ago, I took it to a local repair shop; its a local chain like
a "Firestone". I've been there before and so had some experience and
some level of comfort. I left the van there.
A few hours later I got a call with the diagnosis: two intake actuators
needed to be replaced. They were no longer working. And a control
valve (which, if I rember correctly is vacuum controlled?) needs to be
He tells me (in an kinda embarassed tone) that the intake actuators are
$254 each, and there are 4 hours labor at $79 per hour. The Control
Valve is $58. I write down the numbers in disbelief!!
I am 43 old guy who knows an above ave amount about cars. I have done
a lot of engine maint. in the past, so I'm not totally ingorant about
the price of parts (my rule: always make a guess and mutiply by two to
get the cost at a dealership). I have an employee who is a Ford
Fanatic! He lives and breathes Fords (as do some of you, I'm sure) and
he does ALL his own work, including Replaces engines. I showed him
the price for the part, and he could not understand why the part was SO
Since this is a family van that my wife drives, and the stalling is a
MAJOR safety issue, I tell the shop to do the work. I also ask if he
wouldnt mind saving one actuator for me, as I'd like to see what it
looks like. They call me later to say that he van is ready to be
Yesterday I go to get the van. I am in a HUGE rush!! I get dropped off
at the shop. I look at the bill: the two intake actuators are now
listed at $303 each on the bill. I tel the guy, "You quoted me $254
per actuator. I wrote it down.... I dont have the notes with me, I
have them back at my office". He studies the bill, and shrugs his
shoulder and mumbles some things and says its correct. I told him I'd
look at my notes and call him. I ask for the old actuator. He says
the mechanic threw it out and the trash has been picked up. I am in a
HUGE hurry to get to a meeting. I have no choice at the moment; I have
to pay the bill (by credit card) and go!
So, I paid $917 to get this part replaced, plus $90 for the diagnotic
test! over $1,000!~
I just did Google searches and I could not find anything specific about
this part. I'd like to see a schematic/ diagram.
Altho the price of the part changed, and I am upset about that, my main
question is: Did I get totally ripped off, both on the price of the
part (whether it should have been $254 or $303) AND/ Or FOUR hours of
Or is this cost for parts and labor completely reasonable?
Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to hear your opinions. I'd to
educate myself a little: I'd like to see a schematic/ diagram, and a
part numbers. If anyone can give me a link to this info, I'd
appreciate it! Thanks!