Mechanics

QUOTED $2000 TO REPLACE CONTROL ARMS, DOES THAT SOUND RIGHT?!

1998 Volkswagen Passat • 114,000 miles

My car makes a noise when I hit a pothole while turning. I took it in to my repair shop and they said it was the control arms and that both sides should be replaced costing $2000. I'm a senior female and they know I don't have family close so I wanted to somehow make sure this is an honest estimate of what it should cost.
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A_Birmingham
July 13, 2012.



From the looks of the prices on control arms, it looks very high. Shop around for a second opinion.

Roy


ASEMaster6371
Jul 13, 2012.
Thanks for the reply. If anyone has an idea what it should cost, a range, I would sure appreciate the help. : )


Tiny
A_Birmingham
Jul 13, 2012.
Upper control arms & tie rod ends are a common wear & tear item on
this vehicle.

Due to the age of the vehicle, they could be recommending a full
parts replacement due to the age & condition of the components.

Worn tie-rod ends, ball joints, bushings etc. See images below. Lots
of individual parts (times 2 for the other side), that together can
cost quite a bit with labour.

If possible, you need to find out what all is included in the $2000
estimate.

A lot of the fasteners that VW use, are "one time use", meaning
the nuts & bolts have to be replaced when replacing components.

Thomas


Tiny
Exovcds
Jul 13, 2012.
Great description, thanks! Googleing was a bit overwhelming since I didn't know what I was looking for. How do I know if it all really needs to be replaced or not? Couldn't they just say it does?


Tiny
A_Birmingham
Jul 13, 2012.
It comes down to trust. Is this your regular "service shop"?

I've been working for the same shop for 20 yrs. I know customers
who were single when I started, and are married now with kids.

Time flies!

It's difficult finding someone you can trust. Word of mouth is one
of the best ways to find a good shop.

The next time you go shopping, ask people who drive VW's, where they
get their car serviced. They will not hesitate telling you both
the good places and the bad!

The key is sticking with one place, so they get to know your car
and know the history of the car.

Then there will be no need to second guess what they recommended.

Thomas


Tiny
Exovcds
Jul 13, 2012.
I've used them for several years but it seems every time I go in they find something more expensive to fix. It's starting to concern me because they said my car was in great shape and all I needed was rear brakes. I take good care of my car because it's the last car I'll ever be able to have but lately the costs to keep it up have been crazy. I feel they should have known about this issue since they told me they had checked it out thoroughly the last time I was in. I have to pay them for anything they look at and I don't think it's wrong to expect it to be correct. Control arms were on the list of maintenance items that needed to be done but he originally quoted me $700. I take it in to have it repaired and it goes up to $2000. I want to trust them but that's A LOT of money for me to come up with. I've already spent a couple of thousand in repairs in the last year and at what point do I stop? Now they're saying they found a coolant leak and it's $88 to just find out where its coming from. It was less than a year ago that I had the whole cooling unit replaced. I only drive the car 1000-2000 miles a year so how could so much be going wrong with it so quickly?


Tiny
A_Birmingham
Jul 13, 2012.
Not much I can verify or confirm without seeing the vehicle.

I really doubt that they are (trying to) taking advantage of you... I have to. Mechanics are always
getting a bad reputation because of the 1 shop out of 10 that either over charges or sells items
that are not needed.

You'll find the same "bad apples" in any and all industries.

Browse the following link for a shop near you: http://autorepair.iatn.net/

Shops listed on this site, take pride in their work and treat customers the way they should be
treated.

But nothing is better than word of mouth... ask around and the shop name that comes up the most
might be the one for you!

Good luck!

Thomas


Tiny
Exovcds
Jul 13, 2012.
Some aftermarket places offer inner and outter tie rod assemblies. They can be pricey. The upper links aren't too bad to replace, neither are the lowers, the tie rods if they are the assemblies can easily consume time. Also figure in the shop's hourly rate. See what they quoted you for parts, then check autohausaz. Com or blaupart. Com and compare prices. Maybe help save a few bucks. I've always replaced tie rod ends and/or the 4 upper control arms to cure the rattle you're concerned about. But also we aren't at your car so I can't say what all it needs. It boils down to the facilities reputation.


Tiny
Vwscott
Jul 13, 2012.
Get a second opinion to make sure of the needed parts.

Roy


ASEMaster6371
Jul 13, 2012.
I'm just gonna explain my post above.

I have to believe that they are not taking advantage of you, benefit
of the doubt so to speak, because I too am running a shop and would
hate to lose a customer simply because someone said to get a second
opinion.

What if the actual work IS warranted/needed?

Yes, second opinion is all good and fine. But what if the next
shop takes advantage of her?

I believe that finding a shop via word of mouth & then getting a
new estimate, is a better way to go (and a better non-expert answer).

That way she will be able to stick with the new shop in the future
with no worries about costs being out of line.

Thomas


Tiny
Exovcds
Jul 13, 2012.
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