Tie rods are real easy to notice when installing tires and they would not be doing their job if they didn't say anything. Ball joints and control arm bushings require a specific setup to do an inspection. The problem with the first shop is they should have specified that they didn't look any further than the obvious. With new tie rod ends the car has to be aligned. It can not be properly aligned with other loose parts that they overlooked. If you agreed to the work, someone was going to have to tell you more work was needed once they found that out. Mechanics and service advisers hate having to do that.
All three of those estimates seem too high to me, but I left the dealership in '99. I'd have the car inspected at another shop, but do not tell them what other people found. That can limit their inspection to just verifying what someone else found, or they could work extra hard to find more wrong to make the other guys look incompetent, or they could try to find fewer things wrong to make their competitors look like crooks. Just explain the noises you're hearing and any other observations or hints, and let them do their own inspection. The dealer is a good choice, or another tire and alignment shop.
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 AT 1:04 PM